This past weekend I stopped by record store to do a little “research” on two band’s whose music I don’t own: Humble Pie and Emerson Lake and Palmer.
I recently blogged about Steve Marriott, and I was particularly drawn to his work with Humble Pie, specifically his live performance of an Ike and Tina song called “Black Coffee” [Click here to read the blog and check out the video]. I made it my quest for the weekend to find it on vinyl.
I figured I’d start with their first albums, so I bought “Lost and Found”.
This album was a double LP compilation for the United States which contained their first two albums originally released in the UK: ” As Safe As Yesterday Is” and “Town and Country”. Both individual albums received excellent reviews.
If you didn’t already know, the original incarnation of Humble Pie featured Steve Marriott and Peter Frampton, and both of these albums, and particularly as a compilation, really shows the musical genius of the members of the band.
The musical stylings of “As Safe As Yesterday Is” covers blues rock to hard rock. In fact, this album was the inspiration of the term “heavy metal” as it was used in a Mike Saunder’s 1970 Rolling Stone article to describe an element and stylings of the sound on the album. The quote is as follows:
“Town and Country”, on the other hand, is a predominantly acoustic album. Though Humble Pie tended to lean towards the “heavier” stylings throughout their career, this album seems to demonstrate the bands more “sensitive” side. More country than city. I think any music enthusiast can probably draw from the album that this may have been a foreshadow of the type of music Peter Frampton would pursue in his solo career.
In my opinion, this compilation album was the perfect introduction, at least for me, to the band. “As Safe as Yesterday” reveals a new band putting together a new, rough and raw sound that they’d develop, while “Town and Country” was just the opposite. A very insightful album, and highly enjoyable.
I bought “Rock On” because this was the last album that Peter Frampton performed on for Humble Pie. Based on what I’ve read, it was this album which solidified Humble Pie’s legacy as being a preeminent heavy blues/rock band.
The production quality of this album is quite stunning, and it’s probably because Glyn Johns produced it. While listening to the album, it really felt like I was in a club listening to the band play live, but it is so clean. Peter Frampton kills it on his guitar parts, and Steve Marriott wails through blues riff after blues riff.
A terrific album and worth every penny.
I probably didn’t need to buy this album, but it was the only vinyl in stock that had a recording of “Black Coffee”. Mission accomplished.
Emerson Lake and Palmer
Progressive Rock. Some love it. Some hate it. For me, I just have to be in the mood for it. Emerson, Lake & Palmer was on of the largest progressive rock bands during the 1970s. Their self titled, debut album was an album that I thought I should have in my collection because it was, if you are in the mood for it, an album that you can drop the needle on and just let play.
I’ve only listed to this album once in it’s entirety, and it’s just simply overwhelming. I’ve studied music. I’m familiar with jazz music. I’m familiar with classical music. I’m familiar with rock music. With Emerson, Lake and Palmer, it’s like the edges all blur and … you’re just overwhelmed by their musicianship. I’ll be honest with you, I can’t hum a single musical passage from the album, but I’ll guarantee you that it blew my mind.
The other Emerson, Lake and Palmer album I bought is a live concert recording of the band titled “Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends: Ladies & Gentlemen, Emerson Lake & Palmer”
Let’s just say I’m holding off on that one for a little while. I’ll need a good two hours to listen to the four sided album, and I understand that I need to listen to it loud … really loud.