ARTICLE ABOUT Faces FROM New Musical Express, December 19, 1970

A strange arrangement for this band as their vocalist, the otherwise succesful Mr. Rod Stewart, signed a solo contract just before joining The Faces. Here they are, a few months before releasing their second album in a very good article once again written by Mr. Logan.
Read on!

Having them a real good time – but Faces still admit to being scared

By Nick Logan

“HAD Me A Real Good Time”, apart from being a rollicking good single, could almost be a kind of policy statement or working maxim for the Faces. Though their British gigs to date can be counted on two hands, they have built for themselves an enviable reputation as a hotly unpretentious band disposed to spreading smiles wherever they play.
Even the most ardently dedicated head, into the doomy delights of socio-political-rock or whatever, has been known to succumb a grudgingly tapping boot to their down-home rock and roll.
That in the process the Faces themselves have a real good time too, and are seen to be doing so on stage, is part of their success.
“It developed from when we first started in the States,” says Rod Stewart, the Faces’ much-travelled vocalist “We were naturally anxious about how we might go down, but we thought …. It, let’s just go on and do our best. It’s natural with us. If it wasn’t I would be worried. That’s the way we work and it’s the only way we can play.
“But we rely on the audience a lot. If they are going to give us a hard time it can be difficult, but we always seem to win them round in the end. I’ve not known a gig here or in America where, so far, we haven’t had an encore.”
Natural to them it may be, but in some of the more remote and unfriendly territories the group is called upon to play it isn’t always so easy to summon up their renowned geniality.

Secret weapon

In such circumstances, a heavier than normal burden is placed on the stimulating effects of the Faces secret weapon, which Rod Stewart and the NME can now reveal is the booze order that goes out with their roadie before every gig. Wine keeps Kenny Jones and Ronnie Wood’s spirits up, bourbon works the same for Ian MacLagan, brandy ensures Ronnie Lane a real good time and Rod himself puts his faith in two bottles per gig of Stanley Matthews, or Mateus wine as it is known in the trade.
Yet despite all that liquid confidence, Stewart still confesses to fears about how the Faces will be accepted in Britain. When we met, the group had done only nine British gigs in over a year, and had yet to venture into the provinces.
“Well, forgetting the American tours we’ve done and the fact that the band and I have to make so many albums, I think we were just bloody scared to go to places like the Marquee and the Lyceum. When we did go, we got 1,100 at the Marquee – the biggest crowd they’d had — and the second time at the Lyceum just knocked everybody out because it went so well.
“The papers have helped us a lot really, particularly on the continent where people read the English music papers. In the last week we have had tours come in for Germany and Switzerland, partly because all the papers gave the single such good reviews. Groups still need the press here whereas in the States the lifeblood of the industry is FM radio.
“It’s really nice that everybody’s going for us at the moment but the test will come when we go up North. Tomorrow will be the first time we have ventured up the motorway.”
Despite their growing reputation, the Faces are currently better known in the States than they are here, and have just returned from a second American tour which by all accounts was an outstanding success. “My Gasoline Alley album had gone up to No. 23 in the charts while we were there,” said Rod, “and the tour was the best I’ve known, including those with Jeff Beck.”
One not so enjoyable side effect, though, is that flying tends to make the Stewart ankles swell up, so hindering his weekend footballing activities, and he affirms: “Tours do you in a bit. We usually all come back spotty. I think that Free album `Fire And Water’ must have kept us together over here. We had it on cassette and played it all the time; it’s such a great album. Next tour though we’ll split into two three-week parts, with a week home in the middle. It makes it easier. With Beck we used to do 13 weeks on the trot.”
In some of the American press reviews that came into the NME office, I’d noticed the group billed as Rod Stewart and the Small Faces and put down the latter billing as an error. With Stewart’s solo albums selling well in the States, I could understand the first part of the billing but not the second.

