"AS SAFE AS YESTERDAY IS" (Steve Marriott & Peter Frampton,1969)
Can I face tomorrow, with the.... with the news you bring me?
My soul feels cold like ice, a pin-prick makes no pain,
Oh, hear me, listen, help me.
I felt our thing change, from love to something else.
Well, how can it plague my mind, a pin-prick makes no pain,
Oh, hear me, listen, help me.
I shall find myself, but I must have the time,
To sow the seeds, of something new.
Farmer, farmer plough the field, harvest, harvest, all you can,
A cornfield smells so sweet, a pin-prick makes no pain,
Oh, hear me, listen, help me.
But to follow the weaver of dreams, behind the sun that knows
It seems, that I am foresworn....a naked troubadour.
I sit at court and I sing to the Princess of Beauty and Light,
She favours me, though I'm merely a minstrel of the night.
There on my right, sits the King with his clowns,
He pays to laugh, while his queen lives on downs
And the smile on his brow is the crown.
Morning bird sing, fill my ears with the joy of our sorrow unmasked,
Lend me your wings, for the sun rays of dawn are here to last.
I take my leave, as I leave I must take,
All I have seen in my dreams....then I wake,
And it is as safe as yesterday is. "
HUMBLE PIE: "As Safe As Yesterday Is" LP. VERY RARE FIRST UK PRESSING, 6th SEPTEMBER, 1969.
RECORDED, MIXED AND ISSUED IN STEREO ONLY.
Surely one of the greatest debut albums of all time, so it should be, the last album Steve Marriott was involved was the 1968,
Small Faces' psychedelic masterpiece, "Ogden's Gone Flake." Now with three new outstanding musicians, Humble Pie recorded
an inspired album worthy of following "Ogden's." The rarity of a Mint record in a Near Mint / Mint- 1st edition cover, is almost
miraculous, the last time I sold "As Safe As Yesterday Is" was in 2008, my standards are unreasonable for the sheer age and
of course, for such a vulnerable cover to horrendous wear. So is a first pressing of "Ogden's Gone Flake," patience and positive
thinking is imperative to locating them, plus a lifetime love of records as major as "Ogden's" and "As Safe As Yesterday Is."
This is a record, cover and the rare unsplit and unworn custom printed lyric / credits inner sleeve, worth waiting ten years for.
TEXTURED PINK & BLACK IMMEDIATE LABEL: IMSP 025
As a 1960's record, the lovely deep pink labels have the maitrix at 4 o'clock printed upside down or inverted to the rest of the
printing. In fact, with the handwritten maitrix format and EMI's stamped codes, this is a prime example of a very first pressed
record, you cannot get any lower than this!
MAITRIX: IMSP0 - 25 - 1Y - 2 / IMSP0 - 25 - 2Y - 2
An interesting very first maitrix, pressed by EMI, the main section was handwritten not machine stamped, exactly as I typed it.
Typical of a Test Pressing, there was an error, the labels have the correct format like this;
IMSP 025 1Y / IMSP 025 2Y
Handwritten on the run-out grooves of the Test pressings, there was no printed labels to refer to, so even the catalogue number
that served as the maitrix prefix, led to separating the zero from '025' with a hyphen. Which was more like mistaking the zero
as the letter 'O.' Then for an unknown reason, a machine stamped hyphen and a '2' digit was added, no doubt when the codes were
stamped at 3 & 9 o'clock. Phillips originall contractually pressed the Immediate records until EMI took over in 1967, the Phillips
format legacy was continued by EMI, the sides were designated by the letters in front of letter 'Y.' The addition of the '2' digit
was also found on the first Stereo pressings of "Ogden's Gone Flake," as I discussed when listing the album just before the last
Christmas period. As I did for "Ogdens," nothing is too much trouble for "As Safe As Yesterday Is," the intricate details have
never been documented on this scale. No problem for me, I bought both albums on the day of release!
PRESSED BY EMI, THE STAMPING CODES: G 1 / G 1
EMI's starting point was the letter 'G' that represented '1', so the very first record made and pressed the first mother on both
sides. 'G 1' on one side is scarce but on both sides is extremely rare if in listenable condition, amazing to have a once played,
Mint 'G 1 / 'G 1.'' In fact, even single letters for the pressing order per individual side are rarely seen, never in isolation
though, always in conjunction with the maitrix still at such an exclusive starting point format like the above.
