THE SWIRLING PSYCH EDDIES of Ramases’ 1971 album Space Hymns were hymned in MOJO magazine’s Buried Treasure column in 2014, a not-before-time celebration of its heady mix of spiritual rebirth, eco-conscious vibes and hippy forthrightness. One of a select coterie of contemporary converts was Swedish actor Peter Stormare – since then, an intimidating presence in Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and Prison Break. Currently the owner-operator of his own Stormvox album, he has declared his love for Ramases by facilitating a career-encompassing 6-disc box set, out today.
Here’s a taste of its arcane riches, in the shape of unreleased bonus track, This Was The World...
Ramases was the creation and alter-ego of Barrington Frost, a former army PT instructor turned central heating engineer born in Sheffield. Adopting the persona of an Egyptian Pharaoh, the former jazz singer embarked on a pop career in earnest in 1968, involving wife Dorthy, renamed for the Egyptian goddess of cures and protection, Selket.
Interesting Herman’s Hermits manager Harvey Lisberg in their quirky, mystic chant-songs, the duo decamped to Strawberry Studios in Stockport to craft Space Hymns with the aid of the group Hotlegs – soon to be rather better known as 10cc. Sadly, Space Hymns, and a more skeletal and downbeat follow-up album, Glass Top Coffin (1975) failed to deliver widespread recognition and, bedevilled by mental health issues, Barrington Frost died by his own hand in 1978.
Available from today, the 6-disc Ramases set by Stormvox Records includes: 1. Space Hymns (re-mastered); 2. Space Hymns (rarities) ; 3. Glass Top Coffin (re-mastered) ; 4. Glass Top Coffin (rarities); 5. Singles & Bonuses ; 6. A Tribute to... (covers)
For more information on Ramases and Stormvox Records visit www.stormvox.com
And here’s Stormare on the genius of Ramases...