No mistake

“No, it wasn’t a mistake,” declared Rod. “Ronnie Wood and I are dead against the Small Faces name used in this country but we don’t object to it in America. The Small Faces are only known there through Itchycoo Park which was a big single, but no one ever shouts out for it. And they don’t know too much else about the band.
“On the other hand, people say in this country that we have to live down the old image, as if it was something terrible. But that group made bloody good records. I respect them for that.”
One of the later gigs on the tour was topping over Black Sabbath at New York’s Fillmore East where, from a live recording made of the Faces set, two numbers will be used on the group’s second album: Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” and their adaptation of the old Broonzy number they feature as an encore “Feel So Good.”
The rest of the album will comprise nine new group numbers and, according to Stewart, will be more like “Gasoline Alley” than the Faces “First Step.” It should be released around February, to tie in with a short British concert tour.
“First Step” was a long while being recorded and on the new album Rod had hoped to do a “Gasoline Alley,” a two week in-and-out job. The four months they’ve taken so far, though, has forced Rod to resign himself to the fact that the Faces need a long time for recording.
His attention will shortly be needed, too, on another solo album for Vertigo. He has a few songs in mind: The Who’s “The Seeker,” Chris Farlowe’s “Out Of Time” and “Bob Dylan’s Dream” from the “Freewheelin” LP — although “that may be too personal to him.”
As an album highpoint he’d had the traditional “Amazing Grace” in mind for some time, having been treasuring to himself on old recording by Doc Watson he’d discovered in Collett’s a year ago. “Now bloody Judy Collins has gone and done it,” swore our hero ungallantly.

If you have a large collection of the following magazines, don`t throw them out, but contact me as I would be very interested in these: Creem, Circus, Hit Parader and Metal Edge.

If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

ARTICLE ABOUT Slade FROM New Musical Express, December 19, 1970

The second studio album by Slade and the first to be released under the Slade name. It did not enter the charts. I do not exactly feel that NMEs reviewer liked it much.
Read on!

SLADE: PLAY IT LOUD (Polydor, 2383 026, 42s 6d)

By AE

Aggressive – that’s what the music and vocalising of Slade seems to be, though they vary the volume with great skill, at times quiet, then turning it up and shouting at the listener as in Know Where You Are. They also bark out a love song to Angelina, and get a good rhythm going with handclaps on Dirty Joker, and on Sweet Box they attack the music ferociously with guitars and voices.
Of the more tuneful items (and tune isn’t given much of a chance on most tracks) is Could I. The lead vocalist is inclined to shout too much, but then, maybe that is the appeal of the group. Pity their names and the instrument they play aren’t mentioned on the sleeve, where only their pictures appear. Chas Chandler gets the credit of producing.
Other titles: Raven, See Us Here, Dapple Rose, One Way Hotel, Shape Of Things To Come, I Remember, Pouk Hill.

If you have a large collection of the following magazines, don`t throw them out, but contact me as I would be very interested in these: Creem, Circus, Hit Parader and Metal Edge.

If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

ARTICLE ABOUT King Crimson FROM New Musical Express, December 19, 1970

The third studio album from the band, and this time a little more “jazzy” than earlier albums. The critic in the NME liked it!
Read on!

Crimso`s most stimulating yet

By NL

King Crimson: Lizard (Island, stereo, ILPS 9141 39s 11d)

If In The Wake Of Poseidon was Robert Fripp proving to himself that he could do Crimson King without Ian McDonald, Lizard is Fripp freed of inhibitions as a composer.
Crimso’s third album is his and Pete Sinfield’s most grandiose project to date, and their most stimulating work since In The Court Of The Crimson King first focused our attention on a remarkable, burgeoning talent.
Basically, Lizard reflects Fripp’s progression towards a welding of rock and jazz, drawing from the most exciting regions of both. But, rather like the liquidity of the marbling effect on the inside sleeve, it is a flowing, flexible marriage, unfalteringly stepping from one idiom into the next.
Abetting, as on Poseidon, are a pool of exceptional musicians: Fripp, Mel Collins, saxes, flute; Andy McCulloch, drums; and Gordon Haskell, bass, vocals; being the base of Crimso (though Haskell has since left) with notable augmentation from Robin Miller, oboe, cor anglais; Keith Tippett, piano; and his sidemen Mark Charig, cornet, and Nick Evans, trombone.
Side one is the Crimso song book; Cirkus in a way being a development of the Crimson King title track with mellotron breaks and some delicious acoustic work by Bob Fripp. Indoor Games is neatly summarised by Pete Sinfield as being about “people who think life is a game of Monopoly”; a strong song with undertones of Catfood.
Happy Family is Sinfield’s lament for the Beatles break up, Haskell’s voice electronically distorted and submerged under Tippett’s edgy piano outbursts and Collins’ flute and baritone sax. Lady Of The Dancing Waters, final side one track, is one of Crimso’s gentle flute/acoustic songs that hark back to earlier days and now seems oddly out of place.
Side two, however, is the real meat of the album, an ambitious straddling work by Fripp which leads from Prince Rupert Awakes into Bolero — The Peacock’s Tale and The Battle Of The Glass Tears.
Rupert — the voice of Yes vocalist Jon Anderson suits it perfectly — is reminiscent of the group’s first works with switches in moods and bursts of mellotron/voices, and as it develops into the later pieces one can almost trace through it the way Crimso has developed over three albums. The Battle splits into three self-descriptive parts, Dawn Song, Last Skirmish and Prince Rupert’s Lament; the skirmish represented by frenzied cross-playing of instruments over which like a charger, rides the mellotron.
Here, Fripp excels himself as a composer and any question marks against his ability that the free use of mellotron might have invoked should be dispersed by the brilliant parts he has written for the Crimso/Tippett men.

