Sunday, 14 September 2008

"7936 South Rhodes" by EDDIE BOYD with PETER GREEN'S FLEETWOOD MAC. 1968 Blue Horizon Rare LP Given A Stunning Remaster With Top Notch Extras.

Originally released in the UK on the highly revered Blue Horizon label, this March 2006 remastered reissue is based around Eddie Boyd's "7936 South Rhodes" album of 1968. The LP has long been notoriously difficult to find on vinyl (and costly too due to it's genuinely collectable nature) - as have the singles that surrounded it.

"7936 So. Rhodes" has been reissued before as a straightforward 12-track CD, but this 18-track version has the singles, unreleased outtakes, a vastly upgraded booklet and truly superlative remastered sound.

The line up was:
EDDIE BOYD on Piano and Lead Vocals
JOHN McVIE on Bass
MICK FLEETWOOD on Drums for all except 1 and 2 which had AYNSLEY DUNBAR

It breaks down like this (61:57 minutes):

Tracks 1 and 2, "It's So Miserable To Be Alone" and "Empty Arms", are the A & B of his first UK 7" single on Blue Horizon BH 1009 released in 1967 in the UK. Recorded in London on 25 March 1967, both tracks are non-album, written by Boyd and feature Aynsley Dunbar on Drums (Mick Fleetwood replaced him for the album sessions).

Tracks 3 to 14 make up Boyd's only album on the Blue Horizon label, "7936 South Rhodes", which is actually credited to "Eddie Boyd with Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac". It was released in March 1968 on Blue Horizon 7-63202 in the UK and Epic BN 26409 in the USA. All tracks are written by Eddie Boyd except "Third Degree", which is co-written with WILLIE DIXON of Chess Records fame. It was recorded at the CBS Studios in London in one day - 25 January 1968.

Tracks 15 and 16, "The Big Boat" and "Sent For You Yesterday And Here You Come Today", are his 2nd UK 7" single on Blue Horizon 57-3137 issued in 1967. Credited to Eddie Boyd with Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, again both single tracks are non-album and feature the same group line-up as the LP sessions. Boyd wrote the A-side while the flip is a cover of a Jimmy Rushing tune.

Finally, tracks 17 and 18, "The Stroller" and "No Place Like Home" are previously unreleased mono recordings - session details a bit hazy.

What isn't hazy is the sound - absolutely stunning - clarity like I've never heard - what a blast! The reissue has been overseen by MIKE VERNON (who founded and ran the famous label) and the original tapes transferred by DUNCAN COWELL. Clear, full, virtually no hiss - great work done. The 20-page colour booklet has detailed liner notes, photos, session credits and a classy card wrap surrounds the outside jewel case.

The music itself can be described as strolling boogie-woogie blues - Eddie Boyd with his wonderfully warm and expressive voice, while the Mac provide perfect and heartfelt backup. The album itself is a stunner, slow blues followed by fun rocking blues - and back again - everything you'd expect and easy to see why the original vinyl commands so much money. Blues lovers and fans of Peter Green and the early Fleetwood Mac sound will have to own this. Top stuff!

Edward Riley Boyd died in July 1994 aged 80 and this fab reissue does him and his musical memory a whole lot of justice - buy it with confidence

PS: for those interested in more of the same - another essential purchase is GOTT Discs 2004 reissue of "Eddie Boyd and his Blues Band featuring Peter Green" which is his 1967 album on Decca SKL 4872 in the UK. Not only does it feature some of Peter Green's best guitar work, it also has contributions from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with the added bonus of the guitar-work of Tony McPhee from THE GROUNDHOGS thrown in too - quite a hawl! The overall package is excellent and the remaster really clean (sleeve pictured below). Recommended also.

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