BY SEPTEMBER, 1969, FOR THE PRINTING PREPARATIONS, EMI NO LONGER USED "Sold In UK" ON LABELS, BUT
AS MENTIONED, THE MAITRIX WAS STILL INVERTED.
RARE TRACKS, CREDITS AND LYRICS, DOUBLE SIDED INNER SLEEVE, UNUSED AND UNTORN WITH ONLY
A FEW RECORD IMPRESSION RELATED CREASES. JUST THE FAINTEST AGEING, THIS IN NEAR MINT CONDITION.
The inner sleeve was a standard 1969 EMI curved plain white one, with the track info and details printed onto it in a matching light
brown or fawn colour of the cover. This is abarely aged off-white and unworn, inevitably by holding the record meant some light
ripples / creases forming relating to the circular shape, but gentle enough to lie flat, as my pictures of both sides illustrate.
Please see the pictures of all the items, including this wonderful inner sleeve, I do have to point out that the 'creases and the
tears' on the front and back cover, are those of the printed 'brown paper wrapping' from the photo of the originally made parcel.
FIRST ISSUE IMMEDIATE COVER, AMAZINGLY UNCREASED AND WITHOUT ANY RING WEAR OR RUBBING TO
THE BACK & FRONT. JUST THE UNIQUELY SHAPED POINTED SPINE'S TIPS AND THE TOP & BOTTOM EDGES
HAVE ABSOLUTELY MINIMAL BRUSHING. THIS DELICATE MATT COVER IS USUALLY SUFFERING FROM THE
MOST TERRIBLE DAMAGE, THIS IS A REALLY OUTSTANDING FIRST ISSUE. "As Safe As Yesterday Is" COVER.
I can only repeat how this is in really remarkable condition with only the tiniest amount of storage traits, a once played record
is typical of a 1969 record shop playing it once for a sample before being sold. That normally meant a minute or so of the first
track per side, which accounts for such incredible condition and none of the customary wear to detail. The artwork was as fresh
and innovative as the music was on the the record, a 12"x 12" square was amateurishly wrapped up with brown paper, then string
was tied round and the central knot sealed with red wax. The front top right corner has 'postage stamps,' the only band pictures
on the whole cover, postal 'fragile' stickers were added, the album title was hand written with a black marker on the front, just
like a real address. The back has the tracks with Immediate's own credits handwritten like a return address, the brown paper was
crumpled and torn to look like it had been through the postal services, the 'stamps' were franked and a photo was taken of both
sides in order to print the covers from. Looking very very much like how so many of ebay's records get shipped by uncaring
sellers today! As an unlaminated cover, the usual constant handling and subsequent poor storage, few survived without severe
ring wear and much, much worse, this cover has to be one of the candidates from the late 60's, for having horrific creases, splits
and tears. The main brown paper background's colour faded really badly on nearly all originals, not here, totally unfaded and
there's not even a hint of ring wear. The heavyweight record has left an amazingly gentle impression, so no creases just a
couple of edge paper lines, and I do mean a couple.
The spine is still in ithe original shape with the top and bottom pinched into points, this in outstanding condition, still with the LP titles
perfectly clear, unscuffed and totally unworn. Only the bottom & top tips or left side corners have the very slightest brushing,
he two right side corners are square shaped and in perfect condition. A few ripples come with this 1960's design, but I cannot
stress enough how trivial that is.
The opening sides are once again in superb, perfectly crisp condition, extremely rare for this cover, the top and bottom edges
only have the merest hint of standing traits,certainly nothing detrimental to a stunning looking cover.
Incredible to find even the back without the severe ring wear, once again unworn with the colours ultra deeply toned and unfaded.
Thanks to having a plastic outer sleeve on the cover right from brand new, for every day of it's 49 years of age.
A beautiful condition cover, I included photo's of all the printed items on the spine in a compiled picture, a rare sight for
being precisely how it was first printed, even the 1969 Immediate catalogue number, 'IMSP 025', is still jet black and unworn.
