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Glitter Band, The: Complete Singles Collection

Although they started life as the Mike Leander Showband, the outfit who would become a reliable backing outfit for many musicians as they played the thriving Hamburg circuit was known as the Boston Show Band. However, in 1972 that act unofficially became The Glittermen, as they grabbed the gig backing a past musical associate of theirs, Gary Glitter. That partnership would remain on into the 80s but part of the deal the band struck as they agreed to back Glitter was that they could also record music of their own and while Pete Phipps (drums/keys), John Rossall (trombone/saxophone), Harvey Ellison (sax, guitar, piano), Pete Gill (drums) Bob Edmunds (sax), Gerry Shephard (guitar/vocals), John Springate (bass/vocals) and Tony Leonard (drums) would have to fight hard to have that agreement honoured, their debut single without Glitter, “Angel Face”, would arrive in 1974.

Closely following the sound they were already known for with their ‘frontman’, the single would hit #4 in the charts and from there a further 5 45’s would break the top 15 over the next two years. Line-up changes were never far away, Gill (who would later join Saxon and Motorhead!) would be gone by the end of ’73 as would Bob Edmunds. Trombone/sax man John Rossall would only last until 1974, while even multi-instrumentalist Harvey Ellison and drummer Tony Leonard departed in 1977. The band would continue on until 1979 before calling it a day but in ’81 The Glitter Band returned with Gerry Shepherd, John Springate and Tony Leonard all back in place, while Eddy Spence (keys), Brian Jones (sax) and Terry Popple (drums - the band were famous for their twin drumming sound) were added. However, by this time their star had truly waned and when their ex-leader Gary Glitter first sacked his backing band purely to replace them with cheaper musicians and then was imprisoned twice for reasons connected with child pornography, abuse and rape, The Glitter Band name became toxic and their music was moved into the shadows.

Thankfully that unwarranted connection with Glitter’s actions outside of music has quite rightly now been seen as unfair, and not only have their vintage performances been seen again on TV in recent years but now we have this three disc collection of each and every one of the band’s A and B sides, alongside their live album, Live At The Marquee, which was originally released in 1986. That latter inclusion proves somewhat of a revelation here, a stripped back, aggressive recording displaying the outfit’s true rock credentials, as do solid versions of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock n Roll (Been A Long Time)” and The Who double-takes of “The Kids Are Alright” and “Substitute”. However, it’s maybe the inclusion of a snippet of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “Relax” that proves more pertinent when you take a journey through discs one and two. For while the band’s early, chart placing singles all follow the Glitter formula, as tastes evolved away from glam, bang thank you ma’am, and TGB looked to distance themselves from the Gary Glitter sound, so they became ever more scattergun in their approach. And while, even latter day releases such as “Until The Next Time” did look to ape the early days, the confusion caused as you take an ever less focused trip through reggae, disco, soul, pop, funk and whatever else was flavour of the day becomes somewhat bewildering as a formula was hunted down that would return the band to favour. That said there’s no denying the fun and games of chant alongs, “Angel Face” (which appears in three guises), “Just For You”, “Let’s Get Together Again” and “Goodbye My Love”, with the latter being a little more sophisticated. And while the likes of “Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep” and the 70s cop show like instrumental of “Tuna Biscuit (If You Go Away)” prove good fun, they just never quite capture the excitement of the hits.

That said, long term fans will doubtless be intrigued by the inclusion of lesser celebrated single releases, “Until The Next Time”, “Heartbeat To Heartache”, “Nothing At All” and the 1989 reworking of “Angel Face”. Seven bonus tracks also appear, with the first six originally coming from a 1984 Greatest Hits cassette release, while “Boys Love Rock And Roll” was a John Springate demo that ended up on the German budget CD, Let’s Get Together Again. Add in liner notes broken down by release and featuring contributions from Pete Phipps and John Springate and this really is the final word on the singles from The Glitter Band. This 3CD set may not fully convince the casual follower of this band or the glam scene aficionado, but for converted fans, it’s a must buy.


Track Listing
DISC ONE:
1. ANGEL FACE
2. YOU WOULDN’T LEAVE ME WOULD YOU?
3. JUST FOR YOU
4. I’M CELEBRATING
5. LET’S GET TOGETHER AGAIN
6. JUKEBOX QUEEN
7. GOODBYE MY LOVE
8. GOT TO GET READY FOR LOVE
9. THE TEARS I CRIED
10. UNTIL TOMORROW
11. LOVE IN THE SUN
12. I CAN HEAR MUSIC
13. ALONE AGAIN
14. WATCH THE SHOW
15. PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND PEOPLE LIKE ME
16. MAKES YOU BLIND
17. DON’T MAKE PROMISES (YOU CAN’T KEEP)
18. TUNA BISCUIT (IF YOU GO AWAY)
19. LAY YOUR LOVE ON ME
20. HARD TO SETTLE DOWN
21. LOOK WHAT YOU’VE BEEN MISSING
22. IT’S ALRIGHT
23. SHE WAS ALRIGHT
24. I REALLY DIDN’T LOVE HER AT ALL


DISC TWO:
1. ALMOST AMERICAN
2. LOVE STREET
3. GOTTA GET A MESSAGE BACK TO YOU
4. MOVE ON UP
5. UNTIL THE NEXT TIME
6. SPACES
7. HEARTBEAT TO HEARTACHE
8. I DON’T WANT TO SEE YOU TONIGHT
9. NOTHING AT ALL
10. BACKS AGAINST THE WALL
11. ANGEL FACE 1989
12. ANGEL FACE (CHOIR OF ANGELS VERSION!)
BONUS TRACKS
13. WE’RE THROUGH
14. I MUST BE CRAZY
15. EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART
16. T.V. HEROES
17. HALFWAY TO HITCHCOCK
18. BRING BACK THE NIGHT
19. BOYS LOVE ROCK N ROLL


DISC THREE: LIVE AT THE MARQUEE
1. ROCK N ROLL (PART 2)
2. TELL HIM
3. SWEET BABY BLUE
4. THE TEARS I CRIED
5. WE’RE THROUGH
6. PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND PEOPLE LIKE ME
7. ROCK N ROLL (BEEN A LONG TIME)
8. THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
9. SUBSTITUTE
10. LOVE MAGIC
11. STAY WITH ME BABY
12. ANGEL FACE
13. ROCK ON
14. GOODBYE MY LOVE

Added: June 6th 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: The Singles Collection @ Cherry Red
Hits: 171
Language: english

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