CD Bonus tracks:
LP Bonus tracks:
(these musicians also play on tracks [5, 6] and [LP bonus tracks]
Musicians on tracks [7, 8]
Musicians on tracks [9, 10]
Musicians on tracks [11, 12]
Produced by John van Setten.
The September singles and demos are produced by Tim Griek.
All tracks recorded at Bovema Studios, Heemstede.
The bonus tracks on this CD are the September singles. Track 5 - 8 are from 1971 and 9 and 10 are from 1970. Tracks 11 and 12 are demo recordings from 1971.
The bonus tracks on the 2012 double LP are demo recordings.
LP Harvest 5c 052-24582 (1972)
LP Pseudonym VP99-005 (1933)
CD Pseudonym CDP-1006-DD (1993)
LP Pseudonym VP99.030 (2012)
CD Pseudonym CDP-1104 (2013)
For the track Little sister they used parts of the music and lyrics of the song In the land of the few by the English band Love Sculpture. This track appeared on their album Forms and Feelings (1969) and was written by Dave Edmunds, Mike Finesilver and Andrew Ker.
The album cover was inspired by the self titled album from The Outsiders (1968). Judge for yourself:
As far as I know Cargo only managed to release in their short history a few 7" singles and one killer album on Harvest records back in 1972. Comprised of dual guitarists (Jan De Hont and Ad De Hont), Bass (Willem De Vries) and drummer (Dennis Whitbread), Cargo deliver some pretty magical musical expressions of classic rock and progressive all in one. Obviously this is heavy guitar driven music with clever bass and drum interplay. Lead vocalist Willem De Vries has one of those amazing rock voices which you swear you have heard before and in many ways completes this album. When the twin guitars get crackling along we are provided some of the most thought provoking music you will ever hear. Up until now this gem of an album was not available and through Pseudonym records we are now able to enjoy a re-mastered transfer with their earlier 7" singles as bonus tracks as well. Breathtaking and inspired music for your mind.
(James Unger, Progarchives)
If this had been the Cargo album alone , it might have gained another halfstar but the bonus tracks are from their previous group called September actually ruin (a bit) the wholeness of the album. Although not bad in themselves , those tracks add absolutely nothing to Cargo and even ruin slightly the pleasure. On Cargo itself there is no flaws at all if it was not that this is a lone album and a pity they only made this one. Very exciting guitar work from the De Hont brothers who have learned to work together quite early in their lives , one can hear it on here. Their interplay is really delicious and they do not try to outdo the other and remind me of the twin lead guitar from Wishbone Ash in their heyday (Argus & Pilgrimmage)
(Hugues Chantraine, Progarchives)
Aaahhh...extremely nice sounds are coming from this very capable dutch outfit: Cargo. They "only" did one album (and apparently some singles and stuff...note the bonus tracks 8 tracks to be exactly!!)...but what an album.....the driving force of the two guitarplayers and the solid back-up of the bass and drum. Actually it reminds me of a hybrid between Wishbone & Epitaph...but still very much their own style.....lots of wonderful guitaring ...themes....and...ohhh..the vocals are quite nice too!! Plenty of improvising (or so it seems)...in those looong ("Summerfair") numbers. Finally someone (the excellent dutch record label Pseudonym)dared to put it out on cd!! And it is really, a wonderful piece of music history...thank you Pseudonym..keep up the- good work!!! For all you guys (and galls) out there who like their prog/psych "meat" well done!! This is really the meal to enjoy!!! Great stuff!! Highly recommended!!!
(Tonny Larz, Progarchives)
Sometimes you have to wonder what people were smoking back in the day. How you could space out and let so many good albums pass you by is a mystery to me. This album is no exception, it is very good. It is a little heavy and I would not label it as art rock. Art rock tends to be shorter, more pop oriented songs. These songs are a lot longer and include very long jams. Well, its a shame many of the baby boomers don't know who cargo is when I talk music with them. Many of the albums I have reviewed on this site seem (I am only 20) to have been ignored when they were released. Were people just to stoned and lazy to check out anything beyond deep purple, zeppelin and the beatles? With the lack of musical variety today, I grow jealous of all the possibilities people had in the 70s. So many good bands were passed by back than. spring, CARGO, the flock and so many others.
