Glencoe


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1  (1971)

- Stuart Francis -- drums, percussion, vocals

- Alan Gorrie -- vocals, bass, keyboards

- Onnie McIntyre (aka Onnie Mair) -- vocals, guitar

- Mick Strode (aka Mick Travis) -- vocals, lead guitar, mandolin

 

  line up 1  (1971-72)

- Stuart Francis -- drums, percussion, vocals

NEW - Graham Maitland (RIP 1997) -- keyboards, vocals 

  (replaced Onnie McIntyre)

- Mick Strode (aka Mick Travis) -- vocals, lead guitar, mandolin

NEW - Norman Watt-Roy -- bass, vocals (replaced Alan Gorrie)

 

  line up 3  (1972-74)

- Stuart Francis -- drums, percussion, vocals

- Graham Maitland (RIP 1997) -- keyboards, vocals

NEW - John Turnbull -- guitar, vocals (replaced Mick Strode)

- Norman Watt-Roy -- bass, vocals

 

 

 

 

- Arc (John Turnbull)

- Average White Band (Alan Gorrie and Onnie McIntyre)

- Bell and Arc (John Turnbull)

- The Blockheads (John Turnbull and Norman Watt-Roy)

- The Chosen Few  (John Turnbull)

- Five Day Rain (Graham Maitland)

- Forever More (Stuart Francis)

- The Greatest Show On Earth (Norman Watt-Roy)

- Heavy Jelly (John Turnbull)

- Hopscotch (Stuart Francis and Graham Maitland)

- WIlko Johnson (Norman Watt-Roy)

- Les Fleurs de Lys (Graham Maitland)

- The Living Daylights (Norman Watt-Roy)

- Loving Awareness (John Turnbull and Norman Watt-Roy)

- The Primitive Sect (John Turnbull)

- The Scots of St. James (Stuart Francis and Graham Maitland)

- Skip Biffery (John Turnbull)

- Dave Stewart & the Spiritual Cowboys (John Turnbull)

- Mick Strode (solo efforts)

- Studd Pump (Graham Maitland)

- John Turnbull (solo efforts)

- Norman Watt-Roy (solo efforts)

- Wishbone Ash (Graham Maitland)

- World Party (John Turnbull)

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Glencoe

Company: Grand Western Gramaphone

Catalog:  AL 31901
Year:
 1972

Country/State: London, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2706

Price: $30.00

Having recorded two albums under the Forever More nameplate, in 1971 the four principals (drummer 

Stuart Francis, bassist Alan Gorrie, and guitarists Onnie McIntyre and Mick Strode, decided to reinvent themselves as Glencoe.

Before the band could record anything Gorrie and McIntyre bailed, reappearing in The Average White Band.  Francis and Strode quickly recruited keyboard player Graham Maitland and bassist Norman Watt-Roy.  The quartet hit the road touring the English club and college circuit, but in early 1972 Strode quit.  He was replaced by guitarist John Turnbull, whose resume included time with The Chosen Few, ARC, and Skip Biffery.

 

The band were quickly signed by Epic, with Columbia signing them to it's newly establish Grand Western Gramaphone subsidiary.  In an unusual move, the band were allowed to produce their own debut.  Released in 1972, "Glencoe" stands as one of those albums that makes you wonder how these guys escaped wider attention.  With Maitland and Turnbull responsible for the majority of  material, the set featured a likeable mixture that crossed country-rock ('Lifeline'), pop, and progressive moves (frequently within the same song).  Tracks like 'Airport', 'Lifeline' and 'Look Me In the Eye' were smooth and highly melodic and that may have spelled their demise.   With so many talented early-'70s bands out there, these guys were too mainstream for hard rock fans.  They were also too rock oriented for country-rock fans, and too bright and commercial for progressive fans.  Maybe not the most album of 1972, but thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.

 

In support of the album, Epic put them on the road opening for Deep Purple, but that did little for sales.  Shame they were grossly overlooked since this was one enjoyable debut - far better than the two Forever More albums.

 

"Glencoe" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Airport  (Graham Maitland - Reed) - 5:00  rating: **** stars

Too progressive to appeal to hard rock fans; too hard rock to appeal to progressive fans ...  Such was the fate for the short lived Glencoe.   'Airport' stands as a great example of how these guys simply fell in the early-'70s musical chasm between those different genres.  Shame since the song had everything you look for in a good tune - catchy melody; sweet vocals, nice arrangement, and even a sly little nod to The Beatles' 'Hey Bulldog'.  It was tapped as a UK single:

- 1972's 'Airport' b/w 'It's' (Epic catalog number S EPC 1187)

2.) Look Me In the Eye  (Graham Maitland) - 4:10   rating: **** stars

Starting out with a country tinge, the ballad 'Look Me In the Eye' was the only song that didn't really register with me.  And just when I was about to give up on the tune it shifted to a more rock-oriented direction, with some killer Turnbull fuzz guitar work, becoming one of the standout performances along the way.   The song was tapped as a 45 in the UK:

- 1972's 'Look Me In the Eye' b/w 'Telephinia' (Epic catalog number EPCS 8383)

3.) Lifeline  (Graham Maitland) - 5:45   rating: **** stars

Showcasing Maitland's electric keyboards, 'Lifeline' had a beautiful melody that was almost pastoral.  A song I repeatedly come back to.

4.) Telephonia    (John Turnbull) - 5:00   rating: *** stars

Penned by guitarist Turnbull, 'Telephonia' found the band dipping their collective toes into an almost funky genre.   Not the album's most original offering, but Turnbull's blazing guitar was quite nice. 

 

(side 2)

1.) It's    (John Turnbull) - 5:45   rating: **** stars

The title always makes me smile.  Sweet, keyboard-powered ballad with some nice lyrics that referenced The Beatles, The Searchers, etc.   Nice time to showcase the band's impressive harmony vocals and also served to demonstrate Turnbull's chops.  

2.) Book Me for the Flight  (Graham Maitland) - 5:20   rating: **** stars

Perhaps the album's prettiest composition, 'Book Me for the Flight' had everything necessary for massive FM success, except someone to pay attention.  

3.) Hay Fever    (John Turnbull) - 4:30   rating: **** stars

Imagine CSN&Y had all the members been Scotch, or English ...  

4.) Questions  (Graham Maitland) - 3:16   rating: *** stars

'Questions' started out as a pretty, stark ballad with Maitland on vocals and keyboards. Around the 2:20 mark it took a turn to the progressive side, but faded out just as the tune was getting interesting.

5.) Sinking Down a Well    (John Turnbull - Mickey Gallagher) - 4:54   rating: **** stars

Turnbull and Mickey Gallagher had previously worked together in the  bands Arc and Bell and Arc.  Speculation on my part, but 'Sinking Down a Well' might have been an effort carried over from that prior life.  That would certainly explain why this rocker sounded a little different than the rest of the album.   Another tune I quite enjoyed.

 

 

Graham Maitland died of cancer in 1997.

 

Turnbill and Watt-Roy are still active and sought after sessions players who have released solo material. 

 

Original guitarist Strode has a small website at: http://mickstrode.com/index.html 

 

 

 

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