Music today is from Humble Pie and the video is their first single released on Andrew Loog Oldham’s Immediate label. The song didn’t appear on the English debut, As Safe As Yesterday Is, but was there on the US version. The band made two albums for Immediate before they went bankrupt, both released in 1969 (Town and Country was the second album). They then signed to A&M and made the Aubrey Beardsley album, actually self-titled and released in 1970 but with a Beardsley illustration on the cover.
This is the album I listened to tonight, twice. Odd and eclectic, harder in places, opening with Live With Me, that great Humble Pie feel with Stevie Marriott, Peter Frampton, Greg Ridley on bass, and Jerry Shirley on drums. Shirley actually sings the second track (a rare occurrence), sounds very stones country irony influenced to me, plus it’s called Only A Roach (the smokey type). John Wilson from Taste plays drums. These albums might not turn everyone on direction wise, but for me, it’s the feel and the sound that I like. Marriott’s voice is amazing, Frampton’s guitar playing distinctive. Frampton’s Earth And Water Song closes Side 1, a soft acoustic song that might have found itself on a Crosby Stills & Nash album, sung by Stills in a parallel universe.
Side 2 opens with a stirring version of Willie Dixon’s I’m Ready. Despite Marriott’s amazing voice, Frampton and Ridley all sang lead vocals as evidenced on the Natural Born Boogie single video. Theme from Skint (See You Later Liquidator) dedicated to Andrew Loog Oldham’s label demise was another country twinged ditty with B.J. Cole on pedal steel guitar that eventually finds its way to the Rock band that they are and concludes.
Red Light Mamma, Red Hot! won’t have you searching the lyric on the net but it might draw you to Marriott’s voice, if you like that kind of thing. Chunky guitars and I guess Frampton is on his ’54 Les Paul and Marriott possibly a Guild (having seen him with one around the time). It’s one of those ‘you have to listen to it in the spirit of the times’ albums and bear in mind that at this point Jerry Shirley was just 18 and on his third album with the band. A good seventies jam occurs at the end of the song with Stevie also on the harmonica. But back to how old they were – Frampton was 20, Marriott and Ridley (ex Spooky Tooth) both 23. The album ends with Ridley’s Sucking On The Sweet Vine.
Marriott was tragically killed in a house fire in 1991 aged 44 and Ridley died of pneumonia aged 56. Frampton was supposed to be playing his farewell tour when the pandemic hit. Olivia’s dad had tickets. Apparently, he has some debilitating disease and he won’t be able to play guitar anymore, Jerry Shirley has tried to keep the Humble Pie name going but as a tribute band with other musicians, not including himself. Seems like R’n’R will never die even when It literally has.
Song Of The Daze
The musical musings in this post are an excerpt from my daily blog, TO WHERE I AM NOW, featured on my main website. See more pictures and read the full post here.