Jan 24, 2009


"Two distinct schools of thought existed about `70s rock outfit, Phantom. The first tended towards the view that Phantom was cynically signed by Capitol to exploit the recent death of Jim Morrison, whose vocal style Phantom singer Tom Carson copied convincingly. The second is that they were a pretty decent group whose vocalist just happened to sound more than a bit like Morrison.
Whichever of these two scenarios was closest to the truth we will never know, but such was Elektra's concern that the record buying public would be confused into thinking that Morrison was still alive that the record company attempted to obtain an injunction banning Capitol from releasing the band's first album, Divine Comedy. Predictably, Elektra's actions simply increased the publicity the band was attracting, and Capitol duly took full advantage.
In hindsight it's difficult to see what all the fuss was about, as Carson's vocals were only reminiscent of Morrison's at the end of his brief career. In the end, the one thing that is clear is that Divine Comedy is actually a pretty decent album. A consistently high musical and compositional standard is maintained throughout, with many critics acclaiming the mystical sound that was the album's hallmark. Two melodramatic tracks, Tales From A Wizard and Welcome To Hell, stand out particularly strongly, but the entire album is interesting, innovative, and extremely enjoyable."[net]
Think The Doors with a much heavier sound and a more polished singer and you have Phantom's Divine Comedy Part 1. An album steeped in mystery due to the un-credited musicians and of course, Phantom himself. Yes, the similarities to Jim Morrison are uncanny. The lyrics are also Doors/Morrison territory.


Pablo "Pochola" Cazorla said...

I had a trouble with lots of bloggers cause of this album...they used to claim that this band was hell lotta better thant the DOORS (????)... i laughed about it...so ridiculous, well that cause lots of troubles in forums and other sites..
end of the discussion.
a solid album
good choice Georgie.

Georgie Hirezola said...

Lotta better than the Doors???????
Ok I dont believe any serious music lover can claim such things....
Simply some idiots use to be troublemakers just for fun!!!that's all...
BTW "Phantom" is a great record!
but the Doors are simply UNIQUE!!!!

mscmichael said...

I agree with you guys. A good record, but no comparison The Doors.

zappahead said...

Mmmmm...got a sweet one here...and all this thing about them being like the doors.....all it is influences...I mean everyone copies everyone....dont they?.....anyways a good album from a grast blog thank you for this.

RickK said...

wow - this is amazing. even better than the overrated doors

Kim said...

The singer is not Tom Carson, he used 2 different names. the band also had numerous names.

Phantom said...

My name is Ted Pearson. Before the LP the band was called WALPURGIS.


bobhowe said...

This is a great album which I've owned forever and I also own all the original Doors albums which I bought in the sixties. Whilst I still have time for The Doors they are self consciously humourless whilst I've always felt that PDC were coming from a different place. If you consider this album as a brilliant over the top skit played by great musicians you would be much closer to the truth IMHO. As for Ted Pearson himself posting a comment on here all I can say is.....unbelievable!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

some info:
Originally known as Walpurgis. They played all over Michigan, Ohio, and Canada. The band were re-named by their manager as Phantom, and it's known that the line-up which recorded Divine Comedy definitely came from Rochester, a small town about 30 miles from Detroit.
Tom Carson was not the lead singer of Phantom's Divine Comedy and they were not connected to Happy Dragon Band.
The singer/guitarist's name was Ted Pearson.
Also John Bdanjeck, Tom Carson, Dennis Craner,Mike DeMartino, and Gary Meisner have never had anything to do with "PHANTOM'S DIVINE COMEDY".
-dj fanis

"X" said...

I was the only drummer on the album. I was in the band without interruption, before, during, and after it's release. I doubt the Phantom would make such a simple statement on a blog like this. Could this be someone pretending to be the Phantom for their own agenda? Hmmm. . . .

Anonymous said...

there is also a 2nd pdc album called PHANTOM:THE LOST ALBUM.
it was recorded before the part 1 pdc album. it has 7 songs and was finally relesed in 1990.
track listing
1.your life
2.queen of air
3.lone wolf
5.the music rolls om
6.relese me
7.salin' away
the lost album is also a very good listen. does anybody else here know it?

Weekend Hippie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Weekend Hippie said...

Weird running into this lp once again! My friend was the keyboardist on this lp. He use to bring home the daily session tapes recorded at Pampa Studio's and listen to them with me. I remember having "Welcome to Hell" cranked on the stereo at 11PM on a monday night!

It was also the first time I realized how a simple tune (calm before the storm) can not only get airplay, but it also can create quite a buzz on a band. As I remember a tape of the song was sent to a DJ friend at WABX to test the listener reaction and was played at the beggining of a long music set around 9-10 pm at night. I don't think Ted had decided on a name for the band at that point, and the radio dj didn't mention it. The listener phone lines lit up, and there began the mystery of the Phantom band. The song was played often over the next few weeks. The session tapes were picked up by Capitol, and a tour was planned. The lp credits were set to feed the mystery, but by the time the lp was released some 6 months later the buzz on the Phantom Band had died.

Anyways Great site, thanks so much for all your efforts!

Anonymous said...

I played keys for the band "Madrigal" which preceded Phantom. Ted Pearson (the late Ted Pearson btw) sang lead and played guitar, a guy named Harold somebody from the small town of Leonard Michigan north of Detroit played bass, Jim Rowland from Rochester (MI) played drums and some worm named Danny someone or other (who rented out my Hammond B3 to other bands without telling me) was the lead singer, although he was more Charlie Manson than a singer.