Wild Turkey


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1971)

- Glenn Cornick (RIP 2014) -- bass, guitar, keyboards

- Gary Pickford-Hopkins (RIP 2013) -- vocals, guitar

- Alan 'Tweke' Lewis -- lead guitar

- John "Pugwash" Weathers -- drums, percussion

- Graham Williams -- rhythm guitar

 

  line up 2 (1971-72)

- Jon Blackmore -- vocals, guitar

- Glenn Cornick (RIP 2014) -- bass, guitar, keyboards

- Gary Pickford-Hopkins (RIP 2013) -- vocals, guitar

NEW- Jeff Jones -- drums, percussion (replaced John "Pigwash" Weathers)

NEW - Alan 'Tweke' Lewis -- lead guitar (replaced 

  Graham Williams)

 

  line up 3 (1972-74)

- Glenn Cornick (RIP 2014) -- bass, guitar, keyboards

NEW - Mick Dyche -- guitar

NEW - Steve Guril -- keyboards (replaced Jon Blackmore)

- Gary Pickford-Hopkins (RIP 2013) -- vocals, guitar

- Jeff Jones -- drums, percussion 

- Alan 'Tweke' Lewis -- lead guitar 

 

  line up 4 (1974)

- Glenn Cornick (RIP 2014) -- bass, guitar, keyboards

NEW - Kevin Currie -- drums, percussion (replaced Jeff Jones)

- Steve Guril -- keyboards 

- Gary Pickford-Hopkins (RIP 2013) -- vocals, guitar

NEW - Bernie Marsden -- guitar (replaced Alan Lewis)

 

  line up 5 (1995-97)

- Glenn Cornick (RIP 2014) -- bass, guitar, keyboards

- Gary Pickford-Hopkins (RIP 2013) -- vocals, guitar

- Alan 'Tweke' Lewis -- lead guitar

NEW - Brian Thomas -- drums, percussion

 

  line up 6 (2006-14)

- Glenn Cornick (RIP 2014 -- bass, guitar, keyboards

- Mick Dyche -- guitar

- Steve Guril -- keyboards 

- Gary Pickford-Hopkins (RIP 2013) -- vocals, guitar

- John "Pigwash" Weathers -- drums, percussion

- Graham Williams -- lead guitar

 

 

- Ancient Grease (Gary Pickford-Hopkins and John Weathers)

- Any Trouble (Steve Gurl)

- Babe Ruth (Steve Gurl)

- Big Sleep (Gary Pickford-Hopkins and John Weathers)

- Graham Bond's Magick (John "Pigwash" Weathers  and 

  Graham Williams)

- Pete Brown and Piblokto (John "Pigwash" Weathers)

- The Bystanders (Jeff Jones)

- The Executives (Glenn Cornick)

- Eyes of Blue (Gary Pickford-Hopkins)

- Gentle Giant ( John "Pigwash" Weathers )

- Jethro Tull (Glenn Cornick)

- Kathago (Glenn Cornick)

- Man (Jeff Jones and Alan Lewis)

- The Neutrons (John Weathers)

- Paris (Glen Cornick)

- Gary Pickford-Hopkins (solo efforts)

- Sniff 'n' the Tears (Mick Dyche)

- Snips (Mick Dyche)

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Battle Hymn

Company: Chrysalis

Catalog: CHR 1002
Year:
 1971

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2455

Price: $30.00

 

Reportedly fired by Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull for his hard partying life style, multi-instrumentalist Glenn Cornick wasted little time forming Wild Turkey.  The original line-up featured lead guitarist Alan Lewis, former Eyes of Blue lead singer Gary Pickford-Hopkins, ex-Pete Brown & Piblokto drummer John Weathers, and rhythm guitarist Graham Williams.   Unfortunately before the band recorded any material Weathers and Williams left to join Graham Bond's Magick.  Williams then moving on to join Gentle Giant.   They were quickly replaced by singer/guitarist Jon Blackmore and former Man drummer Jeff Jones.

