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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Next

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band

1973

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Album Summary

Next is the second album by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, released in 1973. In 2018, Nick Cave told Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie, "My first band was basically an Alex Harvey cover band. We did "Framed", "Isobel Goudie", "Faith Healer", "Gang Bang", "Next", "Midnight Moses", everything. I wore jeans and a tight cropped t-shirt and our guitarist wore clown make-up like Zal... Our first gig was a Battle of the Bands thing in a country town and we played "Framed" and came second. It's been downhill ever since." Robert Smith of The Cure said, "People talk about Iggy Pop as the original punk, but certainly in Britain the forerunner of the punk movement was Alex Harvey. His whole stage show with the graffiti-covered brick walls – it was like very aggressive Glaswegian street theatre."

Wikipedia

Rating

2.74

Votes

10320

Genres

  • Rock

Reviews

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Wed Jun 28 2023
2

Alex Harvey had many musical guises in the run-up to 1973: the frontman of a skiffle group who opened for the Beatles before they were the Beatles; a Dixieland jazz band; a soul act tearing through blues and rock and roll standards; a member of the pit band for the musical “Hair”. But the culmination of his career came here, where he leapt on the glam-rock bandwagon and milked its potential for all it was worth. Endless indulgence, insatiable lust, schlocky shock value… the only thing he forgot about on “Next” was the music. Glam rock is often a genre I enjoy, and maybe I’m on burnout after a lot of similar albums on the generator lately, so it was only natural that eventually one more would break this reviewer’s back. At its worst, though, this record feels more Gary Glitter than Marc Bolan. Harvey drools and gibbers his way through it like a teenager who’s found his older brother’s stash of naughty magazines. First he wants to be your swampsnake. Then he’s spending five minutes raving about a gang bang with one woman and twenty-seven guys. Then he’s a faith healer who wants to put his hands on you. Then he wants to giddy-up-a-ding-dong. It’s relentless and makes the whole album come off a little shallow after a while. The songs themselves are not all awful, but it’s just that each idea never lands convincingly enough. “The Faith Healer” has a satisfyingly ominous tone, but doesn’t feel like it goes on enough of a journey through its seven minute runtime. “Giddy Up a Ding Dong” is just fine (with a nice tempo-switch up in the final minute) but it sounds destined for a a raucous live setting rather than a recording. Jacques Brel cover “Next” begins as a good diversion and the band pull off a solid arrangement, but the vocal is is amped up until it spills over into irritating pantomime. “Last of the Teenage Idols” is a good concept and begins well, but the doo-wop switch up feels too forced, etc, etc… The main offender though, making it hard to take anything else on this record seriously, is “Gang Bang”, a wrecking ball swung through the first half of the album. It’s a fun strut, all sleazy horns and jaunty piano, until the interminable chorus of “ain’t nothing like a gang bang to blow away the blues”, and a particularly skin-crawling final verse. Cheap and nasty, Mr. Harvey, cheap and nasty all the way.

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Wed Jun 14 2023
5

God damn, I didn't know the deleted scenes from Rocky Horror Picture Show went this hard.

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Thu Jun 29 2023
1

This was, without exaggeration, one of the worst records I've ever heard in my life, and I'm simply baffled how it ended up on the list.

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Wed Jun 21 2023
1

I heard it. Can I die now please? What a cacophony.

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Thu Nov 30 2023
2

This guy wrote a whole album about his weiner and somehow it ended up on 1001 albums to hear before you die

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Fri May 19 2023
1

Disliked just about everything about this.

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Fri May 19 2023
4

This was pretty stupid but I liked it anyway. It found a groove really easily. Felt ahead of its time, although didn't always shake that old timey rock n roll vibe. Album is an unknown going by Wikipedia, but I dare say Malcolm Young and Bon Scott heard it at some point and we're all now better off for it. 4/5.

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Sun May 28 2023
4

Swampsnake, Gang Bang, GiddyUp Ding Dong, Vambo Marble Eye. This album could not be made today. Great music. Better than I was expecting.

