TEN YEARS AFTER
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Martin <M.VAN.DER.GAAG@ppsw.rug.nl> (29.07.99)
Basically, I now think Ten Years After are a bit of a so-so band. I thought they were great when I was under twenty and over the course of time I bought all of their records. But it has worn off, most of the albums I rarely play, and then only for reasons of good memories. But I still think Space In Time and Undead stand up as being actually very good records. Recorded Live is supposed to be an acclaimed live classic but I find it too lengthy and too pompous at times.Worst problem with TYA is that it's always Alvin who comes up with all the ideas, and while he can play very quick and well and has experimented a lot with production ideas and sound effects, he doesn't write very imaginable material. The music leans heavily on blues-riffs, which is not bad per se but shows hardly any progression over the course of albums; melodically speaking it's no great shakes either:TYA does not make tunes that you will remember to whistle while doing the dishes. The lyrics are mostly the worst bit, pretending to be something more than mediocre ('poetic', hahaha, forget it) but they're not. Also containing a lot of short-sighted male chauvinism. In short: Alvin is no great composer. But the attraction of TYA records to me is a certain sense of both urgence and mystery these records breathe, a certain longing for either being lively or progressive. I haven't been able to find that anywhere else, not in this way. Leaving out the question if they actually achieved being progressive, it's the longing for it I really like - echoing throughout several albums mainly in the production, but omnipresent on Space In Time.
I just saw them in Orlando , it was almost like watching the TYA live album. I was hoarse for a week. They played a little bit of everything and it sounded great. I would like to thank them for their professionalism, because even though it was a small crowd - 200+ or so,they played like they were at Woodstock. A lot of bands would have cancelled because of "technical difficulties". To Alvin, Leo, Chick, and Ric THANK_YOUPS - My favourite album is R & R to the World.
Andrew Miles Genger <AMGDead@aol.com> (13.01.2000)
I just wanted to congratulate on making a wonderful site with reviews dedicated to one of the great bands of the 1960's/1970's. However, in America they did have one massive hit with, "I'd Love to Change the World". That was a big hit in America and holds together well now as a true 60's artifact. I personally love "I'm Going Home", and I can listen to that a million times in various live versions. It's so full of energy and fun, like the nods to early rock 'n roll and the fast as hell guitar solos. Ten Years After recently played in New York with Jethro Tull, supposedly a wonderful show! Anyhow, it shows that these guys are still kickin' ass after all these years!
Rhonda Marlene Grandison <Rgrandison@telus.net> (14.01.2000)
I don't care what anybody says about Alvin Lee or Ten Years After. I've been a fan of thiers since age fourteen. I think they are one thee best bands of the rock'n'roll era. Although virtually unrecognized by the Classic rock'n'rollers out there he/they deserve the honour of being the classic rock'n'roll/blues band that they are.Where was everybody when Space in time was released.Anyways, its thier loss. Get a Grip. From:24 year fan of TEN YEARS AFTER.
Peter Bendix <firstname.lastname@example.org> (30.07.2000)
I don't really agree with your review of TYA. I have not listened to this band since 1971. Why? Because they started out so promisingly with Ten Years After, followed by Undead. The latter incidentally was recorded at a long defunct club called Klook's Kleek. During that live performance, Alvin Lee played the freshest and most inspiring guitar solos I've ever heard him do. This was almost a jazz gig, and the whole band swung like the clappers, and it would have been great if Alvin Lee had continued down that road. However, from Stonedhenge onwards that's where the rot set in. Until 1969, I had seen TYA a number of times and come away rather impressed. But during that year, I noticed that AL's solos not only began to sound extremely repetitive, but that he was playing poorly, fluffing notes, and on more than one occasion, slammed his guitar on the floor and walked offstage. The reasons for all of this soon became clear. He was becoming an alcoholic. As for Woodstock, that version of 'Going home', has to be the most overblown, pretentious, embarassing stint I've ever witnessed from a rock guitarist. It was clear to me that by then, he had lost the plot. But I guess at that stage you hadn't heard the original or seen it played live pre 1969. Anyway that was enough for me. I braved myself to listen to Cricklewood Green, but turned the record off after 2 tracks, and decided that I could not take AL seriously any longer. What a come down from those days of 1967-68, when here in the UK, we really thought we had a guitar genius in the making. Still, who cares these days. Life was on a rather superficial plane then.
