Posts Tagged ‘Ric Grech’

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup, text that says 'The Rolling Stones GOATS HEAD SOUP 2020 Featuring unheard tracks, demos, outtakes, liveperformances more. Out September 4th.'

The Rolling Stones have released a video for “Scarlet,” the recently unearthed song they recorded in 1974 with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page on guitar. Normal People actor Paul Mescal stars in the video, which was “filmed with a socially distanced shoot” at Claridge’s hotel in London.

“Scarlet” is one of three previously unreleased songs on the upcoming deluxe edition of “Goats Head Soup”, which comes out on September 4th. The set also contains a remastered edition of the 1973 album, demos, outtakes and alternate mixes from the era — plus a complete show from the Goats Head Soup tour recorded in Brussels, Belgium, on October 17th, 1973. That gig was originally released in 2011 under the title “Brussels Affair”.

The Stones recorded “Scarlet” with Jimmy Page and Traffic bassist Ric Grech in October 1974. “My recollection is we walked in at the end of a Zeppelin session,” Richards said in a statement earlier this year. “They were just leaving, and we were booked in next and I believe that Jimmy decided to stay. We weren’t actually cutting it as a track; it was basically for a demo, a demonstration, you know, just to get the feel of it, but it came out well, with a line-up like that, you know, we better use it.‘”

Prior to the pandemic, the Stones planned on playing North American stadiums this summer as part of their ongoing No Filter tour. Those shows have since been delayed indefinitely. During the downtime, the Stones performed a virtual rendition of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” at the One World – Together at Home fundraising event. They also released “Living in a Ghost Town,” their first original song since 2012.

Buy Online Blind Faith - Hyde Park '69 Red

Blind Faith, live set from Hyde Park, London 1969 was THE year of the festival – a stellar year by which all others have been judged. Across North America and the UK there seemed to be a festival happening somewhere, almost every weekend of the summer. The Blind Faith concert was the first of four concerts scheduled for 1969. Opening the show was the Third Ear Band along with Richie Havens, Donovan and the Edgar Broughton Band (no UK festival seemed to be complete without them). The stage they all played on was somewhat makeshift in appearance and was only about a meter or so high.

Blind Faith’s debut was the most hotly anticipated gig of its time, and took place in front of 100,000 people on a sweltering Saturday afternoon. Although they were nervous and under-prepared, they turned in a frequently superb set spanning originals and covers. London Calling presents the incredible performance at Hyde Park, London on June 7th 1969, broadcast by BBC2. It is presented in its entirety here, together with background notes and rare images.

It was on Saturday 7th June that Blind Faith headlined the free concert that was organized by Blackhill Enterprises. Peter Jenner and Andrew King who were stalwarts of the London underground scene, having helped start the UFO club in Tottenham Court Road, ran Blackhill. Jenner had been a lecturer at the London school of Economics, and Blackhill ran their five-person business out of a converted shop just off Ladbroke Grove. Blackhill were principally agents, and it was their acts that gained most from the Hyde Park concerts, which gave them a higher profile than they would have expected from gigging around Britain laying low-key gigs. During 1968, when Blackhill first approached the UK’s Ministry of Public Building and Works about the possibility of staging concerts in Hyde Park they were met with a resounding ‘no’. However, their persistence paid off, and on 29th June 1968 Pink Floyd headlined, supported by Tyrannosaurus Rex, Jethro Tull and Roy Harper. Among the crowd were Mick Jagger and his girlfriend Marianne Faithfull. Having watched Blind Faith perform, soaked in the vibe and seen how many people there were watching, Mick decided that a free concert in Hyde Park to promote The Rolling Stones’ new single and get them back in the public eye would be just the thing for the band that had been through something of a low period. As a nod to Mick, who stood watching from the side stage, Blind Faith played ‘Under My Thumb’.

Blind Faith took to the stage about 5pm and began their set with ‘Well All Right’ before going on to perform most of their debut album. It was a more bluesy set, closer to the kind of thingsTraffic had been playing than toCream. According to Ginger Baker, “Eric had been doing amazing stuff, but at Hyde Park I kept on wondering when he was going to start playing. ” According to Clapton, “I came off stage shaking like a leaf because I felt that, once again, I’d let people down.”

