Saturday, November 26, 2016

Rock Workshop - 1970 - Rock Workshop

Rock Workshop 
Rock Workshop

01. Ice Cold — 2:58
02. Wade In The Water — 3:46
03. Hole In Her Stocking — 4:09
04. He Looks At Me/Mooncross Grove — 10:19
05. Spine Cop — 3:48
06. Born In The City — 3:02
07. Theme For Freedom — 7:35
08. You To Lose — 6:42
09. Spine Cop (Alt Version) — 3:51
10. Hole In Her Stocking (Alt Version) — 5:31
11. Born In The City (Alt Version) — 2:47
12. You To Lose (Alt Version) — 5:26
13. Primrose Hill — 5:41
14. Return Of The Goddess — 5:41

Ray Russell — guitar
Alan Greed & Alex Harvey — vocals
Bud Parkes — trumpet
Harry Beckett — trumpet, flugelhorn
Tony Roberts — tenor, concert flute, alto flute
Bob Downes — tenor, concert flute, alto flute
Derek Wadsworth — trombone
Brian Miller — keyboards
Daryl Runswick — bass
Alan Rushton — drums
Robin Jones — drums, congas

Lead Guitarist and principal songwriter RAY RUSSELL had been gigging with Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames when he met ALEX HARVEY (later of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band) with his younger brother Lesley Harvey (lead guitarist with Stone The Crows) both of whom were playing in the musical "Hair" in London.

Out of this meeting of likeminded musicians came the collaborative free-basing British band ROCK WORKSHOP - a very Chicago/Blood Sweat & Tears first-album brass-driven 11-man fusion outfit (like a more guitar-mad C.C.S.) that managed two UK albums on CBS Records in 1970 and 1971. Both of these platters sank without a trace and have been very hard to find every since. Harvey would of course sign to Vertigo Records and start a run of highly successful albums and chart action (later LPs on Mooncrest).

The band's second lead vocalist was ALAN GREED. Greed had been with Harsh Reality who had a lone Prog Rock album called "Heaven And Hell" released in 1969 on Philips SBL 7891. After Rock workshop failed - Greed went on to be with the band The Running Man who managed one self-titled LP on RCA's Progressive Rock Neon label (NE 11). The other notable in Rock Workshop was flutist BOB DOWNES - a Fusion heavyweight whose cult status amongst collectors and aficionados has long since been the very stuff of collectability.

However - this 'Angel Air Records' CD Reissue and Remaster is not without its problems as other reviewers have noted - but I'd argue that it’s still worth checking out. Here are the wigged-out details...

UK released October 2002 - "Rock Workshop" by ROCK WORKSHOP on Angel Air SJPCD132 (Barcode 5055011701328) is an 'Expanded Edition' CD Reissue and Remaster with Six Bonus Tracks that pans out as follows (71:16 minutes):

For some reason that's never explained - the original British LP's track list has been messed around with for this CD Reissue. Released June 1970 on CBS Records S 64075 (No US issue) - it should have been configured as follows:

Side 1:
1. You To Lose (Ray Russell/R Cameron song)
2. Wade In The Water (Ramsey Lewis cover - arranged Ray Russell)
3. Primrose Hill (Them For Jake) (Ray Russell/R Shepherd song)
4. Theme For Freedom (Ray Russell song)
Side 2:
1. Spine (Ray Russell song)
2. Ice Cold (Ray Russell/R Shepherd song)
3. Hole In Her Stocking (Ray Russell/Alex Harvey song)
4. He Looks At Me (Ray Russell song)
5. Mooncross Grove (Ray Russell song)

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