Michael Roelofs <email@example.com> (13.08.2000)
Just leaving a quick note about TYA. I haven't really listened to them much the past few years (just too much music to listen too, really). But, at one time I was on a major kick for this band. I still consider them underrated generally, and as you mentioned, sadly overlooked among their peers from the same era. I was fortunate enough to see TYA live, twice in Germany in 1990 and again in 1991 and what really made me a fanatic back then was that these guys are such a tight, tight, tight, live group. Just a bunch of top-notch musicians who played their tails off. I wasn't just "the Alvin Lee Show;" but a finely tuned blues-rock machine with all four members jamming away brilliantly. 'Good Morning Little Schoolgirl' is pretty much mind-blowing live as played by these guys. I'll remember those concerts, particularly the 1990 gig until the day I die.
i collect albums, and consider my albums watt and a space in time, to be two of my most prized finds. i had these back in my younger years but somehow they got terribly scratched up like so many of my other albums, i blame it on stupidity not really knowing at the time just what i had. these two records bring back such good memories. times i shared with friends that are no longer with us. i think your right comparing 'id love to change the world' with led zepellins 'stairway to heaven'. i just cant figure why they dont get the credit they deserve. very much enjoyed your reviews i thought i was alone in awe of ten years after. thanks for the memories
Michael Warren <firstname.lastname@example.org> (04.10.2000)
I've got to be honest! After just reading your reviews of the first four Ten Years After albums; I am really impressed ! First, I got on your TYA page & was intrigued (but not terribly). Read your opening statement, thought: well I don't agree with all of this; but it's not such bad writing. Clicked back to the Home page: Ah, looks to be a very thorough list of classic Rock and British Blues bands, and the list is organized in an interesting and original fashion. I may not agree with all of the categories etc., but so what! It is obviously a quality effort. Got back on the TYA page & began reading the reviews more intently, and to my surprise: as I read on, I began to really enjoy the writing!!! (I suppose listening to Robin Trower & drinking a few beers didn't hurt, either---but I rarely lose my sense of judement when drinking---except in regard to the beauty of women). Anyway, your comments seem pretty much dead on, & your writing style is witty & charming. Sometimes hilarious! The lengthy analysis may bore some people; but I like to really dig into a piece of music---whether listening to, playing, or reading about it. The digressions and what have you are what make the reviews humorous.The whole point of British Blues, speaking as an American, is that it DOESN'T sound exactly like the original Black Blues players. It's different---and in some ways even better! After all, each succeeding generation of musicians has the opportunity & advantage of being able to build on what went before. There is one quality about the British Blues scene which I do not think can be honestly denied: the music was HEAVIER than anything before that time. One of the best things about Ten Years After is that they knew how to GET DOWN!!!!! Anyway, again, your writing is great, & compares favorably with the legendary Rock critics of old. It would be nice if you could do something on paper. It would be great to have a magazine which covers Blues, Rock, & Jazz history & recordings from the beginning to the present. For my money, such a magazine doesn't have to be comprehensive in every respect. Or consistent in it's allotment of space to different styles, genres, etc. Put it this way: I like Rancid. I like the NYDolls. I even like the Sex Pistols. But I don't really need to read any more articles about them. I completely understand their music! Besides there are several mags which cover these guys etc. I want a mag which might have articles, photos, & reviews of, say, Charlie Parker, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Uriah Heep, Marion Williams, Little Richard, Kid Ory, & Elmore James in one issue. Maybe throw in Pharoah Sanders & Muddy Waters & Toefat or Blue Cheer for good measure. This probably isn't possible; but it sure would be cool. I'd buy it---even contribute to it; if you thought my offerings were of sufficient quality. If not, then I'd definitely buy the mag! To read the pieces of writers who are more insightful & articulate than I am! Your page is one of the superior ones on the net---so glad I found it. Please keep it on the net! Sincerely, Michael Warren, Tulsa, Ok.
