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17 Jul 2017

The Bunch "Rock On" 1972 UK Folk Rock,Rock n` Roll ( with Sandy Denny)

The Bunch "Rock On" 1972 UK Folk Rock,Rock n` Roll ( with Sandy Denny)


The Bunch was an ad hoc collection of “Fairport family” members who gathered together to record this collection of rock'n'roll songs. Apparently the reason behind the recording was to test the newly-opened Manor Studios. Sandy was listed as being “Britain's first lady of song, if you don't count Dorothy Squires.”.....

The Bunch was a loosely knit group of English folk-rock veterans who recorded this disappointing set of oldies covers. The Bunch exhibits no shortage of enthusiasm for their renditions of Berry, Presley, Lewis, and Holly hits. However, the record suffers from both sloppy playing and obvious song selections. Not surprisingly, the album's high points are the two most obscure songs: Dion's "My Girl the Month of May" (sung by Richard Thompson), and Sandy Denny's heartfelt reading of Buddy Holly's "Learning the Game.".....

In which Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson, and eleven other English folkies redo twelve American songs, and I bet the Silver Beatles loved every one of them. The conjunction brings out the passionately droll in all the principals, especially Denny and Thompson, but the great moments are "The Loco-Motion," with Linda Peters playing Little Eva, and "Nadine," which Tyger Hutchings delivers deadpan, as if reading off cue cards after a quick runthrough...............

Organized by Trevor Lucas and Sandy Denny following the breakup of Fotheringay, the Bunch features an all-star cast from the British folk-rock scene paying homage to their roots before they began their musical trek down the traditional path of Francis James Childs and Cecil Sharp. Recorded in January of 1972, the Bunch was just that, a one-off by a bunch of friends getting together to play the music of some of their early idols, including Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams and Chuck Berry. Lucas, Denny, Richard Thompson, Linda (Thompson) Peters, Ashley Hutchings, and various other members of the extended Fairport Convention family treat the music with a certain reverence while at the same time injecting it with a playfulness and ragged British charm. Sandy Denny, who is touted in the liner notes as "Britain's first lady of song," delivers two of her finest performances on record, a lovely duet with Peters on the Everly Brothers' "When Will I Be Loved" (which predated Linda Ronstadt's cover by two years), as well as her tender reading of the Buddy Holly obscurity "Learning the Game." Other highlights include Richard Thompson's spirited working of Dion's "My Girl the Month of May," Ashley Hutchings' deadpan "Nadine" and Peters' "Loco-Motion." The original U.K. release included a flexi-single of ex-Fotheringay drummer Gerry Conway performing "Let There Be Drums." [Originally released in 1972, Rock On was reissued on CD in the U.K. in 2003, and in Japan in 2004.] Brett Hartenbach...............

“Rock On” by The Bunch originally came out in April 1972 on Island Records out has recently been reissued by the rather wonderful Talking Elephant Records and while “Rock On” is by no way a classic, it is nice that it is available again. Produced by Trevor Lucas – who was to marry Sandy Denny in 1973, and was a member of Eclection and Fotheringay (with Denny) , The Bunch were a collection of young folk rock musicians getting together and having fun played old rock n’roll songs – although “My Girl In The Month Of May” by Dion was originally released as late as 1966. So we have Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson, Tyger Hitchings, Dave Mattacks – all Fairport Convention members (& all played on the classic “Liege & Leif”), Pat Donaldson, Gerry Conway & Trevor Lucas – all ex-Fotheringay ( & Conway was in Eclection with Lucas and much, much later in Fairport Convention) , Ian Whiteman – once of Mighty Baby and a sort after session musician, Tony Cox - a producer, writer & arranger – “None of which he does on this album”, Linda Peters – later – Linda Thompson & The Dundee Horns who would later become part of The Average White Band. “Rock On” is beautifully played – The Dundee Horns – Roger Ball, Malcolm “Mollie” Duncan & Mike Rosen are terrific and Richard Thompson’s guitar playing is wonderful – his vocals are far less assured than they are now – but not bad – Richard sings lead on Ray Price’s “Crazy Arms”, “My Girl In The Month Of May”, Hank William’s “Jambalaya (On The Bayou)”& Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Rock ‘n’ Roller” – Sandy Denny who in my view was one of the greatest singers – anywhere – takes lead on Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be The Day” ,“Love’s Made A Fool Of You” & “Learning The Game” and Johnny Otis’ “Willie & The Hand Jive”. She also duets with Linda Peters’ on The Everly’s “When Will I Be Loved” while Linda sings lead on “The Loco-motion”. Lucas tries Elvis’ “Don’t Be Cruel” – not too well, it must be said, and Ashley “Tyger” Hutchings sings a very rare lead on Berry’s “Nadine”. It is all extremely enjoyable – nothing essential but just nice to listen to. (Although the fake(?) teen audience on “Sweet Little Rock ‘n’ Roller isn’t and is a mistake.

