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Monday, August 15, 2011

Warhorse - Red Sea (1972 uk, great hard rock heavy psych, 2010 remaster with bonus tracks)

Within weeks of Nick Simper's final show with Deep Purple on July 4th 1969, he had played the Isle Of Wight Festival as part of singer Marsha Hunt's backing band White Trash, and was beginning to plan a new group of his own.

After just a couple of gigs with Marsha, Nick realised that the rest of her band weren't really up to the job, said as much, and found himself with the job of finding suitable replacements. He roped in Ged Peck on guitar (with whom he'd toured with The Flowerpot Men and Billie Davis), and his old Pirates band-mate Roger Pinner (aka Roger Truth) on drums. Pinner was soon replaced by Mac Poole. While this was going on Nick still found time for outside work, playing BBC sessions with The James Royal Set, and also putting together his own extracurricular band.

Ged Peck and Mac Poole were first on board, followed by singer Ashley Holt, who had auditioned for Deep Purple back in 1968. The James Royal Set's keyboard player Rick Wakeman took part in early rehearsals but proved unreliable, and when the band's first demo was recorded in April 1970 he was replaced by Frank Wilson. Very soon afterwards the band became a full time operation when Marsha Hunt folded her group due to the fact that she was pregnant by Mick JaggerInitial events made it look as if Warhorse's starting path would be similar to that of Deep Purple. A record contract quickly arrived (with the new Vertigo label), an album was recorded, and the band made their debut live show - supporting Mott The Hoople in Hemel Hempstead.

'Warhorse' was released in November 1970, sounding pretty much like a heavier version of Deep Purple Mk1, and fully illustrating how much Nick Simper had contributed to both bands. However, Vertigo's promotion concentrated more on the label than the album, and it undeservedly failed to chart, as did the belated single 'St.Louis' (an Easybeats song which had been in Deep Purple's live repetoire until August 1969). Around the same time, Ged Peck made his exit, apparently after increasing difficulty in dealiing with Simper's pre-eminence in the group. His replacement was Pete Parks from Black August, a band who had been sharing Warhorse's rehearsal room.

Warhorse had built up a healthy live following inside their first year, and continued to do so when Pete Parks seamlessly stepped in on guitar, but the band's fortunes had already peaked.They were forced to rush the recording of their second album 'Red Sea', which nevertheless received favourable press reviews, and pushed the band's heavy credentials forward by being more guitar based than its predecessor. However, it received very little label promotion, and soon after its June 1972 release Warhorse were dropped from the roster. Around the same time Mac Poole decided to throw his lot in with Gong, after having deputised with them for a few shows.

Drummer Mac Poole was replaced by Barney James, and Warhorse picked themselves up yet again, this time beginning to incorporate soul elements into their music.After a time Rick Wakeman appeared back in the scene. He produced a set of demos for the band, and then borrowed Holt and James to help record his UK #1 'Journey To The Centre of The Earth' solo album. Despite the fact that a new record contract for Warhorse was in the offing, both men decided to throw their lot in permanenty with Wakeman, and in June 1974 Nick Simper decided to bring the band to a close.

1. Red Sea - 4:16
2. Back In Time - 7:47
3. Confident But Wrong - 4:42
4. Feeling Better - 5:29
5. Sybilla - 5:30
6. Mouthpiece - 8:41
7. I (Who Have Nothing) (Carlo Donida, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) - 5;11
8. Ritual (Live Version) (Warhorse) - 4:17
9. Bad Time (Demo) (N. Simper) - 4:37
10.She Was My Friend (Demo) (N. Simper) - 4:52
11.Gypsy Dancer (Demo) (N. Simper) - 4:05
12.House Of Dolls (Demo) (N. Simper) - 4:17
13.Standing Right Behind You (Demo) (N. Simper) - 4:29
All songs by P. Parks, M. Poole, A. Holt, N. Simper, except where indicated.

*Ashley Holt - Vocals
*Mac Poole - Drums
*Nick Simper - Bass
*Frank Wilson - Keyboards, Piano
*Peter Parks - Guitar

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spaceboy5367 said...

Only familiar with Mouthpiece, which is awesome. Looking forward to hearing the rest. Thanks in advance Marios!

trismegistos said...

Ευχαριστώ για όλα.

Remy said...

Thanks Marios. For anyone interested, the first self-titled Warhorse album from 1970 is available at the following link.

Anonymous said...

Here is The only video of this great band...

André Luiz said...

Marios, wanted his help. I'm in the club participants phrockblog and always let my honest opinions out there. Ho Lieutenant in and was greeted as " uninvited ", ie, persona non grata on the blog. What's happening? No excuses, because no one... I'm feeling, and very sad, dececionado, you can help me with some explicação.já the phenomenon that you are one of the most active at that blog. I thank an answer.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Marios for 2010 Repertoire superb sound quallity flac CD and amazing booklet!!!

please give us more classics in this package.....

you rock!


uros said...

When I bought Rick Wakeman's - No Earthly Connection, the voice of the singer attract my attention an then I found out that he has started his carer in this marvelous hard progressive band. Thanks a lot, Marios, for this beautiful Repertoire's 2010 edition.

Sergey said...

Many thanks! Greatest band.

Jamie (tacobueno) said...

Never met a Repertoire release I haven't liked - wonderful label - many thanks for this Marios!

Jamie (tacobueno) said...

Thank you Remy for the link to their 1st album also!

Brain Police said...

Thanks Marios, I had forgotten all about them!

Anonymous said...

un bon album lourd et énergique, mais personnellement je prefére le premier album qui pour moi me semble plus travaillé et plus variés.

ARGS said...

Μάριε σ'ευχαριστώ πολύ για αυτήν εδώ την ανάρτηση. Εξαιρετικό άλμπουμ!!

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing this old bruiser rock!!

Laurent said...

It's weird, the bonus tracks are not on my LP edition. Personally i have a little preference to their first, but both Warhorse albums are great and essentials for all hard rock afficionados. Thanks Marios, for this upgrade edition.

Anonymous said...

Links dead...

Marios said...

...Warhorse ...isup...

spiderbite said...

Very nice one! I like...

Any chance You have the ST debut?

In any case Thank You very much for this.

danilo said...

Haven´t heard this one.

Unknown said...