sábado, 27 de abril de 2019

Humble Pie - Joint Effort


















Humble Pie - Joint Effort - 2019

By Mark Rockpit
As someone who has always been a huge fan of Humble Pie and all things Steve Marriott the news that a new album that had “remained in the vaults since 1975 will finally be released next month” was like several Christmases coming all at once. ‘Joint Effort’ duly arrived for review and as I tend to do when I review, I read nothing about it and did not research anything until I’d had a few spins and got my initial thoughts down.

Recorded in their own Clear Sounds Studio between 1974 and 1975, the album we have here contains the music put together by Steve Marriott and Greg Ridley as a side project before Pie gained momentum again due to the classic albums ‘Eat It’ and ‘Smokin” taking hold in the U.S. As a result Pie regrouped with Dave ‘Clem’ Clempson and Jerry Shirley and the recordings were ultimately rejected by A&M.

Sounded great, but even glancing at the tracklisting that first time made me wonder if maybe this collection of “never-before-heard originals, (and) covers of songs recorded by the Beatles (“Rain”), Betty Wright (“Let Me Be Your Lovemaker”) and James Brown (“Think”)” was indeed something new.

I mean re=recorded versions of ‘Rain’ and “Let Me Be Your Lovemaker’ were both on the bands 1975 album ‘Street Rats’ then as soon as the metaphorical ‘needle hit the groove’ I realised that this album hasn’t exactly languished in the vaults since 1975 – I already had a copy of it titled ‘Running With the Pack’ which saw release on Alchemy Entertainment a mere 20 years ago in 1999! Not only that the Alchemy release also contained four live tracks from what was then at the time Humble Pie’s last show in the States in 1973.

Of course if you’re a ‘Pie’ fan then you’ll still be interested if you haven’t picked up that prior release (or the limited edition reissue on the same label in 2003). The sessions (or demos as Alchemy perhaps more correctly called them) feature the line-up of Steve Marriott, Greg Ridley, Dave ‘Clem’ Clempson, and Jerry Shirley, and do see the band focussing more on the Rhythm and Blues and Soul aspects of their sound than the harder edged Rock.

Notwithstanding the fact that these sessions are 50% covers (and you have to remember that Pie were the masters of taking a song and twisting it to make it their own), there is some great material here.

After the blazin’ funk of ‘Think’ which to me just reconfirms that Marriott had one of the best soul voices out there come the soulful  ‘This Ol’ World’ and ‘Midnight Of My Life’ which do suggest a more soulful future for the Pie. But it’s  Betty Wright’s ‘Let Me Be Your Lovemaker’ that really outshines here – all blues fueled hard rocking bluster that sees Ridley take lead vocal (‘Street Rats’ sees and even heavier version of the song).

The Beatles ‘Rain’ gets the party treatment and the best original here – ‘Snakes & Ladders’ returns to the hard rock, and ‘Good Thing’ adds more blues, before the emotion, piano and blues of the again Ridley sung ‘A Minute Of Your Time.’ We close with a funky rocker from Marriott ‘Charlene’ and an instrumental take on the song that kicked us off in ‘Think 2.’

Oddly despite the line-up at the time the cover shot of this ‘re-issue’ prominently features Peter Frampton (who left the band four years before this album was recorded) rather than ‘Clem’ Clempson who replaced him in the band, it’s rather poor form from the label.

The big mystery of course is why this album was shelved in the first place as it’s just as good as the albums that followed it.

01. Think
02. This Ol' World
03. Midnight of My Life
04. Let Me Be Your Lovemaker
05. Rain
06. Snakes & Ladders
07. Good Thing
08. A Minute of Your Time
09. Charlene
10. Think 2



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