Mahongany Rush - Maxoom (Buy or Die) 1973
1. "Maxoom" (2:55)
"Maxoom" was the debut album from Mahogany Rush and they certainly wore their influence on their sleeve. Guitarist Frank Marino, who is only sixteen years old here, evokes the spirit and sounds of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. They even dedicate this album to the late, great Jimi Hendrix. Not unlike Hendrix's Experience, Mahogany Rush mixes together rock, jazz, blue, 60's pop and some experimental elements. The opening track reminds me of the booming, noisy opening to "Electric Ladyland". Marino's guitar playing is monstrous, and even his smooth vocals remind me of the 60's guitar legend. "Maxoom" represented the beginning of yet another guitar legend. While Frank Marino may has started out emulating his guitar hero, he developed into a legendary guitarist in his own right. An odd fact about this record. Because this album was dedicated to and had such a similar style to the late Jimi Hendrix, "Maxoom" perpetuated the rumor that Frank was Jimi's reincarnation. On the track "Buddy", Frank is actually singing to Jimi about the affect that Hendrix's life and untimely death had on him. However, Frank has always maintained that despite Hendrix's influence, the idea that Frank thinks he is the reincarnation of Jimi is ridiculous.
Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush-California Jam 2 (cdr bootleg)
1. "The Answer"
Short live set from Frank Marino from the California Jam 2 in '78. Other bands were Heart, Ted Nugent, Santana, Foreigner, Rubicon, members of Fleetwood Mac and Aerosmith headlining the festival. A double record set was released in '78 that included live performances from all the band's. Of the Marino set, "I'm A King Bee" and "Johnny Be Goode" were released on that album. Unfortunately, this album was never officially released on cd and I sold my original vinyl version many years ago. Well luckily bootleg copies of the entire show have been circulating. The sound quality of this bootleg, while a bit raw, is very good. I'm not sure if this is the entire set that Frank played or not, although I suspect it is since he was one of the acts to perform earlier in the day.
Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush - Tales of the Unexpected (Columbia) 1979
1. "Sister Change"
"Tales of the Unexpected" is an odd album in that it is one part studio, one part live album. The studio section includes two smokin' originals & two covers. When this album was originally released on vinyl, it made a little more sense with one side of the vinyl release being live and the other being studio. Regardless, there is just something captivating about Marino's guitar playing and his sound. It had been years since I heard this album, but when I popped this CD into my stereo, I had a hard time taking it out. I really dig Marino's 1970's sound. Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush had a unique mixture of 70's heavy metal, hard rock, blues and even some jazz. Marino himself has a unique style of playing. Even when recording cover songs, he always made them his own. "Norwegian Wood" has a more ethereal sound than the original. "All Along the Watchtower" is a Bob Dylan cover that has also been performed by Jimi Hendrix. Marino's version is obviously influenced more by the Hendrix version but he still somehow makes the song his own. One other thing I like about "Tales" is that it has an infectious groove from beginning to end. Ya gotta love that.
Simply one of my favorite albums of all time. This is Frank Marino's 2nd solo album after the dissolution of Mahogany Rush. This album is a mix of heavy guitars, bluesy guitar riffs, up-tempo, heavy rock 'n' roll and Jimi Hendrix inspired guitar jams (and perhaps a little Johnny Winter as well). Each track is quite different in tempo, and showcases the versatility of Marino's playing and songwriting ability. Frank's guitar work on this disc is nothing short of outstanding, and his bluesy, voice is captivating. Ahhh, but these were the days when it took more than playing a million miles and hour to be considered a guitar hero. Frank does display speed and precision, but what's more important is the emotion that is evoked; Frank plays with feeling. I can't really put into words how much I have enjoyed this CD over the years. There is not a bad song on this disc. "Juggernaut" was a minor hit off the album, and oddly enough doesn't contain a guitar solo.
Unfortunately I got rid of my vinyl copy of this assuming I could easily replace it with a CD copy. However, finding a CD proved to be quite the task. It took me several years to finally secure a German copy on Black Rose Records. Copies on Ebay would generally sell for around $30 with shipping. I finally snagged a copy for $10.51 plus $4 shpping. Not too bad.
