Ripped By: ChrisGoesRock
Previously unreleased live album from the proto punks recorded at Abbey Road in December 1969.The choice of material on the disc is representative of the band's live set at the time like "Out Demons Out", an early version of "What is a Woman For" the biting "American Soldier Boy" and best of all their explosive ten minute version of "Smokestack Lightening".
The band started their career as a blues group under the name of The Edgar Broughton Blues Band, playing to a dedicated but limited following in the region around their hometown of Warwick. However, when the band began to lean towards the emerging psychedelic movement, dropping the 'Blues' from their name as well as their music, Victor Unitt left.
In 1968, the Broughtons moved to Notting Hill Gate, London, seeking a recording contract and a wider audience, and were picked up by Blackhill Enterprises. Blackhill landed them their first record deal, on EMI's progressive rock label Harvest Records, in December 1968. Their first single was "Evil"/"Death of an Electric Citizen", released in June 1969, which was also the first single released by Harvest.
The first single was followed by the Broughtons' first album, Wasa Wasa, and after a series of free concerts, many performed on the back of trucks and in the face of police harassment, the Broughtons entered into an attempt to capture their ferocious live sound on record by organising a performance at Abbey Road on 9 December 1969. Only one track was released at the time: a rendition of "Out, Demons Out!", an adaptation of The Fugs' song "Exorcising The Demons Out Of The Pentagon", which had become the band's set-closer and anthem. The rest of the recording was lost until its rediscovery and release in a remixed form in 2004 as Keep Them Freaks a Rollin': Live at Abbey Road 1969.
The Edgar Broughton Band kept recording, releasing the live performance of "Out Demons, Out!" as a single (b/w "Momma's Reward (Keep Those Freaks a Rollin')") and following it, in June 1970, with the album Sing Brother Sing. This was accompanied by the single "Up Yours!" (b/w "Officer Dan"), a polemic on the 1970 General Election declaring their intention to drop out. The song featured a string arrangement by David Bedford.
Their next single, "Apache Dropout", combined The Shadows' "Apache" with Captain Beefheart's "Drop Out Boogie". It was played (to astonished and puzzled reactions) on the David Jacobs' hosted BBC Television's Juke Box Jury. Jerry Lordan, the composer of "Apache", insisted that the title be "Apache Dropout" instead of the original "Dropout Apache". The single reached #33 on the UK Singles Chart, stalling partly due to the then-current postal strike.
In 1971, the band decided that existence as a power trio was limiting, and asked Victor Unitt, who had been playing meanwhile in The Pretty Things, to rejoin the band. In May, with the new lineup, they released possibly their finest work: their eponymous third album, which contained the classic "Evening Over Rooftops" (again with strings by David Bedford which Edgar Broughton called "stunning"). Edgar Broughton Band contained heavy blues and even country influences. Mike Oldfield also featured, on "Thinking Of You". This album has been said to mark the highest point in the Broughtons' career because of its sense of wholeness and completeness (while not straying into concept album territory).
The album was followed by the released of the double A-side "Hotel Room"/"Call Me A Liar". This was played by Tony Blackburn as his 'record of the week' upon its release: Edgar Broughton recalled him saying that "he hated everything that we stood for, but that the single was the best thing he had heard that year". The single failed to chart, but the album sold well throughout Europe, especially in Germany.
With the success of their third album, the Broughtons relocated to Devon to begin recording for their next album, Inside Out, after which Unitt departed.
In 1975 the band signed to NEMS. In the same year, John Thomas joined the band on guitar for the Broughtons' sixth album, Bandages. This featured a softer sound than previous releases. Shortly after the release of Bandages, John Thomas left and was replaced by Terry Cottam. In 1976, having recorded the live album Live Hits Harder (which was not released until 1979), the Edgar Broughton Band dissolved.
However, Edgar and Steve Broughton together with Grant regrouped as The Broughtons to release Parlez vous English? in 1979, with Tom Norden and Pete Tolsen playing guitar and Richard DeBastion on keyboards. These supplementary musicians were not retained after the release of the album, but Tom Norden was used again, along with keyboardist Dennis Haines, for Superchip, released in 1982.
After this the band returned to a hiatus, recording no more studio material but touring infrequently throughout the 1980s and 1990s. A mini-tour in 1989 included a gig at The Oval in London. Following another lengthy hiatus with occasional gigs, the band returned to live action in 2006, after the re-issue of their back catalogue had stimulated new interest in their work. The band have now reformed; they have recently had a mini tour of England and Germany. The band have recently announced a new European tour in 2007, including an appearance at the German Burg Herzberg Festival
01. Smokestack Lightning
02. What Is A Woman For?
03. Yason Blues
05. Dropout Boogie
06. American Boy Soldier
07. Momma's Reward (Keep Them Freaks A Rollin')
08. Out Demon's Out