This Dutch band, should have made it big. With their great sense of musicality, well written lyrics and music. But, they did not. So, one may wonder why? Perhaps there were to many bands, sounding the same, performing in the same way & even looking the same? Well, that is not the case here. Cargo (A.k.a. September) made some remarkable music, which should have been heard by all
First thing that spring to mind, is he fantastic interplay, between dual guitar masters Jan & Ad De Hont. Bring back memories to the " Top Twin Lead guitars", of Wishbone Ash fame. Yeahh, you all know the names, of those 2 great ones: Andy Powell & Ted Turner. Cargo is up there as well. Doing some outstanding rock, with progressive overtones, ala Wishbone Ash "Argus" period.
The album starts out, with an outstanding
track called "Sail Inside". A very heavy one for sure. With
dual guitars, heavy bass, fantastic drumming & very heavy
vocals. Let me at this point ad, that vocalists Willem De
Vries( who sings on most of the 12 tracks) & Hessel De
Vries( vocal on 2 tracks), are very different, in their way
of approaching the music. Willem sounds like "haven't I
heard that great voice before?" Where as for Hessel. He
sounds very "Lake like", with outstanding backing vocals.
And on the 2 tracks, he sings lead, adds some beautiful
electric piano parts.
Then, the more you get through this album, the more progressive it gets. And, at the same time, Cargo/ September adds, some fantastic vocals, with great vocal harmonies. One could say, they go from prog rock, to art prog rock. But still, with some very heavy dual guitars
Cargo was born, on the ashes of September. The first 4 tracks, that' s Cargo. The remaining 8 tracks, that' s September. But, this is still an outstanding release. To me, this is an important release. You get a change, to listen to the sound of the Dutch music scene, ala 1970 until 1972. Which was a happy period. Anywhere in the world, when it comes to music. So, dear friends. Should this jewel, pass you by. Do pick it up. And get happy with the rest of us, who simply loves, well written and well performed, prog art rock. Cargo may just be your cup. I know it' s mine & have been for many years.
(Leo Christiansen, Progplanet)
Cargo was a Dutch band that released this apparently, now highly sought after album in 1972. Their four-piece lineup featured dual guitars along with bass and drums. Sounding quite similar to countrymen Golden Earring, Cargo unfortunately lacked the technical and creative musicianship of that band, and this ends up being little more than mundane, long-winded guitar rock with some psychedelic tinges. The four long tracks stretch some unimpressive musical ideas far too thin, and the jam sections never build into anything really exciting. If you simply can't get enough of that early 70s guitar/psych sound then this album certainly shouldn't disappoint, but there are far better examples of the genre out there. Before becoming Cargo, the band included a keyboardist (elec. piano/organ) and went under the name September. Eight of their early singles and demos are included here, adding about 30 minutes to the length of the CD. These early songs sound even more like late 60s Golden Earring than the Cargo album itself. Only for serious fans of the genre.
Rob Walker (Expose, 2001)
The best way to tackle this album is to start from the end. And here you'll find an absolute barnstormer of a song, the 15+ minute "Summerfair". It's just relentless, like the very best of the Allman Brothers, Quicksilver and Frank Marino rolled into one. I'm not sure exactly why this track works so much better than others in the genre, though I suspect it has something to do with the soft vocals, hyperactive drumming and wah-wah rhythm guitar. And, of course, the lead guitar leaves me in a sweat. By itself, this composition is the absolute pinnacle of the style. Working backwards, there's "Finding Your Way", which starts out in "Tobacco Road" territory before busting out of the gates for yet another intense jam. Then it's on to track number 2, the fascinating "Cross Talking", which is a neat instrumental concept of wah guitars "talking" back and forth with a cool funky rhythm. And finally, we hit the opener, "Sail Away". The first 4 to 5 minutes are fairly off-putting straight ahead rock and roll. But at 11 total minutes, there's plenty of room for inventive musicianship.
(Thomas Hayes, Thomas Hayes)
They started out under the name September and released
three singles on Imperial in 1970 and 1971, then changed
their name to Cargo in 1972. Their album is a true classic
of melodic heavy progressive rock with some of the best twin
electric guitar interplay I've ever heard. They beat
Wishbone Ash by miles! Tracks such as "Sail Inside" (10:54)
may seem like clichéd motorcycle rock on the first
listening, only to reveal myriads of nuances behind the raw
edges later on. This powerful guitar-driven music also has a
more vulnerable side, alternating between aggression and a
hidden sorrow. "Summerfair" (15:35) is another winner full
of emotion and dynamics. Strongly recommended to all fans of
intelligent guitar-rock! The cover motif was a reference to
the first album by The Outsiders.
