Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1973)

- Andy Fraser (RIP 2015) -- bass, keyboards (1973)

- Marty Simon -- drums, percussion 

- Chris Spedding -- lead guitar 

- Snips (aka Steve Parsons) -- vocals , guitar 


  line up 2 (1973-74)

- Stuart Francis -- drums (replaced Marty Simon) 

- Busta Cherry Jones (RIP 1995) -- bass (replaced  Andy Fraser) 

- Nick Judd -- keyboards (replaced Andy Fraser) 

 - Marty Simon -- drums, percussion 

- Chris Spedding -- lead guitar 

- Snips (aka Steve Parsons) -- vocals , guitar 


  line up 3 (1993)

- Jackie Badger -- bass

- Simon Etchell - drums, percussion 

- Nick Judd -- keyboards (replaced Andy Fraser) 

- Chris Spedding -- lead guitar

- Snips (aka Steve Parsons) -- vocals , guitar

- Pete Thomas -- drums 






- April Wine (Marty Simon)

- Audience (Nick Judd)

- Baker Gurvitz Army  (Steve Parsons)

- Andy Fraser (Andy Fraser and Nick Judd)

- Free (Andy Fraser)

- Glencoe (Stuart Francis)

- Nothing Ever Happens (Steve Parsons)

- Snips (Steve Parsons and Jackie Badger)

- Chris Spedding (solo efforts)

- White Lightning (Busta Cherry Jones)





Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  First Water

Company: MCA

Catalog: MCA-351

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: cut lower right corner; minor ring wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5448

Price: $15.00


After leaving Free for the second time in 1972, bassist/keyboardist Andy Fraser formed Sharks with Canadian drummer Marty Simon, lead guitarist Chris Spedding, and former Nothing Ever Happens lead singer Steve 'Snips' Parsons.  


Based largely on Fraser's reputation the group was signed by Island Records (which happened to be Free's label).  In the States MCA acquired distribution rights.  Released in 1973 the quartet's self-produced debut "First Water" served as a showcase for Fraser's hard rocking material.  Credited with penning four of the nine tracks, the album bore more than a passing resemblance to Free's hard rock catalog.  Lead singer Parson's certainly recalled Free's Paul Rogers, though his voice and delivery were ever rougher - on tracks like 'Ol' Jelly Roll' and 'Snakes and Swallowtails' sounding like he'd been gargling with sandpaper.  It was definitely one of those instruments you either loved or hated, Technically there wasn't anything wrong with the album, but by the same token there wasn't anything particularly noteworthy.  Tracks like 'World Park Junkies', 'Brown Eyed Boy' and 'Steal Away' were solid blues-oriented hard rock.  Unfortunately, unlike most Free albums, there wasn't a single song with radio potential -  'Driving Sideways' and 'Dr. Love' (the latter sporting a great Spedding fuzz solo) coming the closest to sporting hooks that stuck with you.  In the States MCA tapped the album for a single in the form of 'Ol' Jelly Roll' b/w '???' (MCA catalog number 40120).  In the UK the single was 'Broke Away' b/w 'Brown Eyed Boy' (Island catalog number 6837 138)



"First Water" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) World Park Junkies   (Snips - Chris Spedding) - 3:12

2.) Follow Me   (Andy Fraser) - 4:40

3.) Ol' Jelly Roll   (Snips) - 2:40

4.) Brown Eyed Boy   (Andy Fraser) - 2:48

5.) Snakes and Swallowtails   (Snips) - 4:06


(side 2)
1.) Driving Sideways   (Andy Fraser) - 4:10

2.) Steal Away   (Snips) - 6:07

3.) Doctor Love   (Andy Fraser) - 3:25

4.) Broke a Feeling   (Andy Fraser - Snips - Marty Simon) - 4:11


The band toured the UK, attracting favorable reviews from the critics, but lost much of their momentum when Fraser announced his departure.  The split was attributed to a car accident (the band were returning from a television) where Fraser hurt his wrist, but the real story was that Fraser was interested in handling lead  vocals - impossible given Parson's role in the band.  Fraser was quickly replaced by American sessions bassist Busta Cherry Jones and ex-Audience keyboardist Nick Judd.  Fraser himself reappeared fronting The Andy Fraser Band.  



