Along with Blood Sweat And Tears and Chicago, Pig Iron were also exponents of early 70’s brass oriented rock, though less successful.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Pig Iron
ALBUM: Pig Iron
SERIAL: Columbia CS1018
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Alan Abrahams – lead vocals, drums * Marty Fogel – saxophone * Adam Ippolito – keyboards, trumpet, vocals * Bill Peters – lead guitar, vocals * Paul Squire – trumpet * Gary Van Scyoc – bass, trumpet, vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 People Gonna Talk * 02 I Put A Spell On You * 03 Neighbor, Neighbor * 04 I Can’t Make It Alone * 05 Easy Time Now * 06 Abe’s Blues * 07 Wake Up Mr. Charlie * 08 Out Of Town * 09 Top Of The World
Pig Iron Background
This was the first and only album from this New York City band, Pig Iron. They offered up brassy hard rock similar to Chicago and Blood, Sweat And Tears receiving critical praise and little else.
The group toured the U.S. playing large outdoor festivals. They played alongside headliners The Rascals, Blodwyn Pig, Bob Seger System and Chicago. But it didn’t last long and for whatever reason Pig Iron split in 1971.
A talented bunch, lead vocalist Alan Abrahams would go on to an extensive production career. He worked with the Pure Prairie League, Joan Baez and David Cassidy among others.
Keyboard player Adam Ippolito and bassist Gary Van Scyoc would join Elephant’s Memory. This was the group John Lennon and Yoko Ono annexed for their own musical vision.
Last but not least, sax player Marty Vogel had an extensive career in Lou Reed‘s band. Although the whereabouts of guitarist Bill Peters and trumpeter Paul Squire are a mystery.
Pig Iron had a lot going for them with a competent vocalist and co-producer in Abrahams, outstanding musicianship and a knack for clever arrangements.
Case in point their cover of the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins classic ‘I Put A Spell On You’ which is absolutely breathtaking. A mixture of classical and blues styles that hands down beats the original and any other version you’ve heard.
‘I Can’t Make It Alone’ is another favourite, a pop number with a melody I’ve heard a zillion times before while still sounding fresh and original.
Over to the second side and more musical treats await with the Blood Sweat And Tears influenced ‘Easy Time Now’. Then there’s the gospel flavoured ‘Abe’s Blues’. Not forgetting ‘Top Of The World’ which is stunning jazzy brass pop, leaving its pretenders in the dust.
‘Pig Iron’ is on many collectors early 70’s rock want lists for CD reissue. It’s criminal this hasn’t happened already although news is there is a pirate floating around from the unknown ‘Footprint’ label.
Sounds dubious to me and since copies of the LP are still relativity inexpensive, this is clearly the better option. Maybe its time to pester some reissue labels to give it a go in digital once and for all. Any takers?