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Wed Jun 07 2023
4

I've never heard of Alex Harvey before, so I had no idea what I was in for with this album. This was an absolute hidden gem. Fusing elements of hard rock, glam rock, and a little bit of blues, this album has a really unique sound. And with songs ranging from the jangly "Swampsnake" to the absurd "Gang Bang," this album was fun with a some dashes of humor too. There was so much going on musically, and I loved the use of harmonica, piano, and horns throughout the course of the album. Vocally, Alex Harvey reminds me of Bon Scott, Billy Squire, and Paul Stanley. Maybe I've been living under a rock, but I can't believe this band didn't find a wider audience.

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Tue Jun 06 2023
1

The lead singer sounds unhinged, the chorus of “Gang Bang” made me cringe, and in “Next,” I heard the f-word (not fuck…the other one). How this is one or the 1.001 best albums is confounding.

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Thu Jun 08 2023
5

Dymanic and varied, loved it!

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Sat Jul 29 2023
4

4.1 - The arrangement and vocal performance on "Next", a Jacques Brel masterpiece and arguably the greatest song ever written about shell shock, rivals Scott Walker's also amazing version. This is a hard-charging glam rock record that's filled with fat guitar licks (see "Vambo Marble Eye") and explicit sexuality (see "Gang Bang"). It's certainly not as sophisticated as other glam rock entries on this list (e.g. "Electric Warrior" by T.Rex) but it's brimming with cabaret propelled by Alex Harvey's exceptional vocal theatrics.

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Thu May 02 2024
4

I went into this album expecting to hate it after reading the reviews. After listening to the first few songs I realized I must have a problem. This album is so much better then I thought it was going to be! Music was good with the goofiest vocals on top of them. Although not incredible, it is an underrated gem.

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Mon May 22 2023
3

I have some familiarity with the SAHB so knew what to expect, to a degree. In summary, and as I've always thought, the SAHB are a much more interesting proposition when they steer away from the blooz rock template which plagued the early 1970s. So it proves on 'Next'. The best tracks here, therefore, are the Jacques Brel cover 'Next' (taking into account modern sensibilities), the tough, peculiar 'Vambo Marble Eye' and the lascivious 'Faith Healer'. My only issue with the latter is that I have a live version of this track that absolutely smokes, and makes its studio equivalent quite tame in comparison. Alex Harvey was an interesting old cove. Zal Cleminson had a helluva look going on.

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Wed Apr 10 2024
3

Pretty great sound. Lyrics were terrible. But good sound.

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Thu Apr 11 2024
3

I've been aware of SAHB forever but have never sat down and listened to an actual album. This is quite an event, some good sleazy glam rock (The Faith Healer, The Last of the Teenage Idols) and some godawful sleazy glam rock (Gang Bang, Giddy Up A Ding Dong, Playground Bang-A-Round; may have misremembered that one). Serious talent, clearly pioneering, but not necessarily something I want to hear often

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Thu Apr 11 2024
3

The depravity ambushed me. I see Next described as precedent to AC/DC, The Birthday Party, even punk itself, but I’m reminded most of Jerry Sadowitz, another Glaswegian, and his theatre of hatred and debasement. SAHB dialled up the leer, and I don’t like it, which is likely a deliberate effect: there’s a seed of Marquis De Sade goes to Blackpool here. The music is often great. The motorik pulse of The Faith Healer stood out for me. I have to tip my hat to them for finding what must surely be the most horrific Brel song to cover too. This is a nasty listen, and I think I see the purpose behind it, which I can admire while edging back from the content. A note to those who decry the smuttiness as some sort of appalling failure of taste: it’s not, it’s deliberate, and you’re meant to feel uneasy.

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Mon Apr 22 2024
3

Нормально старина зажарил, даже и добавить нечего

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Sun Apr 07 2024
2

this does not deserve a spot on the list imo. very strange but not in an interesting way. the title track gives panto dame vibes. i did kind of enjoy it in a weird way.

