1972-73 Framed / Next
Two discs of 1972-1977 BBC performances by the Sensational Alex Harvey Band with excellent sound are collected on this set, though it's not quite as lengthy as you might assume, adding up to about an hour and a half in all (with only about half an hour on the second disc). There aren't great surprises in store for those familiar with Harvey's BBC work during this, his commercial peak. As was also true of his records, his reputation as a truly sensational live visual performer isn't quite mirrored by this audio-only document. Too, the only song that doesn't appear on his studio releases of this time is a 1972 cover of "Dance to the Music," which might be energetic but certainly wouldn't give Sly & the Family Stone cause to worry.
Disc one is entirely devoted to two performances at BBC's Paris Theatre, one in November 1972 and the other in October 1973, where they run through the bulk of the material from the SAHB's first couple albums. Some of his most celebrated songs, like "Framed" and "The Faith Healer," are naturally included, as well as his oddball cover of the early rock & roll hit "Giddy Up a Ding Dong," though Harvey's manic-tinged vocals are more impressive than the period hard rock backing.
Disc two actually features 1973-1975 performances from the BBC television shows The Old Grey Whistle Test and Top of the Pops rather than radio spots, and the two songs from a December 1973 OGWT appearance -- an anguished cover of Jacques Brel's infamous "Next" and a second version of "The Faith Healer" that utterly outclasses the one on the first disc from just two months earlier -- are the highlights of the collection, though this "The Faith Healer" is actually a live Harvey vocal fronting a pre-recorded backing track. His 1975 U.K. Top Ten hit "Delilah" (from a 1975 OGWT broadcast) is another highlight, but take note that the final and least essential two tracks, from a 1977 appearance on the same program, are the SAHB without Harvey.
by Richie Unterberger
1. Midnight Moses (Alex Harvey) - 4:40
2. St. Anthony (Alex Harvey) - 6:24
3. Framed (Mike Stoller, Jerry Leiber) - 6:41
4. There's No Lights On The Christmas Tree Mother, They're Burning Big Louie (Alex Harvey, Jimmy Condron) - 3:54
5. Hole In Her Stocking (Alex Harvey, Ray Russell) - 5:44
6. Dance To The Music (Sylvester Stewart) - 7:30
7. The Faith Healer (Alex Harvey, Hugh McKenna) - 6:25
8. Midnight Moses (Alex Harvey) - 4:35
9. Gang Bang (Alex Harvey, Hugh McKenna) - 4:55
10.The Last Of The Teenage Idols (Alex Harvey, Alistair Macdonald Cleminson, Hugh McKenna) - 8:21
11.Giddy Up A Ding Dong (Pep Lattanzi, Frank R. Bell) - 3:27
Tracks 1 - 6 recorded for BBC Radio 1's In Concert at the Paris Theatre, London, 2 November 1972.
Tracks 7 - 11 recorded for BBC Radio 1's In Concert at the Paris Theatre, London, 2 October 1973.
1. Next (Jaques Brell, Mort Shuman) - 4:01
2. The Faith Healer (Alex Harvey, Hugh McKenna) - 3:18
3. Give My Compliments To The Chef (Alex Harvey, Alistair Macdonald Cleminson, Hugh McKenna) - 6:08
4. Delilah (Les Reed, Barry Mason) - 5:04
5. Boston Tea Party (Alex Harvey, Hugh McKenna) - 3:48
6. Pick It Up And Kick It (Alex Harvey, Hugh McKenna) - 4:36
7. Smouldering (Chris Glen, Hugh McKenna) - 4:39
Tracks 1,2 recorded for BBC Television's "The Old Grey Whistle", 20th December 1973
Tracks 3,4 recorded for BBC Television's "The Old Grey Whistle", 30th May 1975
Track 5 recorded for BBC Television's "Top of the Pops", 10th June 1976
Tracks 6,7 recorded for BBC Television's "The Old Grey Whistle", 25th January 1977
The Senstational Alex Harvey Band
*Alex Harvey - Lead Vocals
*Zal Cleminson - Lead Guitar
*Hugh McKenna - Electric Piano
*Chris Glen - Bass Guitar
*Eddie McKenna - Drums
1974-75 The Impossible Dream / Tomorrow Belongs to Me
1974 The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Hot City / The Unreleased Album (2009)
1975-76 Live / The Penthouse Tapes
1976/78 The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Stories / Rock Drill (2002)
1979 Alex Harvey The New Band - The Mafia Stole My Guitar