Blind Faith’s first show, a free one in Hyde Park! , Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Ric Grech.

Tracklisting:
SIDE ONE:
1. Intro 1:25,2. Well Alright 6:27, 3. Sea Of Joy 6:13, 4. Under My Thumb 6:06, 5. Can’t Find My Way Home 6:13
SIDE TWO:
1. I’d Rather See You Sleeping In The Ground 4:41, 2. Do What You Like 5:30, 3. Presence Of The Lord 6:28, 4. Means To An End 4:21, 5. Had To Cry Today 6:56, 6. Outro 0:43

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Blind Faith is the self-titled and only album by the English supergroup Blind Faith, originally released in 1969 on Polydor Records in the United Kingdom and Europe and on Atlantic Records in the United States. The band contained two-thirds of the popular power trio Cream, in Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton, working in collaboration with multi instrumentalist Steve Winwood of the Spencer Davis Group and Traffic, along with Ric Grech of Family. They began to work out songs early in 1969, and in February and March the group was in London at Morgan Studios, preparing for the beginnings of basic tracks for their album, although the first few almost-finished songs didn’t show up until they were at Olympic Studios in April and May under the direction of producer Jimmy Miller.

The recording of their album was interrupted by a tour of Scandinavia, then a US tour from July through August, supported by Free, Taste and Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. Nevertheless the band was able to produce two hits, Winwood’s “Can’t Find My Way Home” and Clapton’s “Presence of the Lord”.

The album cover featured a topless pubescent girl holding what appears to be the hood ornament of a Chevrolet Bel Air, which some perceived as phallic. The American record company issued it with an alternative cover showing a photograph of the band on the front as well as the original cover. The cover art was created by photographer Bob Seidemann, a friend and former flatmate of Clapton’s who is primarily known for his photos of Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead. In the mid-1990s, in an advertising circular intended to help sell lithographic reprints of the famous album cover, he explained his thinking behind the image. I could not get my hands on the image until out of the mist a concept began to emerge. To symbolize the achievement of human creativity and its expression through technology a spaceship was the material object. To carry this new spore into the universe, innocence would be the ideal bearer, a young girl, a girl as young as Shakespeare’s Juliet. The spaceship would be the fruit of the tree of knowledge and the girl, the fruit of the tree of life. The spaceship could be made by Mick Milligan, a jeweller at the Royal College of Art. The girl was another matter. If she were too old it would be cheesecake, too young and it would be nothing. The beginning of the transition from girl to woman, that is what I was after. That temporal point, that singular flare of radiant innocence. Where is that girl? . Seidemann wrote that he approached a girl reported to be 14 years old on the London Underground about modelling for the cover, and eventually met with her parents, but that she proved too old for the effect he wanted. Instead, the model he used was her younger sister Mariora Goschen, who was reported to be 11 years old Mariora initially requested a horse as a fee but was instead paid £40.

The image, titled “Blind Faith” by Seidemann, became the inspiration for the name of the band itself, which had been unnamed when the artwork was commissioned. According to Seidemann: “It was Eric who elected to not print the name of the band on the cover. The name was instead printed on the wrapper, when the wrapper came off, so did the type.” This had been done previously for several other albums.
In America, Atco Records made a cover based on elements from a flyer for the band’s Hyde Park concert of 7th June 1969 in London.

Steve Winwood plays an acoustic version of Blind Faith’s  “Can’t Find My Way Home”

Critically, Blind Faith was met with a mixed response. Reviewing in August 1969 for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau found none of the songs exceptional and said, “I’m almost sure that when I’m through writing this I’ll put the album away and only play it for guests. Unless I want to hear Clapton — he is at his best here because he is kept in check by the excesses of Winwood, who is rapidly turning into the greatest wasted talent in the music. There. I said it and I’m glad.” In Ed Leimbacher said of the quality, “not as much as I’d hoped, yet better than I’d expected.” His colleagues at the magazine — Lester Bangs and John Morthland — were more impressed, especially Bangs in his appraisal of Clapton: “[With] Blind Faith, Clapton appears to have found his groove at last. Every solo is a model of economy, well- thought-out and well-executed with a good deal more subtlety and reeling than we have come to expect from Clapton.