To me, Alvin is a favorite above all others. You can try to define, rate, reflect, compare, and criticize all day, but in the end it is what makes your personal ear Rock Out. I have seen most of the guitar heros over the years and love every darn one of them. All of them have something special to make their mark on music, and thankfully we have that variety and progress to keep life interesting. Most of our ears crave more and more complexity and change as we educate our minds with our musical experiences, whether it is listening or playing an instrument. Alvin provided that kind of extreme level in his prime and pushed his chosen style to the limits of the time. And I find that he did give us plenty of good tunes to whistle or hum while doing dishes. You can't tell me the beat of School Girl or the entire LIVE album doesn't soak into your ear for good as you first hear it. I still favor it over any other live record I know of. So many of those good old Rockers and powerful Blues tunes inspired a huge number of people to want to learn guitar. And others chose someone like Hendricks, Beck, Clapton, or Page to be their hero instead. Future generations look towards someone like Stevie Ray Vaughn, it is all a matter of A Space In Time. And Taste of course. I also think that while Alvin used speed to great effect, he had just as good or better of a soft touch on guitar, and was very accomplished in his use of acoustic guitar. "A Space In Time" clearly proves that. Still some of the catchiest simple acoustic licks in Rock Music to me. Alvin has given us brief moments of his skill in the recordings we have to rummage thru, or survive on in my case, but it is the Live experiences that I really cling to, great energy. And I don't mistake Alvin's pushing an envelope on some of his recordings as being sloppy guitar, although I am sure all of the heros have a mistake or two along the way, I expect and applaud that, it means the music is honest. I wish I could make mistakes or be just that sloppy on my guitar!Alvin's voice is very good, quite classic at times, but rarely is the determining factor in my liking one of his tunes. I do think that Alvin could have explored areas of music such as Jazz and Blues instrumental further. I have always wanted to hear what 'Uncle Jam' on the end of A Space In Time may have sounded like in a full version for instance. I wouldn't want Alvin to try and be a Satriani or a Malmsteen, or whoever the latest and greatest fret burner is, that is just not his character, but he is still the fret burner for his style, while many of his era have either slowed down or retired completely. Check out his 1994 album I Hear You Rockin', he still had the magic then, and "The Bluest Blues" is the best example of it. Alvin and Harrison were a great mix. Nobody is perfect, but Alvin has remained perfectly my favorite throughout the years, like no other I have ever heard or seen. Thanks.
It is obvious to me that one had to be living the era to expound on Ten Years After. Starting with Cricklewood Green. The time was tumultuous and the music riveting. This group set a pace and a place for us. Little known now by later generations, we loved their stage performance and the mesmerizing music. You younger crowd need to get involved with their style and appreciate their balance.
Jack Dewell <email@example.com> (05.03.2002)
What a treat to stumble into this page! My dad turned me on to TYA in 1971 when I was in the 8th grade.He is a jazz and blues nut and some carpenders he was working with were listening to Undead. But it was the Rock and Roll that hooked me from Ssssh. This band can't be pegged. Something on every album hooked me. Once there was a time, I'm coming on, 50,000 miles, If you should love me, Here me calling; Alvin Lee can break your heart so many different ways. And I love meeting other fans. It's like we share a secret.And God, what a treat to see them live! I saw Alvin and Co. at the spectrum, and TYA at a tiny theater on Water St. not that many years ago.It was like we were witnessing a miracle. My record collection is fairly large and extremely disorganized except for my TYA. All in one place baby! Hell, a couple of times I've been asked to lend my TYA stuff out and it was like a member of the family was away. I'd fret and worry my ass off till I got it back. I've got a thing for this band that I can't understand. And it's been going on for over 30 years. Obviously I'm not alone. My wife and I hadn't known each other for an hour before we realized we were both fans.Log cabins and Ten Years After. That's something you can build a relationship on . If Alvin ever sold his guitar, it would be a sin. Thanks for the reviews. I think your way off on some ,but your heart is in the right place.
George, I believe people compare this group to the pop scene & top 40 radio of the times, and not the actual music. Ten Years After were never media or critic darling, and they probably couldn't have cared less. Don't you think after 28 US tours, every band would sound the same...? (Read the liner notes:.the hardest thing for Ten Years After to do was record an album) I'm not gonna knock the other bands of that era, this is not the place for that. I did enjoy your reviews though, and see that you've changed your mind somewhat. I've been a fan of this music since '69. I do not agree with all of it, and very often on a lead guitar break, Alvin starts with the same 3 notes.......as do many other guitarists........if you play guitar, you develop your own style and you live with it.......As for those who critisise, do you do your everyday job the same way everyday? Are you 100 percent productive all the time? Aren't you sick & tired of doing the same thing over and over again? Don't you call of work when you don't fell like working? Can you write tunes that others want to whistle to? How may of your songs made it onto vinyl or plastic or magnectis tape? Give these 4 guys credit for what they were / are.......MUSICIANS doing what they enjoyed to the best of their abilities. Peace, Keep On Rockin' For those who want to know what a Ten Years After show was really like, buy the double CD Ten Years After Live At The Fillmore East 1970, That is what Ten Years After was really about
Nicholas Rogerson <firstname.lastname@example.org> (11.10.2002)
I owe you a debt of gratitude, George. Until I read your review of TYA, I was totally unaware of their existence. So I read your reviews and went out and got myself a compilation CD with the sleeve notes in German! Well, at first I didn't quite get the music. I'd not heard anything quite like it before. However, the more I listened to it, the more I loved it. It sounds pretty hard for 1967. Wasn't that at the same time as the Jeff Beck Group? Could I say that they created the genre of hard rock/blues along with the afore mentioned group? Anyway I am digressing. The sound of the group is unique because I don't think I've heard a primarily BLUES band with a keyboard adding very important lines to the overall sound. This really does add to their appeal I think. However I love the band principally for the guitarwork of Alvin Lee. Absolutely spellbinding. What I particularly like about his playing is the way in which his fast, fluid style is just that. It is fluid and he doesn't shred. The licks are incredibly smooth and tasteful. Oh, and his accoustic work is absolutely great too, bearing in mind it is a much harder art to master than electric guitar, especially when playing quick notes. Anyway, thanks for opening my eyes to TYA, it was well worth translating the sleeve notes for!
