Dymanic and varied, loved it!
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."
Dymanic and varied, loved it!
It's a proper chugger
God damn, I didn't know the deleted scenes from Rocky Horror Picture Show went this hard.
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.
Swampsnake, Gang Bang, GiddyUp Ding Dong, Vambo Marble Eye. This album could not be made today. Great music. Better than I was expecting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Disliked just about everything about this.
I heard it. Can I die now please? What a cacophony.
Brilliant, loud, punky, glaswegian, noisy, funny, awesome, clever, innovative, exciting and intense. One of my favourite bands, and possibly their best album.
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.
Was not expecting to like this but I do!
Surprising banger. Loved a few songs on this one. 4.4/5
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.
Ain't nothin' like a gang bang To blow away the blues
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.
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.
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.
Love this guy's voice, love the instruments too. Faith Healer and Ding Dong being kind of meh just barely keep this out of 5 star territory for me. 4.5/5 FS: all the other songs
not bad at all
Oh it was a silly fun time. Not very substantial though. The Faith Healer and Next were standouts to me.
Pleasantly surprised by this one. Never heard of Alex Harvey and sad to see he died relatively young. Album was quirky enough to keep my attention in a field of forgettable generic Brit-pop that the editor's decided to include. 3.5/5 but rounding up to a 4 because I fell like I may give this another spin in the future.
Cool petit album rock, rien de renversant mais j’arrive bien
What a ride! A bit off-putting and surely ridiculous, but it's worth the experience.
Sensationally Super Seventies...I loved it
Oj, vad det studsar! Ingen hejd eller tid att samla sig efter man tryckt på spela. Men jag gillar det! Ett frekvent användande av munspel och annat blås genererar någon typ av orkesterkänsla i rocken som ligger fint. Sedan när "The Faith Healer" tickar igång som tredje låt tickar den in på helt rätt sätt. En ensamt gående takt för att sedan introducera lite maracas, sedan lite tuggande gitarr och till sist trummorna. Börjar i ett välbehövligt lugn och sedan ett ständigt stigande i låten, vilket jag som bekant är väldigt svag för. Efter det kommer låten jag fastnade snabbast för: "Giddy Up A Ding Dong". Förutom det otroliga namnet är det en låt som gör mig glad. Det påminner lite om en viss typ av rockig americana jag lyssnat väldigt mycket på den senaste tiden. Men samtidigt en känsla av den klassiska rockenrollen ala Elvis. Synten som ligger och jobbar bidrar till att man vill röra på sig och det är INTE SVÅRT att se ett dansgolv där det pågår en pardans som det svänger i. Bra! Trots att albumet var så kort hann dom med mycket, i en del olika skepnader. Låten "Next" är mer av musikalstuket och jag hade inte ryggat tillbaka om den hade varit med i 'Les Miserables', 'Hamilton' eller något åt det hållet. Utan att ha lyssnat på något annat av bandet så kan jag konstatera för mig själv att dom lever upp till sitt kaxiga namn. Bäst: "Giddy Up A Ding Dong"
Very surprised by this. I do not love his voice, but this is a diverse and unique album that feels really raw and genuine.
Violently horny. I mean, for fuck's sake, it has a song called "Gang Bang" on it. The performances are electric, and despite being a bit repetitive in spots, it just scratches that dumb-caveman glam rock itch really well. Favorite tracks: "Giddy Up A Ding Dong", "The Faith Healer"
Against my own better judgement and the outright jouvenile nature of side A of this album, it won be over by the end. I actually didn't want it to end! It could have been 10-15 minutes longer, something I don't say lightly after nearly 950 of these albums.
Rock escocés, parecido a Rolling
Never heard of this guy. Quite an entertaining listen, though I think I prefer Scott Walker's version of "Next", and I'd be tempted to dock a star for "Gang Bang" although Abba's "Arrival" has just come up on the list too, and it has a whole song about kissing a teacher. The 70s, man. Absolutely uncivilized time period. Fave track - "Swampsnake" was fun!
Another clearly vital and seminal act I wasn't really aware of before. Not a huge fan of the vocal style, and a lot of the lyrics barrel past transgressive into pure self-parody, though maybe intentionally. The music is fantastic though.
Hard rock. Interesante.
Gött! There's nothing like a gangbang to blow away the blues!
4- interessante Band, da großer Einfluss auf AC/DC und Nick Cave
It turns out my mom was right. There truly ain't nothing like a gang bang.
While I appreciate that this album may have established a couple of standard aspects of glam metal going forward - it just doesn't seem like a good album by modern standards. Vocals and songwriting in particular are greatly subpar. And glam metal just isn't my jam in general. The nice, strong blues rock elements are what saves it from a 2star rating.
/0'er rock, lidt spæd punk-vibe, ganske ok
Somebody took the term "rock opera" a little too seriously. Best track: Next
Listened to this right after listening to the Slade album. Feels like some overlap there, but with a bit more theatricality with these guys? I've never heard of this band before and am now sad to read that Mr. Harvey didn't make it out of the 80s. That's too bad and probably has something to do with why they weren't on my radar. At any rate, I'm intrigued. I mean, there's a song called "Giddy up a Ding Dong," so the odds were good that I'd at least give it a giggle.
I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The name of the band turned out to be pretty fitting - they WERE pretty sensational. Gang Bang is a hoot and Next made me sit up and take notice. I might listen to more of this.
