1m ., ' 115 El Borbah, Big Baby
POP THE SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND
Classic album re-releases (Mercury)
Alex Harvey (b. 5 February 1935) died of a heart attack on a Belgian ferry on 4 February 1981, a day short of his 46th birthday, he was the last to go in a short line of brilliant rock, rhythm and blues performers who had toured together in 1959. Eddie Cochran had died in that plane crash in 1959 and sweet Gene Vincent had gone in 1971. They had been together when young Alex from the Gorbals had been known as the ‘Tommy Steele of Scotland’ with his Big Soul Band. After years of doing the Hamburg circuit and going all hippy appearing in the original London West End line up of the musical Hair, Harvey returned to Glasgow to kick over the ashes of the almost defunct local band Tear Gas. When they disbanded, Harvey reformed them and Zal Cleminson, Hugh McKenna, Chris Glen and Ted McKenna became The Sensational Alex Harvey Band and boy were they ever.
Here after years of appallingly pressed platters comes the definitive reissues of their first eight albums from 1973-78 and if you want to
Here is a history
lesson in everything that was great about pre-punk-pomp-rock
1 19 Amped, Obi Wan
1 19 Holidays uncovered
1 20 Amelie
understand what makes the bands like the Strokes and the White Stripes so damn tasty here is a history lesson in everything that was great about pre-punk-pomp-rock. They are the forgotten link from glam to bands such as Television and the New York Dolls.
1972’s Framed (0... ) sets out this remarkable band’s agenda: dark, gnawing guitars, Harvey’s whisky baked voice sucking in the gravel but aiming for the stars. It was Next (00...), however, on which they found their purest voice. ’Gang Bang', 'Faith Healer’ and the gloriously theatrical version of Jacques Brel's 'Next' make this their seminal album.
The Impossible Dream (.0. ) from 1974 and Tomorrow Belongs To Me (O... ) are evidence of the band upping the Glam ante with pieces of genuinely mad rock/ theatrical crossover such as ‘Money Honey/Impossible Dream’.
Recorded at London’s Hammersmith Odeon on 24 May 1975 at the end of a triumphant British tour, Live (0... ) highlights what a fantastic night out seeing the SAHB’s must have been. The Penthouse Tapes (.0. ) was a decadent pisstake of Dylan’s Basement Tapes with silly but enjoyable covers of Alice Cooper’s ‘School’s Out’
0.... Excellent 0... 0..
121 Alistair McGowan
‘ 123 Eating 8. Drinking Guide
124 GSA fashion show
,' (c sir/drift;va 9' 2 AltXHAllVil
and The Osmonds’ ‘Crazy Horses’.
SAHB Stories (.0. ) released in 1978, marked the beginning of the end, despite the burn wiggling proto-blues/disco of ‘The Boston Tea Party’ their last hit single. Rock Drill (O. ) exhibited a nasty soft cock rock side to the band. The poison pen letter to Mary Whitehouse at the end of the album ‘Mrs Blackhouse’ is still pretty funny though. Harvey left the band shortly afterwards, so that’s it. Vambo Rules OK? You better believe it pal. (Paul Dale)
. THE LIST 111