Michael Willems <email@example.com> (27.02.2004)
Just read your 'Ten Years After reviews'. I am listening to "Slow Blues in C" from Recorded Live as I write this.I have that album in the basement, on vinyl. It belonged to a friend, a gentle beautiful soft friend who would have gone far: Dave Leapingwell. Unfortunately, he overdosed on heroin and died before I had a chance to return the album. As did Chris Quirke, on of the nicest people that ever walked the planet. Me eyes fill with tears... Here's to you, Dave, and here's to beautiful blues/rock music.
J. Linscott <LinLive2@comcast.net> (04.01.2006)
Hello,My name is Jim Linscott and I was born 8/6/1955. I took my date to see Ten Years After at the Ballroom Coliseum in Lowell, Ma.1969. It was an experience that will never be matched again. While they were playing the entire floor was vibrating from all of those around us. Everyone was jumping up and down and stomping to the electrifying sound of "Good Morning Little School Girl". The energy that Alvin Lee was giving, not only in his ability to play, but also his determination of sending his power into us. It was almost magical in what we were experiencing. I was a novice having just purchased my first guitar and amp a few years earlier, a Fender Mustang and Fender Super Reverb, so I was just in awe at the speed that Alvin could produce with fingers and mind. For me, the rest of the band did not matter. It was Alvin that that I had come there to see, hear and be exposed to. Because maybe just a little bit of his magic would land on me that night. I just wonder, for a moment, if Alvin really realized how he affected and changed the world. He never knew us but we knew him through his guitar. In the end I realized that I had just experienced a part of rock and roll history and I would never be same because of it. Speed demons on guitar are a dime dozen these days but none of them will be able to put the blend of blues and rock into a stream of passion like Alvin Lee.
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Martin <M.VAN.DER.GAAG@ppsw.rug.nl> (29.07.99)
I really got turned on to TYA when I bought the Undead LP aged 16. I thought it was great then and still do. This is actually one of those albums that have stood the test of time and never bore me, no matter how often I've played it (even 'Shantung Cabbage' - it's as much part of it as the other pieces) Therefore 7 years later it became the first CD I ever bought. You say it's the perfect remedy for any bad mood and you're absolutely right - in the 14 years I've known it I've applied it as medication whenever facing something horrible, like having to do an oral examination, having to give a speech, cleaning the kitchen, quitting a relationship etc. And it works! The atmosphere in the club is good and tight, the music is both cheerful and tough. At one point I got so enthusiastic I let my father (who likes Beethoven above anything) listen to it, and his very mild reaction to 'Spider in my web' was "sounds a lot like Kermit the frog"! Actually, I think he is right! Both 'Woodchopper's ball ' and "I may be wrong' are my favorites. The problem with this album is, that however great I think it is, I've never been able to succesfully recommend it to anybody else; instead it tends to make people nervous (well, I understand that concerning 'Woodchopper' - gawd!). Jazzfans find it too simple, bluesfans find it too fidgety, popfans don't find it all. Anybody who reads this, buy this! George says 10, I say 'this one goes to 11'!
UNDEAD RECORDED AT A CLUB CALLED "KLOOKS KLEEK"
For those of you who enjoy this cd / album, it is being remastered with bonus tracks. The cd will run in the playlist order it was recorded that particular night. A great live recording has just gotten better. Also remastered with bonus tracks are Ten Years After (1st), Stonedhenge, Cricklewood Green, all with added bonus tracks..george will have to do a impartial review on these also! Visit the web site *Alvin Lee & Ten Years After-Re-Experienced* http://tenyearsafter0.tripod.com/
Nicholas Rogerson <firstname.lastname@example.org> (30.03.2003)
I have the remastered version of this album, with extra tracks. 'Rock Your Mama', 'Spoonful', 'Standing At The Crossroads' and 'I Can't Keep From Crying, Sometimes'. 'Spoonful' goes off brilliantly, and is far superior to the Cream live version, because it makes its point splendidly well and in less than seven minutes. It sticks to the tune, and doesn't go off into uninteresting jams. 'Crossroads' is not as good as the Cream version, but is exceedingly good nonetheless. Alvin really is a marvel, tearing into his solos. The other two are good too, 'Rock Your Mama' opens the concert well.The original tracks are all blessed with great guitarwork, except for the drum solo track. You're right George, Alvin plays so fast, yet it's so easy to groove along to. Amazing. The jazz numbers are particularly groovy, and I love 'I May Be Wrong, But I Won't Always Be Wrong'. I enjoy 'Spider In Your Web', because I have a soft spot for generic blues and again Alvin solos mightily towards the end. Finally, I'd not heard 'I'm Going Home' before I heard it here, and I've got to say, if TYA fans think this version isn't so great, I've got to here the Woodstock version, because I love it here! Absolutely exhilarating! The album is great and I got it for £7 so I'm chuffed. Alvin's solos are a tad similar each time, which is a minor criticism, but they are nevertheless excellent. Chick Churchill and the rest sound pretty talented too, and do a good job. I've got to hunt out Recorded Live and Fillmore Concerts now. I'm hooked!
