Following on from the hard-hitting blues of their debut album, Plays On caught the Climax Chicago Blues Band in somewhat transitional waters, testing any number of different musical styles, but never really setting on any. Certainly the funk thump that characterized their better later work was still an idea waiting to be explored, as the group instead fluttered between the scurrying jazz of the opening "Flight," the psychedelic tinge of "Hey Baby, Everything's Gonna Be Alright Yeh Yeh Yeh," the semi-Santana fusion of "Cubano Chant," and the heavy blues of "So Many Roads," all interrupted by "Mum's the Word," a dynamic Moog sequence that builds out of the theme from 2001, and then freefalls into total space rock.
It is 1978 and Climax Blues Band is at the peak of its powers during a happy golden era when rock bands rule. They had hit the charts the previous year with funky single Couldn't Get It Right and they get it right on again with shiny new album Shine On . It features marvellous performances from a classic Climax line up with Peter Haycock at the helm on lead guitar and vocals. Peter is joined by Colin Cooper, the deep toned vocal-meister and superb alto sax player. They are boosted by a super tight rhythm section comprising Derek Holt (bass) and John Cuffley (drums). Climax romp through eight raunchy tracks, including Makin Love (released as a single and available here as a bonus track) and the stomping boogie Champagne & Rock n Roll . A cover of Tony Joe White's The Gospel Singer comes complete with soulful backing vocalists. Okay, so it s not 1978 anymore, but more than thirty years later, the music still sounds great and Climax rule one more time on this sought-after CD, complete with informative liner notes.
Now available on CD in Digipak format. Released for short time in 1993 on the indie HTD label and hard to find. Recorded at The Attic Bar in Stafford in September 1992, before an ecstatic home-town crowd. Only their second live album after 1974's iconic FM Live and of comparable quality. Features definitive Nineties line up of Colin Cooper, Lester Hunt, George Glover, Neil Simpson and Roy Adams. Contains long-time set opener Fool For The Bright Lights , their biggest hit single Couldn't Get It Right and classics Chasing Change and The Movie Queen . Band play on today with frontman Johnny Mars replacing the late Colin Cooper, and most of this repertoire survives in their set. Booklet with authoritative and extensive liner notes written by respected Record Collector journalist Michael Heatley. Expertly remastered superb sound - top quality reproduction. The best in the business!
Now available on CD in Digipak format. Released for short time in 1988 on an indie label and hard to find. Comeback album after a five-year hiatus, with guitarist Lester Hunt impressively replacing co-founder Peter Haycock. Also features core trio of Colin Cooper, Lester Hunt, and George Glover, plus soon-to-be Status-Quo rhythm section of Jeff Rich and John Rhino Edwards. Revisits their smash hit single Couldn't Get It Right and long-time set opener Fool For The Bright Lights among 10 impressive blues-rock tracks. The band play on today with frontman Johnny Mars replacing late Colin Cooper. Booklet with authoritative and extensive liner notes written by respected Record Collector journalist Michael Heatley. Expertly re-mastered superb sound - top quality reproduction. The best in the business!
In 1981 the Climax Blues Band was located in Los Angeles, recording yet another album to meet the heavy demand for their musical aspirations. Lucky For Some featured, once again, the tightly knit line up of Peter Haycock on guitar and vocals, Colin Cooper on vocals and saxophone, Derek Holt on vocals, bass guitar and keyboards and John Cuffley on drums. By now, the band had been on the road for a decade or more and played with a telepathic sense of communication on these nine superb original LP tracks, including four Haycock originals. But the guys were also helped out in the studio by some distinguished guests, notably the late session keyboard player Nicky Hopkins and vocalist Glenn Hughes. Complete with a saucy album cover design, Lucky For Some has some hot performances like Peter's Shake It Lucy and Derek Holt's Breakdown , plus a bonus track Darlin (single version).
Climax Blues Band had undergone a few changes by the time they cut Sample And Hold in 1983. While Peter Haycock (guitar and vocals) and Colin Cooper (sax and vocals) were still holding the fort, they had sampled a new rhythm section. The latest recruits were George Glover on keyboards, Dave Markee on bass and Henry Spinetti on drums. Together they kept the Climax flag flying. This song-packed ten original LP track CD kicks off with an upbeat and optimistic sounding Friends In High Places , with the vocal harmonies set in place by the old firm of Haycock and Cooper. Peter's guitar solo on this song is especially effective. Although the overall band sound veers towards modern Eighties pop, the guitar and drums, while still rock and strings are brought into play on The End Of The Seven Seas . A fine album with informative CD liner notes that put a much loved British band's career and this album into perspective.
Flying the flag for British rock throughout the Seventies and well into the next decade, Climax Blues Band were at the forefront of high quality, entertaining music, performed with equal success ‘live’ and on record. This ten track selection was first released in 1980, a time of change and conflicting influences. But whatever the moods affecting the musicians, they always played with maximum passion and expertise, as is revealed on ‘Flying The Flag’. The opening number ‘Gotta Have More Love’ is closer to disco pop than the blues that first inspired the group, but whatever style they espoused, Climax always delivered songs with cool expertise. And the core feeling for the rockin’ blues can always be found in performances like Peter Haycock’s outstanding ‘So Good After Midnight’ and the aggressive ‘Blackjack And Me’, that are among the highlights of a vibrant high flying album.