Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Savoy Brown - A Step Further (Bluesrock UK 1969)


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Source: Japan SHM-CD Remaster 2017

A Step Further is the fourth album by the band Savoy Brown. It was released by Decca in the U.K. and by Parrot in the U.S. in August 1969.

Side Two was recorded live at The Cooks Ferry Inn, Edmonton, London on Monday 12 May 1969.



With Kim Simmonds and Chris Youlden combining their talents in Savoy Brown's strongest configuration, 1969's A Step Further kept the band in the blues-rock spotlight after the release of their successful Blue Matter album. While A Step Further may not be as strong as the band's former release, all five tracks do a good job at maintaining their spirited blues shuffle. Plenty of horn work snuggles up to Simmonds' guitar playing and Youlden's singing is especially hearty on "Made up My Mind" and "I'm Tired." 

The first four tracks are bona fide Brown movers, but they can't compete with the 20-plus minutes of "Savoy Brown Boogie," one of the group's best examples of their guitar playing prowess and a wonderful finale to the album. This lineup saw the release of Raw Sienna before Lonesome Dave Peverett stepped up to the microphone for Looking In upon the departure of Youlden, but the new arrangement was short lived, as not long after three other members exited to form Foghat. As part of Savoy Brown's Chris Youlden days, A Step Further should be heard alongside Getting to the Point, Blue Matter, and Raw Sienna, as it's an integral part of the band's formative boogie blues years.

Part of the late-'60s blues-rock movement, Britain's Savoy Brown never achieved as much success in their homeland as they did in America, where they promoted their albums with nonstop touring. The band was formed and led by guitarist Kim Simmonds, whose dominating personality has led to myriad personnel changes; the original lineup included singer Bryce Portius, keyboardist Bob Hall, guitarist Martin Stone, bassist Ray Chappell, and drummer Leo Manning. 

This lineup appeared on the band's 1967 debut, Shake Down, a collection of blues covers. 

Seeking a different approach, Simmonds dissolved the group and brought in guitarist Dave Peverett, bassist Rivers Jobe, drummer Roger Earl, and singer Chris Youlden, who gave them a distinctive frontman with his vocal abilities, bowler hat, and monocle. With perhaps its strongest lineup, Savoy Brown quickly made a name for itself, recording originals like "Train to Nowhere" as well. 

However, Youlden left the band in 1970 following Raw Sienna, and shortly thereafter, Peverett, Earl, and new bassist Tony Stevens departed to form Foghat, continuing the pattern of consistent membership turnover. Simmonds collected yet another lineup and began a hectic tour of America, showcasing the group's now-refined bluesy boogie rock style, which dominated the rest of their albums. The group briefly broke up in 1973, but re-formed the following year.

Personnel
Chris Youlden – vocals
 Kim Simmonds – guitar
 Lonesome Dave – guitar
 Roger Earl – drums
 Tony Stevens – bass
 Bob Hall – piano

01. "Made Up My Mind" (Chris Youlden) – 2:56
02. "Waiting in the Bamboo Grove" (Youlden) – 3:37
03. "Life's One Act Play" (Youlden) – 6:29
04. "I'm Tired" (Youlden) – 3:21
05. "Where Am I" (Youlden) – 1:51
06. "Savoy Brown Boogie" (Live) (Kim Simmonds, Youlden) – 22:02
including:
• "Feel So Good" (Chuck Willis)
• "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On" (Sunny David, Dave Williams)
• "Little Queenie" (Chuck Berry)
• "Purple Haze" (Jimi Hendrix)
• "Hernando's Hideaway" (Richard Adler, Jerry Ross)

1. A Step Further
or
2. A Step Further
or
3. A Step Further

6 comments:

YankeeBoy said...

When I was much younger I played this album, especially side two, all the time. But I haven't heard it in years so thank you! And as the man says, "Do anything but be outrageous!!".

Anonymous said...

This one is my favorite Savoy Brown album. I really like the first side even thought they sound more like Blood, Sweat & Tears in it; side two is a classic. I still have it on vinyl.

kobilica said...

Savoy Brown have always a top place in my collection.Great band...

Anonymous said...

nice to see that you post some japanese editions again! don't know how much of these wonderful japanese editions i got from you over the last years - THANK YOU VERY MUCH

Anonymous said...

Savoy Brown was one of the bands that introduced me to blues and blues rock and this is the first LP I heard. It is still a favourite. Many thanks!

-Brian

Kopija Auta said...

Hi! Do you maybe have Savoy Brown SHM CD rips in flac?