(D. E. Asbjørnsen, Scented Gardens Of The Mind)
The De Hont and De Vries brothers had found particular favour with the Dutch under the psyche band September with numerous singles in 1970 such as Presley’s “Little Sister” and the De Vries penned “Yelly Rose”. September’s finest cover was an urgent version of Bert Bacharach “Walk on By” which kicks the shit out of the original. After changing their name to Cargo they launched their 1970 self-titled album has enough guitar slash to rip Queen Beatrix’ smile to shreds It was awesomely pulverizing when Jan De Hont unleashes his Fender Strat in parallel with Ad De Hont’s Gibson SG on the thudding “Cross Talking” in the spirit of Wishbone Ash. This 8min indulgence also trembles with the bass hammering Willem De Vries on his Gibson B3. Nothing like this has ever thundered through Amsterdam since the rolling Panzerwagens of 1940. Cargo’s entourage of drummers comprised ex Big Wheel /September Shel Schellekens ,Jerry Gobel, ex Full House Frans Smit and ex Ekseption Dennis Whitebread who played on Ekseption’s conceptual Beggar Julia's Time Trip. Cargo was primal export that never happened. The tour de force of the album is the 15min opus “Summerfair” with escalating guitar trade - offs that reach an excruciating pinnacle. The astounding vox of Willem De Vries shudders like those November North Winds that lash the barges of Amsterdam. Cargos are turbulently forceful in the same wind force as Jericho, regularly supporting The Flock. Cargo also covered the sensitive “Lydia Purple” originally written by Dunn & McCashen for Mobius, also covered by The Collectors and Giant Crab. Next to the summit driven Focus and Finch, Cargo were Holland’s most engaging contraband
(Shiloh Noone, Seekers Guide to the Rhythm of Yesteryear)
Between July 1970 and August 1971 the Dutch band September released three singles on the Imperial label. None of them drew much attention from music buyers or listeners, although in general they were given positive reviews by critics. There were, however, sufficient sales to land the band a contract with EMI Records calling for the release of one album. In a marketing ploy, the band’s management convinced them to issue the LP under the moniker Cargo, with no indication given on the album itself or in promotional releases by EMI, as to who the members of Cargo were. In sharp contrast to the three minute run time restriction instituted on the 45s, the album consisted of four long tracks, ranging in length from a bit over 5 minutes to more than 15 minutes.
Some 20 years after its initial release, in 1993, Dutch reissue specialty label, Pseudonym Records, reissued “Cargo” with the album’s four original tracks supplemented by the six September single sides as well as demo versions of two unreleased songs. Ironically, the 1993 cd reissue sold 2,500 units, 1000 more than the 1972 LP. A vinyl reissue in 2000 by Pseudonym did respectably well selling 1,000 copies, showing the interest and respect given “Cargo” among record collectors around the world.
Fast forward to 2012, the fortieth anniversary of the LPs original release. On 18 November, Pseudonym Records released a lavish 2 CD, 24 track deluxe package with a running time exceeding 146 minutes, featuring a 16 page booklet with liner notes by respected Ugly Things Records contributor Doug Sheppard, complete track annotations and mastering in the 24 bit domain from the original analog master tapes by FineTune Sounds. Release of the compilation in the US and UK is slated for 21 January, 2013.
This set is without question the “definitive” release of “Cargo,” doubling the number of tracks released and more than doubling the run time available to collectors. I applaud Pseudonym on this comprehensive release. However, be aware that this set amplifies both the strengths and weaknesses of the Cargo, and September, catalog. First, an inventory of this release’s contents:. The 24 tracks found here include: the four tracks released on the 1972 album; four demo versions of album tracks, including two of “Summerfair,” both previously unreleased; the six single sides released in 1970 and 1971; a demo of a single side; and nine previously unreleased songs.
