When Singapore surrendered to the Japanese in 1942 the Allied POWs, mostly British but including a few Americans, were incarcerated in Changi prison. This was a POW detention center like no other. There were no walls or barbed-wire fences for the simple reason that there was no place for the prisoners to escape to. Included among the prisoners is the American Cpl. King, a wheeler dealer who has managed to established a pretty good life for himself in the camp.
GREAT KING RAT released a spectacular Melodic Hard Rock album in 1992 to universal acclaim - GKR still ranks as one of the better CD's released during 1992. The Stockholm band adopted the GREAT KING RAT handle in 1991 after a period as SIN CITY. In an earlier incarnation the band were known as ODESSA. The band's original line-up included ex-RACEWAY vocalist Conny Lind alongside guitarist PONTUS NORGREN, ex-TRYKVÅG and BANG BANG members Mikael Höglund on bass and Tomas Bromann on drums.
Great King Rat released a spectacular Melodic Hard Rock album in 1992 to universal acclaim. Hard driven melodic rock but always catchy. Their first album is more and more considered as classic.
The Japanese prisoner-of-war camp Changi in Singapore, which houses Allied POWs, is a living hell. The great mass of POWs are living at a sub-human subsistence level. US Army Corporal King has been living up to his surname, through his control of the camp's black market, and by scamming the officers and other POWs. King has a facility for making deals with the Japanese to obtain the contraband he sells to the POWs. His nemesis is British Lieutenant Robin Grey, the camp provost marshal, a humorless, intense martinet who survives through his strict adherence to the British articles of war, which forbid collaboration with the enemy. He is suspicious of King, and is determined to catch him and bring him to justice. The humorless Grey is an upright, uptight moral prig who has been as badly damaged psychologically as any of the other POWs. The high-living King befriends a genteel young British soldier, Peter Marlowe, who at first resists his blandishments, and then succumbs, to his charm. The POWs become aware that the war is drawing to its end, and King and Marlowe grow concerned that the brutal Japanese guards may slaughter the prisoners before they can be liberated. King and Marlowe are determined to raise a large amount of money to buy their freedom by bribing their captors. One of the schemes that King devises is to raise the meat of deer mouse, a native delicacy, to sell to the officers and any POW who can afford it. Conditions are so desperate in the camp, that POWs are stealing rations form one another in order to stave off starvation. This is another one of King's scams, as the "mouse deer' are actually rats, the breeding stock for which have been the rats that have fed off the corpses of dead POWs. The desperate situation in the camp is exacerbated by the brutality of the Japanese guards, and by the senior British officers' predilection for breaking the will of the POWs in order to maintain camp discipline. Resistance, thus, is futile, and with no other outlet, the animosity of the POWs has to be channeled against each other. It becomes quite apparent that, aside from Lieutenant Grey and the dead, everyone in the camp is corrupt. Corporal King merely stands out, as he is Jack-the-Lad, The King-of-the-Hill, King of the Camp, KING RAT.
This 1953 date matched Webster with such peers as alto saxophonist Benny Carter, trumpeter Harry Edison, and pianist Oscar Peterson for a series of elegant yet soulful and exuberant small group dates. With no cut longer than four and a half minutes, the players didn't have time for excess statements or overkill; they had to quickly get to the heart of the matter in their solos, make their points, and return to the head. The original session has been enlarged by the addition of two previously unissued tracks, plus an alternate version of "That's All" that was later issued as a single. Label head Norman Granz excelled in producing swing-oriented, crisply played mainstream dates. Although this date is more than four decades old, Ben Webster's solos have a freshness and vitality that make them quite relevant to contemporary events.