Archive for the ‘Humble Pie’ Category

Frampton’s Camel

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

All Night Long / Frampton’s Camel

Above / Below: UK Promo Only sleeve (front/back)

All Night Long / Frampton’s Camel

Listen: All Night Long / Frampton’s Camel 01 All Night Long.mp3

Peter Frampton was, unfairly, a guilty pleasure to loads of folks for years. Once he hit the big time it was uncool to like him. Not me. I loved The Herd, and was loyally into Humble Pie. That was a funny one actually. Here you had a signature member of The Herd and Steve Marriott in the same band. If you’re an Anglofile, you give them rope. Their early stuff I liked even though it leaned toward the extended blues rock sludge setting in at the time. Live, they were on fire. Luckily, I saw them open for Ten Years After on that first US tour, not yet Americanized in any way, still kitted out in lime or purple velvet and silk trousers etc. Glued to the edge of the stage in the Livestock Pavilion on the Syracuse State Fair grounds, overjoyed by the fact that we were seeing members of The Small Faces and The Herd, was half the thrill.

Then Peter Frampton went solo. His second, post Humble Pie release was issued as Frampton’s Camel. He’d shed that Humble Pie heaviness. The album didn’t sell. I never heard it anywhere at the time, although the single ‘All Night Long’ got a lot of daytime BBC Radio 1 play that summer ’73 I’d spent in London. It was a perfect seasonal single and has sentimental value.

Listen: (Baby) Somethin’s Happening / Peter Frampton PeterFramptonSmethin.mp3

For the record, the follow-up album, SOMETHIN’S HAPPENING, went fairly undiscovered too. He toured that record with former band mate Andy Bown, from The Herd, on keyboards. Rich Packter, the A&M promotion guy during summer ’74 had set Corinne and I up with Peter and Andy for lunch at the then turquoise and pink circular Holiday Inn restaurant in Downtown Syracuse. Frampton’s Camel were opening for Uriah Heep that night. We both worked at Discount Records, so I’m guessing Rich could justify the meal.

As far as we were concerned, this was lunch with The Herd. It was great fun picking their brains about the past. They both laughed non stop at all my questions, in a most flattering way. And I’m sure Andy Bown was genuinely surprised at the attention. Peter didn’t seem to mind one bit that when push came to shove, these two crazies were there to meet Andy Bown.

So yeah, SOMETHIN’S HAPPENING is a gem too. Soon after, Peter Frampton’s deserved home runs began. The industry calls this process artist development. I call it finally getting a fair shot at radio.

Heads, Hands & Feet

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

headshandsfeetonewomanuk,Heads Hands & Feet, Atco, Atlantic, Tony Colton, Chas Hodges

headshandsfeetonewomanusa, Heads Hands & Feet, Atco, Atlantic, Tony Colton, Chas Hodges

Listen: One Woman / Heads, Hands & FeetHHFOneWoman.mp3

Albums came in rapid succession during the 70′s. The first by Heads, Hands & Feet was a double, and not long after came it’s followup, TRACKS. These were issued on Island UK and Capitol US, during the era when those Capitol labels were that beautiful lime green. I wasn’t paying much attention to the band, they had an intentionally American sound. I was put off.

Fast forward to summer ’72. They’re third on the bill to The J. Geils Band and Humble Pie. I was certainly not about to miss Steve Marriott. So, we got there early to see Heads, Hands & Feet. After all, they were English. By now, I was becoming a fan. They’d recently switched labels to Atco/Atlantic, and their single ‘One Woman’ was pretty great. I particularly appreciated that lead singer, Tony Colton, doubled as a producer for one of my all time favorite albums: ON THE BOARDS by Taste.

Plain and simple, they were tremendous live. I would say they stole the show, certainly preferring them to the headliner by miles. At this point, Peter Frampton had left second-on-the-bill, Humble Pie, but it was sure fun being invited back to the Holiday Inn by Steve Marriott for a party. More on that in some other post.

So yes, Heads, Hands & Feet ripped up a storm, and their extended version of ‘One Woman’, the show closer, took the cake. I mean these guys were super great musicians. You can hear it in the recordings. Guitarist Albert Lee has been cited as a bit of a virtuoso over the years, and he certainly was on fire that night. Chas Hodges on bass was equally important to that fire, playing off of Albert Lee almost like a second guitarist.

We wormed our way into their crowded dressing room and they seemed somewhat impressed to have a few fans. It was fun complimenting Tony Colton on his work with Taste. I remember him being appreciative, and a bit surprised. All in all, it was obvious they weren’t having a very good time, and I’m pretty sure they called it a day soon afterwards. Too bad.

