In the minds of many, Trapeze will be best remembered as the band that gave the now legendary Glenn Hughes his first major steps in the music world. On three albums recorded between 1969 and 1972, Hughes showed a strong vocal talent. Whether tackling strange psychedelic jams (as per the Trapeze debut), or losing himself within deep, soulful blues, it seemed there was nothing the young musician couldn’t take in his stride. It wasn’t until the release of 1972’s ‘You Are The Music…We’re Just The Band’, however, that Hughes and Trapeze really hit upon a perfect sound, with a blend of hard rock, blues and soul that would rival the likes of Free in terms of talent. As great as the album was – and remains – it failed to chart, but Trapeze hadn’t gone entirely unnoticed. Whilst playing live shows for the album, Hughes was headhunted by Ritchie Blackmore for a new line up of Deep Purple, and fter the release of their ‘Burn’ LP in 1974 – a massive hit on both sides of the Atlantic – Glenn’s career was catapulted into the stratosphere.
Arguably the most American sounding act to ever come from the south of England, Foghat quickly became big stars in the US, but are often massively overlooked by UK audiences when it comes to classic rock. One of the most underrated bands from the 70s and 80s, their best work comes with plenty of enthusiasm, and a whole lot of muscle. Even at their peak, they never really strove for originality, but there’s so much about their sound that should have placed them in a similar standing with the early ZZ Top. Whereas the bearded ones’ early releases continue to be praised by UK rock fans and press alike – particularly 1973’s ‘Tres Hombres’ – the best that Foghat seem to have been afforded, at least in terms of popular culture, is a song or two on an occasional film soundtrack.
Come hither, children. Put on your plimsolls, sit on the mat and cross your legs. It’s time for a story.
Cherry Red’s hard rock subsidiary label, HNE Recordings, is no stranger to plundering the Atlantic Records archives for material. Over the years, they’ve reissued much-loved albums by Ratt, White Lion, Back Street Crawler and more to bring affordable box set reissues to the masses. ‘In The New Age’ follows suit by pulling together most of the recordings that King’s X made for the legendary label and re-presents them in a basic clam shell box.
Subtitled ‘Pastoral Psychedelia & Funky Folk’, this three disc anthology from Strawberry Records delves deeply into an era where folk music adopted a more progressive approach, and prog/psych bands weren’t afraid to get whimsical. Although the music within isn’t always easily pigeonholed, the bands and artists featured cross genres and moods freely, in a way that captures a period like no other, mixing folk narratives and very English tones with the worldly haze of a prog rock experimentation and a love of jazz. Without these genre-bending pioneers, John Martyn’s ‘Solid Air’ mightn’t be the much loved masterpiece that it is, and Al Stewart might’ve been forever stuck in a Dylan-esque narrative rut. And that’s just scratching the surface.