Pete Makowski

ARTICLE ABOUT Ken Hensley FROM SOUNDS, May 31, 1975

Ken Hensley was an very important figure in the earliest incarnation of Uriah Heep. Without him I`m not sure they would have become as great as they did. But, then again, being a great and important band member doesn`t necessarily mean that you will do success as an solo artist. The sum of the parts and all that…
There is nothing wrong with this album, but I agree with the reviewer in that it lacks the originality to keep your attention. A Box or a Byron would have spiced things up in my opinion.
Read on.

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Ken Hensley: `Eager To Please` (Bronze ILPS 9307) (37.00).

Record review by Pete Makowski

There is no doubt that this is an improvement on Hensley`s debut offering, `Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf`. It`s a more relaxed confident effort that shows a melodic side to Uriah Heep`s keyboardsman. It still contains some of the dramatic musical intensity that is prominent in Heep`s music but that`s about the only similarity detectable. Here Hensley is backed by ex-Heep bassist Mark Clarke, a very capable musician who holds back or lets forth when necessary. Clarke has also contributed one of the compositions, `In The Morning`, which is easily the best song on the album. It`s screaming with commercial potential, bouncing along merrily with some soulful sax from Ray Warleigh. The closest competitors to this are `Eager To Please` and `Winter Or Summer` which ride on a backbone of brash chord work and strong harmonies. Hensley seems to write his material around the limitations of his voice which is powerful but not very versatile. Drummer Bugs Remberton holds tight with Clarke`s bass playing which anchors the solidity and strength of the band`s sound. Hensley`s repertoire is varied from the heavily orchestrated almost schmaltzy tones of `How Shall I Know?` and the floaty acoustic ballad `The House On The Hill` to the brash supercharged humdingers like `Stargazer`. It`s a shame that Hensley doesn`t explore his keyboard playing a little more. The album could have done with some more guest guitarists, competent as Hensley is, his playing doesn`t have enough style, individuality or originality to keep your attention. A fair offering.

Hensley

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. 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!
The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Status Quo FROM SOUNDS, May 17, 1975

Did the mighy Quo ever play a a bad concert in the 70s? I am sure they did, but there weren`t many. Here`s another one of those good ones.
Read on!

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Quo`s May blitz

By Pete Makowski

It may be unlucky for some people but to Quo 13 years represents a longevity that equals and even surpasses many well established bands. And to celebrate this little event the band decided to undertake an anniversary tour opening at Leicester`s De Montfort Hall last Thursday.
It was, as expected, a raging success and also revealed a new musical side to the band in a set that lasted over one and three quarter hours and was executed at a ball-breaking pace. The audience was, as expected, solid Quo fans, and being Quo fans they made sure it was an event to be remembered.
The evening opened with a set from The Pretty Things, another band who have been around for a while. Their set was impressive but not properly paced, too many long drawn out `come on clap your hands` sessions. The last time I saw them, their set was tighter, slicker and had more success. Still a really ace rock band.
Quo`s set opened up with a swirling mass of dry ice, the closest the band have ever got to theatrics. The band got onto the stage and it was Blitzkreig. They opened up the set, as they did last tour, with `Love Me When I`m Down`, with Alan Lancaster stooped over his bass, growling the vocals with fire and brimstone. A sea of denims surged forwards as Rossi belted out the vocals of `I Saw The Light`, off the `On The Level` album.
Next a change of guitars and Parfitt took the microphones, slowing the pace down with `Nightride` and then bringing it back up to the normal Quo energy level with `Little Lady`.
Silence fell over the hall as Rossi`s hoarse vocals accompanied by a quiet (would you believe?) guitar backing played `Most Of The Time` which developed into an extra heavy weight twelve bar.

