zondag 28 november 2010

Ambrose Slade - 1969 - Beginnings

Ambrose Slade

01. Genesis
02. Everybody's Next One
03. Knocking Nails Into My House
04. Roach Daddy
05. Ain't Got No Heart
06. Pity The Mother
07. Mad Dog Cole
08. Fly Me High
09. If This World Were Mine
10. Martha My Dear
11. Born To Be Wild
12. Journey To The Centre Of Your Mind

Noddy Holder - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, producer
Dave Hill - lead guitar, producer
Jim Lea - bass guitar, producer
Don Powell - drums, producer

Roger Wake - producer, Engineer
Richard Stirlin - photographer
Linda Glover - artwork

 Time was, Beginnings represented a holy grail of sorts for Slade fans (and original Fontana pressings still do). Thankfully, a rash of reissues have taken much of the edge of the market, and the band's debut album, cut while they still traded as Ambrose Slade, is readily available for all to hear, and what a joy it is. Of course, little of what you'd expect from Slade is actually in place, although Noddy Holder's vocals, naturally, are unmistakable. The songwriting duties are split between well-executed covers and full band compositions -- the Holder/Jim Lea team of future renown has still to crystallize itself, and their one joint effort, the hauntingly folky "Pity the Mother," has little in common with anything the future held. But the opening "Genesis" will be familiar to anyone who rocked out to the second album's "Know Who You Are," proving that the band already knew a great song when they wrote one, and a cover of "Born to Be Wild" sets them up for the definitive version featured on the first live album. A floor-shaking slam through the Amboy Dukes' "Journey to the Center of Your Mind," and a suitably deranged romp through Frank Zappa's "Ain't Got No Heart," meanwhile, demonstrate the band's musical versatility, and while there are a handful of disappointments ("Martha My Dear" is almost heinous), still Beginnings stands as, indeed, a fine beginning. But things were going to get a lot better than this.

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