Gypsy, “Gypsy Queen, Part 1” (1970): One Track Mind

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Initially called the Underbeats – a Twin Cities, Minnesota band that enjoyed a bounty of local success – Gypsy was groomed and geared to spread their musical magic beyond their backyard.

Heading to Los Angeles in 1969, they became the house band at the Whisky a Go-Go in Hollywood for several months. In 1970, the band entered Devonshire Studios in North Hollywood where they waxed their debut longplayer. Simply titled Gypsy, the double album featured “Gypsy Queen, Part 1” (Metromedia Records), which peaked at No. 64 on the national charts in January 1971.

An awe-inspiring performance, “Gypsy Queen, Part 1” explodes with big and brawny vocals that channel the point home about the ways of a wicked woman. Firmly augmented by supersonic power chords, cranium-crushing drumming and a grinding organ seething with rage, the track jams tight and bright with boundless energy and excitement.

Hard and heavy, yet wrapped in melodious magnificence, “Gypsy Queen, Part 1” roared and soared in the same zone as bands like Grand Funk Railroad, Mountain and Rare Earth. But the single actually only scratched the surface of this group’s vision, which was rooted in more of a progressive rock mold.

The band issued three subsequent albums – In the Garden, Antithesis and Unlock the Gates – that effectively exhibited their skills and ambitions. Despite a loyal following and encouraging reviews, Gypsy eventually slipped through the cracks, making them one of the great lost bands of the era.


Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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