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Then came the contrast with a slow tempo country ditty by the name of `Claudie`, featuring some strong harmonies. This was followed by a trip down memory lane in form of `Gerundula`, featuring, wait for it, Rick Parfitt on acoustic guitar, Rossi playing a Les Paul (the first time I`ve seen him play a different guitar) and Alan Lancaster on rhythm guitar… have Quo gone acoustic?
No, but at last they have found a way to pace their set without killing the energy level, the audience didn`t seem to mind and the atmosphere was brought up to an almost electrifying peak with a medley featuring `Backwater`, `Just Take Me` and `Forty Five Hundred Times`, with some surprisingly competent guitar work from Rossi, whose style is usually more forceful than constructive.
These numbers also displayed John Coughlan`s hard tireless attacking drum playing that provides the backbone to Quo`s solid wall of sound. Next came a series of powerchord boogie workouts with Rossi, looking a bit worse of wear by now, running up and down the length of the stage, with Lancaster and Parfitt following his example.
`Roll Over Lay Down`, `Big Fat Momma` and `Don`t Waste My Time` had the crew rocking from side to side. The amazing thing about Quo gigs is that no matter how frenzied the audience is there are never any attempts to storm the stage even though there are no barriers and minimal security.
The set ended with `Roadhouse Blues`, featuring the infamous sailor`s hornpipe and when you see a few thousand kids jigging it`s quite something. The band returned with an encore featuring `Caroline`, `Mean Girl` and an amazing drum solo from John Coughlan, culminating with `Bye Bye Johnny`. Hasn`t anyone told these guys we`ve got an energy crisis? Great stuff.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. 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!
The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Bachman Turner Overdrive FROM SOUNDS, May 17, 1975

Quite interesting to read this one as it tells the story of how BTO tried to become a commercial prospect without losing their integrity. Some very valueable lessons to learn here, even for bands coming up today.
Read on!

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`eard the one about the Randy Mormon?

Peter Makowski face to face with Bachman Turner Overdrive

There seems to be an inexplicable, invisible but understandable line of hypocrisy running between Randy Bachman the musician and Randy Bachman the person. Inexplicable because it doesn`t relate to or affect the band`s music which relies on sheer sympathetic energy between musicians devoid of any contrivance; understandable because after being in the business for so long barriers of cynicism are expected to appear.
With Bachman it`s not cynicism, it`s a thorough logistic assessment of how the music business should be run, which in his verbal dialogue might sound a little cold and precise but on paper couldn`t be truer.
Talking to Bachman is like talking to a manager who is willing to give you the facts. And I think it`s from this hard-earned experience that this little, unknown Canadian band have become big business in such a short space of time.
Bachman sat in contemplative pose, looking like a lumberjack guru, when I spoke to him in his hotel prior to BTO`s performance at the Glasgow Apollo.

CONTRADICTION

Saying that Bachman is Mormon, doesn`t drink, doesn`t smoke, doesn`t pull chicks on the road and is a rock and roll star is almost a contradiction in itself. But maybe that could at the same time account for his clear headedness. Although externally his appearance is burly and aggressive all in all he seems to be quite a composed, laid back character.
The band have recently recorded a new album titled appropriately enough `Four Wheel Drive`. “It`s a progression for us,” Bachman reported happily, “nothing like heavy jazz rock like Yes who I think are a very progressive group. It`s a progression for us because we`re playing different kinds of rock and roll songs. Rock and roll songs go on for ever, we`re just exploring.
“We`ve had different, slight changes, but I find the people like basic rock and we`re selling to basic rock audiences. I could play really heavy guitar if I wanted to, classical or country `cause I grew up learning all that stuff. I could do it and I could probably expand our audience by another 10 per cent, but I`d lose 10 per cent who are buying what we`ve got now, so it`s a losing battle trying to please new people.
“I don`t believe in pleasing critics because they get their albums free and all they do is tear them apart, all I want to do is please the people who are buying our stuff.”
Has the recent recession in America (the band`s biggest money spinner) affected them at all?
“We were lucky,” Bachman replied, almost sounding grateful, “the recession doesn`t affect top products of any country. By the top products I doesn`t mean the best, I mean what the people want. There`s just been a recession in the States yeah, but nobody`s stopped buying beer, nobody`s stopped going out to concerts.
“All the three group shows, where we headlined, became two group shows, we were still on the top, we still got our money we were still sellouts.”
As I mentioned before a lot of BTO`s success is derived from Bachman`s experiences and observation. In fact before BTO, when he played with the once top Canadian band Guess Who, Bachman spent a lot of time researching commercial records to see if it would help him come up with the right ingredients for a hit record, which it did.
“When I was in the Guess Who,” recalled Bachman, “we used to study obviously Lennon and McCartney, Brian Wilson, and Georgie Fame. We used to study composers and very commercial groups `cause in those days there were no underground selling groups. You either had a single or you were gone.
“In Brave Belt, which eventually became BTO, we listened to other types of commercial group and that was the type of group who had wide appeal albums and singles – the Who, Creedence, Rolling Stones, Cream – simple groups who, if they were commercial, were not selling out.
“There are commercial bands like Paper Lace, Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods who get together and write commercial songs, we don`t do that. We put together good album music, throw the album out on the market and usually a radio station picks up on a single and I`ll edit it.

