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Friday, February 18, 2011

Humble Pie - Smokin' (1972 uk, great classic rock, 2007 japan remaster)

Often considered to be the very best Humble Pie album, Smokin' is a bluesy hard rocking record that, like so many albums from the 60s and 70s, suffered a large drop in quality when it was transferred to CD. The original remaster of the album from the early 90s sounds muddy and tinny, too often turning Steve Marriott and Clem Clempson's guitar work into a indistinct sea of distortion and dampening the power of the rhythm section. Until now, those seeking a better mastering of the record have had to search for the 2007 limited edition Japanese remaster. With the release of a new SACD version of Smokin' from Analogue Productions comes a new way to hear the album.

The first thing you notice about the remastering is how crisp and clear the guitars sound. The sound of Clempson's wah-wah pedal is no longer lost in the mix. Greg Ridley's bass has a new prominence, providing a larger low end to anchor the band's riffs. Jerry Shirley's drums are so well mixed it can be hard to get used to--the hi-hats and cowbells ring out so loudly they can almost become distracting. The only sound that remains tinny and flat is the acoustic guitar on “You're So Good For Me”, though I think I prefer it to the too-prominent sounds of the nylon guitar strings on “Old Time Feeling” - you can hear the pick scraping against the strings!
by Daniel Krow

1. Hot 'N' Nasty 3:22
2. The Fixer 5:02
3. You're So Good To Me 3:51
4. C'mon Everybody 5:13
5. Old Time Feelin' 4:01
6. 30 Days In The Hole 3:57
7. Road Runner / Road Runner's 'G' Jam 3:44
8. I Wonder 8:53
9. Sweet Peace And Time 5:48

Humble Pie
* Steve Marriott - Vocals, Guitar, Harp, Keyboards
* Clem Clempson - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
* Greg Ridley - Bass, Vocals
* Jerry Shirley - Drums, Keyboards
Guest Musicians
* Alexis Korner - Vocals, Mandolin-type
* Stephen Stills - Organ,  Vocals
* Doris Troy - Vocals
* Madeline Bell - Vocals
* Martin Tipple - Guitar

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Humble Pie - Humble Pie (1970 uk, 3rd album, classic rock, japan remastered edition)

Alternating hard-driving blues-rockers with country-folk numbers, Humble Pie neatly showcases the two sides of this band's personality on their first release for a major American label and third album overall. All of the elements are in place for the sound that would reach its studio peak with the next release, Rock On, and culminate with the classic Live at the Fillmore album.

"Earth and Water Song" provides a blueprint for the acoustic guitar-based sound Peter Frampton would ride to multi-platinum success as a solo artist later in the decade. "One Eyed Trouser-Snake Rumba" and "Red Light Mama, Red Hot!" show the hard-rocking direction in which Steve Marriott would move the band after Frampton's departure the following year.

1. Live With Me  (Marriott, Frampton, Ridley, Shirley) - 7:55
2. Only a Roach  (Shirley) - 2:49
3. One Eyed Trouser Snake Rumba  (Marriott, Frampton, Ridley, Shirley) - 2:51
4. Earth and Water Song  (Frampton) - 6:18
5. I'm Ready (Dixon) - 4:59
6. Theme from Skint (See You Later Liquidator)  (Marriott) - 5:43
7. Red Light Mama, Red Hot!  (Humble Pie, Lyrics Marriott) - 6:16
8. Sucking on the Sweet Vine (Ridley) - 5:46

Humble Pie
* Steve Marriott - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
* Greg Ridley - Bass, Guitar, Vocals
* Jerry Shirley - Drums, Guitar, Vocals
* Peter Frampton - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
* John Wilson - Drums on "Only a Roach"
* B.J. Cole - Steel Guitar

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