Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Alex Harvey Band - Hot City (Unreleased Album, UK 1974)

Size: 94.3
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

Hot City has long been one of the legends of the Alex Harvey collecting world, a full LP recorded at the near peak of the band's creative powers and then abandoned after band and management had second thoughts about the entire thing. 

The tapes were shelved and presumed lost forever -- when they were rediscovered, even the surviving bandmembers had forgotten about one of the songs, "Ace in the Hole," while all professed amazement at just how radically rearranged favorites "Vambo" and "Man in the Jar" were; of course, most of the abandoned album was then re-recorded as the Impossible Dream LP, and it would be foolish to suggest that Hot City comes close to eclipsing that masterpiece. 

But it does afford listeners the opportunity to contemplate an alternate history, as original producer Shel Talmy leads the Sensational Alex Harvey Band through a far harsher musical landscape than they ultimately created, and songs like "Man in the Jar," "Sergeant Fury," and "Anthem" (or "Last Train" as it was then titled) slash out with electrifying freshness. The full album is here, spread across nine tracks; two bonus cuts offer reprises of the anthemic "Tomahawk Kid" and "Anthem" itself.

The production master tapes of a previously unreleased full length studio album by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, recorded in 1974 and hitherto discarded, have been unearthed, dusted down, fully re-mastered and lined up for release on March 30th on the MLP label, distributed by RSK Entertainment.

‘Hot City – The 1974 Unreleased album’, which has been fully authorised and approved by the band, features 9 great quality tracks, and comes in a deluxe Digi Pack Sleeve which includes a separate inner sleeve and a 20 page high quality booklet with rare photos and extensive liner notes from the band, with track by track comments and opinions, plus an introduction by SAHB author and ex-manager Martin Kielty.

By 1974, the SAHB steamroller was working at full power. Their first album, ‘Framed’, had promised great things, the follow-up, ‘Next’, delivered them, and now the group were planning to record their upcoming third album. The band had been constantly touring and were well rehearsed when in late January, they went into Advision studios in London with legendary US producer Shel Talmy (The Who/The Kinks) to record their biggest album to date. By April, the sessions were finished and the album was mixed.

However, after completion, the band and management had a rethink about the overall sound and amazingly, they decided to scrap the entire album. Shel Talmy then returned to Los Angeles with his tapes. Most of the song titles were later re-recorded and eventually showed up later that year on the official album ‘The Impossible Dream’ with a different producer on board and the songs changed dramatically.

You can now hear how the album sounded with the original versions of these songs. SAHB fans will be totally surprised and amazed at the different styles, delivery and lyric arrangements of well known favourite songs such as ‘Vambo’ and ‘Man In The Jar’. ‘Anthem’ and ‘Tomahawk Kid’ and there is a previously unreleased song ‘Ace In The Hole’ which has not been heard even by the band, since those studio sessions in 1974.

As SAHB became the biggest band of 1975, these recordings were quickly forgotten about. Now after 34 years, MLP have re-discovered the fully mixed unreleased album by a rock group on the verge of stardom. The recordings have been re-assessed by both Shel Talmy and the band members and a decision was made that they would make a great release. Now re-mastered and with the band’s full approval, you can hear how songs like ‘Vambo’, ‘Man In The Jar’, ‘Anthem’ and ‘Sgt Fury’ originally sounded.

Alex Harvey, who tragically died of a massive heart attack in 1982, aged 46, was renowned for his charismatic persona and daredevil stage antics, and, above all, his astonishing, passionate, demonic vocal delivery. Nowhere is this better captured than on ‘Hot City – The 1974 Unreleased album’, a treasure trove of re-discovered musical gems.

01. Vambo  04:45
02. Man In The Jar  05:06
03. Hey You  00:44
04. Long Haired Music  05:05
05. Sergeant Fury  03:39
06. Tomahawk Kid  06:23
07. Ace In The Hole  02:37
08. Weights Made Of Lead  02:36
09. Last Train  09:49

1. Alex Harvey
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