As a debut, ‘Framed’ is barely representative of Alex Harvey’s hard rocking prog band that they became, this one very much blues rock ordinarie.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Sensational Alex Harvey Band
SERIAL: 6360 081
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Scotland
LINEUP: Alex Harvey – lead vocals * Zal Cleminson – lead guitar * Hugh McKenna – electric piano * Chris Glen – bass * Eddie (Ted) McKenna – drums
Additional Musicians: Phil Kenzie – tenor sax * Big Bud’s Brass – brass section
TRACK LISTING: 01 Framed * 02 Hammer Song * 03 Midnight Moses * 04 Isobel Goodie 1) My Lady Of The Night 2) Coitur Interruptus 3) Virgin And The Hunter * 05 Buff’s Bar Blues * 06 I Just Want To Make Love To You * 07 Hole In Her Stocking * 08 There’s No Lights On The Christmas Tree Mother, They’re Burning Big Louie Tonight * 09 St. Anthony
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There are few Scottish rock musicians as beloved as the late Alex Harvey yet sadly, he’s hardly known outside Britain and Europe although it wasn’t for a lack of trying. The rough and tumble vocalist with oodles of personality released a few unimaginative solo platters in the 1960’s as well as playing in the ‘pit’ band for the London production of ‘Hair’.
But he struggled to make a name for himself until meeting up with the down and out Glasgow band Tear Gas, morphing into The Sensational Alex Harvey Band in 1972. A few hit singles followed including a neato cover of the Tom Jones classic ‘Delilah’ although Harvey left the band in 1977 while the remaining members carried on for two more respectable albums as SAHB, finally calling it a day in 1978.
As a debut, ‘Framed’ is barely representative of the hard rocking progressive band they would become beginning with their 1973 classic ‘Next’. This album is very much blues rock ordinarie and while boasting a couple of covers including yet another version of Willie Dixon‘s ‘I Just Want to Make Love to You’, it’s Harvey’s gravelly Bon Scott meets Nazareth‘s Dan McCafferty vocal delivery that saves the day.
Clown-faced guitarist Zal Cleminson provides some seriously powerful riffs and there are moments that point towards better things to come. In particular the three part ‘Isobel Goodie’ but tunes like ‘Buff’s Bar Blues’ and the terribly average ‘Hole In Her Stocking’ seem like filler and carry over from Alex’s soul man shtick of years previous.
Touring followed, playing support to Atomic Rooster and a month long jaunt with Slade where the band developed into a high energy live act and although they visited America, audiences were far from receptive. Following his departure in ’77, Harvey put out one more record ‘The Mafia Stole My Guitar’ in 1979 before dying in Belgium in 1982 of a heart attack.
SAHB‘s Zal Cleminson went on to join fellow Scots Nazareth in the early 1980’s while Chris Glen and Ted McKenna latched onto the Michael Schenker Group as well as a plethora of notable live and session work.