Streetwalkers


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1974)

- Roger Chapman -- lead vocals

- Philip Chen -- bass

- Mel Collins -- sax

- Tim Hinkley -- keyboards

- Bob Tench -- rhythm guitar, vocals

- John Charlie Whitney -- lead guitar

- Ian Wallace -- drums, percussion

 

  line up 2 (1974-76)

- Roger Chapman -- lead vocals

- Tim Hinkley -- keyboards

NEW - Nicko McBain -- drums, percussion (replaced  Ian Wallace)

NEW - Jon Plotel -- bass (replaced Philip Chen)

- Bob Tench -- rhythm guitar, vocals

- John Charlie Whitney -- lead guitar

 

  line up 3 (1976-77)

- Roger Chapman -- lead vocals

NEW - David Dowle -- drums, percussion (replaced Nicko McBain)

NEW - Michael Feat -- bass, vocals (replaced Jon Plotel)

NEW - Brian Johnson -- keyboards, vocals (replaced Tim Hinkley)

- Bob Tench -- guitar, vocals

- John Charlie Whitney -- lead guitar


 

- Axis Point (Bob Tench and John Charlie Whitne)

- The Jeff Beck Group (Bob Tench)

- Bo Street Runners (Tim Hinkley)

- Boxer (Bob Tench)

- Casablanca (Jon Plotel)

- Roger Chapman (solo efforts)

- CHicago Line ( Tim Hinkley)

Family (Roger Chapman and Charlie Whitney)

- The Farinas (Roger Chapman and John Charlie Whitne)

- Gass (Bob Tench)

- Gonzalez (Bob Tench)

- Hinkley's Heros ( Tim Hinkley)

- Humble Pie (Bob Tench)

- Hummingbird ( (Bob Tench))

- Iron Maiden (Nicko McBain)

- Jody Grind ( Tim Hinkley)

- King Crimson (Mel Collins and Ian Wallace)

- Alvin Lee and Ten Years After (Mel Collins and  Ian McDonald)

- Los Racketeeros (John Charlie Whitne)

- Denny Mitchell ( Tim Hinkley)

- Snafu ( Tim Hinkley)

- Soundsation ( Tim Hinkley)

- Stretch (Nicko McBain)

- Bob Tench and the Force (Bob Tench)

- Pat Travers Band (Nicko McBain)

- Trust ( Nicko McBain)

- Vinegar Joe ( Tim Hinkley)

- Whitesnake (David Dowle and Brian Johnson)

- Whocares ( Nicko McBain)

- Widowmaker (Bob Tench)

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** (2 stars)

Title:  Red Card

Company: Mercury

Catalog: SRM-1-1083

Year: 1976

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: includes lyric insert

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 5587

Price: $10.00

 

I've owned most of the Family and Streetwalkers catalogs for years, but was never a major fan.  I never doubted that both entities were immensely talented, but I simply couldn't get into Roger Chapman's unique voice. 1976's self-produced "Red Card" was the set that got me to re-evaluate the band.  Musically it wasn't all that different than their earlier releases.  Chapman's weird, labored voice remained an acquired taste (image AC/DC's Bon Scott suffering from delirium tremors while singing) and the band's take-no-prisoners rock moves was seldom particularly original.  Still, this collection was different.  

 

"Red Card" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Run for Cover   (Roger Chapman - Charlie Whitney) - 5:46

Powered by Chapman's gasping, ragged voice and John Whitney's sterling lead guitar, Run for Cover' was one of the band's creative highlights.  A growling slice of rock, the track had one of those hooks that snuck up on you and wouldn't leave.  The Streetwalkers seldom sounded as taunt or good - for goodness sake the song even included some harmony vocals !!!.   rating: **** stars

2.) Me an' Me Horse an' Me Rum   (Roger Chapman - Bob Tench) - 4:03

Overlooking the goofy title, 'Me an' Me Horse an' Me Rum' was almost funky ...  Another one that made me think of Bon Scott era AC/DC.   rating: *** stars

3.) Hole In My Pocket   (Roger Chapman - Charlie Whitney) - 3:44

Within The Streetwalkers catalog 'Hole In My Pocket' was about as close to top-40 commercial track as the band ever came.  Sporting a pretty melody (complete with Whitney voice box guitar), even Chapman seemed to have made an effort to control his vocal excesses, actually staying in tune and minimizing the Joe Cocker-styled vocal tremors.   Atypical, but very nice and would have made a nice single for the band.   rating: **** stars

4.) Between Us   (Roger Chapman - Charlie Whitney) - 3:47

With lyrics that included references to leathernecks, Errol Flynn, David Niven, Emperor Hirohito, and Mussolini  'Between Us' was a weird world war II themed track.  Anyone got a clue what it was about?   rating: ** stars

5.) Daddy Rolling Stone   (Otis Blackwell) - 3:11

Normally rock chestnuts covers aren't very good, but Chapman and company literally crushed Otis Blackwell's 'Daddy Rolling Stone'Only complaint were the cheesy female backing vocals.  The song  was also tapped for a UK single:

 

- 1976's 'Daddy Rolling Stone' b/w 'Hole In Your Pocket' (Vertigo catalog number 605 9144)

 

rating: **** stars

 

(side 2)

1.) Roll Up Roll Down   (Roger Chapman - Charlie Whitney) - 3:27

With an atypical bouncy melody, 'Roll Up Roll Down' was another surprisingly commercial effort, though Chapman's ragged vocals took some of that commercial edge off the song.  Nice slide guitar from Whitney.   rating: *** stars