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Fri May 03 2024
2

Mmm...pub rock....you can see where Bon Scott got his shtick from.....minis on point for the tasteless "gangbang" 2

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Sat Sep 02 2023
5

Brilliant, loud, punky, glaswegian, noisy, funny, awesome, clever, innovative, exciting and intense. One of my favourite bands, and possibly their best album.

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Fri Mar 29 2024
5

I really loved it don’t know why so many people are so salty about this album - 10/10

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Sun Apr 07 2024
5

A blend of blues and hard rock with cabaret elements?! This is one of those times I’ve read about the group on Wikipedia before listening to them - consider my interest piqued… Opening an album with a song called “Swampsnake” is certainly an interesting choice. Promising indeed… After the second song (“Ain’t nothin’ like a gang bang” -which certainly attracted my attention) I wasn’t sure how this was going to go down. Then the interesting repetitiveness of the opening of “The Faith Healer”, building up with bings and bangs and guitar, started to draw me back in. Turns out a song called “Giddy Up a Ding Dong” was missing from my life, cabaret-style key change and all. I think I would have enjoyed seeing what Alex Harvey did with the staging of “Next”. As I listened I suddenly realized that… hey - I know this song. I loved Scott Walker’s cover of it earlier in this project! Am I supposed to understand what “Vambo Marble Eye” is about? I hope not, but I liked the sound. And that closing number (this is a band whose songs have definitely earned the moniker “number”) “The Last of the Teenage Idols Pt. 1-3” was quite an interesting piece of work - I loved the contrasting parts! This album mostly won me over with its exuberance and dramatic flair. It gave off a pretty good Rocky Horror Picture Show vibe. I was drawn back to listen to it a second time, and my appreciation grew. Next… is clearly of an age, but it’s an age I enjoyed revisiting.

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Thu Apr 25 2024
5

8 / 10 Rock, Punk, Baladas, un poco inclasificable. Por momentos me ha recordado a unos posteriores ACDC. Muy interesante.

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Tue May 16 2023
4

It didn't start off sensational, but it did get more sensational. The singer can really belt. Can't say I particularly like the content of the second track, but the album as a whole was a nice discovery.

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Wed May 17 2023
4

Was not expecting to like this but I do!

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Thu May 18 2023
4

Surprising banger. Loved a few songs on this one. 4.4/5

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Fri Jun 02 2023
4

The title cover is perfectly demented; From there roads diverge and each track, much less side, is a unique jewel. The bluesy, decadent breaks are highlights, as is the pinball energy of geographic referents.

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Wed Aug 30 2023
4

Ain't nothin' like a gang bang To blow away the blues

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Fri Sep 08 2023
4

It turns out my mom was right. There truly ain't nothing like a gang bang.

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Fri Feb 09 2024
4

Tons of fun. There is a great, sleazy vibe to this mixed with a campy cabaret vibe.

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Fri Feb 16 2024
4

I'm kind of amazed. This album feels very much like a parody, but they take it super seriously. I laughed out loud at some of the lyrics, but that said, the musicianship is actually pretty great. Sort of Zappa meets Beefheart meets Spinal Tap.

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Fri Feb 16 2024
4

Wer das Album hört die Geburt des Hard-Rock in den frühen 70ern. entstanden nach einem „Gangbang“. Wie jede Geburt läuft selten alles nach Plan. So spielt die Band mal Rock, mal Punk, mal Glam und auch mal einen „Next“ Tango Hard Rock. Am Ende zeigt sie den harten cut von der Naivität der 60er in die Realität der 70er .. und verabschiedet sich mit dem Geheimtipp „The Last of The Teenage Idol“

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Wed Feb 28 2024
4

I can see where Bon Scott got his influence. Decent album with a lot of flair.

