Ashes to Ashes: Dust, Legendary Proto-Metal Band, Returns with Remastered “Dust” and “Hard Attack”
Think of Kama Sutra Records, and chances are you’ll think of The Lovin’ Spoonful, or maybe The Trade Winds or even Sha Na Na. The label wasn’t solely dedicated to sunny pop, however, as evidenced by the two albums released by the band Dust. Richie Wise (guitar/vocals), Kenny Aaronson (bass) and the future Marky Ramone, Marc Bell (drums) joined with producer/songwriter Kenny Kerner to create two albums for Kama Sutra in the early 1970s that still rank among the most incendiary hard rock, proto-metal releases of the era. On April 16, Legacy Recordings will reissue Dust and Hard Attack on a single remastered CD from the original analog master tapes, with a vinyl edition following on Record Store Day, Saturday April 20.
The New York power trio’s two cult albums, long out-of-print domestically, feature both vocal and instrumental songs, all rendered with the group’s high-energy, raw, heavy-blues style. Most songs were written by the team of Wise and Kerner, with Aaronson supplying a song on each album (one co-written with Kerner). Richie Wise recalled, “We were loud and fast, and it was just unreal. Even when we played low, we were 20 times louder than everybody else. When we got our record deal, I got three Marshall stacks, Kenny Aaronson bought four Acoustic 360 watt amps, Marc bought this huge set of Ludwigs with a big 28-inch bass drum. On stage, it was just an amazing amount of exhale – not a whole lot of inhale.” Bell explained the group’s sound: “We were teenagers, but we were pretty developed as musicians – concerning that genre. Nobody else in Brooklyn that I knew of could do what we could do as a threesome. And we had a style. Yeah, we could all play blues and rock, but we took it further. We took it to different time changes within the songs, and people weren’t doing that at that time.”
After the jump, we have much more on Dust, including a pre-order link and the reissue’s full track listing!
Dust, of course, didn’t make the kind of commercial waves that producer/manager Kenny Kerner and the Kama Sutra label likely hoped. Yet the band proved a fertile incubator of talent that would soon scale even greater heights. Marc Bell, of course, became the Grammy-winning and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-celebrated Marky Ramone. Kenny Aaronson joined another band on Kama Sutra, Stories, and contributed bass to that group’s 1973 No. 1 hit “Brother Louie.” He then went on to tour or record with such diverse artists as Bob Dylan, Rick Derringer, Billy Idol, Joan Jett and the New York Dolls. Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise joined together to form a production team, and famously handled duties on Kiss’ first two albums in addition to albums by artists including Elkie Brooks and Badfinger.
“We tweaked it a bit,” commented Aaronson on the remastering of the upcoming edition. “But [we] didn’t want to stray too far from the original, because that’s what people who do know it are used to. If it was up to me, I was thinking, ‘I wish I could remix the whole record,’ but the remastering was nice.” Kerner hopes that “young kids who never heard it before will find new metal heroes, and people who grew up with Dust will rekindle their love for this music and this band!”
You can find out for yourself when Dust and Hard Attack arrive from Legacy Recordings on April 16 on CD, and April 20 on vinyl for Record Store Day. You can pre-order the CD at the link below!
Dust, Dust/Hard Attack (Legacy Recordings, 2013)
- Pull Away/So Many Times
- Walk in the Soft Rain
- Thusly Spoken
- Learning to Die
- All in All
- I Been Thinkin’
- How Many Horses
- Stone Woman
- Chasin’ Ladies
- Goin’ Easy
- Love Me Hard
- From a Dry Camel
- Often Shadows Felt
- Loose Goose
Tracks 1-16 from Hard Attack, Kama Sutra LP KSBS 2059, 1972
Tracks 11-17 from Dust, Kama Sutra LP KSBS 2041, 1971