THE GRADING HAS TO BE NEAR MINT / MINT- CONDITION.
THE RECORD WAS ONLY PLAYED ONCE A BEAUTIFUL LOOKING AND SOUNDING, IN MINT CONDITION.
The labels are immaculate, no stains at all and as I seem to be endlessly writing, records were handled at various stages before
even being bought. You first had record plant / factory handling, next came the record shop stage and then the one previous
owner. Any ultra faint, feather light fingertip handling traces, amount to nothing visually obvious and literally near invisible if
not totally invisible. The record also has the deeply glossy sheen unique to Mint vinyl, but for 1969, this really is exceptional.
"Desperation" (John Kay)
"Stick Shift" (Peter Frampton)
"Buttermilk Boy" (Steve Marriott)
"Growing Closer" (Ian McLagan)
"As Safe As Yesterday Is" (Steve Marriott & Peter Frampton)
"Bang!" (Steve Marriott)
"Alabama '69" (Steve Marriott)
"I'll Go Alone" (Peter Frampton)
"A Nifty Little Number Like You" (Steve Marriott)
"What You Will" (Steve Marriott)
Steve Marriott - vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, harmonica & keyboards
Peter Frampton - vocals, acoustic & electric guitars
Greg Ridley - bass guitar & vocals
Jerry Shirley - drums, percussion, harpsichord & piano
Lyn Dobson - wind instruments
Recorded At Olympic Studios, London.
Produced By Andy Johns.
I will never forget the feeling of impending doom in early 1969, when I began reading the rumours in the music press about the
Small Faces preparing to split up. In the March, the official announcement closed the final chapter in the illustrious career of
one of the greatest UK talents the ;Golden 1960's; had ever produced. After their aggressive, explosive r&b style in 1965 had
rocketed them to instant fame, if not not to fortune, the Small Faces embraced the 1960's psychedelic era with both hands, in
retrospect, way before many others who take all the glory. Their debut Decca album contained a directly acid influenced track
that was light years away from the album's opener, a cover version of Sam Cooke's "Shake." Steve Marriott's vocals and guitar
on "E To D" are still unsurpassed today, a real gem of a track that should be held up as a definitive moment in rock's history.
From the rawest and strung out performance of their mind blowing sounds, created from all the band in 1966, the Small Faces
left Decca to sign to Immediate and recorded some of the most innovative psychedelic sounds of them all. After making the
staggering "Ogdens" album in 1968, it was now time to wind down a little from the dazzling colourful and mind expanding music.
Steve Marriott just picked up his acoustic guitar and wrote "The Universal," unlike those fantastic productions on the Immediate
label, he simply went out into his back garden and recorded it on a very basic cassette tape. Sung as a folk song without any
electric instruments, "The Universal," included all the sounds of his garden as he performed with birds chirping and even his
dog barking to greet his wife returning from shopping. After the cassette tape was taken into Olympic studios and given some
minor input from the other Small Faces, Steve was so thrilled by the finished track, in interviews he told music journalists it
was his greatest ever song and how proud he was putting out the new single. Most artists would have been more than happy to
find it selling well enough to reach No.16 in July,1968, but Marriott was devastated when it failed to match their earlier April,
1968 "Lazy Sunday," that had made No. 2 in the UK. As ever, Steve wasn't in the slightest bit interested in financial rewards,
but as he felt it, No.16 was the rejection of his latest music by fans of the band. Disillusionment began right there and also in
1968, Steve and Ronnie Lane produced the Herd's single, "Sunshine Cottage"and Steve Marriott was very impressed by the young
Peter Frampton's guitar playing talent. Steve was keen to have a second guitarist in the band and he wanted to bring Frampton
into the Small Faces, here's how Marriott told it in an interview;
"Peter had rung me up and wanted to come over, I think he was a bit of a fan and wanted some advice from me about leaving
the Herd, which I couldn't give him. None of us could, because we had never left a band, I think he just wanted to be in our
company. He came over and we were playing stuff he had never heard before because he was just a young boy. We gave him
a few joints, he hadn't smoked before, and we played him a few sounds. I thought he was great, he had a lot of potential as a
guitarist. It seemed a great idea to have another guitarist, change the band a bit, give me a chance to sing properly and maybe
get us out of doing that same vein we were still in since the day we started."