STEVEN MARTIN <email@example.com> (14.11.2000)
Dear George,Thank you for the time and trouble taken to put together such an in-depth read, on one of my favourite bands. I got into TYA from the first showing of that movie, at my local cinema and the rest, as they say, is history. In your guidelines, you state that you are not insulting in these reviews. A refreshing approach in contrast to so many others. My response would be just that I`d like to suggest you take another listen to Stonedhenge. `Hear me calling,` far from being stupid has long been a favourite track of mine. Also, `Alvin`s solo bit ` being called `at least so hilarious and silly` didn`t sit to comfortably with either me or `the guidelines.` You say about the production; `It`s just...shity` and then make mention of `stupid grooves or Leo`s solo spots.` I found these remarks unworthy of an otherwise well presented piece. To quote Wilko Johnson `Opinions are like arseholes, in that everyone has got one.` Perhaps to avoid insulting anyone in future you might decide to be a little more circumspect regarding just where you chose to parade yours. Anyway; Overall rating still about 9 and you appear to be without competition at the moment, so good luck to you. regards sd [Special author note: I'd like to remark here that the guidelines warn against personal insults, not aggressive or dismissive feelings towards the actual music. If I were to filter my reviews and - even more importantly - my readers' comments according to how many times a certain song was called 'shitty' or 'crappy', I would have probably remained without any readers' comments at all. There is a big difference between calling somebody an idiot and calling something he'd actually produced a piece of crap. My PC standards simply don't amount to completely refraining from the latter, although, to be fair, I don't overabuse these epithets that much, do I?]
'I woke up this morning'!!noone ever talks about this blues number hardly....you hit it on the head about those blazin g-licks..........i play guitar now for 30 yrs and NOTHING i come close to will E V E R come close to standing next to alvins blistering runs.......posotivly THE FASTEST GUITARIST IVE "EVER" HEARD!!......WHEN IT GETS TO THE SOLO....i CEREMONIOUSLY SPREAD MY ARMS WIDE AND LET THE MASTER RAGE ON!!...... wasnt this......and I cant get anyone to co-oberate this fact...the tune.that alvin was voted.....or however they did it then...."THE" fastest guitarist of that time.......? i remember something along those lines....possibly "woodchoppers ball"...but one of the two im almost possitive.....and if he wasnt named the fastest then.....he should be NOW!!!......again...thnks...luckster.
Antonio Bravo Fernández <firstname.lastname@example.org> (30.05.2000)
Ten years after makes the Sssh album and I think the track "bad scene" as the best song of the band. I was fan of Alvin Lee in the year 1971, when comes into Spain this album, and is the first that I buy. Gloria to Ten Years After!!!, for the greats moments that I lives with theyr musics...
Mike Murphey <Gypsyman101@hotmail.com> (27.05.2002)
You must have never looked at the cover trippin' I did. He moved his head to and fro. It was one of my fav trip albums, when I did that nonsense...
Nick Vagianos <Nick.Vagianos@em.doe.gov> (08.01.2003)
Thanks for reviewing this album George. I thought you would like it. Extraordinary rock guitar...for 1970 or today for that matter. I never saw them in concert live so this is such a treat. Alvin Lee defys description sometimes.
Ton van Mierle <email@example.com> (18.08.2003)
What do mean George when you say that hobbit is cut out on the cd of recorded live, I don't know wich release you talking about but on my album (Chrysalis cdp 32 1049 2) hobbit is included ,it's the original Frankfurt track of 7.15 minutes And Filmore is not overprised something as good as this album can never be overprised. it brings back a lot of good memories.