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Mon Mar 04 2024
4

This was a good producer. Reminds me of George Martin. He was glam rock and heavily influenced by late beatles. Really good and surprising. Actually loved this so

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Thu Mar 21 2024
4

Very pleasantly surprised, great theatrical energy

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Sun Apr 07 2024
4

I'll be honest --- I skipped to the next track after half of Gang Bang. Didn't really need that. But I kind of loved the rest of the album. It was an interesting mix of styles and I really enjoyed it and will want to hear much of it again. Good stuff!

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Sun Apr 07 2024
4

The sound of the music had me quite entertained. The vocals not so much so...they kind of turned me off...

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Fri Apr 12 2024
4

I hate to admit it, I was ready to dislike this album. It couldn’t get released today with those lyrics…but the further the album went on, the more catchy it became. I’m a big fan….a closet fan maybe.

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Fri Apr 19 2024
4

Love it. Theatrical Glaswegian prog punk. A true one off

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Fri Apr 26 2024
4

Pas un album qui m'a jeté par terre, mais c'était vraiment le fun à écouter. Certaines paroles étaient un peu ridicule mais c'était plus drôle que gênant. Certains passages un peu plus mou, mais globalement le genre d'albums que je réécouterais dans une soirée entre amis. 7.5/10

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Thu May 02 2024
4

The album is short but the individual songs themselves each feel a little long. I feel like Alex wanted to turn it up to 11 but actually got to 12.

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Fri Jun 09 2023
3

My memories of this album is that there were always copious quantities of it in the record bins marked down to like 50p. I think I even owned this album at one point, but ultimately decided to ditch it. I really like the cover of Next on this album and it's definitely the high point. There's a few other pre-ACDC hard rock/ blues tracks that are enjoyable. However, I really didn't enjoy the more glam rock style tracks, Gang Bang being particularly odious. This makes it very difficult to score, as the individual tracks range from 1 to 5. I think a 3 rating makes sense for me.

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Sat Oct 07 2023
3

A bit silly, but interesting enough. I thought I was having a stroke during the extensive panning on 'The Last of the Teenage Idols'.

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Fri Feb 09 2024
3

This is canny mad. Sounds like it would be an incredible soundtrack to a musical. If this was the music, I’d definitely go to see the play. Lyrics are mad; and I quite like his delivery. It’s got the over the top rock aspects to it, without getting old for me. I think it’s because it’s so frantic. Probably wont be back, it aint my thing, but it flew by and it was an experience. Gangbangers. Ya gotta love ‘em!

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Mon Feb 12 2024
3

Alex Harvey is definately at the forefront of the punk movement. This was a weird record. There's a song about gang bangs, and another about a horse named Ding Dong, but it's actually a metaphor for his cock. A third song documents how the military paid for soldiers to use a brothel, and he ended up catching gonorrhea. Apparently Nick Cave started his music career in an Alex Harvey cover band. It's like blues rock and hard rock mixed. Favourite songs: Giddy Up A Ding Dong, Gang Bang, Vambo Marble Eye Least favourite songs: The Faith Healer, Next 3/5

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Thu Feb 15 2024
3

This immediately made me think of Ben Folds. The album massively swings between 50's rock, to waltzes, to 70's guitar wails. The whole album felt both younger and older than it is. Super high energy that was just fine.

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Thu Feb 15 2024
3

For a band I've never heard of before I enjoyed this record. Stylistically it's quite varied and kept me interested throughout - no two songs sounded the same. It's on the risqué side; I thought a tune like Gang Bang had the perfect classic rock FM radio sound but the blatant lyrical content would have prevented it from reaching a wide audience. Giddy Up A Ding Dong had a similar catchy vibe. The Faith Healer is their most popular song but to me it was one of the weaker tunes on the album. I considered giving it a 4 but ultimately I wouldn't listen to it again, so I've settled with a strong 3.