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COMMERCIAL

“This is usually the case except for our new single called `Hey You`. We anticipated it being a single almost from the start, it just had a certain element that `Ain`t Seen Nothing Yet` had. And I don`t feel bad in doing that, trying to follow the success of a commercial single, because we`ve had all the album success and by having one we don`t seem to lost the other.”
It seems in America (and almost everywhere else come to think of it) that rock sensations come and go before you can say tricky Dicky Nixon, they`re in and out of the charts with a bullet. I asked Bachman to explain their sustaining their success.
“I think if you look at the bands that have come and gone you can pinpoint the exact moment they`ve gone. When they decide to do something heavy, something drastic. You get a simple rock group like us, if we try to do something like King Arthur and his magical knights of the round table, you know Houdini`s magic show, we`d just lose our fans. If we keep doing what comes naturally then we`ll be okay.
“You look at a group who have been obliterated. It could be managerial problems. I agree a lot of rock and roll bands go under pressure and strains but we don`t have any of them. We make the basic decisions deciding what we`re going to do, how long we`re going out for. Our manager comes with us on the road and when we`re tired of being on the road, then he`s just as tired.
“We don`t have a fat New York manager in a Cadillac with his briefcase and cigar saying `give me my percentage, stay out another month, you`re doing great`. I`ve gone through this with Guess Who.
“We don`t have any of those problems because our manager is like a part of the group, he travels with us, he thinks how we think because we have very open discussions. When it`s down to making a decision he basically knows what we want to do, how long we want to work, how much money we want to make, once you make enough money there`s no point in going crazy and have ten million dollars compared to two million.

HAPPINESS

“When you can buy anything you want it doesn`t matter how much excess money you have. That`s not really why we`re happy. We`re happy because we have a very good schedule, we enjoy the music we`re playing and we enjoy relating to the people that are buying our product.
“A good case of managerial problems is Buffalo Springfield, they were one of America`s greats and one of my favourite bands. When they found that they were one of the biggest underground bands and heading to being one of THE big groups they all looked around and said `you know we`re broke, we don`t have enough to pay our rent or buy guitar strings`.
“They ended it because they didn`t like their management. That`s one reason why a group doesn`t last and the other is some drastic artistic change, and we`ll never drastically change, if we evolve it`ll be something natural.”
As Bachman indicated earlier, he seems to have varied amounts of musical influences and the last time I interviewed him he was promising a solo album. I asked him when this project would crystalise.
“I probably won`t do it for a while. I don`t want to do it while I`m on the road and we`re in the process of building our own studio, we have to decide which country it`s going to be in because there`s quite a few implications with Canadian and American recordings and I`m not going to start on a solo album until I`ve done a BTO album in the studio.
“If I do a solo album, it`ll be something drastic,” Bachman concluded… not that drastic because I want it to sell.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. 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!
The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Chinn and Chapman FROM SOUNDS, May 10, 1975

Today, if everything goes to plan, I will probably be in Copenhagen checking out some music there, before heading into Sweden and eventually Stockholm towards the weekend to do the same there. I will indulge myself on my summer vacation and hopefully the readers of this blog will do the same.
Now… indulge yourselves in this fine article about that great songwriting duo of the 70s.
Read on!