Martin <M.VAN.DER.GAAG@ppsw.rug.nl> (09.09.99)
CRICKLEWOOD GREEN is a bit of mystery to me, indeed it sounds gloomy. Gloominess is handled well by TYA in general, but on this albums several things go wrong. Starting with "Sugar the road" always gets me thrilled, so it's a good opener. "Working on the road" (why two subsequent 'road' titles??) is also fine. I really like the echoing rimshots somewhere in the middle of "50,000 miles beneath my brain", they always remind me of my intention to sample it one day for some mysterious dance track or something (don't worry, I probably won't). "Year 3,000 blues" is horrible however, it's Alvin showing off again how many notes he can hit per minute, and this time acoustically; the lyrics are probably meant as funny, but too forced to actually be so. Alvin might be a humorous guy (I give him the benefit of the doubt from hearing his announcements on Undead), but he shouldn't have tried to bring humor into TYA songs. Somehow, TYA hasn't got to do anything with humor - does anybody recognize this? Side 2's opener "Me and my baby" IS jazzy compared to the rest, but in the right place; especially compared to the way the likewise jazzy "Uncle jam" was attached to the end of a 'Space in time' and which leaves you with the feeling that there is a fart where there should have been a real climax. "Love like a man" is ok, but not more, and there I usually stop playing the record. Why? 'Circles' is downright horrible, it really makes my toes curl, yuk! I'd perfectly understand it if both Simon and Garfunkel never want to speak to you again for such a comparison, George! 'Circles' is not only horrible because it's a bad song, but it's also terribly out of tune! "As the sun still burns away" actually starts promising but also shows no real good climax, the sound is also very muddy there. Towards the end, it also sounds as if one vinyl groove has been 'cut out' as the music jumps. Nevertheless this album has its attractions. I've found the sleeve always rather mysterious, especially the dried spider. And what is or are actually Cricklewood green? There is also something strange with "Working on the road"; in the beginning of the song, the main riff is being repeated several times, and one occasion slows down a bit and changes pitch for about a second. Did anybody else ever notice that? I've always wondered what happened there, it sounds like somebody accidentally leaned on the mastertape while the master record was being cut. And it's not just a pressing mistake, as it's on the CD, LP and cassette. All in all, I am very surprised this is supposedly widely regarded as their best album. It's rather patchy actually, and a step backwards from Ssssh which is a lot more fresh. As far as I'm concerned, only real fans need apply. I'd give the record a 6.
Bodo E. Geschwindner <firstname.lastname@example.org> (25.08.2001)
I´de got all the TYA-records on venyl - now I own them on CD. If you listen to the most of the songs ( 30 Years After !!! ) most of them sound antiquated and a little bit silly...But from the musical point of view there are two tracks ---> on the WATT-album, that will last forever in my head: GONNA RUN & SHE LIES IN THE MORNING. These are not typical TYA-songs, but listening to them ( underneath a headphone ) you´ll get the graet feeling of smoke, jazz or blues-clubs as they were in the early 70´s back. Think about it - if you listen next time Greetings from germany
top julien <email@example.com> (04.04.2002)
I discovered Watt just a month ago and I was surprised by the level of the songs especially "My baby left me" and of course "Think about the times".I just can't explain why certain bands have become totally forgotten and others have reached to "mythical band".
Martin Crich <Martin.Crich@canon-europe.com> (21.05.2003)
The strange synthesizer sound on "I Say Yeah" IS actually a guitar. Alvin is using a so-called "talk-box" (on the album it is described as "the bag"). The guitar is fed to a loudspeaker in an airtight box, the only way out for the sound is through a plastic tube the open end which the player holds in his mouth, next to the microphone, enabling him to quite literally make his guitar "speak". You might recall that Peter Frampton used this to great effect on several numbers on Frampton Comes Alive. Other guitarists who used it include Joe Walsh and Nazareth's Manny Charlton.
First of all, Watt came out in 1970 (December).I remember the review in Circus magazine - it started out with "Not bad...not bad at all". Watt may not have a "love Like a Man" on it, but it still is a decent album. True, a few songs do run a little bit long ( a TYA trademark?), but I think it is one of the stronger albums in the TYA collection. "She Lies..." is one of my TYA faves, along with "Gonna Run", but both jam on a little too long. It is no Cricklewood II in my book (meaning it is no duplication as George implies), but a worthy sucessor. If you're a TYA fan, it's a must-have.