Peter Frampton played a few gigs with the Small Faces, but the other three were dead set against him joining them permanently,
it was becoming hard for Steve on stage and they experimented with adding brass, as heard on "Autumn Stone's" live material.
Then the Small Faces including Peter Frampton, went to Paris on a request from their producer Glyn Johns, to play on the French
vocalist Johnny Halliday's next album. Steve and Ronnie wrote songs for Halliday, a very rare album only released in France, on
the Phillips label, but so essential to Small Faces collector's because they played on every track. In truth, Halliday was just a
below average, untalented poor vocalist, but the newly written Small Faces songs and their distinctive backing tracks, are just
incredible. Apologies to any Halliday fans, that opinion has to be allowed, I spent a very long time hunting down an original
French pressing in the early 1970's. I had never even heard him singing before but I found his voice so awful, I had to learn to
screen out his off key voice when playing the album, how someone so talented as a record producer as Glyn Johns, got himself
involved, I'll never know. This isn't just my own opinion of his terrible singing/shouting style, Steve Marriott put it like this;
"I couldn't even recognise my own songs after he (Halliday) had finished with them!"
This is all relevant to Humble Pie's debut LP because the tensions between the Small Faces really came to the boil during those
Paris recording sessions, fuelling the rumours appearing in the music press of the impending end of the Small Faces.
Peter Frampton, Greg Ridley (ex-Spooky Tooth bass guitarist & vocalist) & Jerry Shirley, drummer, (ex-Apostolic Intervention,
an Immediate band), became 'Humble Pie'. Following Traffic's move when they first formed, they also got together, relaxed and
rehearsed in Steve Marriott's country cottage in my home county of Essex. They signed with Andrew Oldham's Immediate label
where Steve Marriott felt at ease, in August, 1969 they released their first single, "Natural Born Bugie." A stunning r&b /blues
rocker that sold exceptionally well to make No.4 in the UK charts. By then Andrew Oldham was really desperate for a hit single
because Immediate were a sinking ship financially and Humble Pie were promising to be Immediate's saviours, but life is never
that simple. They were very much part of the late 1960's trend, as so many bands broke up in the dawn before the next decade,
various artists got together for what the music press termed a 'Supergroup.' Most had never heard of Apostolic Intervention or
Spooky Tooth and concentrated on Marriott & Frampton, the band's name was chosen to try and deflect their former glories.
Humble Pie's debut album was issued a few weeks later, titled "As Safe As Yesterday Is," it was a truly inspired and staggering
album, bursting with fresh, innovative ideas, songs and production. The music styles included, electric blues, very heavy rock,
acoustic blues, folk and psychedelia. It also contained the Small Faces songs they had recorded with Johnny Halliday, only now
Steve Marriott's extraordinary vocal ability did them the fullest justice! Steve used every bit of his long proven experience at
record production, so there are stunning sound textures and a sensory stereo mix totally missing on all the re-issues, I will not
even comment on the dreadful CD re-masters! Only to say how superb the live CD with one of Humble Pie's first gigs in Holland
is, yes, I could also not resist the later CD's lovely presentation but pretty card covers are no substitute for hearing their music
sounding as amazing as I knew it from 1969. For the LP's packaging in 1969, it was such a shame about the lack of lamination
for most of Immediate's covers, plus the cover was made from from fairly thin matt cardboard and it wore very poorly. This is in
such incredible condition, I had to grade it Near Mint / Mint- as I do not believe there could possibly be a better one, without
the obligatory severest wear, creases and ring wear of all time. Nor are the colours faded or scuffed, there is only really minor
storage traits to the extremities and a surprisingly extremely gentle record impression.
The band were just immense in a recording studio and on stage, I was a regular at the concerts when they were not in America,
where Steve Marriott now made up for never touring there with the Small Faces. Steve never changed at all and the only huge
selling Humble Pie album was "Performance - Rocking The Fillmore", that contains how and why US audiences took to the band
and adopted them. Steve's ability to 'talk' to an audience was enhanced by his unbelievable natural talent and an energy that
made you tired just watching him leaping around the stage. Humble Pie were not just about Marriott, a magical musical chemistry
soon overtook a sadness at the Small Faces breaking up, everything appeared set for the greatest success in Britain for them.