When the album came out there was a seven inch flexi-disc housed in the cover – Gerry Conway’s take on Sandy Nelson’s “Let There Be Drums” and this is included as are outtakes – “Twenty Flight Rock” (Eddie Cochran) & “High School Confidential” (Jerry Lee Lewis) – both of which should have made the original album – if there had been room and “La Bamba” (Ritchie Valens) which is a bit tentative.

A friend of mine who left the planet last year was very fond of “Rock On” – so I was glad to get it at Cropredy this year – sort of appropriate. I like it, its nice and I suspect the participants enjoyed making it & I enjoy listening to ........

There's nothing wrong with the music you'll hear on 1972's "The Bunch Rock On". That said, this is one of those odd cases where the music is almost a secondary consideration. So now you're asking, "Well, if it isn't the music, what's the appeal?" Check out the truly amazing all star line up. The album literally featured the cream of English 1970s folk rockers.

Former Fairport Convention alumnist Trevor Lucas was apparently the brains behind this project. Following the break up of Fortheringay, in June 1972 Lucas focused his attention on production work. His original goal was to gather up a bunch of friends and test out the recording facilities at the newly built Manor Studios. What started out as a chore turned into a spirited set of classic rock tracks. While you've probably heard every one of the dozen songs hundreds of times before, but outside of the original versions its' doubtful you've heard them performed with as much enthusiasm and such a sense of playfulness. Personally I've seldom heard an album that sounded so much like a party. It was also interesting to hear these folkies show they could rock out with the best of the competition. Doubt that comment? Check out their roaring cover of 'Willie and the Hand Jive'! Other highlights included Richard Thompson's cover of 'My Girl the Month of May', Sandy Denny's 'Love's Made a Fool of You' and the beautiful Denny and Linda Peters duet on Buddy Holly's 'When Will I Be Loved'. ..........

Richard Branson was eager to try out his new Manor Studios, and let this bunch of folk-rockers, led by Trevor Lucas, record some old rock 'n' roll favourites to try out the facilities. I'm sure they had a lot of fun doing it, but the album was bound to be a bit of a throwaway, though quite amusing and enjoyable at times.

This was also the first time Richard Thompson (who's guitar playing and vocals can be heard throughout the record) worked with his soon-to-be wife and musical partner, one Linda Peters. Linda's duet with Sandy Denny on the Everly Brothers' "When Will I Be Loved" is a stand-out, as is Richard's "My Girl the Month of May" (originally by Dion and the Belmonts) and Ashley Hutchings' take on Chuck Berry's "Nadine", not to mention Sandy's beautiful rendition of Buddy Holly's "Learning the Game"; the album's closer.

(A live version of "Sweet Little Rock 'n' Roller" by the 1970 incarnation of Fairport Convention was included on the Richard Thompson compilation (guitar, vocal). I prefer it to the one here.)

Worth checking out for fans of the musicians involved, but no classic....EinarStenseng............

Sandy Denny of The Bunch Sandy Denny, vocals [2, 6-7, 9, 12], backing vocals [3-5, 10-11, 16];
Linda Peters, vocals [4, 9, 16], backing vocals [2-7, 10-11];
Richard Thompson, vocals [1, 7-8, 11, 15], backing vocals [2-7], lead guitar [1], guitar [2-16];
Pat Donaldson, bass [1-16], backing vocals [2-7, 15];
Trevor Lucas, vocals [3, 14], acoustic guitar [6], 12-string guitar [9];
Ashley Hutchings, vocals [10];
Gerry Conway, drums [1-2, 4-9, 11-16];
Dave Mattacks (listed as “Maddox”), drums [2-4, 10, 16], congas [7, 12];
Ian Whiteman, piano [2-4, 7, 9-10, 12, 14-16];
Tony Cox, piano [11];
Dundee Horns, brass (Roger Bell, alto saxophone [1], baritone saxophone [2-4], saxophone [7, 10-11, 13-16]; piano [8]; Mollie, saxophone [1]; Mike Rosen, trumpet [1, 7, 11])


Crazy Arms [Ralph Mooney, Chuck Seals] (2.49)
That'll Be the Day [Jerry Allison, Buddy Holly, Norman Petty] (2.02)
Don't Be Cruel [Otis Blackwell, Elvis Presley] (3.05)
The Loco-Motion [Gerry Goffin, Carole King] (3.01)
My Girl in the Month of May [Dion DiMucci] (2.13)
Love's Made a Fool of You [Buddy Holly, Bob Montgomery] (3.25)
Willie and the Hand Jive [Johnny Otis] (3.38)
Jambalaya (On the Bayou) [Hank Williams] (3.25)
When Will I Be Loved? [Phil and Don Everly] (3.11)
Nadine [Chuck Berry] (3.20)
Sweet Little Rock'n'Roller [Chuck Berry] (3.51)
Learning the Game [Buddy Holly] (2.09)

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





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