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 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!