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Tue Feb 20 2024
3

Glammy, theatrical and way over the top, and certainly not one's thing. No doubt the cool kids (like, teens) woulda dug this decades ago but are likely embarrassed by it now, as it reads mostly cartoonish now. Like a caricature of what would scare parents about rock and roll. "Last of Teenage Idols" is funny, making explicit the links to doo-wop era that have been implicit throughout. "Faith Healer" may be top cut. “Nothing like a gang bang to blow away the blues” — can’t argue with that, now can we? Better than Alice Cooper. Not as good Mott the Hoople.

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Mon Feb 26 2024
3

While it does feel a bit thin, dated and glammy in places, there are also some genuine high points, and (annoyingly) catchy songs.

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Tue Feb 27 2024
3

Genre: Glam rock, hard rock 1973 Such an odd album. Don't know him or any of the songs except (NEXT). His version of Next is amazing and it makes the album worth listening to. The rest of the album is not that great for me. Standout: Next Next best songs: Gang Bang, Faith Healer Worst song: Giddy Up a Ding Dong. 3.5

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Thu Feb 29 2024
3

Hard to take seriously, even back then, with songs like Gang Bang and Giddy Up A Ding Dong - rocking music, awful lyrics. The Faith Healer, Vambo Marble Eye and Teenage Idols save this from getting 2 stars.

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Sun Mar 03 2024
3

Crazy rock adventure, some songs drag, some feel just right

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Wed Mar 06 2024
3

Lots of potential, great moments, and lots of nonsense too

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Fri Mar 08 2024
3

This was pretty good, didn't grab my attention massively (apart from Gang Bang - amazing!). I liked the overall sound and tempo though

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Mon Mar 11 2024
3

The SAHB always sound like they'd have been better live than on record. This album is OK, though I think some of the lyrics (Gang Bang is particularly vile) sound a bit poor to modern ears. The Jacques Brel cover is very good.

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Wed Mar 13 2024
3

Entertaining though by no means sensational as the band name promises.

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Wed Mar 13 2024
3

For many years I thought that Faith Healer was a Recoil song. Solid glamrock album, lots of highlights but also contains a few songs that are a little irritating.

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Sun Mar 17 2024
3

Fun and wacky, nice as an upbeat background if you aren't as distracted by lyrics like I am. This guy clearly had fun in the studio.

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Thu Mar 21 2024
3

Musically amazing, lyrically weird.

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Thu Mar 21 2024
3

53/1001 🌕🌕🌕🌑🌑

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Fri Mar 22 2024
3

I can hear the influence on Nick Cave. It was alright there were a couple tracks I liked a lot. It might grow on me as I get some distance and understand how it fits into its time period. Rating: 2.8

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Sat Mar 23 2024
3

Quintessential mixed bag. Some really solid rock stuff, mixed in with some very strange stuff, like a song that sounded like if Tom Waits played the two little demon guys in Hercules. Not quite sure why this is here (aside from British bias), and I don't love it but it's decent. Favorite tracks: Swampsnake, The Faith Healer, The Last of the Teenage Idols. Album art: Guy in striped shirt in front of striped background. Logo and picture are cool. Is it supposed to look this weathered, or is that just a bad picture? 3/5

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Sat Mar 23 2024
3

This was not at all what I was expecting and I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Each song felt like it was about to touch something and then just didn't. I can't explain it but whether it was a vocal choice or musical choice or something I just found myself enjoying the song and then wanting to skip.

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Wed Mar 27 2024
3

What a confusing album this is. there are some great rock and roll songs on this album and then some real dross and there are only 7 songs on the album. I was really not a fan of next. The opening 3 tracks are great. I love Faith healer and gang bang. Then the album goes a little downhill. I will be downloading this and listening to it again. Favourite song: Gang bang Least favourite song: Next Album artwork: Love the cover

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Wed Mar 27 2024
3

Less sensational than I was led to expect.

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Sun Mar 31 2024
3

pretty weird and interesting

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Wed Apr 03 2024
3

Another artist I didn't know. It was surprisingly fun with a weird variety of genres.

