Shake Down Savoy Brown

Album info

Album-Release:
1967

HRA-Release:
17.12.2013

Label: Decca Records

Genre: Blues

Subgenre: Bluesy Rock

Album including Album cover

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  • 1Ain't Superstitious03:32
  • 2Let Me Love You Baby03:05
  • 3Black Night04:53
  • 4High Rise02:47
  • 5Rock Me Baby03:02
  • 6I Smell Trouble04:35
  • 7Pretty Woman02:33
  • 8Little Girl01:42
  • 9The Doormouse Rides The Rails03:37
  • 10It's All My Fault05:01
  • 11Shake Em On Down06:06
  • Total Runtime40:53

Info for Shake Down

The Savoy Brown Blues Band's first Decca long player was recorded in just thirty hours spanning three consecutive days. Shake Down was a gritty collection of blues standards with just one original, Stone's 'Doormouse Rides the Rails.' Among the tracks were B.B. King's 'Rock Me Baby,' John Lee Hooker's 'It's All My Fault,' three Willie Dixon songs and 'Black Night' by Fenton Robinson. The standout track was the group-arranged 'Shake 'Em on Down,' a raucous workout extending to just over six minutes. Shake Down was released in the U.K. in September 1967, but for reasons unknown, the LP didn't appear at all in the U.S.

The Savoy Brown Blues Band continued to gig extensively while Shake Down was in production, doing a punishing 24 gigs in just 21 days as backing band for John Lee Hooker. They also got a summer-long residency in Charlottenlund, north of Copenhagen, Denmark. At around the time of Shake Down's release, in an odd coincidence the band experienced a true drug-related 'shake down' in Barnstaple, a town in Devon, England, during a short tour of the West Country. This incident led Harry to actually fire his brother Kim from the band after the dates in Denmark. Other changes ensued as Chappell and Portius left and were replaced by Bob Brunning on bass and Chris Youlden on vocals. Brunning had previously been Fleetwood Mac's bassist for a few weeks in August 1967.

Youlden had been in various outfits, including a band that had alternately called itself the Down Home Blues Band and Shakey Vick's Big City Blues Band, and another called the Cross Ties Blues Band.

Next, Manning quit and was replaced on drums by Hughie Flint, formerly of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and Alexis Korner's band, Free at Last band. Finally, Stone departed and Kim asked O'Leary to rejoin the band. O'Leary agreed at first, then changed his mind due to 'unreasonable conditions.' Stone was instead replaced by 'Lonesome' Dave Peverett.

Producer Mike Vernon arranged for sessions for the group's next album, Getting to the Point, which took place in March 1968. Alongside Kim, Youlden emerged as co-leader of the group, and jointly or separately the pair composed most of the material. While the U.K. version of the album had cover-art depicting Kim wearing round glasses with the image of a black man in each lens, the U.S. cover art depicted more innocuous and politically correct images of a maze breaking up a collage of artwork. Kim explained what the original cover design was trying to depict to Melody Maker: 'Our cover tried to show that although we are white we see things the same ways as a Negro but for some reasons it was changed.'

With just two cover songs and seven originals, the album was to have been the Savoy Brown Blue's Band's transition from being a blues covers outfit to a band that had asserted its own identity. Unfortunately, the songs were not as strong as the pieces on the previous album, with the exception of the moody 'Mr. Downchild' and the Willie Dixon-penned 'You Need Love.'

Getting to the Point was released in both the U.S. and the U.K. in July 1968 to positive reviews. Disc Weekly wrote approvingly that the album 'showcases their fine instrumental ability (particularly guitarist Kim Simmonds) and clean, tight sound. An exciting LP-it's difficult to sit still while it's on, and that's what the blues is all about, after all.' Rolling Stone observed, 'Savoy Brown does not come on with complex technical artistry and does not attempt to overplay its music. Its strength lies in its group rapport and dynamics. Vocalist Chris Youlden is one of the better blues singers to emerge from England. His voice has the resonance and inflection so necessary to establish the power and emotion which is the blues.'