Retrospective appraisals have been positive. According to Stereo Review in 1988, “for 20 years this has been a cornerstone in any basic rock library. AllMusic’s Bruce Eder regarded the album as “one of the jewels of the Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, and Ginger Baker catalogs” In 2016 ,Blind Faith was ranked 14th on Rolling Stone list of “The 40 Greatest One Album Wonders”, which described “Can’t Find My Way Home” and “Presence of the Lord” as “incredible songs”.

The Band:

  • Steve Winwood – keyboards, vocals, guitars; bass guitar on “Presence of the Lord”, autoharp on “Sea of Joy”,
  • Eric Clapton – guitars; vocals on “Do What You Like”
  • Ric Grech – bass guitar, violin on “Sea of Joy”; vocals on “Do What You Like”
  • Ginger Baker – drums, percussion; vocals on “Do What You Like”

 

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Family an English rock band, active from late 1966 to October 1973, and again since 2013 for a series of live shows. Their style has been characterised as progressive rock, as their sound often explored other genres, incorporating elements of styles such as folk, psychedelia, acid, jazz fusion and rock and roll. Family’s sound was distinguished by several factors. The vocals of Roger Chapman, described as a “bleating vibrato” and an “electric goat”, were considered unique, although Chapman was trying to emulate the voices of R&B and soul singers with some reviewers noting however that Chapman’s voice could be grating and irritating occasionally. John “Charlie” Whitney was an accomplished and innovative guitarist, and Family’s often complex  song arrangements were made possible through having multi-instrumentalists like Ric Grech and Jim King in the band and access to keyboards such as the Hammond organ and the new Mellotron. Family were particularly known for their live performances; one reviewer describing the band as “one of the wildest, most innovative groups of the underground rock scene”, noting that they produced “some of the rawest, most intense performances on stage in rock history”

The band’s rotating membership throughout its relatively short existence led to a diversity in sound throughout their different albums. Family are also often seen as an unjustly forgotten act, when compared with other bands from the same period and have been described as an “odd band loved by a small but rabid group of fans”.

The band signed with the Reprise Records label (the first UK band signed directly to UK and US Reprise) and their debut album Music in a Doll’s House, was recorded during early 1968. Jimmy Miller was originally slated to produce it but he was tied up with production of The Rolling Stones’ album Beggar’s Banquet and he is credited as co-producer on only two tracks, “The Breeze” and “Peace of Mind”. The bulk of the album was produced by former Traffic member Dave Mason, and recorded at London’s Olympic Studios .

Mason also contributed one composition to the album, “Never Like This”, the only song recorded by Family not written by a band member. Alongside Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, The Move and The Nice, Family quickly became one of the premier attractions on the burgeoning UK psychedelic/progressive “underground” scene. Their lifestyle and exploits during this period provided some of the inspiration for the 1969 novel, Groupie, by Jenny Fabian (who lived in the group’s Chelsea house for some time) and Johnny Byrne. Family featured in the book under the pseudonym, ‘Relation’.

Music in a Doll’s House was released in July 1968 and charted in the UK to critical acclaim, thanks to strong support from BBC Radio 1’s John Peel. Now widely acknowledged as a classic of British psychedelic rock, it showcased many of the stylistic and production features that are archetypal of the genre. The album’s highly original sound was characterised by Roger Chapman’s vocals, rooted in the blues and R&B, combined with several unusual instruments for a rock band, courtesy of the presence of multi-instrumentalists Grech and King, including saxophones, violin, and cello . Music In a Doll’s House was as important to rock in 1968 as that other debut album from that year conceived in a tiny abode, the Band’s Music From Big Pink. Like the Band’s freshman effort, Family’s first album presented a much more thoughtful and musicianly alternative to the excesses of much of the rock of the late sixties .

Family’s 1969 follow-up, Family Entertainment, toned down the psychedelic experimentation of their previous offering to some extent, and featured the single “The Weaver’s Answer”, although the group reportedly had no control over the mixing and choice of tracks, or the running order of the songs. The cover of Family Entertainment, depicting circus performers, was inspired by the sleeve of the Doors’s Strange Days.