If you have a large collection of the following magazines, don`t throw them out, but contact me as I would be very interested in these: Creem, Circus, Hit Parader and Metal Edge.

If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

ARTICLE ABOUT Free FROM New Musical Express, December 19, 1970

December 1970 and Free are releasing their fourth album, a kind of rushed affair that only got a lukewarm critical reception from most of the press. The album reached only No. 41 in the UK Albums Chart, a disappointment for the band and maybe a signal that their time as a band soon would be over.
Read on!

Free have never felt so close before

Paul and Andy talk to Roy Carr about the new album

Free: Highway (Island, ILPS 9138, 39s 11d)

This week, Free present us with a new self-penned album which more than ever bears evidence that Free are a funky electric soul band.
Though vocalist Paul Rodgers uses the basic blueprint evolved by Otis Redding and his contemporaries, he revitalises it to meet his very own personal requirements. In the same way, Andy Fraser, Simon Kirke and Paul Kossoff proved to be a most industrious collection of musicians. Leaning heavily on strong rhythmic patterns they manage to produce a simple, yet effective spectrum of colour within the limitations of their basic instrumentation. More power to their maturity.
Discussing various aspects of the nine new tracks, this is what Paul and Andy had to say…

THE HIGHWAY SONG (Fraser/Rodgers)
ANDY: This was originally Rodgers’ idea. It just developed from there. Though we’ve done it many times on stage with the trio line-up, it didn’t sound quite as it should do, so on the album I’ve added electric piano.
ROY CARR: This is the very same number I heard Free put together when I sat in at one of their all-night recording sessions a few months ago (see NME Aug 29). Opens with strident block chord guitars played by both the Pauls and rolling drum figures from Simon. As Paul sings the verse, Andy joins in on piano and bass as the song gently rocks along. I could well imagine a Stax brass team pumping away in the background. A song which personifies their style.

THE STEALER (Fraser/Rodgers/Kossoff)
ANDY: One day we wandered into the studio with nothing specific in mind. Koss suddenly started playing a guitar riff and by the end of the evening we’d got it done… just like that.
RC: Free’s current single.

ON MY WAY (Fraser/Rodgers)
ANDY: Half the things on this album were numbers we’d been performing on stage, like “Ride A Pony” and “Be My Friend.” We included them ’cause we hoped they’d be dug simply because of the fact that they were from our act. Originally, this was quite different. But the version which we ended up with is great and we all really dig it.
RC: A medium paced original, with a strong melody line which benefits from some rich sounding guitar phrases and lazy drumming over which Paul sings in his now familiar style.

BE MY FRIEND (Fraser/Rodgers)
ANDY: I can honestly say that this is our own personal favourite.
PAUL: We’ve always liked this one… for the mood and for what it says. For me it’s the best thing we’ve ever done and it was recorded at a time when we were very close in the way we felt about it.
RC: A nice piano intro over which Paul sings the lyrical statement. At times it sounds as though a mellotron has been incorporated into the instrumental backing.

SUNNY DAY (Fraser/Rodgers)
ANDY: This is nothing more than a little buzz… about 2 1/2 minutes of a sunny idea. Just like one basic idea… walking down a street and something mentally hits you.
RC: A reflective little song which says much for their progress.

RIDE A PONY (Rodgers/Kirke)
PAUL: We wouldn’t have minded if this had been put out as a single. But we don’t like to be pressured into making records for that specific market.
RC: A good solid heavy riff on which all four rave in a familiar manner. Again very Staxish in concept.

LOVE YOU SO (Rodgers/Kirke)
ANDY: This is a song that Simon and Paul wrote in the van on the way to a gig one night. We’ve all liked it ever since.
RC: Another slow number which has Paul singing over a heavily featured piano, sympathetic guitar interjecting and simple metronome drum figures.

BODIE (Fraser/Rodgers)
ANDY: You can talk with sound and this is exactly what we did on this cut.
PAUL: It virtually says the same things as “Summer Day.” It’s very easy on the ear and a lot of character.
RC: A song which could be covered by other artists as an album track. Good use of acoustic guitars and a change of pace.