Brice Portius, vocals
Kim Simmonds, guitar
Martin Stone, guitar
Bob Hall, piano
Ray Chappell, bass
Leo Mannings, drums

Engineered by Gus Dudgeon
Produced by Mike Vernon

Digitally remastered.


Savoy Brown
Legendary .... a blues/rock institution .... true innovators. These are just a few of the ways Savoy Brown has been described over the past 47 years by music critics and fans.

One of the earliest of British blues bands, with founder guitarist Kim Simmonds at the helm, Savoy Brown helped launch the 1967 UK blues boom movement that brought blues music back to the USA and invigorated the style from then on. In the process, the band became part of the framework that launched the rock and roll music of the 1970’s. Their influence now stretches into modern rock as we know it today.

The band recorded their first singles for Mike Vernon’s Purdah label in 1966 and quickly followed up with the landmark album “Shakedown”. Singer Chris Youlden joined the band in 1968 and many classic records appeared, with songs such as “I’m Tired” and “Louisiana Blues” becoming radio staples. Blues-rock and boogie music always was the band’s calling card and they captured, forever, the spirit of the music on the live side of “A Step Further” (1969) with a twenty-minute boogie “The Savoy Brown Boogie” dedicated to fans in Detroit.

By 1971, Youlden had departed on a solo career and band members Dave Peverett, Roger Earle, and Tony Stevens left to form their own group, Foghat.

Kim Simmonds rebuilt the band using former members of the blues band Chicken Shack and vocalist Dave Walker. That year, “Street Corner Talking” brought the band its best chart success up to that date. “Tell Mama”, “Street Corner Talking”, “All I Can Do Is Cry” and the band’s funky re-make of the Motown classic, “I Can’t Get Next To You”, took the band to platinum status and placed them in front of wildly enthusiastic rock audiences in arenas all over the world.

After the successful run of the early to mid 70's, Kim moved operations to the USA and continued making the kind of records he wanted to make with a succession of line-ups. Records as diverse as the acoustic blues “Slow Train" to the hard-hitting "Rock And Roll Warriors" appeared. All were eagerly accepted by the fans.

A three record deal with Crescendo in 1987 took the band into more of a rock direction, with records such as "Live 'n' Kicking" placing the group in a live setting, where they've always excelled.

In the '90's, "Let It Ride" was released. Kim enlisted Pete McMahon for vocal and harmonica duties in 1994 and added ex-Robert Cray drummer Dave Olsen to record "Bring It Home" for Viceroy. This set the tone for the next five years.

Nathaniel Peterson was brought in to handle bass playing and singing in the late 1990s. After touring the world extensively for three years, "The Blues Keep Me Holding On” was released in 1999 by Mystic Music. This modern blues record brought the band's epic music journey full circle.

With new goals in mind, Kim Simmonds took over vocal duties in 2001, leading to the 2003 release, "Strange Dreams", on Blind Pig Records. This was a hit with critics, and fans alike. Kim, as front man vocalist, fit the times perfectly. Changing into a three piece classic blues/rock outfit in 2006 and still doing double duty as guitarist and vocalist, Kim released the bands 30th album “Steel.”

In 2009, after nearly a decade of singing lead vocals, but wanting to concentrate again on his guitar playing, Simmonds brought in Joe Whiting as lead singer. The band thus became a four-piece aggregation with Garnet Grimm on drums and Pat DeSalvo playing bass. The new changes coincided with the release of a retrospective album “Too Much of a Good Thing” that covered the years 1992-2007.

The year 2011 brings the release of "Voodoo Moon" (November, Ruf Records) with this album showing good early sales, and reviews, to date.

The year 2012 sees Joe Whiting leaving the band late in the year.

The year 2013 likely brings a new album and the release of a live CD/DVD package recorded in Germany during May 2012.

So, from London’s Soho night clubs in 1966 to headlining the world’s most famous venues (Carnegie Hall, Fillmore’s East and West, Cobo Hall, etc.), you have Savoy Brown doing it all. The band continues to tour worldwide and they give a glimpse into the past, but also inspire new listeners with their personal brand of rocking boogie, blues and rock.

This album contains no booklet.

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