Family Entertainment shows these five musicians growing steadily. Chapman’s vibrato vocals evolve into more of a bleated growl, Whitney’s guitar riffs become more inventive, Jim King’s saxophone is decidedly funkier, and the already excellent drummer Rob Townsend becomes even more so. The biggest surprises, though, come from Ric Grech; not only does his improved bass work stand out dramatically here, he also wrote or co-wrote four songs on the album and sings lead vocals – sometimes with Chapman, sometimes solo – on these songs. His clear, flawless voice provided an an exciting contrast to Chapman’s primal shouting.

With the UK success of Family’s first two albums, the band undertook a tour of the United States in April 1969, but it was beset by problems. Halfway through the tour, Grech unexpectedly left the band to join the new supergroup Blind Faith; on the recommendation of tour manager Peter Grant, Grech was replaced by John Weider, previously of The Animals. A further setback occurred during their first concert at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East, whilst sharing the bill with Ten Years After and The Nice – during his stage routine, Chapman lost control of his microphone stand, which flew in Graham’s direction, an act Graham took to be deliberate.

Returning to the UK, the band performed at The Rolling Stones’ Hyde Park gig and the Isle of Wight Festival that summer. In late 1969, Jim King was asked to leave Family due to “erratic behaviour” and was replaced by multi-instrumentalist John “Poli” Palmer.

In early 1970, Family released their third studio album, A Song for Me; produced by the band, it became the highest charting album the band released, reaching No. 4 on the UK Albums Chart. The album itself was a blend of hard rock and folk rock. Issued in January 1970, A Song For Me is an act of defiance from a band that refuses to surrender to the kind of adversity that would have devastated other groups and comes back stronger and sharper than ever. Family had formed a new production company to replace John Gilbert’s management, and they gained a sense of freedom along with confidence in both their music and in taking full control of the recording process. The ten cuts on A Song For Me are an eclectic mix of country, folk, twelve-bar blues, and brutally hard rock in which conventional rock and roll boundaries are outlined and subsequently smashed. Weider’s rough bass certainly helped, and Palmer contributed an awesome array of skills as a pianist, flutist, and vibraphone player, but the remaining original members were no less potent. Charlie Whitney’s guitar slashed through chord changes with raw intensity, and Rob Townsend’s drumming was nothing short of a major assault. But it was Roger Chapman, as usual, who outdid everyone; his voice had now mutated in a hideously wonderful screech that, to paraphrase Robert Christgau, could kill small animals at a hundred yards.

Family’s follow up album Anyway, released in late 1970, had its first half consist of new material recorded live at Fairfield Hall in Croydon, England, with the second half a set of new songs recorded in the studio, Family had originally intended to follow up A Song For Me with a double live album, but they decided against it. Apparently, the problems were that their concert performances were rather undisciplined, sounding even more so on tape, and the sound quality seemed too rough to justify a two-record concert set. Also, they felt that any live versions of songs like “The Weaver’s Answer” and “Drowned In Wine” would pale in comparison to the studio versions. Family ultimately compromised by deciding to assemble a single album – side one would feature live performances of four songs that, with one exception (“Strange Band,” referred to earlier), were unavailable in studio form, while side two would contain four new songs from the studio. Hence Anyway, released in November 1970.

In March 1971 the compilation album, Old Songs New Songs, (which contained remixes and rare tracks) was released, but in June Weider left Family . He was replaced by former Mogul Thrash bassist John Wetton, who had just declined an invitation from Robert Fripp to join King Crimson.

As with Grech in Family’s original line-up, Wetton also shared vocal duties with Chapman, and this line-up soon released Family’s highest-charting single “In My Own Time/Seasons” which reached No. 4, and the album Fearless in October 1971,  This album, is the masterpiece, the best album Family ever made. Everything the group had become known for over the previous three years – curious arrangements, abrupt tempo changes, imaginatively abstract lyricism, stellar musicianship – clicked together here like a well-made combination lock. The group’s quest for innovation paid off handsomely on Fearless, with the band offering its tightest, most cohesive performances and an adventurous sampling of different rock styles. Like A Song For Me, Fearless is superb from beginning to end, but Fearless is better – albeit only slightly better – for two reasons. One is Fearless’s superior production, owing to the band’s greatly improved command of technical skills in the recording studio. The other factor was the result of their latest personnel change.