In spite of their high profile with the "Natural Born Boogie" / "Wrist Job" single reaching No. 4 and enjoying a ten weeks chart
residency, their debut album, "As Safe As Yesterday Is," inexplicably failed to sell, making a very brief appearance at No.32,
so brief, it was only in the charts for seven days! One week was like, blink and you missed it because by the time I bought the
following week's intake of weekly music paper, "As Safe As Yesterday Is" had disappeared from the charts, I thought is was a
mis-print after constantly re-playing and discovering the album all week. An extremely rare album today as the first pressing,
the few copies that do turn up are in an unplayable state with badly worn and split apart covers, with the great credits / lyric
inner sleeve lost or ripped open, battered and split. My first bought 1969 copy was literally worn smooth, the cover and inner
sleeve looked exactly like I just described. Not the way I will ever consider offering such a magnificent album for sale however
rare it is. So for only the third time in over eight years trading on ebay, I am proud and very excited to be able to present this
49 years old "As Safe As Yesterday Is," in all of it's original glory.
In September ,1969, the Immediate label was a lovely deep pink colour, pre-dating the 1970 Island Records' final pink labels.
EMI who pressed for Immediate, no longer used the text "Sold In The UK", otherwise this is the standard 60's Immediate label
that replaced the earlier lilac / grey type in the summer of 1968. Both labels are unblemished and that original beautiful deep
pink colour, totally unfaded, unstained and unscuffed. Spindle alignment traces are amazingly low for this album, showing the
record was only played once, for the era and the rarity that is exceptional for a first pressing of "As Safe As Yesterday Is".
The loving care taken of the cover is also is there to both see and hear on the record because there is not one single mark on the
entire two sides, I even had a job finding any near invisible playing signs, so much so, if not for the spindle traces this looks
and sounds like a Mint record. This is the mega heavyweight vinyl of the late 1960's, being EMI's vinyl, it's comparable with the
Beatles "Abbey Road" first issues. The record has the special glossy sheen of mint vinyl, a real beauty,visually all importantly
the sound quality is sheer perfection, with extremely powerful, crystal clear audio, without virtually any surface sound beyond
natural to vinyl. Shame I even have to add that disclaimer because a record can only ever play today exactly how it did when it
was first pressed and bought, fortunately I do not have vague memories about my obsession with music then (and now), I know
exactly how I heard my beloved albums such as this. As such a poor selling album it's no surprise to find this record is the very
first pressing made, EMI contractually pressed all Immediate's catalogue, making it possible to place any record into the actual
pressing sequence. Their stamping codes are, 'G 1 / G1', they place this as the very first record pressed, well, to be accurate,
both side's were sourced from from the first mother and among the very first in sequence off the press.
As usual, Side 1 has particularly long run-in grooves, it always seams to take ages for the first track to start, which caused extra
long crackles and clicks that intruded onto and ruined the gradually faded up Peter Frampton organ. No here, the long band runs
runs virtually silently, any low level static is nor worthy of inclusion, there is no surface sound which means a perfectly clean
organ intro, then very closely followed by a stunning explosion of really heavy blues guitars, with a full on loud bass and drums.
A fantastic version of the song written by Steppenwolf's John Kay, "Desperation," chosen to open the album for both a dramatic
tension, as much as for the lyrics on this track, they epitomised the very reasons the artists had left their respective bands and
formed Humble Pie. A song about being feeling lost and despairing by being on the wrong road and the positive discovery of the
correct path to take. The two guitars of Marriott and Frampton was a marriage made in heaven, Steve's own hard edged and very
aggressive r&b rock style, had never changed from the stuttering sounds on the 1965 "Watcha Gonna Do 'Bout It" single, he was
more Townshend than Clapton. From being the sole guitarist, Steve was now perfectly balanced out by Peter's more fluid, blues
style, both were also extremely capable keyboard players and Steve Marriott certainly knew his way around a blues harmonica.
