Chris Goss formed Masters Of Reality with Tim Harrington as a two-piece in Syracuse, New York in 1981. A Warner Bros. pressing of BLACK SABBATH's fearsome 1971 LP Master Of Reality with misprinted labels that read Masters Of Reality gave them their name. (Goss: "Nobody listened to Black Sabbath in 1981 if they considered themselves cool.") Copping the sonic assault of No Wave duo Suicide, Goss and Harrington gigged regularly at CBGB under a smutty black light haze, before expanding to a four-piece and adapting Black Sabbath's blues-based evil deeds template as their own.
Fans of KYUSS and QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE should recognize the name Chris Goss. As godfather of the California desert rock scene that blossomed in Joshua Tree, Goss produced three thundering Kyuss LPs as well as QOTSA’s breakthrough album Rated R and their Grammy-nominated Era Vulgaris. The Masters' legend has grown stronger ever since.
Masters Of Reality's lead single from the self-titled release was Domino, a flat-out rabble rousing rocker, Goss serving up TONY IOMMI-style sickness while in his pure but potent tenor commanding the listener to "Paint me a picture/ make it the devil/ then run down the hole if/ the roof ain't level." 'Lookin' To Get Rite' is a concise and country-fried front-porch toe tapper, while 'Kill The King' is a seven-and-a-half minute regicidal epic roping in the legacies of QUEEN, KING CRIMSON, and ZZ TOP. Most impressive is 'John Brown', where Goss brays "I declare a holiday...no matter what the doctors say" over a full-bodied realization of the sort of acoustically-strummed bombast that LED ZEPPELIN had pioneered with 'Over The Hills And Far Away'.
Completists and come-latelys may want to know this reissue maintains the self-titled album's track sequencing from the Delicious Vinyl version, which includes the song 'Doraldina's Prophecies' (produced by Chris Goss, Matt Dike & Mike Ross) not found on the Rick Rubin-produced Def American release. The original Def American cover art has been restored. Longtime friend of the band and current Masters Of Reality drummer John Leamy's painting The Blue Garden is seen in its full glory on the 8-panel digipak (as well as the bonus poster). The song 'Magical Spell' is returned here to its majestic five minute lascivious trawl, missing verse, guitar solo and all. As for the second disc, How High The Moon: Live At The Viper Room has been out of print for years, and never been available on vinyl. Its standouts include 'Jindalee Jindalie' (featuring special guest SCOTT WEILAND) and a romp through 'John Brown' that betters the already awesome studio version.
If you're so moved, recognize that Masters Of Reality remain to this day an active, potent proposition both on tour and in the studio (check out their incredible 2009 album Pine/Cross Dover).
You can pre-order both the 2CD and double LP now and get a Masters Of Reality/Malicious Vinyl patch/button/sticker pack. Order links below:
Masters Of Reality
'The Candy Song'
'Theme For The Scientist Of The Invisible'
'The Blue Garden'
'The Eyes Of Texas'
'Lookin' To Get Right'
'Kill The King'
How High The Moon: Live At The Viper Room
'How High The Moon'
'The Blue Garden'
'Alder Smoke Blues'
'She Got Me'
'Tilt A Whirl' / 'Swingeroo Joe'
'Ants In The Kitchen' / 'Goin' Down'
More information at this location.