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Heavy Turbulence

Merl Saunders

Initial release : 1972

Fantasy 8421

Merl Saunders first solo release. Jerry Garcia plays on all tracks. Although released as a Merl Sainders album it is essentially theworking Garcia/Saunders band of the time.

Tracks

  • My Problems Got Problems (Saunders / Carrier)
  • The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Robbie Robertson)
  • Save Mother Earth (Saunders / Lewis)
  • Imagine (John Lennon)
  • Welcome to the Basement (Saunders / Moore)
  • Man Child (Saunders / Lewis)
Musicians

  • Merl Saunders - keyboards, vocals
  • Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals
  • Tom Fogerty - guitar
  • John Kahn - bass
  • Bill Vitt - drums
  • The Hawkins Singers (Edwin, Walter, Tramaine, Lynette, Freddie, Carol) - vocals
  • Eddie Moore - drums, saw
  • Kenneth Nash - percussion
  • Bob Drew - saxophone
  • The Tower of Power Horns
The original album provides very lmited information. However all the tracks from Heavy Turbulence were included on the 1992 Merl Saunders release Fire Up Plus which provided track by track musician listings. These are given below.

My Problems Got Problems;

  • Merl Saunders - keyboards, vocals
  • Jerry Garcia - lead guitar
  • Tom Fogerty - rhythm guitar
  • John Kahn - bass
  • Bill Vitt - drums
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down;
  • Merl Saunders - keyboards, vocals
  • Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals
  • Tom Fogerty - rhythm guitar, vocals
  • John Kahn - bass
  • Bill Vitt - drums
  • The Hawkins Singers - vocals
Save Mother Earth;
  • Merl Saunders - keyboards
  • Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals
  • Tom Fogerty - rhythm guitar
  • John Kahn - bass
  • Bill Vitt - drums
  • The Hawkins Singers - vocals
Imagine;
  • Merl Saunders - keyboards
  • Jerry Garcia - lead guitar
  • Tom Fogerty - rhythm guitar
  • John Kahn - bass
  • Bill Vitt - drums
Welcome To The Basement;
  • Merl Saunders - keyboards
  • Jerry Garcia - lead guitar
  • Tom Fogerty - rhythm guitar
  • John Kahn - bass
  • Eddie Moore - drums, saw
  • Kenneth Nash - percussion
  • Bob Drew - saxophone
  • Tower Of Power Horns
Welcome To The Basement;
  • Merl Saunders - keyboards
  • Jerry Garcia - lead guitar
  • Tom Fogerty - rhythm guitar
  • John Kahn - bass
  • Bill Vitt - drums
  • The Hawkins Singers - vocals
  • Tower Of Power Horns
Credits

  • Producer - Tom Fogerty with Merl Saunders and Brian Gardner
  • Engineer - Brian Gardner
  • Assistant engineer - Eddie Harris

  • Recorded at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley
Notes

The original LP provides a simple list of musicians and brief credits for producers and engineers.

The front cover is as shown above. The rear cover depicts Merl Saunders holding up a cocktail glass with ice in it and the torso and head of someone (?Tom Fogerty) in miniature peering out. There's also what may be a tiny image of Jerry just behind.

The majority of information provided here is taken from the 1992 Merl Saunders album, Fire Up Plus, which included all the tracks from Heavy Turbulence.

In the liner notes for Fire Up Plus Merl commented as follows;

In 1971 after my return from living in New York, Heavy Turbulence was born. I was running in a turbulence of heavy musicians and singers. Looking back 17 years, I think I named the album correctly. On two tracks, Welcome To The Basement and Man Child, I used one of the first Yamaha Synthesizers known as YC30 - this was one of the first Yamaha Synthesizers to be recorded.
In an interview with Sandy Troy in the 90s Saunders recalled an event which arose from Heavy Turbulence;
I'll never forget when we [Legion Of Mary] played the Bottom Line in the spring of 1075. We did three shows in three days and the place was jampacked. We were paying and the audience was just freaking out, and all of a sudden we hear all the noise stop. We hear 'oooh,' and we see a flash go by into the dressing room. We look at each other because we didn't know who went in there. When we went into the dressing room John Lennon was sitting there. We were shocked. He came to thank us for doing his number 'Imagine', on my album Heavy Turbulence. I had done the first cover version of his song.
Related releases

All the tracks on Heavy Turbulence were included on the compilation CD;

  • Fire Up Plus, Merl Saunders and Friends, 1992, Fantasy FCD 7711-2
Welcome To The Basement was subsequently included on; Welcome To The Basement was included on the compilation;
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album cover


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