The songs are arranged chronologically with sessions recorded by all four incarnations of the band. Disc one opens with two sessions by September Mark I, consisting of guitarist Jan de Hont and bassist Willem de Vries, both members of the band throughout its tenure; drummer Frans Smit, and organist Ador Otting, with de Vries handling lead vocals. The first recording is a cover of the Bacharach/David pop standard “Walk On By (With Thanks To Elise) owing heavily to Steppenwolf with the heavy Hammond M3 organ of Otting leading the way as it does on their cover “Flower King Of Flies” which features a tasty solo by de Hont yet is quite forgettable. “How Can We Forget,” an instrumental with excellent performances by de Hont and Otting is by far the most successful effort of this March 1970 session, none of which was released at the time.
The same lineup gathered in April 1970 and recorded the two sides which comprised September’s first single. “Little Sister” owing heavily to Love Sculpture’s “In The Land Of The Few” has nice but restrained lead lines by de Hont and is an obvious attempt at creating a hit single which does not fit the band’s strengths at all. The b-side of the single, an alternate take of “Walk On By” has Otting’s organ and de Hont’s guitar much further back in the mix. Taken as a whole, a very average recording session at best.
A November, 1970, session by September Mark II resulted in three more unreleased tracks. The revamped lineup had Smit replaced by Frans Snuffel on drums, de Vries remaining on bass and lead vocals, and Otting departing, replaced by Jan de Hont’s brother Ad, giving the band its familiar dual lead guitar sound. Unfortunately the session’s results are disappointing. Jan de Hont’s “One More Chance” has some nice guitar riffs, but suffers in its forced attempt at making a hit. A cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black” follows. The song doesn’t work very well, an average pop sound at best. Ad de Hont’s “Run Away” completes the session and is a harbinger of things to come, with the dual guitar sound beginning to appear, but still restrained in favor of a more gentle, commercial sound.
The next session, in February, 1971, produced the band’s second single and was performed by September Mark III, with drummer Snuffel replaced by Jerry Gobbel and lead vocal duties taken over by Hessel de Vries (no relation to Willem) who also contributed Fender Rhodes electric piano, with Willem de Vries contributing bass only and the de Hont brothers returning on guitar. The a-side, Hessel de Vries’ “Yelly Rose” did not play to any of the band’s strengths, dominated instead by de Vries’ electric piano and an ill fittingly snail like pace. The b-side, Jan de Hont’s “If Mr. Right Comes Along” suffers from a stifling slow tempo and a rather plodding electric piano. The lead guitar lines of the de Honts are unable to rescue the song.
An August, 1971 session by September Mark IV produced the band’s third and final single. Dennis Whitbread took over the drum kit from Gobbel, while Hessel de Vries exited the band, with Willem de Vries once again handling lead vocals. The de Hont brothers dual lead guitars completed the band’s final lineup. The a-side “Lydia Purple,” a cover tune, is another failed attempt at commercial success. The b-side “Choker” an original composition is an improvement with a nice guitar solo and lead lines, but is plagued by its rather plodding pace.
A November, 1971 session resulted in two tracks which finally began to exploit the strengths of the band. Gone was the truncated running time and the forced effort to create a hit song. The band original “Summerfair” was an up tempo rocker, reminiscent of Led Zeppelin. The band sounds relaxed, with the guitars pushing the sound into new, hitherto unexplored areas. The second track “I Who Have Nothing” a cover best known as a hit for pop artist Tom Jones, had gorgeous vocals by de Vries and stinging guitars from the de Honts, but lacked energy.
An April, 1972 session resulted in two demos, both songs which would land on their LP. No longer searching for the elusive single, the now stable lineup laid down two originals, the energetic, spacey “Cross Talking,” replete with wah wah pedals and weaving dual lead guitars. Lyrics and vocals were foregone in favor of the instrumental style that served the band much better. The ten minute “Sail Inside” finds the band in full stride. The intuitive work of the de Hont brothers now dominated the sound. The fusing of rock with jazz influenced improvisation fit the band perfectly.
The band’s final recording sessions on April 13 and 14, 1972 resulted in eight recordings, four of which comprise the finished LP “Cargo.” The band’s second take on “Summerfair” runs a full 17 minutes. Tempo changes are precise well chosen. The work of the de Honts is fluid and haunting, with echo and wah wah effects mixed perfectly with their stinging lead lines. The bass of de Vries romps to and fro with Whitbread’s drums joining precisely. The second song recorded, “The Last Time I Saw Dennis” credited to the entire band is another up tempo instrumental rocker driven by the de Honts Gibson SGs while the aptly titled “Strings On Fire” is 8 minutes of the de Hont brothers probing and exploring sonic space with de Vries and Whitbread comfortably performing as the band’s metronome. This is an outtake? Hard to believe anything from those two magical days in April of 1972 would be left withering in the vaults for 40 years. Clocking in at only 2 minutes 36 seconds, “We Didn’t Know” credited to the entire band is so short and sweet, relaxing guitars gently floating, lofting over a rhythm section keeping perfect time.