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A chat with Chinn about Chapman

By Pete Makowski

Nicholas Chinn and Michael Chapman are a writing force who have collectively contributed an indelible mark on the British charts.
Whether you consider them to be a valid entity or not, Chinn and Chapman`s success is as prominent as a boil on the arse – and to some people equally painful. They may not be a Lennon and McCartney or Lieber and Stoller but you can`t deny that things just haven`t been the same since Sweet released `Funny Funny`.
That fat and meaty treatment of bass and drums has become inherent in a lot of current chart stars` platters.
Chinn: “Sometimes I think it`s better to start a trend rather than follow one.”
Their versatility has been demonstrated with the gentle, almost humorous `Lonely This Christmas` to hard edged attacking style of the Sweet`s `Blockbuster`.
Nicky Chinn, like his Mayfair apartment, is a self contained man who seems to have settled into his playboy settings very comfortably. His domain is impeccably clean and tidy. His book collection ranges from prose and poetry to Harold Robbins. A soft spoken, composed but concise person, Chinn has the voice of an archetypal BBC DJ and the appearance of a Knightsbridge barber.
Recently the Chinnichap stable has suffered a few drastic changes; the loss of their two most powerful products Sweet and Mud. Up to now those bands seem unaffected by the loss of their hitwriters. The backstabbing accusations about C&C`s over dominative stranglehold on their acts must be counteracted by the fact that if C&C weren`t there in the first place the acts might not have got as far as they did.
I asked Chinn what he thought about the backstabbing comments that have been made about him and his writing partner.

“What do I think about it? I think it`s… bullshit, ingratitude, stupidity and biting the hand that has fed you and I would not condone it in any way, shape or form. I don`t think we have ever made biting comments about the band`s who have left us. We wouldn`t because the reason we were involved with them in the first place is because we thought they were good and talented.
“If they leave us and they feel fit to make stabbing comments then all I can say, without mentioning any names, is that they`re a bunch of mugs. That isn`t to say they`re untalented, but even the biggest talent in the world needs to be found by somebody.
“We needed to be found by Mickie Most… maybe we`d still be playing Scunthorpe if it wasn`t for Mickie. Surely the band`s we were associated with must realise we had something to do with them, they can`t say we`re a bunch of louts.”
Even before songwriting, Chinn was earning a healthy wage in his family`s car firm. It was in `69 that Chinn met Chapman, a musician, working in a restaurant as a waiter. They seemed to gell as songwriters from the start. They decided to unleash their talents to all via the help of Mickie Most.
“I met Mickie by `phoning him at home one evening and saying `me and my partner are songwriters and we`ve got something to offer`, recalled Chinn, “that was a terrible liberty I`m sure, and Mickie being the absolute professional he is came back with the classic answer `how would 11.30 in the morning suit you?`”
The rest, as Chinn points out, is history.
An assessment of Most?
“One word-genius.”
Being a sharp observer of the music scene I asked Chinn what he thought of the current state of the singles charts.
“Crummy… lacks direction. The public don`t know what they want next, if they like it they buy it. The Americans know what they`re doing, they always have good follow up singles.