Peter Frampton plays the majestic organ I mentioned for the intro, hearing this LP again today, reminds me how struck I was in
1969 by how the fantastic drumming of Jerry Shirley was almost identical to the Small Faces' Kenney Jones. Plus you have the
ex-Spooky Tooth's genius of the bass guitar in Greg Ridley, it was so sad when Greg died in 2003, he stayed with Steve through
thick and thin and the two were very close friends. Humble pie were a formidable band capable of anything when you add in Pete
and Steve's amazing ability with an acoustic guitar as well. I'm trying hard to keep my deep love of this album and Humble Pie in
check, not easy when I'm a being blown away by this simply awesome sound quality! The sound is unbelievably powerful, when
Steve sings you can hear every slight inflection in his amazing vocals. One of the beauties of Humble Pie was they were not just
a band with two brilliant guitarists, they had three outstanding vocalists. Greg sings the next line, now Pete hits the high notes
for the lyrics, next Steve uses every ounce of his incredible vocal powers, steadily building up "Desperation" into a staggering
climax, culminating into a sensational instrumental section with the improvisational skills of all four nicely coming to the boil.
Sections of this come to a split second full stop, especially just before Marriott just tears into the last verse, there is no surface
sound there or on the whole track. I am going to have a serious problem with writing too much on the individual tracks if I do not
take control, I rate this as one of the greatest albums to end that magical 60's decade, but I will try to keep it shorter for the rest.
Without a break, the very long opening track runs straight into the Marriott & Frampton blues slide guitars intro fading up into to
"Stick Shift," written by Frampton, who sings the lead vocals. A heavily atmospheric track with a massive production and the two
guitars are wonderfully separated by the stereo panning, from the right, Steve Marriott's full on aggressive blues, Pete's superb
silkier melodic guitar is from the left. Steve knew instinctively Peter's style was tailor made for his own style, strangely the
same thing happened in 1969, when Mick Taylor joined up with the Stones and Keith Richard found his soulmate. It is not widely
known that Marriott was invited to join the Stones and it was only Mick Jagger's concerns about Steve's unrivalled vocal abilities
that had Mick preventing it from happening. No wonder my descriptions are so long, all the memories about the era come flooding
back, but I must cut down on those ramblings. "Stick Shift" is in fantastic sound quality is absolute perfection, all those individual
instruments and vocals are in a pin point definition. Steve Marriott wrote "Buttermilk Boy," the completely silent gap allows his
distinctive r&b / blues guitar intro to explode with colossal power and volume, but no crackles etc. A song all about a country
boy's attempts to remove Kate's knickers, she is a beefy, strong armed farmer's daughter, this chorus revolves around harmonies
for the funny lyrics,"...Get her knick-knick-knickers down!" Anyone who saw Humble Pie live in this period and the early 70's, will
appreciate the electrifying dynamics employed on this truly amazing track. 'As subtle as a flying mallet' would be an appropriate
description of the lyrical contents, you could take Steve Marriott out of the east end of London, but you could not take the east end
of London out of Marriott, for the audio just two words will do, just staggering! The next song has an interesting writing credit, Ian
McLagen, the Small Faces' keyboards player, a rather ironic title, "Growing Closer." An acoustic blues track features Steve's blues
harmonica being dusted off and superbly played. The percussion is so typical of the late 1960's, tablas and drums, as well as these
vocals, Marriott plays the tablas leaving the great acoustic guitar to Peter Frampton. There's also a flute and what sounds are being
created here! The vocal harmonies are magnificent on this delightful melody, all the three voices combine so sweetly, as the track
ends the flute plays as a lone instrument, yet there is no surface or needle sound at all as there has been right from the intro. Then
Jerry's drums signal the beginning of a real epic of a song, the LP title track,"As Safe As Yesterday Is." Co-written by Peter and
Steve, what an intensive performance, a brilliant blues riff forms the base of this incredible melody, but definitely not a blues
song. Interludes with different themes, with only acoustic guitars, tablas with fantastic vocals sung in closely knit harmonies.
