1978 - Life Of Change FLAC/320
Condition Green, a motley band of volume worshipers from Japan whose first two albums, Life Of Change and Mixed Up, can (mostly) stand tall amongst the contemporary classics (prime era Grand Funk, Ted Nugent, Mountain, etc.). Guitarist Shinki (not to be confused with Yokohama guitarist Shinki Chen) in particular is a monster, even if he can get a bit Santana-esque at moments throughout Life Of Change (particularly the back half of "Heart Breaker," and especially on the conga infused "Sugar Baby Good Time.") The group really builds up a serious head of steam on that latter track, starting with a slow, simmering groove that sits somewhere between "Oye Como Va" and "Spooky." You could call this stuff dated, if you're a glass-is-half-empty type, but there's no denying the Allman Brothers boogie of "Trick," or the early Led Zeppelin strut of "Heart Taker."