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Silverhead: Silverhead

As though they didn't have enough different imprints under their Cherry Red umbrella, the reissues (and more) specialists have revived Purple Records, the label set up by Deep Purple back in 1971 to usher in Machine Head and their subsequent catalogue. The label however also became a nurturing ground for acts the various members of the band took under their wing and to celebrate Purple Records rebirth, so one of the less celebrated, but over the years much requested, outfits finally receives a comprehensive reissue campaign. The band in question is Silverhead and alongside their debut release, the band's only other studio effort, 16 And Savaged, and the Japanese only release, Live At The Rainbow are also spruced up and set free.

Based round actor and singer Michael Des Barres (who oversaw the reissues and takes part in the lengthy liner notes), the band also featured future Blondie man Nigel Harrison on bass, Stevie Forest and Rod Rock Davies (both on guitars) and drummer Pete Thompson for their 1972 self titled, and Martin Birch (Iron Maiden) produced, debut. Des Barres was an enigmatic frontman (who would go on to replace Robert Palmer in Power Station and perform to the world at Live Aid, as well as front the underrated Detective), his renowned antics gaining the band much notice, as did his rough round the edges Rod Stewart-ish vocal approach. That comparison also bears out musically, The Faces often brought to mind in the rhythm and blues, rock n' roll Silverhead specialised in. The Rolling Stones are also a reasonable touching point and with a classy, if naive, edge to the band's debut it still stands up well today. "Johnny" is an easy, yet jagged mid-paced swagger, while opener "Long Legged Linda" grinds more heavily and in all the right places, revealing a more Humble Pie meets The Beatles shout and twist in the process. "Rolling With My Baby" adds some slide guitar, showing this band really had the class and ability to add the authentic r&r bite their glammy image didn't suggest. Whereas the lively pop-punch of "Rock 'n' Roll Band" is maybe the track that should have catapulted Silverhead to the level of commercial success they never quite achieved.

Six bonus cuts are added, the 7" versions of "Rolling With My Baby" and "Ace Supreme" (another album highlight) found alongside the good, if a little derivative, "On No No No" b'side. The other three are live cuts, and while you can certainly sense the energy the band possessed on stage, the echoey nature of these rough recordings makes them hard work.

Silverhead is the sound of a band ably finding their feet and while it's quite easy to draw comparisons with the more accomplished acts of the day, Des Barres and his boys weren't that far behind… and better was to come.


Track Listing
1. LONG LEGGED LISA
2. UNDERNEATH THE LIGHT
3. ACE SUPREME
4. JOHNNY
5. IN YOUR EYES
6. ROLLING WITH MY BABY
7. WOUNDED HEART
8. SOLD ME DOWN THE RIVER
9. ROCK 'N' ROLL BAND
10. SILVER BOOGIE


BONUS TRACKS
11. ACE SUPREME (Live)
12. ROCK 'N' ROLL BAND (Live)
13. SOLD ME DOWN THE RIVER (Live)
14. ACE SUPREME (7" Version)

Added: August 20th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Silverhead at Cherry Red
Hits: 882
Language: english

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