Development of the British Blues and Rhythm--- show 32 --- 7-22-2015
Climax Blues Band 1969-1972
Chicken Shack part 2 1969 & 1970
Blind Faith 1969
*************************In 1967 Colin Cooper, harmonica and vocals as well as saxophones, and Peter Haycock, at the time considered a 16-year-old guitar prodigy sharing in the vocals, were in a soul group playing as the Gospel Truth when they decided to assemble a Blues band. As Haycock later informed Melody Maker, “We started playing Blues for fun and the thing sort of turned around on us; it became serious.”
By the time of their debut LP, they had recruited drummer George Newsome, bassist Richard Jones, rhythm guitarist (and occasionally organist or bassist) Derek Holt and keyboardist Arthur Wood and used the band name Climax Chicago Blues Band as the tile of the album. Between the recording dates of September 27th and November 25th of 1968, Jones had left to return to college so Holt took over all bass duties, and we took the first ten of its twelve tracks in the order originally issued as this show’s opening set. The disc was put out by Parlophone’s EMI label, who signed the group earlier that year, and was released in February of 1969.
The second album, Climax Blues Band Plays On, was also released in 1969 (recorded in June), and from it Hey Baby, Everything’s Gonna Be Alright, Flight, and Crazy ‘Bout My Baby open today’s fourth set, followed by Please Don’t Help Me, Reap What I’ve Sewed, Alright Blue? and Cut You Loose from the 1970 UK release A Lot of Bottle, which came out with minor differences as The Climax Blues Band in its 1971 American issue. By the time the album was recorded in four days in August, all but schoolteacher Wood retired from their day jobs to rely solely on their music. This LP was the first after EMI moved the group to their Harvest label. Disc and Echo quoted Haycock, “Musically we’re not trying to do really clever things … all we are really is a stomping band.”
With the British Blues wave considered to be ebbing, the band felt that the being labeled as a Blues band was restricting their audience so for their next UK disc, recorded in May and June and tentatively titled Come Stomping, their name was changed to Climax Chicago.
Towards the Sun and That’s All were from that disc, now titled Tightly Knit, released 1971 UK and 1972 US, while our final entries, You Make Me Sick and Shake Your Love, came from the Rich Man album (still going by Climax Chicago in the UK), recorded in August and released in 1972 on both continents. For the Rich Man sessions, the band was reduced to four members as John Cuffley (formerly a drummer with Cooper and Haycock in Gospel Truth) replaced Newsome as he and Wood left the group. As with many European ensembles of the era, the band ran into difficulties acquiring visas and work permits, therefore cancelling their first American tour scheduled for June of 1972, but they were able to make it later in the year.
While I’ve listed all the individual albums for you, this entire set was taken a “best of” styled CD, The Harvest Years, 69-72. After these recordings, the band moved from the EMI label but had continued popularity just not in the Blues vein, so I have decided I have sufficient of their music for our purposes.
*************************After pianist and half of the vocal team Christine Perfect left Chicken Shack to pursue her recent marriage to Fleetwood Mac’s bassist John McVie and a solo career of her own, the band was down to a trio led by guitarist / vocalist Stan Webb fronting the rhythm section of drummer Dave Bidwell and bassist Andy Silvester. Very soon after, Miss Perfect (now Mrs. McVie), was replaced by keyboardist (mostly playing organ) Paul Raymond. The group stayed together for two albums, matching the output during Christine’s time, and from them come the two sets we hear today.
The September 1969 LP 100 Pound Chicken is the source for today’s first Chicken Shack set and, while The Things You Put Me Through and Maudie were released as 45s, their second set is comprised of tracks from the July 1970 album Accept. Between the two LPs, the band had toured with Savoy Brown and after the release of the second one Paul Raymond opted to join Savoy Brown after Harry Simmonds, manager of both bands at the time, terminated the entire ensemble of Savoy Brown with the exception of his lead guitarist Kim Simmonds. This departing trio of Roger Earle, Tone Stevens and Lonesome Dave Peverett was the group that soon would become Foghat.
*************************Toward the end of Cream, there were rumors of Stevie Winwood joining the super-group and that somewhat came true as he joined with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker in Blind Faith, but after all the hoopla and possibly because Jack Bruce was no longer in the ensemble (bass being played instead by Rick Grech) the resulting album was disappointing. However, some 45 years later, I found five of the original album’s six tracks worthwhile listening for today’s show.
*************************Mean Old World
Going Down This Road
You’ve Been Drinking
Don’t Start Me Talking
Wee Baby Blues
Twenty Past One
A Stranger in Your Town
How Many More Years
Looking for My Baby
The Climax Chicago Blues Band
The Road of LoveLook Ma, I’m Cryin’
Horse and Cart
The Way It Is
Had to Cry Today
Can’t Find My Way Home
Well All Right
Presence of the Lord
Sea of Joy
Hey Baby, Everything’s Gonna Be AlrightFlight
Crazy ‘Bout My Baby
Please Don’t Help Me
Reap What I’ve Sewed
Cut You Loose
Towards the Sun
You Make Me Sick
Shake Your Love
The Climax Blues Band
The Things You Put Me ThroughTelling Your Fortune
Smartest Girl in Town
I’ve Been Mistreated
How Am I Doing It?