Of course the lyrics refer to leaving their successful bands to take the risk of a new venture, an emotionally charged atmosphere
reflects this. With Phil Spector like 'wall of sound 'as they move from acoustic sections into the full throttle rock parts,Steve
plays an inspired organ, drummer Jerry Shirley plays the very important piano that add grandness to the proceedings. Greg's bass
is monumental, threatening to explode but even at this loud mastered level, it never enters into distortion, that only happens
on the worn out originals, if you can even find one of those! This is a very long track and if picking my favourite ever moments
on a record, this has one I would place very highly on that list. This has been ever building up toward something very special,
after the last verse, an organ indicates the track is winding down as an outro, suddenly Steve's guitar erupts in colossal volume,
firing out a blues riff that was submerged for most of the track. Played with a really aggressive ferocity, familiar to all Small
Faces fans! It's difficult to get the overpowering effect into words, the most basic, rawest sound in rock music, it still sends
shivers down your back! On stage at such moments,Steve was leaping high into the air as he hit his guitar strings with all his
might, the audience were also up and on their feet as one, jumping with him, on the record the effect is exactly the same. Peter
joins the riff and the effect is magnified, Jerry's drums are thunderous and in synch with those now doubled up guitars, Greg's
glorious bass adds to the massive sound of 'The Pie' on fire! The 1960's were far from finished yet, a whole side of a record
of unbelievable music, then it all ends with yet another injection of white hot, raw pure energy! The sound quality has been
absolutely immaculate, nothing else needs saying.... except they don't make such exciting records like this anymore! How do you
describe this track? 'Psychedelia meets really heavy blues based rock head on,creating epic music,' is the nearest I can get.
Side 2 also has as close to silent run-in grooves as vinyl gets, for the sheer impact, "Bang!" just hammers you into the floor! I often
read about great guitarists being discussed, but when Steve Marriott meant business the guitar assault launched here makes others
sound like they were entertaining at a vicar's tea party. With all respect to them, from 'Hank to Hendrix,' as Neil Young so eloquently
phrased it, no guitarist ever played as heavily as Steve Marriott in an aggressive mood. For his small frame, during a 1967 session
for Billy Nicholls, he played out a track so violently, he actually snapped off the neck of his favourite black Gibson guitar! Only Pete
Townshend ever assaulted his guitar and his audience in the same way as Steve, before I get inundated by emails disagreeing, music
is about different opinions, unless you were at the artist's concerts, the experiences cannot be burned inside as those who were.
The amazing sounds are there on original vinyl though, I'm currently being blown away by them. Steve's lyrics were very bitter,
which explains why he wrote and performed with such genuine biting anger in his guitar and vocals. The Pie are right up there
alongside Steve, pounding their instrument with an unrelenting force. He tears into the businessmen who ripped him off for the
whole of his four years in the Small Faces;
While you're getting fat, wiping gravy off your sleeve,
There's a child who like a rat, crys and begs for what you leave!
Just a little sample, but this vocal is beyond just writing the lyrics, gone were"It's all too beautiful and everything's groovy,"
because Steve's eyes were wide open and his social conscious derived from humble East London roots, was now turned on the darker
side of the 1960's. His vocal is awesome, spitting out those lyrics in that mighty voice, with the astounding backing creating a
totally overpowering track. To think how Johnny Halliday managed to make such an utter mess of a great song! The sound is sheer
perfection and I've lost sight of keeping individual tracks to a reasonable length, I had better try a bit harder. Steve was not
finished with writing songs about other major social subjects, next in line was the racial prejudice literally currently running
riot in the USA during 1969, "Alabama '69." From a near silent gap, Marriott's acoustic and Frampton's slide guitars play the
intro with Steve's blues harmonica adding authentic blues sounds. This is referring to 1869 in content, but the song is just as
relevant in 1969 and it is today, Steve speaks the song's title, then the lyrics hit home even harder;
I believe a man's a man who earns his pay as best he can,
The colour of his skin don't mean he ain't just like you,
And the white folk here don't give a hell,
They think that we were born to smell,
Of sweat and dust and dirt and plough until we die.