SOON I WILL BE GONE (Fraser/Rodgers)
ANDY: This was more or less a live recording. Another one of Paul’s ideas and besides singing you can hear him on acoustic guitar.
RC: A slow dramatic song the kind which Free excel at.

Summing up the fruits of their labour, Paul Kossoff said: “On this album I feel that we have captured a time in our existence that we’ve all reached. Honestly, we’ve never experienced it like this before.”
A statement, to which Andy Fraser added: “That’s right. We were exceptionally close, happy and creative… giving out all that was inside of us. Anything I say can’t make it… this album says it all.”

If you have a large collection of the following magazines, don`t throw them out, but contact me as I would be very interested in these: Creem, Circus, Hit Parader and Metal Edge.

If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

ARTICLE ABOUT T. Rex FROM New Musical Express, December 19, 1970

Marc Bolan rated Zeppelin a lot higher than Sabbath and Purple plus a lot of other interesting opinions from the man in this good article by NME`s star reporter Nick Logan.
Read on!

T. Rexlast of the great underground groups
We`ve broken the monopoly… the revolution is over says Marc Bolan

By Nick Logan

THE Last of the Great Underground Groups is how their publicist fondly describes them… as if T. Rex were some peculiar species of the pop animal dustily discovered after an age of public neglect. Certainly they were one of the first of the Underground breed, at a time when to be so described was to be ridiculed and dismissed by the pop mainstream as a transitory fad.
Yet Marc Bolan doesn’t exactly give the impression of a man who’s prospered out of the public’s new found attention. Since I’ve been interviewing T. Rex he’s managed to move from a cramped attic bed-sitting room in a rambling Notting Hill block to a cramped two rooms next floor down in the same building, which is no doubt enough to constitute a sell-out in some minds.
Admittedly he was due to move in four days time to a slightly larger pad in Little Venice, but when I visited Notting Hill last week (before the electricity go slow) our Top Ten Star was sitting in the half light, his wife June having gone out to buy candles.
The Bolans had forgotten to pay their bill, it seems, and couldn’t get their power restored until the evening.
Marc has much to warm his heart, however, with Fly, their record company, claiming heavy advance orders for the new T. Rex album, and with the addition of Steve Currie’s bass and a new stereo sound system increasing the electricity, in more ways than one, of their live performances.
“The audiences are a lot younger now,” says Bolan. “They come along with the kind of excitement that in the past has been associated with Zeppelin and that kind of stuff, and attendances have been well over capacity. That was my main fear, that some kids might stay away because of the single.”
Marc had intended to follow the new album with the science fiction story “The Children Of Rarn,” trailered on the current LP, but has now postponed that project in favour of another rock album… “to cement the direction we are now going in.
“I haven’t been in a studio for six months but I’ve got this sound in my head that is definitely unlike anything else we have put out. It really is cosmic rock. There’ll certainly be some live tracks on it, too, perhaps Elemental Child as we do it now.
“I’d like to catch on the record the essence of the audiences we are getting so that people will know what is happening. People who have come along to gigs really cannot believe it. It really is like the old rock days… people rushing the stage.”

PROGRESSED

Since the times when the name Tyrannosaurus Rex on a record signalled its instant dismissal to disc jockey’s rejection piles, the duo has progressed in no small measure. In the afternoon’s mounting gloom, we talked about how Marc saw the initial aims and ideals of the Underground and how much he thought they had been realised, if at all.
“In our case initially,” started Marc, “I was trying to get away from the pop syndrome and, for me, the Underground at the beginning meant similar minded people with similar thoughts.
“I now really do think that the progressive era has borne fruit when you have groups like T. Rex, Family, Fairport etcetera getting hit records in the same breath as people like Gerry Monroe and Shirley Bassey.
“Of course as it got more of a business, managers realised that if you called your group progressive then you automatically had an audience. And for a time at the beginning the audience was gullible enough to accept a group called, let’s say, Ramases Bullet and presume they were really good.”
That happened, says Bolan, with a number of American acts who were hyped in Britain as Underground groups but were known as pop groups in the States. He cites Steppenwolf, Blue Cheer and the Doors as examples.
“I think there are a lot of groups who have conveniently assumed the tag progressive when, in fact, they are just competent pop groups, and that is all. The competency being that they can play their instruments whereas in the straight pop group of five years ago some of them didn’t play on their records.
“The charts are still full of those kind of groups today. Hits that are written by four/five songwriters who write every song, and it’s just the same group. But hopefully music has progressed to the stage where it encompasses everything and do believe that Underground music is now purely teenage music. It is youth music.”
Q. Would it be true to say, though, that as it has become more a majority than a minority interest, musical standards have become lower and the initial ideals become blurred?
“It’s become a business and obviously that does apply; and there are one of two major groups that we know who were in fact pop groups, but had very shrewd management which has turned it around so they appear to be something they are not. Something that is a saleable commodity to the Underground market.

