Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Humble Pie - Joint Effort, album review

Funk Fire

This starts with such a funk bomb! And if you want to know what musical genius is, it is here: Steve Marriott funking James Brown’s Think with its comparable level of explosive funk.

No surprises this is the best of an otherwise ‘new’ album, recorded between 1974-75, but not released as the dissolved/reconvened band’s ninth album, until now. But in lighting such a fire that isn’t sustained, it’s a little dangerous. But what an initial burn!

Betty Wright’s Let Me Be Your Lovemaker is a Free-esque riffer that works well, even in its rather raw recording, followed next by a similar methodology with its Beatles’ cover Rain – a song as transformed as rain turned to sleet.

This Ol’ World and the blues gravel of Midnight of My Life are delights, the full impact of what was performed lost it seems to me in the production distance of what we eventually hear – his vocal forced across left and right as if only half-captured at that moment rather than a clich├ęd stereo-sound split. The gospel-esque organ and chorus add succour to the elemental emotion of Marriott’s singing.

Penultimate Charlene is an R&B chug of proper Small Faces lineage, and closing on Think 2 is a wise book-end of mainly instrumental embers wafted back to flame before it all died out.

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