Monday, May 15, 2017

Beckett - 1974 - Beckett


01. Once Upon a Time... The End - 0:55
02. Rolling Thunder - 5:23
03. Rainclouds - 5:10
04. Life's Shadow - 6:51
05. New Dawn Chorus - 1:02
06. A Rainbow's Gold - 4:40
07. Don't Tell Me I Wasn't Listening - 5:30
08. Green Grass Green - 4:35
09. My Lady - 3:26
10.True Life Story - 5:36

*Robert Barton - Guitar, Vocals
*Keith Fisher - Drums
*Terry Wilson-Slesser - Vocals
*Ian Murray - Bass
*Kenny Mountain - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Tim Hinkley - Keyboards

Beckett is simply one of the great lost Progressive Rock albums of the 1970s. These guys only did one album, but what an album it was. A Rainbow's Gold is simply one of the best songs on the 1970s overall. And Rolling Thunder is just amazing. It is a crying shame these guys never got the sales they deserved.

Beckett Vocalist Terry Wilson-Slesser, a native of Newcastle upon Tyne, was to figure in ex-Free guitarist Paul Kossoff's solo outfit Back Street Crawler and was later hook up with Charlie. The vocalist was also known to be in contention during 1980 for the AC/DC frontman vacancy following Bon Scott's death.

Wilson-Slesser had replaced original Beckett singer Rob Turner, the previous frontman having been killed in an auto accident. Soon after this appointment guitarist Les Tones quit. The group's first major performance was supporting UFO at Newcastle's City Hall. Beckett carved out a live reputation by performing residencies at the infamous Star Club in Hamburg, Germany. Beckett , having scored the financial backing of Island Publishing, then underwent a major line-up change.

The band's 'My Lady' single was a clear flexi-disc given away free at gigs in 1974, the same year the band released their eponymously titled album, produced by Family's Roger Chapman, on the Raft label subsidiary of Warner Bros. On the live front Beckett supported the likes of Wizzard, Slade, Free, Ten Years After, Thin Lizzy and The Faces. The band performed at the 1974 Reading Festival, after which they switched labels to CBS Records. For a period Wilson-Slesser was rehearsing with Mott The Hoople musicians following Ian Hunter's exit.

The Beckett concerts with Free would ultimately lead to an eventual union between Terry Wilson-Slesser and guitarist Paul Kossoff in Back Street Crawler. . The singer also acted as backing vocalist on Def Leppard's 'Pyromania' album. The Beckett song 'A Rainbow's Gold' was covered by Iron Maiden as a B side on their 1984 hit single '2 Minutes To Midnight'. That same year Wilson-Slesser acted as an offstage singer for the Michael Schenker Group, performing on a European and Japanese tour.

The Iron Maiden Connection:

Now this is a truly intriguing album for all Iron Maiden fans.

One obvious reason for that is a song "A Rainbow's Gold", which Maiden covered and released in their 2 Minutes to Midnight / Rainbow's Gold single.

But there's another hidden fact, which is way more interesting, though sadly unknown for closely all Maiden-fans.

A true gem of this album is its fourth track, "Life's Shadow". First off, let's take a look at the lyrics of the song:

Mark my words my soul lives on
Please don’t worry cause I’ve have gone
I’ve gone beyond to see the truth

When your time is close at hand
Maybe then you’ll understand
Life down there is just a strange illusion

Every Maiden-fan should be able to recognize those lyrics. In case you're not familiar with the material of Iron Maiden, these lyrics are pretty much identical with Maiden's epic song called Hallowed Be Thy Name.

The song with its mood and structure has some similarities with Maiden's hit song, but it does have huge similarity with another Maiden song: listen to the instrumental part starting from 4:45. That should sound familiar as well. This exactly the same instrumental part can be found from Maiden's track called The Nomad.

I'm not sure if I should blame Maiden from plagiarizing here. It's an interesting case for sure.

1 comment: