Thursday, April 13, 2023

Broken Glass - Broken Glass (1975 uk, exceptional bluesy classic rock, feat Stan Webb and Miller Anderson, 2005 remaster)

Stan Webb took time out from his band Chicken Shack to form a brilliant band entitled Broken Glass featuring such great players as Miller Anderson, Robbie Blunt, Mac Poole and Rob Rawlinson. The three pronged guitar attack of Webb, Anderson and Blunt soon had venues rocking and EMI put the money up for the band's debut album. The album hit the streets to great reviews and Broken Glass seemed on their way to fame and fortune. The quality of the Webb, Anderson, Bunt compositions was exceptional but as often beset bands in the Seventies, problems with management ensued and the project collapsed.

"Broken Glass" kicks off with the banging rocker "Standing On The Border," which featured Stan and Miller Anderson sharing lead vocals. A great opening riff is replaced with a lot of pressure by the verses, which benefit from the alternating vocals of the two frontmen. Wow, what power! Then replaced by Ashton's rolling piano parts and a short guitar solo. Completely different is the following "It's Alright", which shines with a great groove, three ingeniously interlocking guitars and strong Webb vocals, but also comes a lot softer. Still one of the best numbers on this disc.

As the third title, "Keep Your Love" brings something completely different, namely reggae to the gift table. Of course, the protagonists also master it easily and Tony Ashton can once again score on the organ. Add to that the gorgeous slide work from Anderson, the spot-on bass from Rawlinson and the charismatic voice from Webb.  "Can't Keep You Satisfied", which comes across as a relaxed jam and spreads a lot of atmosphere, "Jersey Lightning" sets the tone again, a brisk country stomp refined by a great dobro played by Miller Anderson. 'It's Evil' is the blues classic by Willie Dixon, but it gets a whole new funk treatment here. 

A real cracker "Crying Smiling", which goes straight towards the twelve again. Another great rocker with Anderson and Robbie Blunt's backing vocals topping an already strong chorus. Very fine guitar solo by Robbie Blunt too. "Take The Water" is the first recording of what is now known as "Chicken Shack Opera" and has been a staple of Stan Webb's Chicken Shack concerts for over twenty years. Again, a relaxed blues jam in which each individual band member can show what they're made of. 

The album ends with the title song written by Anderson, who also did the vocals alone, this last number is about the poor musician who is being ripped off and taken advantage of and betrayed from all sides. A look into the famous crystal ball, as it turned out very quickly. The manager of Broken Glass had invested the high advance payment from the record company in another of his protégés and very quickly squandered the entire fund. The result was that Broken Glass played a single concert in London after the album was released and then disbanded without a trace. 

Stan Webb then launched the next edition of Chicken Shack, taking with him Robbie Blunt, who had a home there for two more albums. Webb was very impressed by the band at that time and their composition (which was not always the case with previous and later Chicken Shack formations) and was very bitter for a long time that Broken Glass was once again killed by a third party have been done. What remains for posterity is this one album where you can enjoy rock, blues, reggae, hot jams and beautiful acoustic numbers.
1. Standing On The Border (Lance Mark Alexander, Stan Webb) - 3:41
2. It's Alright (Stan Webb) - 3:38
3. Keep Your Love - 4:38
4. Can't Keep You Satisfied - 5:18
5. Jersey Lightning (Stan Webb) - 1:53
6. It's Evil - 3:47
7. Ain't No Magic - 5:12
8. Crying Smiling - 3:53
9. Take The Water (Lance Mark Alexander, Stan Webb) - 5:24
10.Broken Glass (Lance Mark Alexander) - 2:31
All compositions by Robbie Blunt, Stan Webb except where indicated

Broken Glass
*Robbie Blunt - Lead, Slide Guitars
*Mac Poole - Drums
*Rob Rawlinson - Bass
*Stan Webb - Lead, Slide, Dobro Guitars, Vocals 
*Miller Anderson - Guitar, Vocals
*Tony Ashton - Keyboards

Related Acts
1967-68  Remo Four - Smile
1969  Ashton Gardner And Dyke - Ashton Gardner And Dyke
1970  Ashton, Gardner And Dyke - The Worst Of
1971  Ashton, Gardner and Dyke - Let It Roll / Live