Sung with a heartfelt passion, Marriott had grown up at the end of the decade, his vocals are up there with the very finest, the
basic instrumental backing brings a greater emphasis to the lyrics and the vocal harmonies add to a great melody. It was the very
writing style I mentioned Steve had begun in his own garden during 1968, the immaculate sound continues for an acoustic track,
I can only continue to praise the audio content, this is one of the most remarkable sounding records I have ever heard, no one's
fussier than me about a Small Faces /Humble Pie album. The distinction between the two bands in 1969 was wafer thin, next up,
a glorious slice of pure psychedelia balancing out Steve's aggressive stance against social injustice, into a sublime untitled
instrumental, filled with flutes, sitars and tablas, straight from the "Sgt Pepper" era. Even then, with such gentle, delicate
music, if you listen out for the electric guitar, Steve's rocking away with blues! There's amazingly no surface sound even here,
then linking smoothly and silently into a major Steve Marriott ultra heavy guitar riff panned right, Peter Frampton wrote and sang
the lead vocals for a brilliant "I'll Go Alone", a wonderful melody pulsating with guitars and keyboards and an ever present Geg
Ridley and Jerry Shirley rhythm section. Great lyrics from Peter about the atrocities of wars, the talented Jerry Shirley plays
the harpsichord as well as supplying the percussion. Marriott sings the backingon the second vocal and the more you listen to
this album, it does not seem possible it can be a debut from a new band. They had such an instant musical chemistry, other bands
never reached that level in ten years of playing together. I must keep moving or I will never finish this, mind you I don't want
the album or the description to finish, it might take another ten years before I find such a perfect playing first pressing again.
I actually remember every record I have ever sold and who to, if anyone asked me to play a Humble Pie track to assert Steve
Marriott had not made a bad mistake by walking away from his former successful band, and that caused his music to suffer as a
consequence, "A Nifty Little Number Like You" is an instant choice! From a near silent gap Steve's guitar blasts out from the
right speaker in massive volume, Peter's equally emphatic and aggressive guitar plays the same fast flowing tempo blues riff.
With all his unbelievable vocal strength, Steve Marriott powers out the killer opening line..... to end all others:
You smell like a field, cow sh*t in the mid-summer sun.
The guitars hit the most stunning blues riff, uniquely written as well, the band as one now really let rip with unrelenting, full
tilt heavy rock music. Really pounding drums and a bass guitar line of immense proportions! Steve fairly romps his way through
his lyrics with a flair lost today, only he could have written the lyrics and they do just keep coming on this amazing album.
He sings this to a lady who earned his distaste;
Please shave your legs, come on, put down that horse and behave,
You know I've seen it before and I ain't gonna see it no more, no, no more!
'Horse' was a 1960's term for heroin and Steve Marriott was on form like never before, the band end by taking off into a stunning
longblues improvisation. Anyone familiar with their "Performance - Rockin' the Filmore" album, will recognise how this blues
jam became adapted into their unbelievable version of "Walk On Gilded Splinters", but this studio version was played with real
steel and the air is alive with a spontaneous creation running throughout the entire album. To finish, "What You Will" is a slow
paced Marriott song with a really emotional feel, I say slower, but I'm not just talking about the tempo. More of a psychedelic
'slower' and not studio enhanced though, kind of like moving in slow motion, so psychedelic fits this track perfectly. Partially
created by the way Jerry's drumming holds the tempo as if in freeze frame, also the extraordinary way Steve sings it, holding
back and stretching out the lyrics, keeping pace with Jerry's brilliant percussion. Pure blues and psychedelia perfectly blended
and I sincerely hope the description does not read back like a Marriott solo LP, because it certainly was not, all four musicians
made such important contributions. I had to keep mentioning Steve's name because he was so involved, on the other hand, as a
testament to t Marriott's supreme talent as a musician, songwriter and record producer, "As Safe As Yesterday Is" is just as
glorious a record to play as "Ogdens." This entire side had audio perfection and there was no need to add any critical sound
related comments, my final verdict, a staggering album in stunning sound quality.
R & M RECORDS.
My lifetime's love of music and records began at a very young age, the arrival of the Beatles and the 1960's decade
in general had a very profound effect. It was only natural to bring all my first hand experience of collecting vinyl
into becoming a professional record seller. Nearly thirty years ago we entered into the wonderful atmosphere
of record fairs with the highest possible standards set. When the Internet became the world's new market place for
vinyl, in 2001 it was time to join ebay. Those standards were rigidly adhered to as they will always continue to be,
the basics of honesty and integrity were very much part of the era the music I love originated in, so here is our friendly
and very efficient service we are proud to provide;
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