Monday, September 19, 2016

Panhandle - Panhandle (1972 uk, magnificent classic rock with soul and funky vibes, 2016 remaster)

In the late 60s and early 70s numerous collectible LPs were made by studio musicians, or band members moonlighting from their regular duties. Examples include Hungry Wolf, Green Bullfrog, Ugly Custard and Rumplestitlskin.

The one off album released under the Panhandle moniker fits into this category. Somewhat surprisingly, its producer was Rodger Bain, then riding high as the architect of Black Sabbath's influential sound (as well as overseeing discs by Budgie, Indian Summer, Wild Turkey, Freedom and others).

Presumably recorded during downtime in Decca's West Hampstead Studios, it featured vocalist Jon Gobin (formerly of pop act the Selofane), guitarists Chris Spedding and Martin Kershaw, keyboards from Dudley Moore, bass from Herbie Flowers, and drums from Barry Morgan, as well as percussion by Dennis Lopez, and backing vocals by PP Arnold, Liza Strike and Kay Garner.

Spedding, Flowers, Morgan and Strike had recently contributed to Elton John's Tumbleweed Connection album, perhaps explaining the inclusion of his Amoreena here. They also tackled material by the Rolling Stones (a rare cover of Bitch), Creedence Clearwater Revival (Up Around The Bend and a rare cover of Penthouse Pauper), Sly & the Family Stone, Randy Newman, and other contemporary hitmakers.  The sole original cut is the curiously titled From The Film Of The Same Name, penned by the project's musical director / arranger, the prolific Roland Shaw. 

Engineered by seasoned Decca hands Peter Rynston and David Grinsted, the album received next to-no publicity or attention upon release in early 1972. According to Hi-Fi News ‘n’ Record Review 'A star-studded studio band work their way through rock and soul favourites with a combination of high gloss and enthusiasm. 

Chris Spedding, Herbie Flowers, Barry Morgan, Martin Kershaw, Dennis Lopez, P. P. Arnold, Kay Garner and Liza Strike are among the names involved. Jon Gobin handles the lead vocals, and the keyboard man is, rather surprisingly, Dudley Moore. Enjoyable, but no more.'Perhaps predictably, sales were dismal, and it was swiftly forgotten about.
CD Liner-Notes
1. Amoreena (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) - 4:25
2. Mama Told Me Not To Come (Randy Newman) - 2:14
3. Penthouse Pauper (John Fogerty) - 4:16
4. Dimples (John Lee Hooker) - 2:27
5. Bitch (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) - 3:25
6. I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield) - 3:01
7. Susie (Dale Hawkins, Eleanor Broadwater, Stanley Lewis) - 4:29
8. From The Film Of The Same Name (Roland Shaw) - 2:54
9. Up Around The Bend (John Fogerty) - 2:38
10.I Want To Take You Higher (Sylvester Stewart) - 5:28

*Chris Spedding - Guitar
*Dudley Moore - Piano
*Barry Morgan - Drums
*Herbie Flowers - Bass
*Jon Gobin - Lead Vocals
*Martin Kershaw - Guitar
*Dennis Lopez - Percussion
*P.P. Arnold - Backing Vocals
*Liza Strike - Backing Vocals
*Kay Garner - Backing Vocals

Related Acts
1970  Hungry Wolf - Hungry Wolf 
1970  Chris Spedding - Backwood Progression (2014 remaster)  
1972  Chris Spedding - The Only Lick I Know
1975-77  Chris Spedding - Chris Spedding (audiophile 2013 issue)
1977  Chris Spedding - Hurt  

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