Thursday, August 14, 2014

I'm Still Coming To Terms With The Sensational Alex Harvey Band

Posted by on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Admittedly, I'm not the biggest fan of '70s Scottish rock group, the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, but I want to be. So, occasionally, I'll revisit their albums hoping to finally come around, but I just never connect. I think my hangup has always been that I expect them to be more raw like the New York Dolls or perhaps anthemic, like Slade, rather than a smart rock group with well-produced albums and creepy mime painted faces (hmmm, perhaps it IS the creepy mime painted faces?!). Well, this documentary does do a bit to help clear the SAHB roadblock in my head.

This group, for being "rock burlesque," well, a gap-toothed lad's band, never successfully broke into the US market, but then they would'a been competing with, say, the Alice Cooper Group and another face painted lad's band, Kiss. Still, they were huge in the UK and their records were issued in the US—however, for whatever reason, they didn't earn much of an American push.

 

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Estey 1
This is one of those bands I always wanna like more too. It's frustrating because you understand their value objectively but the tunes usually just don't capture you. No matter how much you understand about their uniqueness, historical significance, etc. Maybe seeing 'em live back in the day would have created that connection which would make it worth replaying the records for pleasure.
Posted by Estey on August 14, 2014 at 10:19 AM · Report this
2
They were really popular in Cleveland - local bands did their songs like Midnight Moses and Faith Healer. I don't really listen to their records anymore but the live stuff (is/was on Youtube) is great to watch. A band more of a time and place than something that needs to be continually reassessed
Posted by George Gell on August 14, 2014 at 12:10 PM · Report this
3
A local DJ used to play this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swQ44pWB…

Hammer Song

and I wanted everything to sound like it. It's my favorite.
Posted by Sevenwithoneblow on August 14, 2014 at 12:15 PM · Report this
--MC 4
A cool friend cut me a mix cd of the highlights of the SAHB's catalog, all killer and little filler. It's true that a lot of the band's stuff sounds quaint to the modern ears. But there's "The Tale of the Giant Stoneeater", which starts out like a kid's radio story and winds up a ranting indictment of our oil-mad culture -- in the mid 70s! ; there is "Anthem", a beautiful song that I will have played at my funeral; and there is his searing cover of Jaques Brel's "Next", which is punk rock a couple of years early.
Posted by --MC on August 14, 2014 at 12:29 PM · Report this
Fnarf 5
I saw the SAHB open for Jethro Tull in the Coliseum back in the last century. They were booed off stage, I'm sorry to say, by intolerant and impatient Tull fans, even before he kicked his way through the giant styrofoam brick wall. Vambo Rules!
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on August 14, 2014 at 2:33 PM · Report this
gregario72 6
I dig their song that plays during the end credits of "Velvet Goldmine." That's all I have.
Posted by gregario72 on August 15, 2014 at 11:31 AM · Report this

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