The four final recordings from these sessions comprise the released album. “Sail Inside” clocks in at nearly eleven minutes. The de Hont brothers guitars explore the sonic universe aided by subtle doses of echo and Cream like (“Tales Of Brave Ulysses”) wah wah, while de Vries and Whitbread hold the beat and control the rhythm. Add the gentle vocals of de Vries and the lilting melody takes your mind away, all perspective of time disappearing. “Cross Talking” follows, with de Vries and Whitbread gently opening the door, setting the stage for the guitar interchanges of the de Honts which give the song its title, the delicate notes of their SGs filling the air. The instrumental prowess of the quartet is on display, crying out for a set of headphones and perhaps a bit of the herb or acid (for those so inclined) to allow the listeners’ senses full access to the song’s melodic journey. “Finding Out” makes its first appearance, opening side two of the album. Funk fills the air as de Vries’ bass and vocals set the tone. The guitars lead you to and fro with Whitbread pounding out the beat. The song’s five minutes are up before you even think to check the run time. In retrospect this track exemplifies the versatility of the band and makes one wonder what might have been had the quartet carried on. The album closes with the band’s tour de force, the fifteen minute plus opus “Summerfair.” The tune opens with the de Honts’ guitars taking you on a race, then changes pace as de Vries’ voice subtly enters the mix. As with Spirit in their prime, the guitars take you by the hand and the vocals gently lead you. The rhythm section fits so perfectly it goes nearly unnoticed as the guitars hypnotize you. Tempo changes and volume levels occur to change the mood, but the guitars are your guide with de Vries’ voice becoming an instrument to alter the soundscape, notes not lyrics being its purpose. The albums closing number takes you up and down, to and fro, chunky rhythms and lilting notes seeking, searching, gently guiding. Then de Vries’ voice pulls you back in as the de Honts’ guitars bring the journey to a close.
The finished product, four tracks, a tad over forty minutes run time, was released in mid-1972 on EMI’s Harvest subsidiary, catalog#5C052-24582 under the moniker Cargo, as their sole self-titled LP. Neither the quality of the music nor the marketing scheme of the band’s management proved to be commercially successful, with the album selling only 1,500 copies. September was never able to play any of the album’s songs live, nor were they ever to perform as Cargo. By the end of 1972, the band was no more.
Today, forty years after the initial release of “Cargo” Pseudonym Records has made available this 2 cd set, titled simply “Cargo” was catalog#CDP1104. In the end, what grade does this collection rate? If one is to rate it solely on the quality of music presented, on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, the set certainly rates no more than 4 stars at best, due to the lackluster singles and unreleased recordings made under the moniker September. Three of the tracks on disc one and the entirety of disc two, while recorded as September, are comprised of tracks which were released as Cargo, or are outtakes or alternate takes of songs from the album’s sessions. These tracks performed as the band preferred and by the Mark IV lineup arguably rate 5 stars, with the album proper certainly deserving this highest rating. Thus, Pseudonym’s newest release of “Cargo” defies conventional critique standards and in this reviewer’s opinion must be rated based not only on the quality of the music but also the historic documentation of the band’s sessions. By this standard the package most assuredly rates a solid 5 stars and that is the rating I assign the release along with thanks to the kind folks at Pseudonym Records for presenting the recordings of Cargo, rather September, as that is indeed the moniker under which all of the recordings were done and it was only by will of the band’s management that the LP was released as “Cargo.” This set represents the fate of many bands who are coerced into recording and releasing material that they would prefer to not perform at all and likewise not being allowed to perform the music of their preference. In the end, Cargo or September, or both if you like, serve as prime examples of the manipulation of artists by labels and management in the music business. Luckily, in this case we are left with one of the best early 1970s psychedelic rock albums and many related alternate takes and outtakes which in the scheme of things far outweigh the weaker material forced upon the band by its label and management in pursuit of the ever elusive “big hit.”
(Kevin Rathert, Psychedelic Baby)