As I didn't own anything by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, this new 2CD on Spectrum struck me as the perfect introduction - especially at such a low price. The 35 track set covers his entire career and includes a number of rarities along with detailed sleeve notes, a couple of archive photographs, and images of original vinyl discs and picture sleeves.
CD1 is made up solely of recordings by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, including the UK Top 20 hits `Delilah' (recorded live at Hammersmith Odeon), `Boston Tea Party'. The remaining tracks are a mixture of covers (Framed, Giddy Up A Ding Dong, Next, School's Out, Crazy Horses, King Kong) and original material - all dating from 1972-77.
CD2 features further band recordings from this period, again including a number of covers such as `I Just Want To Make Love To You', `Tomorrow Belongs To Me' and `Cheek To Cheek'. The BBC archives are exploited with the inclusion of Old Grey Whistle Test performances from 1973 of `The Faith Healer', `Next', `Delilah' and `Give My Compliments To The Chef'. An added bonus is the Top Of The Pops recording of `Boston Tea Party'.
The second disc also includes tracks from earlier in Alex's career. A version of The Isley Brothers' `Shout' is credited to Alex Harvey And His Soul Band and is followed by an early recording of `Framed'. `Agent Oo Soul' (which features Steve Winwood on piano) and `Roman Wall Blues' are credited simply to Alex Harvey, dating from 1965 and 1969 respectively, while `Hair' and a cover of The Beatles' `Birthday' are from "`Hair' Rave Up" and credited to Alex Harvey & The Hair Musical Pit Band. The set closes with the marvellously titled `There's No Lights On The Christmas Tree Mother, They're Burning Big Louie Tonight'.
Overall this is a cracking 2CD set - perfect for anyone like me who has only recently heard Alex, but with enough rarities for committed fans too.