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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

9434
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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Fri May 19 2023
1

Disliked just about everything about this.

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Wed Jun 21 2023
1

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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 Oct 20 2023
5

Didn't expect that at all; loved it!

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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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Sun May 28 2023
4

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

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Wed Jun 14 2023
4

Oh it was a silly fun time. Not very substantial though. The Faith Healer and Next were standouts to me.

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Sun Jun 18 2023
4

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.

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Fri Jun 30 2023
4

Cool petit album rock, rien de renversant mais j’arrive bien

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Sun Jul 02 2023
4

What a ride! A bit off-putting and surely ridiculous, but it's worth the experience.

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Tue Jul 04 2023
4

Sensationally Super Seventies...I loved it

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Sun Jul 09 2023
4

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"

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Wed Aug 02 2023
4

Very surprised by this. I do not love his voice, but this is a diverse and unique album that feels really raw and genuine.

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Fri Aug 04 2023
4

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"

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Mon Aug 07 2023
4

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.

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Fri Aug 11 2023
4

Rock escocés, parecido a Rolling

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Tue Aug 22 2023
4

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!

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Tue Aug 29 2023
4

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.

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Wed Aug 30 2023
4

Gött! There's nothing like a gangbang to blow away the blues!

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Mon Sep 04 2023
4

4- interessante Band, da großer Einfluss auf AC/DC und Nick Cave

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Tue Sep 26 2023
4

23rd September 2033 Listened on the Thursday after cos of catching up on everything. I loved this, hard blues mixed with Genesis like whimsy.

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Wed Sep 27 2023
4

Been meaning to hear more or these/him for some time. Only seen Next on The Old Grey Whistle Test. Quite liked liked it, very pleasantly surprised. High 3 low 4 me thinks.

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Sat Oct 07 2023
4

It’s a rule of thumb that countries that include the word democratic in its name rarely is exactly that. The same goes for superlatives and band name (I’m especially looking at you Incredible Bongo Band). Alex Harvey seems to be one of the exceptions. You can clearly hear how much fun everyone had recording this and furthermore how this must have inspired several early post-punk outlets. It’s charming, over the top, perhaps a bit too silly at times - and Alex Harvey sounds incredibly charismatic. It loses some momentum in the middle, but the start and ending is high octane and just a lot of fun.

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Tue Oct 17 2023
4

What the fuck. This was so stupid and entertaining at the same time.

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Wed Nov 01 2023
4

Ca sonne swamp, rock, un peu échaudé et la voix est aussi rock and roll a souhait, C'est vraiment un bon mix de tout cela pour un album très plaisant à écouter. Ca déménage. 4.5

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Thu Nov 02 2023
4

Only one listen so far and first reaction is 70’s Tenacious D. Music is good and the lyrics seem to be fun and silly.

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Tue Nov 07 2023
4

What a fun listen! This is like a mix of Alice Cooper & T. Rex with a dash Iggy Pop & Sparks. These guys definitely have a flair for dramatics & clever lyrics. I stumbled upon this band earlier this year & watched a few of their live performances - what a treat. This band knows how to put on a show. Easy 4 starts.

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Tue Nov 07 2023
4

I enjoyed well enough this the first time I listened to it, so I listened to it again and I enjoyed it even more. Harvey's delivery and (judging from the album cover) sense of style obviously influenced AC/DC. Good stuff.

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Tue Nov 21 2023
4

Has some moments of great guitar. A bit odd ball at times. Overall a good listen if unexpected

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Wed Nov 22 2023
4

Solid. Dark themes. Harmonica. Story telling 4

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Fri Nov 24 2023
4

The English response to Iggy Pop (or just their own version of it, at circa same time), which in my opinion checks all the boxes that Iggy didn't. It's fun, original, not that straightforward, with some great guitar solos and a plethora of other instruments. Really nice album, I'm pretty ashamed I have never heard of Alex Harvey before!

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Mon Nov 27 2023
4

acutally suprisingly fun and nice album to listen to

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Sat Dec 02 2023
4

Highly enjoyable, put a smile on my face, despite some of the lyrics and themes being slightly simplistic or creepy!

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Sun Dec 03 2023
4

Alex Harvey had a great rock n' roll voice and his version of "Next" is one of the best vocal performances I've heard, certainly the most theatrical. The overall sound is gritty, greasy & glammy and with 2 songs about gangbangs on a 7 song LP you know it will attract a certain kind of crowd. The long songs aren't worth the extra investment, but the others rock. A nice snapshot of 1973.

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Mon Dec 04 2023
4

Hard rock sententero. Me ha gustado. Un 4.

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Wed Dec 06 2023
4

This is an absolute FEAST for the ears. I’m getting like, ozzy vocal intonation with Tony Iommi guitar, but like this Broadway level performance one moment, classic/psych rock the next, experimental rock after that. All of this should not work but the cohesiveness of Alex’s voice and vision keeps this together. It’s amazing how much he is able to explore in a single album and not make it sound like mush or confusing. Update- just realized this whole thing is about sex addiction (?).

