The Bunch

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1972)

- Roger Bell -- sax
- Gerry Conway -- drums, percussion
- Tony Cox -- keyboards
- Sandy Denny (RIP) -- vocals, keyboards
- Pat Donaldson -- bass
- Malcolm Duncan -- sax
- Tyger (Ashley) Hutchings -- vocals
- Trevor Lucas -- vocals, guitar
- Dave Mattacks -- drums
- Linda Peters -- vocals
- Mike Rosen -- trumpet
- Richard Thompson -- vocals, guitar
- Ian Whiteman -- keyboards



- The Action (Ian Whiteman)
- Sandy Denny (solo efforts)
- Eclection (Trevor Lucas)
- Fairport Convention (Ashley Hutching, Trevor Lucas,

- Richard Thompson, Sandy Denny, Dave Mattacks)
- Fotheringay (Sandy Denny, Gerry Conway, 

  Pat Donaldson and Jerry Donahue)
- Mighty Baby (Ian Whiteman)
- Mogul Thrash (Roger Bell, Mike Rosen and Mollie Rosen)
- Steeleye Span (Tyger Hutchings)
- The Strawbs (Sandy Denny)
- Linda Thompson (aka Linda Peters)
- Richard and Linda Thompson
- Richard Thompson (solo efforts) 





Genre: folk-rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  The Bunch Rock On

Company: A&M

Catalog: SP-4354

Country/State: UK

Year: 1972

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: stamped on back cover as Lakewood Public Library (twice and rather faded and unobtrusive - cool library to have this

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2686

Price: $25.00


Genre: folk-rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  The Bunch Rock On

Company: A&M

Catalog: SP-4354

Country/State: UK

Year: 1972

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2686

Price: $35.00



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 alumni Trevor Lucas was apparently the brains behind this project.  Following the break up of Fotheringay, 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'. 


In the UK the album was released by Island Records with original copies  including a one-sided flexi-disc with a bonus track - drummer Gerry Conway taking an enthusiastic stab at 'Let There Be Drums' (Island catalog number WI-4002). 


Simply said, this is an album that's continually on my turntable (actually my CD player since we burned a copy, though I haven't gotten around to transferring it to my iPod yet).




"Rock On" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Crazy Arms   (Ralph Mooney - Chuck Seals) - 2:45   rating: **** stars

The album started out with Richard Thompson turning in a roaring cover of 'Crazy Arms'.  He's seldom sounded as upbeat and playful.  Roger Bell also contributed a first rate sax solo.  Nice, nice, nice ...   

2.) That'll Be the Day   (Buddy Holly - Petty - Allison) - 2:00   rating: **** stars

The late Sandy Denny's been a longstanding personal favorite - one of those acts I wished I'd had a chance to see live.  While there wasn't anything radically different in her cover of Buddy Holly's 'That'll Be the Day' the performance was interesting in that it showed she could handle a conventional rock song without any problem.  Nice backing vocals from Linda Peters and Richard Thompson. 

3.) Don't Be Cruel   (Blackwell - Elvis Presley) - 2:55      rating: * star

Maybe because it was such a rock chestnut Trevor Lucas' country-flavored cover of 'Don't Be Cruel' simply didn't do much for me.  I've heard bar bands do an equally good job ... 

4.) The Loco-Motion   (Gerry Goddin - Carole King) - 2:57   rating: **** stars

Linda Peters (aka Linda Thompson) has a voice that's always mesmerized me.  I've long treasured her solo albums and her cover of 'The Loco-Motion' showed how good she is in that she managed to take another rock classic that's literally been covered to death and make it interesting.  For some reason Island tapped the song as a German single:





- 1972's 'The Loco-Motion' b/w 'Sweet Little Rock 'n' Roller' (Island catalog number 12 292 AT)








5.) My Girl the Month of May   (Dion De Mucci) - 2:08   rating: ***** stars

Richard Thompson's cover of Dion's 'My Girl the Month of May' may be the standout performance.  Supported by some heavenly harmony vocals from Sandy Denny, Pay Donaldson, and Linda Peters the result was simply haunting.    

6.) Love's Made a Fool of You   (Holly - Montgomery) - 3:11    rating: ***** stars

Another Sandy Denny lead ...  need I say anymore?  Amazing how she managed to turn these songs into her own possessions.   


(side 2)
1.) Willie and the Hand Jive   (Johnny Otis) - 3:35
    rating: ***** stars

Side two started with the album's most commercial effort in 'Willie and the Hand Jive'.   Another Sandy Denny lead the song should have been tapped as a single, rather than relegated to a "B: side..    

2.) Jambalaya (On the Bayou)   (Hank Williams) - 3:25     rating: * star

Richard Thompson's cover of 'Jambalaya (On the Bayou)' was another isolated miss.  Simply too true to the original to make much difference ...    

3.) When Will I Be Loved   (Phil Everly) - 3:12     rating: ***** stars

Showcasing Denny and Peters sharing lead vocals, this sweet, stripped down acoustic cover of The Everly Brothers' 'When Will I Be Loved' was another set highlight.  Great acoustic picking from Trevor Lucas and Richard Thompson.  Simply charming.  The track was tapped as a UK single:





- 1972's 'When Will I Be Loved' b/w 'Willie and the Hand Jive' (Island catalog number Island WIP 6130





4.) Nadine   (Chuck Berry) - 3:19     rating: * star

The first of back-to-back Chuck Berry covers, 'Nadine' provide Tyger Hutchings with his line shot at the spotlight.  Unfortunately he didn't have much of a voice, effectively talking his way through the song which gave it a weird new wave edge.

5.) Sweet Little Rock 'n' Roller   (Chuck Berry) - 3:47   rating: ** stars

Thompson's cover of 'Sweet Little Rock 'n' Roller' was a curiosity in that it included live audience sounds - clearly added in during post-production.  Gawd only knows why it was done since it have the song an irritating background buzz.  Thompson himself sounded like he'd recorded the song in a urinal.    

6.) Learning the Game   (Buddy Holly) - 2:05      rating: ***** stars
Denny turned in her best performance on the closing 'Learning the Game'.  Low-keyed and understated, the song served to showcase her magical voice.  Only complaint was that it was simply too short.    


In 1986 the Carthage label reissued the album (Cathage catalog number CPG-4424).