 

album inner sleeve left to right: 

Jeff Jones -  Glenn Cornick - Gary Pickford-Hopkins, "Tweke" Lewis, Jon Blackmore

 

Recorded at Paris' Olympic Studios with Roger Bain producing, 1971's "Battle Hymn" was seemingly a concept piece with an anti-war plotline running through the set.   If it was, I'll readily admit the plotline was lost on my ears, though the packaging and song titles all seem to support the anti-war contention.  Musically it wasn't the most original set I've ever heard.   Tracks like 'To the Stars' and the title track seemed to sport a pseudo-Jethro Tull kind of sound.  If you were a Tull fan, you were probably okay with it.  If you weren't ...   Elsewhere 'Dulwich Fox' and 'Sanctuary' reflected an English folk-rock vibe.  Imagine Fairport Convention if they'd decided to go for a heavier rock sound.  It was one of those album's that didn't make a big initial impact on me, but which has gotten better and better the more I listen to it.  Interestingly the band were reportedly less than thrilled with producer Bain's work.  

 

Hardly a massive seller, but touring the States as an opening act for Black Sabbath and then Yes, the album  managed to chart in the States, peaking at # 193.

 

"Battle Hymn" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Butterfly   (Glenn Cornick) - 4:56   rating: *** stars

Like most of the album, the first couple of times I heard 'Butterfly' it didn't make much of an impression on me.   Kind of a plodding mash-up of bar band rock and progressive moves powered by Gary Pickford-Hopkins' occasionally irritating voice.   Giving credit where due, with time (and a couple of cold beers), the song's charms began to reveal themselves.   Nah, it wasn't fantastic, but the band were clearly trying to be taken seriously and you couldn't help but smile.  YouTube has a 2006 reunion performance of the song at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZ2xrmneLus 

2.) Twelve Streets of Cobbled Black   (Jon Blackmore) -    rating: **** stars

Whereas the first song offered a kind of clumsy mash-up of rock and progressive moves, highlighting the band's unexpectedly sweet harmony vocals, 'Twelve Streets of Cobbled Black' was far more coherent.   Admittedly the title and plotlines were lost on my ears, but the tune had a great melody.   

3.) Dulwich Fox   (Jon Blackmore) -   rating:  *** stars

Listening to 'Dulwich Fix' you couldn't have been blamed for wondering how a Fairport Convention album snuck itself onto your playlist.  Very pretty melody with some nice lead guitar from Tweke' Lewis, but it won't register with everyone.    

4.) Easter Psalm   (Gary Pickford-Hopkins) -    rating: **** stars

Kicked off by John Weathers martial drums, 'Easter Psalm' was one of the album stand out performances.  Lead vocalist Gary Pickford-Hopkins also provided the tasty acoustic guitar. The tune was tapped as an Australian 45:

- 1971's 'Easter Psalm' b/w 'Sanctuary' (Chrysalis catalog number CYK-4795)

5.) To the Stars   (Glenn Cornick) -    rating:  *** stars

To my ears the pretty ballad 'To the Stars' was the one track that bore at least a passing resemblance to Cornick's prior work with Jethro Tull.  

 

(side 2)
1.) Sanctuary   (Jon Blackmore) -
    rating: **** stars

'Sanctuary' has always struck me as sounding what Fairport Convention would have come up with had they ever decided they wanted to be a rock band, rather than a folk-rock outfit.   Lewis' screaming lead guitar was stunning.   

2.) One Sole Survivor     (Gary Pickford- Hopkins) -     rating: **** stars

The band at their more conventional rocking.   Quite liked this one.

3.) Battle Hymn  (Glenn Cornick) -      rating: **** stars

Another tune that's always reminded me a bit of Tull.   Hardly the most subtle anti-war lyrics you''ve ever come across, but then it wasn't a subject that lent itself to subtlety.   Lewis turned in some of his best lead work.

4.) Gentle Rain   (Glenn Cornick) -    rating: ** stars

Pretty, but forgettable ballad.   Cornick on harpsichord.

5.) Sentinel   (Jon Blackmore - Alan "Tweke" Lewis) -     rating: **** stars

Is it my ears, or do I detect a touch of Led Zeppelin in the closing rocker 'Sentinel'?  Always loved Cornick's opening bass work on this one.

 

 

Suffering from facial cancer, Pickford-Hopkins died in June 2013.

 

Cornick died of congestive heat failure in August 2014.

 

 

 

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