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Sensational Alex Harvey Band

By the mid 70s, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band were one of the hottest bands around, both live and on record, and with a great deal of justification.

The band, effectively Tear Gas fronted by Alex Harvey, had exploded quickly since 1972's Framed and 1973's Next LPs. This set was originally recorded at the beginning of 1974, with legendary producer Shel Talmy. The album was quickly shelved, with many tracks appearing rerecorded in very different form later that year on The Impossible Dream, recorded with a different producer.

This is that 'lost album', and is pretty essential on 2 counts. Firstly, it's just damn good music; in whatever form Alex was a rock'n'roll poet and the band all sublime talents that could mix pretty much any style of music in with hard rock (from funk and soul to the 40's jazz dance of 'Sgt Fury).

Secondly, the arrangements are so very different to the commercially released album that everyone knows. The fact it features a track never even heard by the band since the original recording ('Ace In The Hole'), it makes for an essential part of the collection for even the most casual fan.

Many classics here, including the Hot City suite of 'Vambo' and 'Man In A Jar' (much funkier), and 'Tomahawk Kid' (notably darker). No-one could ever compete with Harvey's presentation and delivery. A superb album and superb piece of history.


Review by Joe Geesin

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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