Martin <M.VAN.DER.GAAG@ppsw.rug.nl> (14.09.99)
A SPACE IN TIME may consider itself proud to be TYA's best album, in songwriting, but even more so in its production. Across all their previous albums, Alvin Lee obviously dedicated himself with great enthusiasm to electronic studio gadgetry (starting with STONEDHENGE's sleeve credits of "stereo panning by Alvin Lee"). On many occasions however the production itself sounded not more than O.K., and the sound effects that were inserted here and there (mostly in between tracks, as on SSSHH) often left the impression of either the "let's see what this button does"-policy, or "I've compiled this effect and now we'll include it somewhere no matter what". On A SPACE IN TIME however, this approach has been replaced by a much more subtle one, in which the sound effects are either mixed with the atmosphere of the songs almost seemlessly on some occasions (e.g. the beach sounds at the beginning of 'I've been there too'), or apparently functional (e.g. 'Baby won't you let me rock & roll you' - the same radio dial-effect that got famous a couple of years later on Pink Floyd's WISH YOU WERE HERE). In general, this album leaves me with the impression of a beautifully and very gently polishing of ideas, in which' making not only creativity has been put, but also the patience to let the ideas grow and balance themselves out. This is also true for the songs themselves, which show real dedication to melody for the first time ('Over the hill', 'I'd love to change the world'), but also first attempts at being serious lyrically without any posing. It sounds like Alvin is trying to find peace within himself, and succeeds ('Once there was a time'). My personal favorites are 'Here they come' and 'I've been there too', because they're the most moody ones and exemplary for what a like in particular about TYA in general.There are also a few drawbacks however, as 'Baby won't you etc.' and 'Uncle jam', both album side closers, are very out of place. Personally, I prefer to leave them out when playing the whole album because they disturb the beauty of the rest so much. 'Baby' is "hey- ho, let's go"-r&r where there shouldn't be, and as already said somewhere else, "Uncle" is a jazzy fart where there should have been thunder (so maybe exchange the two when programming your CD?). All this taken together, A SPACE IN TIME will offer you a well- crafted journey through a contemplative soundscape, with one or two diversions. This is music for the mind. Although completely different from UNDEAD, which is music for the body, I'd say a 10 for this one. If you're not used to old stuff from TYA but still dig prog- rock, start with this album. A real pity they left this level of sophistication with their next albums.
yes, yes, YASS!!......what a fine vocaly thot about number1...alvin can sing so demurely and with such passion it is stagering....i lived those times back then.....he just hits it all on the head doesnt he...and after all his plea in his stirring question...."tell me, where is sanity".......whew!!....we were all getting pretty burnt up back then and no one wanted to broach the subject of how that generation was loosing it........it weaas supposed to be about finding ones self and the boys got us all to thinking a little more serriously bact then....growing up?............ luckster..........
I enjoy very much your writing and opinions on this album. I was the Alvin freak while my younger bro was the Zep freak as we grew up. I could never attempt to get into ZEP once I heard Alvin and in particular A Space In Time. Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon is the only other Rock Album I consider in it's class perhaps. I can still listen to either of these albums most any time. Both for similar reasons, the entire composition of either album is greater than any of it's parts. The music flows and soothes the mind. Allows one to drift from the realities that cause stress, if only for a brief time. I don't know of anything besides these two albums that has this overall effect on me so well. I just melt over Alvin's lead guitar on 'Change The World'. Still his signature style, but so perfectly applied. This is still the one song the Classic Rock radio stations will play of TYA. If it has to be only one signature song, I am glad it is this one, not 'I'm Going Home'. A Space In Time has always been my favorite album, pure and simple.
Steve Kirkpatrick <firstname.lastname@example.org> (16.04.2001)
I enjoyed your review of A Space In Time. I've always thought this was a truly great album and it ranks as one of my all-time favorites. I know they had a radio hit with "I'd Love To Change The World" but the whole album is so excellent with strong songs all through. It's surprising to hear some great acoustic numbers as well. "Once There Was A Time" rivals anything I've heard by Stevie Ray Vaughn when he strapped on an acoustic. This is really a perfect album from start to finish. I think A Space In Time along with Spirit's - The Twelve Dreams of Dr Sardonicus are two of the best and most often overlooked/unknown classic rock albums ever made.
B L <email@example.com> (27.06.2005)
Alvin Lee gives up the speed boogie and goes folkadelic. The effort to wrte an actual song or two is mostly succesful and a tight rhythm section cuts through the mostly accoustic arrangements to ensure that things don't get too sleepy (not unlike Buckingham/Nicks era Fleetwood Mac).Strings,electronics and tape effects are well integrated into the appealing production mix. One suspects that the percieved depth of this music is largely due to these studio techniques and is somewhat illusionary. Call it the Dark Side of the Moon effect. No matter. A Space In Time is a good LP.
