Vocalist, guitarist and principle songwriter Alvin Lee formed The Jaybirds with bassist Leo Lyons in England in the early 1960s. Joined by Chick Churchill on keyboards and Ric Lee on bass, they switched their name to Ten Years After in 1966; a reference to the birth of rock 'n' roll with Elvis Presley a decade earlier. A management contract with Chris Wright's newly formed Chrysalis agency led to a deal with Decca imprint Deram in 1967, and the release of their eponymous debut. Their fourth album, Ssssh.
, issued in August 1969, coincided with their breakthrough appearance at the Woodstock festival, a definite highlight of the subsequent film and LP of that show. Fifth album Cricklewood Green
, issued in April 1970, featured their biggest UK chart hit with 'Love Like A Man'. This was swiftly followed before the end of the year by the release of Watt
, recorded at London's Olympic Studios. 1971's A Space In Time
showed a change in direction, no doubt inspired by the more acoustic sounds prevalent in the States at the time. As well as producing their biggest Stateside hit with 'I'd Love To Change the World', this set is completed by Rock & Roll Music to the World
from 1972, a classic mix of the blues and rock 'n' roll that made the band such a successful live draw, with lead guitarist Alvin Lee hailed as one of the fastest players in the world. This set also includes rare b-sides and single edits, appearing on CD for the first time.
'Ten Years After repotedly attributed thier name to coming along a decade after Elvis and there's definitely something of The King's hip-dislocating flashiness, pride and hauteur about them'. ***
-- Record Collector, September, 2010