Chicken Shack


Band members                             Related acts

- John Almond -- sax

- Hughie Flint -- drums

- Paul Hancox -- drums

- John Glascock -- bass

- Christine Perfect (aka Christine McVie) -- vocals, keyboards

- Stan Webb -- vocals, guitar

 

  line up xx (1972)

- Paul Hancox - - drums,percussion

- John Glascock - - bass

- Stan Webb -- vocals, guitar

 

  line-up xx (1973)

- Tony Ashton -- keyboards

- Bob Daisley -- bass

- Paul Hancox -- drums, percussion

- Chris Mercer -- sax

- Stan Webb -- vocals, guitar

 


 

 

- Bronco (Robbie Blunt)

- Carmen (John Glascock)

Fleetwood Mac (Christine Perfect)

- The Gods (John Glascock)

- Jethro Tull (John Glascock)

- Christine McVie (solo efforts)

- Christine Perfect (solo efforts)

- Plastic Penny (Paul Raymond)

- Savoy Brown (David Bidwell, Paul Raymond, Andy Silvester, and

  Stan Webb)

 

 


 

Genre: blues-rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Imagination Lady

Company: Deram

Catalog: DES 18063

Year: 1972

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 4478

Price: SOLD $25.00

Cost: $66.00

 

Frankly, I'd forgotten that Stan Webb and Chicken Shack had recorded so much material ...   Course the fact I even remember Chicken Shack puts me ahead of the curve.

 

1972's "Imagination Lady" was Webb and company's fifth studio set.  Luckily, the Neil Slaven produced set is also one of the band's best efforts.  Down to a trio consisting of bassist John Glascock, drummer Paul Hancox and vocalist/lead guitarist Webb, the predominant sound remained standard English blues-rock, but this time around there was a distinctive rock feel to tracks such as the opener 'Crying Won't Help You Now' and 'their cover of Don Nix's 'Going Down.  Elsewhere, 'Daughter of the Hillside' sounds like a top-notch Cream outtake, while the Webb-penned closer 'The Loser' almost qualifies as a piece of top-40 pop.  Webb was a surprisingly good singer and a vastly overlooked guitarist - check out the band's vamped up cover of Tim Hardin's 'If I Were a Carpenter'.  The only real disappointment comes in the form of a needless and seemingly endless Hancox drum solo on the 11 minute plus 'Telling Your Fortune'.  That said, the band's blues-oriented fans aren't particularly fond of this set, but precisely because it's more diverse and openly commercial, I'd give it the nod.

 

"Imagination Lady" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Crying Won't Help You Now   (Whittaker) - 5:09

2.) Daughter of the Hillside   (Stan Webb) - 3:52

3.) If I Were a Carpenter   (Tim Hardin) - 6:33

4.) Going Down   (Don Nix) - 3:32

 

(side 2)

1.) Poor Boy   (Stan Webb) - 5:09

2.) Telling Your Fortune   (Stan Webb) - 11:09

3.) The Loser   (Stan Webb) -   2:32

 

 

 


Genre: blues-rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Unlucky Boy

Company: London

Catalog: XPS  632

Year: 1973

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1748

Price: $25.00

Cost: $66.00

 

Billed as a Chicken Shack release, for all intents and purposes 1973's "Unlucky Boy" might as well have been a Stan Webb solo outing.  In fact, the UK release was billed as "Chicken Shack featuring Stan Webb".  In addition to the enhanced name check, Webb wrote six of the nine tunes.   In spite of the credits, critics didn't have a lot of nice things to say about the collection.  That said, to my ears Webb and company (the only holdover from the last studio set being drummer Paul Hancox), sounded pretty good throughout the set.  That's not to say this was a great album.   In all honesty, there wasn't anything groundbreaking here and if you didn't have an interest in English blues-rock, this was going to be deadly dull to your ears.   In fact, with the exception of the Bad Company-sounding blues-rocker 'You Know Could Be Right', there probably wasn't anything you'd want to hear more than once.  Webb certainly had a good blues voice and he was a more than capable guitarist.  Still, tunes like the title track, 'Jammin' with the Ash', and 'Stan the Man' never rose about the level of pedestrian.   It sounded like a band that was simply out of energy and enthusiasm.  A conjuncture seemingly underscored by the fact their next release was a live set - 

 

Who knows why, but US distributor London opted to give the album updated cover art.  Here's the original UK release

 

 

          Deram catalog number SML 1100

 

"Unlucky Boy" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) You Know Could Be Right   (Stan Webb) - 3:47

Not exactly what I was expecting, but I have to admit that over time the blazing blues-rocker 'You Know Could Be Right' has become a favorite.  Kicked along by Bob Daisley's bass, the opener had a distinctive Bad Company flavor.  Kudos to the band's German distributor which ignored the British and American choice for a single, instead going with this track:

- 1973's 'You Know Could Be Right ' b/w 'As Time Goes Passing By' (Derram catalog number DM 381)  rating: **** stars

2.) Revelation   (Stan Webb) - 5:12

'Revelation' was a more traditional slice of electric blues with Webb stretching out on lead guitar and some nice Chris Mercer horn charts (I'm guessing it was actually some multi-tracked saxes).  rating: *** stars

3.) Prudence Party (instrumental)   (Stan Webb) - 3:11

Kind of an English music hall flavor to this guitar-powered instrumental.   rating: *** stars

4.) Too Late To Cry   (Lonnie Johnson) - 3:09

Professional, is kind of plodding Lonnie Johnson cover ...   

5.) Stan the Man   (Stan Webb) - 4:25

Plodding electric blues - the lyrics were sophomoric and Webb's soloing simply didn't attract much attention.  rating: ** stars

 

(side 2)

1.) Unlucky Boy   (F. Thornton - William Dupree) - 2:34

Chris Mercer's sax was a nice change of pace, but really didn't do much to change the overall blues sound.   How many hard drinkin' songs can you have on an album?   rating: *** stars

2.) As Time Goes Passing By   (Stan Webb) - 4:46

Slinky blues ?   Strings?  Well it wasn't great, but at least 'As Time Goes Passing By' offered up a modest change of pace and Webb presented some of his most melodic playing.   London tapped the tune as a single in the UK and a promo 45 in the States:

- 1973's 'As Time Goes Passing By' b/w 'Poor Boy' (London catalog number 45-7537-DJ)   rating: *** stars

3.) Jammin' with the Ash   (Stan Webb) - 7:04

Keyboardist Tony Ashton finally got a couple minutes of spotlight time on 'Jammin' with the Ash'.   Not sure Webb's lyrics would be socially, or politically acceptable in this day and age ...   rating: *** stars

4.) He Knows the Rules   (Jimmy McCracklin) - 4:05

Boogie blues that probably had more of an impact after a couple of cold beers.   Somber it was ... well predictable.   rating: *** stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

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