Ten Years After

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Listen: The Sounds / Ten Years After TYASounds.mp3

Abrupt false ending followed by slight reprise, non-musical sound effects, over echoed background vocals: all quickly becoming standard psychedelic production ideas by ’67/’68. Simple to observe now, but then…it was ‘pass the headphones’ stuff.

Mike Vernon, I believe signed Ten Years After to Deram prior to starting probably the best UK blues label in terms of both quality and success, Blue Horizon. I’m guessing it was this band’s original musical style that most likely drew them together.

‘The Sounds’, although recorded as a single during that short period between album one and two, and released spring ’68 (UK B side / US A side), actually marked the beginning of a unique songwriting style that blossomed fully on STONEHENGE, their third full length and first of a flawless trilogy (SSSSH and CRICKLEWOOD GREEN).

Ten Years After were about to be on a roll, due to a wildly blistering performance at Woodstock of ‘I’m Going Home’. It’s original recording was released as a followup 7″ to ‘The Sounds’. Coupled with ‘Hear Me Calling’ meant it became a classic double sider. The Woodstock version made both the film and soundtrack album, hence Ten Years After enjoyed the perfect artist development curve making those (and other albums) deservedly successful and their live draw solid for years.

‘The Sounds’, at time of release, could be found nowhere, and surprise surprise, heard nowhere in the US – certainly not upstate. It took me years to snag a copy, around ’74 I would guess, when then MCA salesman Ed Terracino (former London Records employee) gave me a stack of singles from his basement stash. I am forever grateful Ed if you’re reading.

Never did see them play this one, and maybe they never did. It must have been around SSSSH when they made their way to Syracuse, with Humble Pie supporting. It’s was Humble Pie’s first US tour, and although nowhere near as interested in their boogie rock as the music of the member’s previous bands (The Small Faces and The Herd), I went along, being a huge Ten Years After, but also with the possibility of meeting Humble Pie as a bonus.

I’ll admit, Humble Pie were surprisingly great live, still bean pole skinny, clad in lime, purple and pink velvet pants/suits and little girl blouses, America hadn’t influenced their wardrobe or haircuts yet, so it was well enjoyable.

Ten Years After, on the other hand, appeared bored and sullen. No biggie – it happens. Playing Syracuse understandably nothing to look forward to I guess.

Afterwards, I made my way backstage, really in search of Humble Pie to stalk them for Small Faces and Herd details, when I came across Chick Churchill moping dismissively against a wall. Probably an unpleasant day for the fellow, and I suppose me excitedly getting to the real point of our conversation: where are Humble Pie, didn’t help. Although I loved those Ten Years After albums mentioned above, he did throw a temporary wet blanket on my mission to covert any and all to his band.

Trapeze

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Listen: Black Cloud (Edit) / Trapeze Trapeze.mp3

Formula early 70′s blues rock…maybe. The vocal was uncannily close to Steve Marriott, circa Humble Pie – not a bad thing. In fact, there may be a few Jackie Lomax vocal moments in there as well – how rad is that? And the song itself, Free at their best.

At least one member of Trapeze went on to greater fame in, I think, Deep Purple or quite possibly an even more questionable AOR band. I didn’t bother to Wikipedia it all because who cares. In fact, given my disdain for such things, I prefer not to know.

Their second album, MEDUSA, was their pinnacle, at least in my little, little, little corner of the world. I honestly did like it plus no harm done by being on a London distributed label (Threshold). Nice gatefold sleeve, The Moody Blues still respectable. All good.

Doris Troy

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Jacob's Ladder / Doris Troy

Listen: Jacob’s Ladder / Doris Troy
DorisTroyJacob'sLadder.mp3

Although having recorded with The Rolling Stones, Humble Pie, Kevin Ayers, Dusty Springfield, Nick Drake, Junior Campbell and Pink Floyd, it was The Beatles, and especially George Harrision, who seemingly had the real jones for Doris Troy. Signing to their Apple label, she was afforded a self produced long player, DORIS TROY. Apple issued two singles from it, the second being a remake of the biblical folk/gospel standard, ‘Jacob’s Ladder’.

Get Back / Doris Troy

Listen: Get Back / Doris Troy
Get

Both Apple 7′s luckily had non-LP B sides from the album sessions. For the flip of ‘Jacob’s Ladder’, the basically still current ‘Get Back’ was used. In general, the overall recording approach for the project was very 1970, it’s a total Mad Dogs & Englishmen shamble/jam. No musician credits are listed on the album sleeve although it’s widely accounted that Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, Leon Russell, Bill Wyman and Peter Frampton all joined George Harrison in it’s recording.