By the way, Fraser has a great website at:



Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Jab It In Yore Eye

Company: MCA

Catalog: MCA-415

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: cut top right corner; promo sticker on back cover

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5449

Price: $15.00



With founder/bassist Andy Fraser replaced by bassist Busta Cherry Jones and keyboard player Nick Judd, the band returned with their sophomore release - 1974's "Jab It In Yore Eye".  Co-produced by Peter Jenning and guitarist Chris Spedding, this time around the spotlight was clearly on Parsons who again handled vocals, but was credited with writing, or co-writing sight of the nine tracks (the only non-Parsons effort being Jones' 'Baby Shone a Line').  Stylistically material like 'Just Like a Fever ', 'Baby Shine A Light' and 'Cocaine Blues' wasn't a major change in direction with most of the nine selection fitting in the Free/Bad Company AOR mode.  Parson's strained vocals remained an acquired taste with several performances reminding me of Joe Cocker's tortured vocal stylings.  Like the debut this set also lacked a truly commercial song that could've broken the band to a wider audience.  The closest thing to a commercial song was 'Kung Fu'.  Elsewhere with it's reggae base rhythm pattern being so different from the rest of the set, 'Rain or Shine' may have been the standout track.  


The US and UK releases sported different cover art, though both were hideous and certainly didn't help sales.  I still get queezy every time I see Bill Imhoff's US cover.)  The original Island UK issue (catalog number ILPS 9271) is shown below:



For you Sharks fanatics, there was also a German-issue single from the LP:


'Kung Fu' b/w 'Elevator Dancing' (Island catalog number 12 249 AT)


"Jab It In Yore Eye" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Just Like a Fever   (Snips) - 3:28

2.) Baby Shine A Light   (Busta Cherry Jones) - 4:52

3.) Sun Beat Down   (Snips) - 4:45

4.) Rain or Shine   (Marty Simon - Snips) - 3:42

5.) Kung Fu   (Snips) - 4:03


(side 2)
1.) Sophistication   (Snips) - 5:24

2.) Surrender   (Chris Spedding - Snips) - 2:48

3.) Cocaine Blues   (Snips) - 4:31

4.) Revolution of the Heart   (Snips) - 6:44


Though it did little for sales, the band toured the UK and the States in support of the album throughout late 1973 and early 1974.  Returning to the UK they started work on a third album, tentatively entitled "Music Breakout".   Things quickly turned to crap.  Original drummer Simon was fired  with former Glecoe drummer Stuart Francis brought in as a replacement.  Jones then quit, reappearing in the American band White Lightening.  If that wasn't enough Island management was unhappy with the band's newly recorded material and refused to release it.  By the end of the year the group was history.


Parsons reappeared as a member of The Baker-Gurvitz Army and then struck out as a solo act.


Spedding became an in-demand sessions player and recorded some solo material.  




Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Like a Black Van Parked On a Dark Curve

Company: Bubblehead

Catalog: BH-003

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): --

Comments: --

Available: --

Catalog ID: --

Price: --


I've never heard it, but there's actually a third Sharks LP.  In 1993 Parsons and Spedding reformed the band recording an album's worth of material.  The sessions were promptly shelved, though two years later they were released as "Like a Black Van Parked On a Dark Curve".  The album's release was accompanied by a one-shot December 1995 Sharks reunion featuring keyboardist Judd, Parsons, Spedding, bassist Jackie Badger, and drummer Blair Cunningham.

"Like a Black Van Parked On a Dark Curve" track listing:

1.) Perfect Days

2.) Gone To the Dogs

3.) Cry Like a Baby

4.) Wake Me When It's Time To Dance

5.) White Man

6.) Jimmy Bell

7.) The First Thing

8.) Die for Love

9.) Can't Stop Thinking About Me

10.) Blues Rags and Hollers

11.) The Shadow Knows