In June 1971, John Weider, having grown tired of playing the bass as his principal instrument, left the group. He was quickly replaced by an ambitious 22-year-old musician named John Wetton, whose steady, economical pacing anchored the music with great subtlety. Also, Wetton was an accomplished singer in his own right, offering a magnificent, unencumbered voice that stood out on its own and blended wonderfully with Roger Chapman’s voice no small achievement – in harmony arrangements. Chapman remained the center of attention, though, as his primitive bleating and the undeniably powerful passion that fueled it continued to make for decidedly uneasy (but still intriguing) listening.

In 1972, another album, Bandstand was released, which leaned more towards hard rock than art rock, featuring the singles “Burlesque” in late 1972, and “My Friend the Sun”, which was released in early 1973. Bandstand is the only Family LP not to feature an instrumental track.

For their sixth album, Bandstand, the group attempted a tougher edge to their sound; they experimented more with synthesizers, sought a grittier yet polished feel and, for the first time, introduced a female backing vocalist into the mix. The woman in question was Linda Lewis, a high-pitched London R&B diva of West Indian heritage who at the time was the girlfriend of Jim Cregan, who would soon become Family’s fourth and final bass player. Lewis’s five-octave range made her stand out considerably here, and she provided a formidable backdrop for Roger Chapman on this record.
The final outcome of all this innovation produced both mixed results and mixed reviews. Many critics and fans regard Bandstand as being superior to Fearless, Family came up with some really tough playing here, Poli Palmer concocted some wonderfully subtle synthesizer lines as well, and the group’s sound was crisper than ever. The whole, however, falls short of matching Fearless in terms of consistency. There are some undeniably weak moments here, and not every song on Bandstand is as memorable as those that grace Fearless or A Song For Me.
The album’s sleeve was a similarly tremendous feat. Bandstand featured a cover depicting the image of – and die-cut in the shape of – an antique television set with the band onscreen posing in a dimly lit recording studio; opening the layered page revealed the television set’s mechanism underneath. Again, this was impossible to replicate to the letter on CD,

In mid-1972, John Wetton left Family to join a new line-up of King Crimson and was replaced by bassist Jim Cregan, and at the end of that year John “Poli” Palmer also left the band and was replaced by keyboardist Tony Ashton,  After Wetton’s departure (but before Palmer’s exit) Family toured the United States and Canada as the support act for Elton John, 

In 1973, Family released the largely ignored It’s Only a Movie (and on their own label, Raft, distributed by Warner/Reprise), which would be their last studio album. Most of Family’s songs were written by the songwriting team of group leaders Charlie Whitney and Roger Chapman, but It’s Only a Movie is the only Family LP comprised entirely of Whitney/Chapman compositions. By the middle of 1973, Roger Chapman and Charlie Whitney felt it was time to dissolve their group, largely for three reasons. First, there was the lineup; there had been five personnel changes up to that point, meaning that there had been as many replacements as there had been original members. Chapman and Whitney feared that, with so many member turnovers, Family might soon turn into a parody of themselves; indeed, they were becoming notorious for being unable to hold onto a bass player for more than two albums.

Secondly, their songwriting was beginning to get formulaic, and they felt that their most innovative ideas had been exhausted. (Chapman: “The choruses came more and more. As you write [songs] you can’t help but standardize yourself.”) Thirdly, they realized that achieving mainstream success in America was a pipedream; though they stirred some interest in the U.S. with Bandstand so Family would call it a day .

Roger Chapman of Family - a voice that once had the distinction of winning out over Tom Jones.

Studio albums

  • Music in a Doll’s House , (1968)
  • Family Entertainment , (1969)
  • A Song for Me , (1970)
  • Anyway , (1970)
  • Old Songs, New Songs ( 1971)
  • Fearless , (1971)
  • Bandstand , (1972)
  • It’s Only a Movie ( 1973 )