Ten Years After-Their First Album

TEN YEARS AFTER-THEIR FIRST ALBUM
TEN YEARS AFTER-THEIR FIRST ALBUM(1967)

 

Ten Years After was a jazz, blues and hard rock band that formed in England, and the height of their popularity was in the late sixties and early seventies. Although considered primarily jazz and blues rock, their music consisted of some psychedelic rock also.

The original members consisted of Alvin Lee, Chick Churchill, Lep Lyons and Ric Lee. The band’s popularity took off after their famous rendition of their song I’m Going Home during the original Woodstock festival in 1969. Alvin Lee performed the song powerfully and with passion, and was one of the more memorable performances of the festival.

Ten Years After in 1970
Ten Years After in 1970

Ten Years After debut record was titled Ten Years After, or more appropriately, Their First Album, and was released on October 27th, 1967. More than half the songs on the record were covers. The album, as a whole, was a mixture of jazz, blues and rock, and it was one of the first records to incorporate jazz,blues, and rock together by an English band.

The first song on the record, I Want To Know, is a cover song that starts out with shredding blues guitar, that transitions into a great vocal. This is arguably the first blues song recorded by a British rock band, and they did an outstanding job.

Although not one of the most well known early rock guitarists, Alvin Lee is one of the best in my opinion, with a wide range of playing styles. He could pull off blues, jazz, rock and hard rock guitar styles, as is apparent on his many records with Ten Years After, and on his own. This first song on the record shows the musical ability of the band, and is a good preview of what is to come.

The next song on the record, I Can’t Keep From Crying, Sometimes is a wonderful slow blues song, that starts out sounding like The Doors. The tune is mellow, relaxing, and a great listen.

The next song, Adventures Of A Young Organ, is a great tune with a jazzy drum sound, and the use of the organ, that reminds me of being at a sporting event in between the action. Great, early jazz from a rock band!

Spoonful is an old Willie Dixon cover. It is the second longest song on the album, and features great blues guitar work by Alvin Lee. The cover is exquisite, and is a great representation of the original. Well worth listening to over and over if you like good blues.

Losing The Dogs is bluesy, but with more of a faster paced rock feel. Great vocals, great guitars work and a nice piece of whistling at the beginning of the tune that gives it a lighthearted feel. An Alvin Lee original.

Feel It For Me is another great Alvin Lee original, heavy with guitars and a great blues guitar middle, and jazzy drums. A worthy tune, featuring jazz, blues and some rock guitar mixed in as well.

Love Until I Die is another original with a nice harmonica break, giving it that old time blues feel. Don’t Want You Woman has awesome blues guitar work throughout, and shows Lee’s range as both a musician and a vocalist.

The last song on the record, Help Me, is a cover of Willie Dixon and great harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson. It is the longest song on the record at over 10 minutes, and ends the record with a classic tune, and shows again the musical ability of the band. If you want great blues guitar, this has it all. A wonderful ending to highly intricate, well performed record. An awesome debut!

Rating: A


 

The Stooges

The Stooges
THE STOOGES

 

The Stooges were a rock band that got their start in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1967. They were sometimes referred to as Iggy and the Stooges, and the original band members consisted of Iggy Pop, David Alexander, Ron Asheton and Scott Asheton. They are widely considered to be influencers of hard rock, and heavy metal, and they are a major influence in establishing the punk rock genre.

The Stooges self titled debut album was released on August 5th, 1969 and was originally produced by John Cale of The Velvet Underground. It was rejected by Elektra Records, the same record company that had the Doors as their main act, but was redone by Iggy Pop and Jac Holzman, president of Elektra. It is widely considered a seminal proto-punk record.

The first song on the record, 1969, starts out with some great sounds from a wah wah pedal, and then turns into a classic guitar riff that sounds like the earliest incarnations of punk. With Iggy Pop’s vocals I get the feel of what punk was about to become. A classic opening tune.

The next song on the record is I Wanna Be Your Dog. This song consists of an iconic and very recognisable guitar riff which is played over and over throughout, and there are sleigh bells chiming through the piece as well. This is my favorite song on the record, and one of The Stooges classic, proto-punk songs. It is considered in Rolling Stone magazine’s top 500 songs of all time, coming in at number 438.

We Will Fall is a ten minute track that departs from the rest of the record, and it can be a bit hard to ingest for those who don’t like long, drawn out, droning pieces of music, which is exactly what it is. It is also a great song if the lights are low, the lava lamp is fired up, and the mood is right. It is an obscure song, but it works if you’re in the right frame of mind. The song definitely breaks up the consistency of an otherwise great rock album. I would consider We Will Fall the records one psychedelic song, dropped in with the rest being rockers and proto-punk gems.

The next song is No Fun, and it has some great fuzz guitar riffs, along with Iggy’s vocals, it is a great, early punk tune. I can see the influence that the band had on future punk and hard rock bands while listening to this track.

The next song, Real Cool Time, starts out with that wah wah sound and heavy guitars. The early workings of heavy metal by The Stooges gave a lot of bands their influence, a group that was somewhat ahead of their time.

Ann is a slow song, that reminds me a bit of The Doors. Actually, there are parts of this record as a whole that reminds me of The Doors. Although I can hear the similarities between both bands, they each have their own distinct style. The Doors a bit more psychedelic, while The Stooges are more harder.

Not Right is a classic garage rock song all the way, very entertaining, but not one of The Stooges more recognisable tunes.

Little Doll is the last song on the record, and it rocks the album out nicely, with a quick funky bass beginning, which follows with some heavy guitars. A great song, and Iggy has a great punk voice. The beginnings of a genre for sure.

The only low point in the record for me is We Will Fall, not because I don’t like the song, but it doesn’t really seem to follow the blueprint for the rest of the record, and seems out of place. But the record as a whole is excellent, and the future is being laid out before us. THE GODFATHERS OF PUNK, indeed!

Rating: A-