Thursday, June 21, 2012
Don't Be Afraid. Horn Bands Are Your Friends
David Clayton-Thomas ruined it for a lot of us; an irritating front man if there ever was one. The difference between the Al Kooper led Blood, Sweat & Tears and the Clayton-Thomas horn band with such cringeworthy tunes like "Spinning Wheel" and "Lucretia MacEvil" is akin to the difference between shooting a bullet or throwing one, as that expression goes.
AM radio took all credibility away from the Chicago Transit Authority whose first two albums are as good as any classic rock albums get. The band managed to put out legitimate records right up until Chicago VIII, but will only be remembered for bad wedding first dance "Colour My World" and marriage on the rocks anthem, "If You Leave Me Now."
Horn bands get a bad rap.
Do you know the Sons Of Champlin? I hadn't before my friend and drummer for The Planets, Bobby Siems claimed their debut "Loosen Up Naturally" as one of his favorites of all-time.
San Francisco-based, the SOC combine the loose jammy feel of the Allman Brothers, a bit of 60s sunshine pop thanks to their fab harmonies, and of course, lots of horns. Bill Champlain later went on to join a later, faux-version of Chicago, but long before that career move, he created one of the great lost records of the late 60s.
The opener, and a killer opener at that, "1982-A" is below. I love most of the record, "Rooftop" and "Get High" especially. Track this one down.