NOT BAD

“Then again there are other groups. You have groups like Black Sabbath who I don’t think are bad but aren’t particularly brilliant by any means.
“That sort of group is just simulating Led Zeppelin and Led Zeppelin are way above their level. But they fill the gap and consequently they are blown up to huge proportions and become vastly overrated groups because they are the only groups playing supposedly heavy music.”
Q. If that is so, then doesn’t this have a harmful effect on what the Underground hoped to achieve?
“I think it could backfire terribly in that some of those groups in two/three years time will be dustmen very easily. The minute the bubble bursts.

HARMFUL

“It’s hard to talk without being harmful to people… another good example is Taste. A group that was playing for a long time and suddenly within two months they were rocketted out of all proportions. I wouldn’t say without merit, because I am not going to judge.
“But there was a market for them; they were pushed into that market. Consequently they became hugely successful because they had a guitar star.
“I am sure one could do a Monkees with any group. Give them a pretty name, a handsome looking lead guitarist and you’re off man. You’re a millionaire.”
Q. Then the ideals have failed?
“I don’t think so, because those groups are pop groups. I don’t think there’s any pretence with anyone who knows about music to assume that a lot of those bands are anything more than that. A lot of those people, if there was no money in being a progressive band would, perhaps, immediately become a bubblegum group.”
Q. Have musical standards improved at all then?
“With some groups yes, like Family who were around at the beginning… like Fairport… who have just grown or changed personnel but basically are playing the same music. But now they have spent two years in a recording studio and are capable of producing more pleasing sounds to the ear.
“I think by Black Sabbath’s own admission they made their ‘Paranoid’ album in about two days. They went in and did it and came out again. I have no downer on that… we made our first album in the same way… but I’ve since learned that that is not the way you make records.
“It is not a lasting thing and one gets very dissatisfied with the result. I do think that they will be dissatisfied with what they are doing now in two years time… hopefully… because one must grow as a musician.

STOMPY FEET

“I won’t say it is not good, because for stompy feet music it’s a gas. It fits the bill and they’ve got a guitar star and crosses round their necks, and let’s hope Jesus looks after them.”
Q. Could it be that progressive musicians have become over serious and lost sight of the need to entertain, thus explaining the acceptance of groups like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin with a more direct form of music…?
“For a start I would exclude Led Zeppelin from that because they are five pedestals higher and better and I do believe they are progressive: That Led Zeppelin III is progressive. I personally don’t find it as satisfactory as Led Zeppelin II because I just really groove on them as a heavy band.
“I think they do that beautifully. But I do think they have grown and allowed themselves to grow and not stunted their growth with wanting to know whether it will sell or not

TOGETHER

“What groups who reach that height must do is keep their heads together and not assume that what they are doing now, because it gets standing ovations, is the end of their growth. Standing ovations can stunt growth very quickly because audiences aren’t always the wisest judges of music.”
Q. On the business side have there been any changes, or is it just that the managers and agents have longer hair and “hippie” clothes?
“No it’s exactly the same, identical. It’s show biz. There really are some exceptions, some good people, but yes they grow their hair long because we are living in the 20th Century and there is a youth market, but I think that if tomorrow it was uncool to have long hair they would all have a haircut, which is frightening.

IT EXISTS

“Tin Pan Alley does exist but I am not a part of it and all the people I respect aren’t really involved in that.”
Q. So if the initial ideal could be summarised as honesty and integrity how much is there of it about after 3/4 years?
“I don’t know… because I think the only good thing that has come out of the last five years of pop music is that someone like myself can write hits. As a child I was always fascinated by studios and music and now I am allowed to make that music and have a say in what I do, which five years ago would never have happened.
“Most of the young writers now are producing their own records and with the proceeds of ‘White Swan’ I could build a recording studio, in which case it will enable me to be more self-sufficient. People like John Lennon and Pete Townshend have their own studios so, if tomorrow the music business completely turned their back on us, we could still make records and get them through to the people.
“In that case we have succeeded. The monopoly is broken; there is total confusion. In that respect the revolution is already over.”

If you have a large collection of the following magazines, don`t throw them out, but contact me as I would be very interested in these: Creem, Circus, Hit Parader and Metal Edge.

If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!