Sep 242010

Townspeople, I just came across this abbreviated, super-charged version of The Move‘s “Hello Susie,” by a band I’d long heard of but never heard, Amen Corner, led by a musician I’d long heard of and knew of as a sort of Oliver, I believe, for big British bands in the ’70s but never heard play on his own, Andy Fairweather Low.

Hearing this version of “Hello Susie” for the first time was pretty exciting, primarily for the fact that Bev Bevan is not paradiddling all over the tune. As loyal as I am to The Move (and as tolerant as I am of their excesses), Bevan’s sloppy, sludgey style sometimes aggravates me. Amen Corner’s arrangement gets to the chugging, cascading heart of the song and doesn’t overdo it. Ultimately it makes for a “lighter” approach in scope as well as the song’s inherent ability to celebrate The Power and Glory of Rock, but tonight I was intrigued and wanted to hear more. Continue reading »

Aug 262010

Jody Stephens (center), join the club!

Bev Bevan and Rick Buckler have been raked over the coals in this long-suspended series already. Today a Townsperson other then E. Pluribus Gergely finally called bullshit on the drumming of Big Star’s Jody Stephens. In honor of cdm‘s candidness, let’s open the floor to other drummers who suck* despite powering the rhythms of bands we love!

*A point of clarification: By “worst” or “suck” I’m not really asking for a list of the technically worst drummers in rock, if any of us are even capable of assessing that, but drummers whose playing you find necessary to overlook (overhear?) while listening to a favorite artist.

Apr 252010


I believe that in an ideal world, involving slight time travel and possibly Black Magic, The Move as produced by Jimmy Page to capture the band’s low-end rumble and provide space for Roy Wood‘s reedy tendencies, could have been a much easier band for me to sell to friends.

Check out this late-period song, “Ella James.” It’s melodic, it boogies, it’s hard rocking, and it has elements of Byrdsy jangle and late-period Beatlesy melodicism all the while reaching for The Power and Glory of Rock. However, the parts are not-quite-definted, and it you know the album version you may agree with me that, like just about everything The Move recorded, it’s a mess of a production. For a band led by two highly conceptual multi-instrumentalists The Move had trouble sorting through the details of their ambitious productions. They badly needed help.

Jeff Lynne would take The Move’s template and polish it up to nice effect for ELO, but I believe he avoided dealing with the parent band’s maximum heaviosity. Page would have known how to incorporate those elements while modernizing the band’s sound, making them more than a clunky version of The Who.

How I wish I could go back in time and make this so. What artist would you say needed the production skills of what producer?


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