Wednesday, June 20, 2007

296. The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Next (1973)

Track Listing

1. Swampsnake
2. Gang Bang
3. Faith Healer
4. Giddy-Up-A-Ding-Dong
5. Next
6. Vambo Marble Eye
7. Last of the Teenage Idols


Well there were many faces to the Glam phenomenon and perhaps of the least known is Alex Harvey. There is reason for this, but there is no reason for him to be less well known than Slade for example. Actually there is a certain mix here between the novelty-like songs of Slade and something better.

It isn't a bad album, but it also doesn't blow you away. The best song here is Next, which has been done better before both by Jacques Brel and Scott Walker. These are probably not fair comparisons, but still they are there. Harvey's version is by no means bad, and might actually beat the other two by the sheer theatricality of it and by the way he says "whorehouse" in a lovely Glaswegian accent... "Ur-hous".

Other than next there is another particularly good song here, Faith Healer, with a droning intro which makes up for the price of admission to the album. The other tracks run the gamut from the interesting to the noveltyish. Gang Bang, describing a woman who loves to be loved, by 27 men at the same time, is quite funny... but it is the kind of base humour of Slade and such. It is revealing that the smartest track in the bunch is the one which isn't an original. Worth listening to but not worth sticking in your mp3 player. Get it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Next
2. The Faith Healer
3. Gang Bang
4. Vambo Marble Eye

Final Grade



To end on a happy note.. from Wikipedia:

On February 4, 1982 while waiting to take a ferry back to shore after performing his last concert with his new band, the Electric Cowboys, Harvey suffered a massive heart attack. In an ambulance on the way to the hospital, he suffered a second heart attack, this one fatal. It occurred on the day before his 47th birthday, in Zeebrugge, Belgium.


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