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entirely great song in my opinion......all my LP's burnt up in a bad housefire and im not sure if this tune was already released....i should know this tho..........hmmm!..........i just think the song is good no matter where it is....but this was a some what weak album.......'choo-choo mama' $ 'Rock-n-Roll music to the world' is also one of my faves from the boys........love, love love this song.....luckster
RICHARD ORMSBY <firstname.lastname@example.org> (30.11.2002)
Find it amazing that this "scored"so low.Although I know nothing of Alvin's alcaholism at time I cannot sense anything gloomy or dark here whatsoever and believe the playing to be as sharp as the production. This was actually my 1st TYA album bought and can still remember the immediate effect it had on me even although I was 14 at the time. Producing this like A Space In Time in 1972 would have been more criminal and I think the clue lies in the title of the album---you would never have guessed there was a drug culture on this production but then again you can feel this to be so in the earlier lp's which surely is effected both in lyric content and even album cover designs. No, sorry a great record but would rate TYA doing Crosby`s "White Christmas"as no doubt worthy of acclaim.
I too, don't understand the low rating of this album. Should they have churned out ASIT II, or try something different? I just plain like it - there is not a track that bores me. I call it a great boogie/rr album.And "Turned off TV Blues" - what can I say - i think it is a great blues number. Another must have TYA album. Still have the LP Chris Cusack sold to me for 3 bucks (probably what he paid for it).
Bryan Forbes <email@example.com> (27.07.2004)
Just read your review of Rock n Roll Music To The World and felt moved to write and strongly disagree. I love all TYA albums and this one is my favourite. This was the first one I bought when CDs came out and i know I've played it more than any other one.
anne marie haughan <firstname.lastname@example.org> (23.05.2006)
This is definitely one of my top 100 best albums. ( Probably one of my top 20 )Loose , bluesy, inventive. Six of the tracks are top class and I consider certainly to be TYA`s best all round album ( although I`m goin home doesn`t feature ). Alvin`s guitar playing reaches unsurpassed technical hights on Turned off TV blues ( I play, so I knOW ), however the album`s main attraction is the overall production achieved in capturing the instrumental virtuosity, dynamics, mood & style of the compositions. If this album is perceived to be loose, relaxed & easy, it`s only because the players are at their peak and producing their most mature, contolled & effortless performances. Rock music rarely produces albums of such consistant quality. I have been playing the album for 35 years with Joni / Beatles / Mclaughlin /Miles/ Beach Boys /The Band/ Stevie Stills /Hendrix/Dylan/ Wonder / Stones et al and TYA`s where they belong. I intend playing many years from now.
Martin <M.VAN.DER.GAAG@ppsw.rug.nl> (16.09.99)
George complains about ROCK & ROLL MUSIC TO THE WORLD that the band sounds so tired, well here they do so even more and not only that, but also pompous and bored! To compare this to UNDEAD is obvious, but I don't think it's a matter of rawness here, but of enthusiasm. Sure, Alvin does his tricks on all three 'things' (speaking of embarrassments!), all the others get their solo, and all favorites are played, but apparently only to fulfill obligations and not because they like the job so much anymore. While UNDEAD is crisp and lively and between the lines tells you that they're gonna conquer the world after this night's club, RECORDED LIVE sounds not far from dead (and chronologically speaking this turned out to be correct; in retrospect, a switch of both album titles is more appropriate). George says he's happy because of the absence of a 'stupid drumsolo', but he may then call himself lucky he owns the CD version. On the double LP, the number 'Hobbit' is nothing but drum solo spare a short riff, and one hell of a boring one too, it occupies most of side 2. Besides that, uninteresting blues you will find right here too in 'Slow blues in 'C'' (yawn), compared to which 'Spider in my web' is rather compact and concise.But then again, every TYA album has its moments and so does this. 'Help me' is really, really beautiful and an improvement of the version on their debut. I agree with George that RECORDED LIVE is a good cross-section of their material, but the way it is performed does not give a good representation of the other TYA albums for novices. A 5.
Pegasus Capital <email@example.com> (19.01.2001)
Unlike The Who, Airplane, Crosby Stills and Nash, or almost any of their contemporaries, TYA is one of the few bands who, in my opinion, played better live than in the studio. This crew had a tremendous amount of energy and excitement in almost every piece and seemed to feed off the crowd, rising to new heights in their performances. "Good Morning Little School Girl" was played in gyms and church dances throughout the 70's and remains one of the great performances on the album. One of my Top 5 favorite live albums of all time!
I'm not sure, but isn't "It's Getting Harder" on this album? It's a catchy little song, I would say. As I said I am not certain the song is on this record; I have it on a compilation album.
The good thing about this abum is that a tour followed - and I got to see TYA at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, NJ in August 1975on their farewell tour. I don't think they played anything from this album.I actually bought this one when it came out - a very un-TYA like album. Best tune in my opinion is "look me straight into the eyes",could have fit on ASIT or Watt. It smacks of a contractual obligation LP.
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