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“In America, for better or worse, they have a racial split. The black people buy things like Barry White, while the white people buy things like Grand Funk. It`s not the same here, thank God. You can get a person buying a Barry White single one day and a Mud single the next.”
America is the next market C&C hope to take over. Chinn: “We`ve conquered just about everywhere else”.
They are currently tailoring two more sophisticated bands – Smokey and Gonzales, Suzi Quatro is getting a change of direction for Stateside success so I asked him the process of transition – and why.
“The process and reason for change are simple. It becomes a matter of judgement. You have a series of smash hit records and million sellers around the world and you realise that none of them have done anything in America. From there it becomes a process of elimination and judgement and what you would think would be better for the artist… we haven`t been proved right yet but we haven`t been proved wrong… it`s happening at the moment.”
So you feel you have a good chance of cracking the States?
“Completely. We`ll do it through good music, being professional and having our heads screwed on. Knowing where we want to go and getting there. I think we can compete with the Americans all day long if we want to `cause we`re as good.”
Finally I pondered on the team`s almost enigmatic Midas touch for hits. I mean, Chinn admitted he knew exactly how big Mud`s Christmas single would be, right down to the chart position, now that`s what I call confidence!
“It`s a great feeling. But you never really know it`s going in the charts. I could make a record tomorrow and I could say it`s a great record and the people in the business can agree but the final analysis, the final proof is when the public get hold of it and put it in the charts.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. 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!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Back Street Crawler, Mallard, Leo Sayer, Mud, Jet, Average White Band, Al Green, Ray Charles, Chinn and Chapman, Hawkwind, Slade, Genesis, Dr. Hook, Helen Reddy, Alex Harvey, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Bill Munroe, Kraftwerk, Kinks.
The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Genesis FROM SOUNDS, April 26, 1975

A very honest and good account of the concert and the meaning of the plot by Mr. Makowski.
Read on!

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A touch of the Jaggers

Concert review by Pete Makowski

The stage was set. On the left hand side Steve Hackett was seated with guitar and a melange of effects around him. Behind him Michael Rutherford was stooped over his twin neck bass and six string guitar. On the right Tony Banks was half hidden behind an impressive selection of keyboards, in the centre, with headphones, sat Phil Collins with surrounding percussion.
The rest of the area was a playground for Pete Gabriel`s surreal fantasies.
If you haven`t already guessed, I saw Genesis at the Wembley Empire Pool last Monday, to be precise and left extremely impressed. On every level the band transcend any kind of expected performance standard. Musically they are so proficient they make that part of the job look like a secondary exercise. Visually, apart from Gabriel`s cavortings, the lights, three screens of tightly synchronised slides and stage effects left me confused as to what I should be focusing on. Seeing a show as spectacular as this hits you right between the eyes and it takes a while before you can gather your wits and listen to the music.
This was the debut performance, in Britain, of the band`s new work `The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway`. After hearing the album countless times, and seeing the live show I haven`t got any closer to understanding the plot, so I enjoy it on a superficial level. Gabriel plays a New York droog (Rael) who goes through a whole series of crazy dreamlike fantasy scenes. When Gabriel plays a part, he seems to become the person totally. Dressed in a leather jacket and worn denims he strutted around the stage looking like a real street punk. Some of his poses reminded me of Iggy Stooge, Lou Reed and even a touch of the Jaggers. His whole presence dominated the scenery.
They played the whole double album with only a few minutes breathing space, where Gabriel told the story. The show, as you all probably know by now, features a lot of interesting effects including a monstrous entity with self inflating warts, The Supernatural Anaesthetist, and one part where you are confronted with two Raels. The whole show didn`t solely rely on the theatrics although it wouldn`t have worked without them. After such an impressive and obviously exhausting performance, the band returned for more in the form of `Musical Box` and `Watcher Of The Skies`. Now that`s what I call showmanship.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. 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!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Frank Zappa, Gladys Knight, Women In Rock, Betty Wright, Steve Harley, Peter Frampton, Labelle, Peter Skellern, Ray Davies, Larry Uttal, Chris Spedding, Anne Murray, Sweet Sensation, Bernard Purdie, Mike Harding, Ronnie Lane, Yes.
The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.