Like an earlier reviewer, I was at the Who concert at Charlton Athletic's football ground (I read recently that it was the loudest concert ever - no wonder my ears were ringing for three days afterwards). SAHB were excellent. I also saw them at Liverpool Empire where they were even better, playing as the headline act. I have to disagree with the two earlier reviewers, though, as I think that Next was SAHB's best album.
These two albums do contain some great tracks though. On The Impossible Dream, 'Anthem' is an absolute cracker. It's the sort of thing that would have football crowds holding their scarves aloft and swaying in time to the music. It is really moving. On Tomorrow Belongs To Me, Action Strasse, Give My Compliments To The Chef and the title track are all superb.
I was very sad when Alex Harvey died. He was a wonderful showman. Buy these albums (and the Framed/Next package) and have yourself a wild time. The Live/Penthouse Tapes package is not as attractive. The live album is good but the Penthouse Tapes was a bit iffy.
Probably the two best albums from one of the very best live acts Britain has ever produced. I remember seeing them supporting The Who at one of their Charlton football ground concerts in the mid-70s; it had been pouring with rain pretty much the whole day, but when SAHB burst onto the stage, it made the whole experience of almost-drowning worthwhile! In an earlier era, Alex Harvey would have been a vaudeville comic. As a singer, his gruff, almost-spoken singing style lent an air of drama to songs that were already packed with incident and humour. Just listen to 'Hot City Symphony', Tomahawk Kid' or 'Tomorrow Belongs to Me' on this package to get an idea. Couple that with Zal Cleminson's clownlike make up (and his razor-sharp, staccato guitar-playing) and a rhythm-section second to none, and you have a killer rock band. The albums Alex Harvey made with SAHB are a potent testimony to a (still) much underrated singer, and you should own the two albums on this package as well as 'Next' and 'Framed' if you want to know what you've been missing.
These two albums are the cream of SAHB's brief spell as the most origingal and colourful band of the mid seventies. While other artists from the era such as Bowie or Roxy Music had a certain cleverness or style, they rarely evinced the delight and craft that SAHB displayed. Few albums have a better opener than "Action Strasse" , a more intriguing and epic track than "The tale of the giant stoneater" or wonderful singalongs such as "Sergeant fury" and "The Tomahawk Kid" Marvellous.
Two of the best rock albums of the 1970,s brilliant songs of which played live they were taken to a differant level. Tomahawk Kid, Vambo, Hot City Symphony,etc,etc, interspersed with songs that were not just fillers. why this man was not better rewarded for his contribution to british music i will never know.
FAB SAHB! 2 great albums and the incredible "Man in the Jar", a rock song full of dynamics that could have been a great gangster movie, or was it already! Imagery beyond the norm from the magic storyteller from Glasgow. Buy it!
The 1970s. Me in my early twenties, wearing a red velvet jacket and faded, flared denims, sleeping in the YMCA in Amsterdam and listening to the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (SAHB). Ultimately, this review about quality song-writing and nobody (and I mean nobody) wrote songs with such swagger and originality as Alex Harvey, alas no longer with us. SAHB were my absolute favourite band throughout my twenties, frankly in a decade when a lot of the music wasn't very good. They produced a series of stunning albums from 1972 until 1979 but in the end, nothing showcases the sheer breadth and originality of their work better than Tomorrow Belongs To Me. The band itself were hugely accomplished musicians fronted by the most audacious and charismatic front-man that I have ever seen. Renowned for being even better live than they were on record, I went to see them support The Who at Charlton in 1975. I hate large venues and they are the only band I ever went to see at a stadium gig. `Nuff said...