1. The Power Of Rock And Roll
"The Power Of Rock And Roll" is the first album for Frank Marino without Mahogany Rush behind him. From what I remember reading Frank didn't care for the artwork on this album nor did he care for the actual music on this album as much as he did some of his previous work. His previous work had been almost Hendrix-worship with low gain guitars, some synths and guitar based rock with both blues and jazzy guitar riffing. Basically, Frank was steering clear of heavy metal or it's trappings. However, that is not the case with "The Power of Rock and Roll". This album is like an audio assault on the ears.
I'm of the opposite opinion to Frank. While I loved the old Mahogany Rush stuff, this album is simply awesome! (I also like the album cover.) Heavy guitars, heavy bass and heavy songs. Absolutely stunning album from front to back and finishing off with one of Frank's best songs ever in "Ain't Dead" yet. It is a brilliant song that clocks in at 7 minutes long. Likewise "Runnin Wild" is a killer 7 minute song with some guitar pyrotechnics from Mr. Marino. While Frank has always been a great soloist, his licks on this album are simply astonishing.
After listening to this album four or five times to write these thoughts I had to go to Frank's site and see if I could find where I read that he didn't care for this album. Instead, I found this quote from Frank as part of his "Ask Frank" section, "I used to dislike it, but now I actually like more of it than I don't. It had a bit to do with the fact that they forced me to use that ridiculous cover, so I never listened to it again after that. But upon further review, I actually do like, even love, some of the tracks, most notably Ain't Dead Yet, Running Wild, and two or three others. But I don't like the title track very much." -Frank Marino, mahoganyrush.com
Frank Marino - Full Circle (Steamhammer) 1986
1. "Breakin' Away"
Solid and hard hitting cd from guitar master Frank Marino. There are a few 80's sounding ideas on this cd but for the most part Frank doesn't stray far from the sound that made him popular in the 1970's. I never could understand why everyone said he was a Hendrix clone. Frank certainly has a style of his own, although the Hendrix influence is there, it's definitely not so out front that he should be labeled a clone. Great cd mixing the Blues with a some heavy guitar tones and some well written rock 'n' roll songs. This cd is out of print in the U.S.
Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush - Double Live (Road House) 1988
1. "You Got Livin"
Looked for a long time for a cd by this man and finally stumbled across this live disc used for $6.99. I use to own a bunch of Frank Marino on vinyl, but replacing that vinyl has not been easy. Regardless, this is an excellent live jam and includes two of my favorite Marino songs in "Juggernaut" and "Strange Dreams."
Frank Marino - From the Hip (SPV) 1993
1. "Babylon Revisited"
"From the Hip" sounds like classic Mahogany Rush. Marino had never been one to give into trends, and he certainly didn't start with this album. Loads of heavy and beefy guitar riffs, most of which reach back into his past bringing the classic sounds of the 70's guitar heros to the 90's. Favorite track is 'Babylon Revisisted" could easily have been written in the 70's, although the production is far superior to most 70's releases. Once again, smoking guitar work throughout.
Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush - Eye of the Storm (Just a Minute Record) 2001
1. "Storm Warning..."
Frank all but disappeared on us until this new Mahogany Rush CD appeared in the Summer of '01. Thankfully Frank is not one to follow trends, but rather stays true to his sound and gives us one frightening, guitar-lead, rock 'n' roll romp! Frank's haunting vocals combines with manic, melodic guitar solos and Franks' characteristic guitar riffs make for one great listen. Yes, I know, so far all I have done is praised this record like some sort of catalogue description. Well, what can I say? This CD deserves the praise. Take on listen to the guitar work in the epic "Eye of the Storm" or "He's Calling" and see if it doesn't send chills down your spine. If it were possible I think the ghost of Jimi Hendrix was living in Frank Marino. Of course we know this is not the case, but I think Jimi himself would give a nod of approval if he were able to hear this CD.
Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush - RealLIVE! (SPC) 2004
Man, people just don't make live albums like this anymore. "RealLIVE!" is just a guitar jam! I love it when artists embelish their compositions and add on those extended jams. This was something that was very popular in the 70's and something that Frank Marino does here as well. There are two Jimi Hendrix cuts, spanning more than 22 minutes in length. Can't complain about that. Marino has always been influenced by Hendrix, and he certainly does an excellent job of paying homage to his guitar hero here. Frank himself is a guitar hero to many and he proves his worthiness on this live opus. Long live the guitar hero! Long live Frank Marino!