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Wed Apr 03 2024
3

Kinda good, kinda not. He seems to have influenced some better artists so hats off to you Alex.

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Wed Apr 03 2024
3

Very early rock but it was pretty good, he’s got a weird voice and weird lyrics but it melts together Favorite: SwampSnake, gangbang Least favorite: Next 3.3/5

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Sun Apr 07 2024
3

I think it's funny that this is the third time we've heard the title song in this project; the previous times being from Scott Walker and the author Jacques Brel. I had such a weird sense of déjà vu listening today until I figured it out. I didn't love this, but I think if I'd had more time for it to grow on me it could well have.

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Sun Apr 07 2024
3

The music was great, the vocals not so much. If he just shut up and let the band play I'd like it more. Sounded kinda like Guns N' Roses from lidl. Stand-out: Vambo Marble Eye

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Sun Apr 07 2024
3

The music is pretty good and folky/rock. The lyrics are very 60s/70s hippie era.

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Thu Apr 11 2024
3

Pretty unremarkable. Nothing bad here, but nothing to revisit.

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Fri Apr 19 2024
3

I really liked the sound and the lyrics were quirky. Never heard them before so I'll probably give them another listen.

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Fri Apr 19 2024
3

Kind of fun but generally feels like a knockoff of an early 70’s Alice Cooper album, but with none of the lyrical charm of Alice Cooper. One exception - The Faith Healer is a really cool song and stands out significantly from the rest of the album. Bumping it up a star for that song alone.

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Sat Apr 27 2024
3

Surprisingly nuts - wasn't 100% focused on what was going on, and thought that Spotify was on shuffle. Probably need to listen again, but well behind track on this project...

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Sun Apr 28 2024
3

I like the style of music, but the lyrics sound like a bunch of 19 year olds who find themselves funnier than they actually are.

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Sun Nov 26 2023
2

this album kinda sounds like that bar band that a bunch of your friends' dads plays in (derogatory) not awful but really nothing super interesting for me here. weirdly horny? and not in a fun way. the production is alright until 'last of the teenage idols' in which the entire song just pans hard left??? everything is in your left ear. and then the song picks up panned hard right. and then it evens back out. this feels intentional. and bad. can't say i am a huge fan

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Mon Feb 12 2024
2

This is not at all sensational. It’s just some 70’s junk I’ve never heard before. Send it back to the $1 record bins and call it a day, don’t waste your time trying to find merit here.

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Mon Feb 19 2024
2

This albums is nuts. It starts off all swagger and style with killer piano hooks and thumping energy, Harvey's unabashed libido in charge of the entire enterprise; but then the wheels fall over as he attempts Brel's 'Next' (or really rather Scott Walker's version), entirely missing the point of the track and unable to muster the requisite emotion in lieu of shouting his head off. The rest just falls away to sub par schlock and glam.

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Tue Feb 27 2024
2

Ain't nothin' like a gang bang To blow away the blues

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Fri Mar 01 2024
2

a silly jam album full of blues and yelling with some alright instrumentation. Nothing will stick with me because this particular niche isnt for me but i appreciated it.

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Fri Mar 01 2024
2

I feel like ppl who hate glam rock think all glam rock sounds like this. This would probably work for me if the lyrics didn’t suck and there was less “honky tonk”. Like T.Rex and New York Dolls both do a better version of this vibe.

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Fri Mar 01 2024
2

Side A of this album is the most Divorced music I've heard in a while. The lead singer completely ruins anything going on instrumentally. He sounds like a restraint order became sentient and started braying into a mic at his local honky tonk. Side B is better, and I suspect it's because it's half cover songs.

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Thu Mar 07 2024
2

Started strong, got a little generic and weird towards the end.

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Thu Mar 07 2024
2

Big ego to describe yourself as sensational, sadly this album is far from that. Mediocre at best. Not much to enjoy.

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Fri Mar 15 2024
2

It has some fun tracks and I enjoyed the Jaques Brel cover, and the overall experimentation and energy

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