Took me back. This would not have a bunch of air time in Pittsburgh in the day. Reminds me of contemporary groups like Rare Earth and Iron Butterfly
mildly unenjoyable. next was hairable. if i was born in 1958 this would've been my favorite album.
A wild 35-minute ride that careens from symphonic-backed group-sex celebration to paranoid, tango-esque lamentations the next. While held together by a thematic thread, there’s a sense of unruly passion that laces this disparate collection of tracks together into a hell of a good time. Not sure if the songs will hold up in isolation, but even if this is a full-album listen kind of LP I don’t mind taking another spin.
Very solid, not much to say
Might be the horniest album yet?
I've never participated in a gang bang, but I have to imagine it wouldn't really blow my blues away. I think it would make me more depressed if anything. Having said that, this is fun, raunchy rock n' roll. Sometimes it veers into cabaret territory, which I don't love, but overall it's great. Doesn't take itself too seriously and sounds great. 3 stars.
Hmm. Entertaining. Never heard of em before.
Such a bizarre album. Took me a minute to get what was going on but by the midway point I was entertained.
I have no memory of this album :shrug:
Na na hey hey rock and roll is here to stay
Good raucous glam rock fun. Fave track: The Last Of The Teenage Idols
Some shocking stuff-notably “Gang Bang.” First half beat the second, and I mostly enjoyed it.
C'est bin cool du rock écossais des années 70. Un bel amalgame de sons, belle découverte.
It sounded like this had potential to start with but it lost me pretty quickly
Hey this was alright! Gang Bang is awful though.
Pretty good theatrical rock. And that Jacque Brel song
Heeft niet per se een indruk achter gelaten, weet niet zo goed wat ik ervan vind
Had niet in deze lijst gehoeven, zeker voor uit die tijd met deze muziek
En dan jezelf een sensational band noemen, niet mee eens hoor!
Cringe. It should be up my alley because I like camp rock (Rocky Horror?) but this is too tryhard and kinda gross.
Sensational is subjective.
You can peel away my skin.
It was ok, but very dated. Not sure I’d listen to it again.
first time listening
I'll bet they were quite fun to enjoy live in concert. Didn't love the album. It just didn't really click in for me.
God those song titles. Lyrics suck too. Instrumentation is fine and vocally it's a bit annoying but it's a commitment to a bit for sure. Next! Neeext! Neeeeeext!
Impressed by the performances, unimpressed by the content.
Well that was just weird. I don't know how it made this list, but a couple of the songs were fun I guess.
i felt a bit uncomfortable with some of the lyrics but really liked some of the musical ideas but not an awful amount it certainly wasnt sensational
Favourite song: Next
Ugh.. lag nr tvö eyðilagði þetta alveg. Mjög ósmekklegt. En.. þið vitið. Sjöundi áratugurinn var skítur að því leyti í sumum kreðsum. Þannig að bara... nei.. ekki fyrir mig.
Glam rock never really took off and was only big for a short period of time. This album, I don’t believe added much to the genre. Most of the songs are really forgettable, although the title track has some originality to it as well as some lyrics with actual substance. I also do appreciate the change up in part 3 of “The Last of the Teenage Idols, Pts. 1-3”. Most of the others fade into obscurity with their derivative chords and structuring as well as boring lyrics. Production and instruments can be hit or miss. I can enjoy this album while also realizing that it isn’t very good. 2/5
Wow, so that was a bit of a rough listen. It's weird because it's rowdy and trashy and a little glammy in a way that should work, but it comes off as rather joyless and not at all fun to listen to. The lyrics, best described as lusty and dumb, don't really help. If this sensibility appeals to you, you're probably better off checking out some early AC/DC. Fave songs: Vambo Marble Eye, Swampsnake
It's weird, but not really in the way that I like. Couldn't decide if I dislike the singers voice or not, but it did irritate me at points. Didn't expect a cover of Next to be on here, so that's neat. I don't know, I just didn't care about anything happening and I was waiting for it to be over. My favourite part of the album was the last two minutes, and I'm sad that it's stuck in a seven minute track. I guess my favourite song would have to be Next.
Some weird punk music that never got credibility
It was jolly enough. A whiff of Sweet at times. And although I know it was a different time, anyone who writes about women so badly should be ashamed. Your misogyny and ignorance is showing, you should cover it up.
Some songs I liked but overall a poor record
p307. 1973. 2 stars Average 70s Brit-rock album from an average Brit rock band with a frontman channelling his inner Tim Curry. They weren't really successful at the time, and this is perfect evidence of why - no real standout tunes, and the usual 70's rock wankage with 7+ minute songs. I suspect this is on the list because of memories of what a good live act they were.
The cabal who put this book together must think the pinnacle of music is “blues performed by sketchy white guys” because there is a lot of that nonsense on this list. At any given point this album is either dull or obnoxious. The best song on the album, Faith Healer, has been performed better by many others. Enough of this kind of garbage.
The only sensational aspect of this album can be found in the song titles (shout out to “Giddy Up A Ding Dong”).
Just a bit of innocent rock and roll with some macabre thrown in for the heck of it. There’s nothing here that’s going to blow your mind, but I doubt you’ll be offended by it. Maybe the band was sensational, never saw them live. I’m sure there’s a story as to why it’s on this list, but I don’t really care to hear it. Next!
Not for me
I got part of the way through Gang Bang and started skipping ahead. Grooves were ok, but it wasn't worth it. Was this on the list because of its shock value?
Not a fan of this one...
i wish some poeple would just have sex instead of writing ass music about having sex