2.) Crazy Charade   (Roger Chapman - Charlie Whitney - Bob Tench) - 5:27

Showcasing a killer Jon Plotel bass pattern, 'Crazy Charade' was my pick for standout performance.  Streetwalker as a funk band ...  hum, hard to imagine.   rating: **** stars

3.) Shotgun Messiah   (Roger Chapman - Charlie Whitney - Bob Tench) - 4:48

'Shotgun Messiah' was a conventional and pedestrian rock effort.  Not bad, but hardly memorable.   rating: ** stars

4.) Decadence Code   (Roger Chapman - Charlie Whitney) - 6:38

Complete with string arrangement, 'Decadence Code' revealed an introspective side to The Streetwalkers.  Pretty song that even made you forget about Chapman's voice.   rating: ***

 

 

Lots of folks would disagree, but if I were going to grab a Streetwalkers LP, this would be the one to start with.

 

 

Goodness know why, and not that it mattered one way or the other, but for the US audience Mercury's marketing department elected to slap an alternative, inferior cover on the LP.   No changes to the track listing.  For anyone interested, here's the original UK cover:

 

Vertigo catalog number 9102 010

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Vicious But Fair

Company: Vertigo

Catalog: 9102 012 BE

Year: 1977

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: original UK press; die cut cover

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1165

Price: $15.00

Cost: $66.00

Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Vicious But Fair

Company: Mercury

Catalog: SRM-1-1135

Year: 1977

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: conventional cover includes lyric insert

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2330

Price: $10.00

 

 

While I've never done the actual research, there seems to be a direct correlation between aging rockers who are watching their commercial potential rapidly decline and album covers featuring young and attractive female models.  So guess which direction The Streetwalkers' career was heading when this one came out ...

 

By the time 1977's "Vicious but Fair" was released Streetwalker had undergone yet another round of personnel changes.  This time around the newcomers were drummer David Dowle (replacing Nicko McBain), bassist Mickey Feat (replacing Jon Plotel), and keyboard player Brian Johnson (replacing Tim Hinkley).  Having already soldiered on through three studio sets and a pair of live efforts, given their universal lack of success in the States, this set made it clear that they were running out of creative steam and energy.  As usual, Roger Chapman's hoarse and craggy voice remained instantly recognizable (if very much an acquired taste).  Similarly, the band's now-patented mix of hard rock and English blues moves was competent, though seldom particularly original, or exciting.  Best of the lot were 'Chilli-Con-Carne' and 'I Can't Come In'.  At the other end of the spectrum, the album underscored the fact Chapman and company had no business trying to record sentimental ballads ('But You're Beautiful' and 'Belle Star').  To be perfectly honest,  Bob Carlos Clark's sleazy album cover (featuring a model by the name of Anna) was probably the best thing here.  

 

"Vicious But Fair" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Mama was Mad   (Roger Chapman - Charlie Whitney) - 4:11

Not exactly the most original tune you've ever heard with Chapman's voice adding a certain cringe factor to the mysogenic lyrics. Still, credit to keyboardist Brian Johnson for giving the tune a nifty little riff that kept the song on track.  For anyone interested,  YouTube has an enjoyable 1977 performance done  for the German Rockpalast television show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBWmZM1xHok   rating: *** stars

2.) Chilli-Con-Carne   (Roger Chapman - Charlie Whitney) - 3:53

One of the funniest "pick up" tunes ever recorded with Chapman and the band actually sounding like they were having fun.   Thanks to YouTube, also from the 1977 Rockpalast concert:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zff6WQM3fbA    rating: **** stars

3.) Dice Man   (Roger Chapman - Charlie Whitney) - 9:23

Acoustic guitar intro and Chapman singing with restraint ... what in the world was going on here?  Luckily the song kicked into rock mode a couple of minutes in.  Always loved the drunken backing chorus.   Literally sounded like there was a party going on in the studio.    rating: *** stars

4.) But You're Beautiful   (Roger Chapman - Charlie Whitney) - 3:53

The thought of Chapman doing deep, thoughtful ballads has always been a lost proposition for me and this one (complete with female backing singers), didn't change my opinion.   rating: ** stars

 

(side 2)

1.) Can't Come In   (Roger Chapman - Bob Tench) - 3:59

Chapman and company showing that a bunch of greasy anemic lookin' guys could actually get down and funky.   Here's another Rockpalast performance, complete with a brief nod to 'Keep a Knockin'': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apVFtimKzp0   rating: **** stars

2.) Belle Star   (Charlie Whitney) - 3:12

'Belle Star' = ballad = subpar ...    Hearing Chapman trying to pull off a lounge act croon was truly disorienting and frightening.  Would you want your young daughter near this guy ?   rating: * star

3.) Sam (Maybe He Can Come To Some Arrangement)   (Roger Chapman - Charlie Whitney - Bob Tench) - 5:44

Breezy, country-rock tinged, mid-tempo ballad that at least had a nice Bob Tench solo going for it.  rating: *** stars

4.) Cross Time Woman   (Roger Chapman - Charlie Whitney) - 5:13

With support from Mel Collins on sax, 'Cross Time Woman' sported what was probably the album's best melody.  Almost jazzy, hearing Chapman throttle back on the vocal accelerator was also unusual and surprisingly enjoyable.   One of the album highlights.   rating: **** stars

 

 

 

 

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