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Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Next...
Label: Polygram Records
Release: 1972

Tracklisting:
Swampsnake
Gang Bang
The Faith Healer
Giddy-Up-A-Ding-Dong
Next...
Vambo Marble Eye
The Last of the Teenage Idols (Parts 1, 2 and 3)
Next... - Sensational Alex Harvey Band
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Alex Harvey was a good ol' Scot. He assembled a band of fellow people, and this is one of his albums, made in 1973. Alex Harvey had a unique voice, and is one of those great, totally discernible frontman - much like an Adam Ant or aJim Morrison. You can just tell that he's the absolute driving force behind these songs. Alex Harvey, sadly, passed away in 1982, at the age of 47.

In fact, he's generally the saviour, seeing as most of these songs are pretty basic in their instrumentation - standard heavy rock of the early '70s. However, Alex Harvey is hilarious at the front - with great lyrics, and catchy vocal melodies.And his voice is great - extremely pumpy, and purely Scottish. The opening rocker, "Swampsnake", is great - with it's infectious chorus and riffs.

That's followed by a pure, great glam-a-thon with "Gang Bang". And yep, the lyrics to the song do describe the antics of several people who are madly in love with each other. The song is pure sleaze - especially in the chorus ("Ain't nothin'like a gang bang to blow away the blues!"). And they're especially great when sung by the brilliant Alex Harvey - he is just a fantastic frontman.

And then there's the fantastic, epic "Faith Healer" - with it's storming riff and sections - and huge Alex Harvey at the front...ah, it's a fantastic cut. It's actually one of those songs that you'd like to have even more time - I feel that it ends just before it goes into absolute classic territory - a slight shame, but we're still left with a classicsong. Great way to end side 1.

Side 2 begins with a hilarious 12-bar blues called "Giddy-Up A Ding Dong". Brilliant again. And following that is the record's masterwork - a fabulous reworking of Jacques Brel's "Next". It comes with a very catchy, twisted melody, and of course, Alex. This is probably his best - he sings the lyrics brilliantly, wailing them out in his distinctive voice. And the song has a great build-up to the crazy ending - it's an absolute classic.

Following that is a big, wah-y rocker called "Vambo Marble Eye" - it's got a great, anthemic, ridiculous chorus..and crazy,nonsensical lyrics ("VAMBO! Coming to the rescue!") some good guitar too, courtesy of Zal Cleminson. And then there's thesecond big epic - "The Last of the Teenage Idols". It's a multi-part hit, full of big heavy rocking - packed to the brimwith horns, and a sneering Alex. Lots of heavy riffing too. It finally ends as a classic rock n' roll ballad, with lotsof "sha-la-la-la's". Great ending to a great record.

A 9 for this record - it's a brilliant album. Buy (or at least try to find it) now. You need to hear it - it's fantastic.9.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

 


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