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4.3 out of 5 stars10
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 21 February 2001
I have enjoyed listening to this compilation cd containing 16 songs from Steamhammer, a band that first surfaced in 1969, I was a bit disappointed that there were not more tracks from their first album, there are two recordings of Juniors Wailing, one the LP version and the other which was apparently a single release,one word Brilliant ! There is a variety of songs from other albums, and you can track the changing influences of the band from the blues of Juniors Wailing, Just Passing Through, Lost You Too, to the more Jazzy, Johnny Carl Morton. If you were to ask me what other bands sounded similar, I would say that Wishbone Ash, Taste, and the Groundhogs could have been influenced by these guys or vice versa, even Jethro Tull fans could enjoy this CD. The CD starts with a 50 second track called Water which lulls you and then shocks you awake with the start of track2 Juniors Wailing which pounds it's way through one of the best R&B tracks I have ever heard, and which apparently formed the basis for Status Quo's style after they covered this one and had a hit with it! Track three Riding on The L&N is the longest at 10.11 and reminds me somewhat of Cream and then goes of in a sort of rock jazz fusion style, I have to say that this was the track I liked the least, although there is a good bass guitar solo, and driving drum rythym, which you could almost call tribal, before the lead guitar comes swirling in to join them. Hold That Train starts slowly and gradually builds itself to resemble a train clattering along the tracks, a great boogie song in the Canned heat tradition. Track 5 Passing Through there's a lovely freewheeling feel to this one, with almost a hint a of Indian influence here, a really lovely track . Autumn Song I was not so keen on this one, there is a lot of flute playing going nowhere. Track 7 When All Your Friends Are Gone another jazzy song . Lost You Too Brilliant I loved this one when I first heard it in 1970, I still love it now, a great sad Blues/rock song . Track 9 Supposed to Be Free A good melody line flows through while the guitars play a twin lead line, saxophones join later and give it the air of a late night smoke filled club. Johnny Carl Morton track 10 a driving beat and jazzy harpsichord a bit of an over indulgence. Some of Martin Pugh's guitar breaks carry heavey echo and this combined with the flute playing on track 11 Even The Clock gives a spacey feeling, great to chill out too. Track 12 Contemporary Chick con song starts off with a really folky acoustic guitar, that then soon blends into a real driving R&B song with some excellent Saxophone playing, just enough, without taking over the song. Track 13 apparently the single version of Juniors Wailing , it sounds just the same as the LP version to me. Track 14 Windmill Lots of flute to start with, drifting guitar in the background,
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on 10 April 2001
I first heard "Passing Through" on a vinyl sampler by CBS called "Fill Your Head With Rock". It starts as though it has been rolling along already for about 5 minutes and even when it fades out at the end it fades back in just to let us know that the band is rolling on. I thought this track was lost to me in the digital age. I bought the Steamhammer album it came from and to be honest nothing quite stood out like "Passing Through". Some time later I came across another Steamhammer album called "Mountains" and the four best tracks are on this compilation. "Riding on the L & N/Hold That Train" are live tracks from that album. They are fairly lengthy but they hold the tension, are easy to listen to and are classy arrangements. The band seems to have constantly evolved and on that last album they got into Tolkienish stuff that is thankfully omitted. From the other albums, "Junior Wailing" steams along and seems to typify them as a classy blues band. There are half a dozen good and very varied tracks here that make this worth splashing out the dosh. Set the CD to 'programme' and listen to them, missing out the filler.
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VINE VOICEon 6 September 2003
One of the best but not well known late 60's early 70's band. This compilation has some absolutely classics from the electrifying 'Juniors Wailing' to deep electric blues of 'Contemporary Chick Con Song'. The only fault is that some of the titles do have the oldf self indulgent titles that mean not a lot (Contemporary Chick Con Song?????).
Buy it now and be surprised in the 21st century how listenable this album is.
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on 13 June 2009
I've been a dedicated and keen fan of this type of music since the late sixties and like to think that I've seen and heard the best of it over the last forty or so years. Steamhammer though are one band that seemed to have slipped through the net! Hearing the single 'Junior's Wailing' on Planet Rock a few weeks ago it aroused my interest and not knowing their albums plumped for this CD, a recent best of production. It's great! Very much 'of it's time' but great musicianship and a good range of toones. If you are into white-boy blues-rock of this period and want an introduction to the band then buy this. Great stuff!!
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on 16 April 2013
I remember walking through Leicester Suare at about 1am on a warm summers evening in 1969 and passing a record booth and being stopped in my tracks by the sound of "junior's wailing" rocking out into the night- Instant blown-away jaw dropping joy and the album was safely tucked under my arm a few minutes later. That track remains for me one of the greatest unsung blues/rock anthems of all time and I was astonished then and still remain puzzled as to why it has never become more recognised. One of the reasons no doubt is because the band's output was not large and their exposure was limited, and apart from the first album, which was superb, was quite patchy. But they remain one of Britains best groups of the period, bearing comparison, in ther good moments, with others such as Fletwood Mac, Keef Hartley and Ten years After . This compilation is therefore well overdue and is interesting and worthwhile even if just for the title track, but I agree with other reviewers who feel that the whole of the first album should have been included. "riding on the L&N" is a goodie and its nice to see "windmills" (the flip of the "wailing" 45) here as it has not been available elsewhere. Get this for a taste of good old 60s rock, but try and get the (self-titled) album too if you can.
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on 20 October 2013
I remember hearing steamhammer back around 1970 thought they were ok. I was more into Hendrix zeppelin, cream, tull groundhogs, free, santana I recently saw the best of steam hammer on amazon. thought good price bought it realy impressed , they were like a early clutch. but british and for my money far better.
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on 4 August 2013
Great collection of great pieces from all Steamhammer's albums .
Hadn't heard a lot of their material before purchasing this .
I knew Passing Through but that was about it really .
This collection has prompted me to purchase their entire back catalogue .
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on 2 June 2014
Really good strong memorable songs played brilliantly by an vastly underrated band. Highly recommended! Featured Martin Quittenton who left to write songs such as Maggie May with Rod Stewart.
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on 28 November 2013
this took me back to places i'm not sure ever existed
roll another number and wack the volume up jimmie
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on 16 September 2015
Ok but only about 2 or 3 tracks I like won't not recommend
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