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Wed Dec 13 2023
4

What a sensational album. Going through every archetype of the decade that was and would be the 1970s. Before punk invaded the UK these guys were writing songs about gang bangs and soft shoe bananas. Sensational just about says it all frankly.

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Wed Dec 20 2023
4

Mix aus Glam Rock und Blues, I like

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Thu Dec 21 2023
4

Weird. But not in a bad way.

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Fri Dec 29 2023
4

I have no clue what I was expecting to hear but it wasn't that. Wild songs and seem pretty ahead of it's time. Definitely thought that was Black Sabbath in that last song. not sure how often I'll come to this 3.5 but I gotta round up for just being original af.

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Fri Dec 29 2023
4

Some raunchy rock for sure. Kind of the same style as Alice Cooper. Faith Healer was a really cool song, I don't know if that is because the instrumentals were really good or because it was minimal singing by him. He still tries to sneak in some real creep lyrics. There were some pretty cool southern rock type in here too especially in Vambo Marble Eye. The first two songs made me scared for this album but it really turned around after that. This style of music is kind of right up my alley. This started off as a 2, but then was fluttering between a 3 and 4, so I will round up cause its the holidays.

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Fri Dec 29 2023
4

This was definitely an oddball listen that ranged from blues to hard rock to glam and cabaret. At one point I thought a song could be a Maiden B-Sode, and at another it felt almost Floydian. All around I enjoyed the listen and went back for a repeat to make sure I didn't miss anything. Songs were interesting and unique with some solid production to back it up. Only thing I outright hated was the deliberate play with stereo on the final track. With headphones on it just made me feel uncomfortable. This is one borders the 3/4 line but I'll nudge.

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Mon Jan 01 2024
4

Im großen und ganzen eine coole glam rock Scheibe die ich so noch nicht kannte. Einige Lieder sind mir ein bisschen zu "verschnörkelt" und zu viel Selbstdarstellung aber es ist ein gutes Album

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Wed Jan 03 2024
4

You hear the same craziness Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention displayed, with the same sometimes crude lyrics, but musically a little more punk-avant-la-lettre, combined with hard- and bluesrock in the mix. An artist that influenced quite a few of my musical heroes, so I'm glad to have finally listened to this album, and it was surprisingly awesome.

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Sun Jan 07 2024
4

Totally surprised me. Though there is clearly nothing high brow here, the style seems like a Bon Scott / Slade feel with some catchy rock songs. There's only 7 tracks, but all of them hold their own, with Next being my favorite, though Faith Healer, Swampsnake and even Gang Bang are entertaining. Though the lyrics may be stuck in a different time, I definitely enjoyed the album.

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Fri Jan 12 2024
4

While I can't review this without calling out "Gang Bang" for being depraved, I also can't deny I was taken by the flamboyance, compositions, and performances of Alex Harvey and His Sensational Band. There are comparisons to make to Bon Scott and AC/DC — though Harvey and company were here first — and these guys took this music to different extremes. It's brazen — that's part of the recipe — and it's also inventive and Harvey takes chances, he doesn't play it safe. Lots of chuckling as this played, you've got to take a lot of this with a wry smile. But at the end of it all, this was one that I had to tip my hat to.

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Thu Jan 18 2024
4

Olipa hyvä uus tuttavuus! Erityisesti avausraita huikea. 4/5

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Fri Jan 19 2024
4

Classic rock with some swagger, adding horns and such as well

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Fri Jan 19 2024
4

Really cool lively mix of rock and blues. Enjoyed

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Fri Jan 19 2024
4

I didnt know you but i like you👍

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Sun Jan 21 2024
4

Toda una sorpresa teniendo en cuenta el año en el que fue grabado. Rock puro con melodías guitarreras y con bastante ritmo. También me ha gustado la voz del cantante, enérgica y con estilo

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Tue Jan 23 2024
4

4/5. A heavier than expected album full of awesome riffs. Some of the lyrics, sure a little iffy, but I have a feeling that might have been the point? Alex really defines the sound, kind of like a Scottish Tim Buckley. I can see the influence this album provided to bands like Black Midi today, and it does hold up in my opinion. It's weird and seedy, but goes hard in almost every song. Next... arguably my favorite song on the album.

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Thu Jan 25 2024
4

High energy, fun album. Rock and roll with an eclectic twist of keyboard and string instruments. The lead singer is a kooky dude.

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Fri Jan 26 2024
4

pleasantly surprised by this. A hidden gem.

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Fri Feb 02 2024
4

very good, i'm a fan of classic rock so this is right up my street

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Fri Feb 09 2024
4

Completely over the top and musically all over the place, proper tonic to the blandness of U2. Sounded like glam rock, classic rock, gypsy punk, and (slightly reggae) soul at various points, bit mad but very interesting. Definitely want to hear more. Wouldn't give it a five as I wasn't completely sold on any particular part of it but very glad it came up.

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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 19 2024
4

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

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Tue May 16 2023
3

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.

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Wed May 17 2023
3

/0'er rock, lidt spæd punk-vibe, ganske ok

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