Graeme Edge Band
Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1975)
- Graeme Edge -- drums, percussion
- Mickey Gallagher -- keyboards, backing vocals
- Adrian Gurvitz (aka Arian Curtis) -- vocals, lead guitar
- Paul Gurvitz -- bass, backing vocals
- Gun Army (Adrian Gurvitz and Paul)
- Adrian Gurvitz (solo efforts)
- Paul Gurvitz (solo efforts)
- The Moody Blues (Graeme Edge)
- Parrish & Gurvitz (Paul Gurvitz)
- Please Army (Adrian Gurvitz and Paul)
- Three Man Army (Adrian Gurvitz and Paul)
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: Kick Your Muddy Boots Off
Country/State: Rochester, UK
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: gatefold sleeve
Catalog ID: 5827
Having enjoyed worldwide successes through the early and mid-1970s, the individual Moody Blues had no problems finding support to release a host of outside projects. Longtime drummer Graeme Edge was no different, striking out in pursuit of solo success with the release of 1975's "Kick Off Your Muddy Boots". Released by The Moody's' own Threshold label, the album was credited to The Graeme Edge Band, but in many respects it stood as an Adrian Gurvitz project. In addition to co-producing the album with Edge, Gurvitz handled most of the lead vocals, provided lead guitar, and wrote about half of the material. Mind you I haven't heard the entire Moody Blues solo catalog, but what I have heard has been highly reminiscent of The Moody's own catalog. That's fine for hardcore fans, but to my ears most of their solo projects have come off as sub-par Moody Blue castoffs. So where did this one stack up? Well give Edge credit for knowing his inherent limitations and not trying to push them on the audience. Unlike a lot of drummers, Edge was smart enough to know he wasn't going to cut it as a vocalist and was more than willing to turn the duties over to someone else. Gurvitz was an interesting choice. A multi-talented musician, his voice wasn't an instrument that you'd immediately adore. Exemplified by performances like 'Bareback Rider' and the heavily orchestrated 'In Dreams' his vocals were kind of ragged and rustic. On several of the songs he reminded me a bit of Pete Townshend. Yeah, Gurvitz was clearly better than Edge, but ...
Certainly not a great album, but modestly entertaining and likeable. I'd rank it pretty high in the overall Moody Blues family of releases. It's actually one of those sets that grows on you if you give a chance. Of course, so will mildew ...
While I'm a child of the '70s, I've always disliked airbrushed artwork and the cover on this one was no exception. The cover looked like it was stolen from the side of a Chevy van.
Off Your Muddy Boots" track listing:
1.) Bareback Rider (Adrian Gurvitz) - 5:15 rating: ** stars
Opening and closing with a xylophone solo, 'Bareback Rider' morphed into an easy-going mid-tempo number with kind of an interesting lyric. The big problem with this one wasn't the tune, rather was Gurvitz's flat, bleating and rather toneless voice. With a better singer this one would have had commercial potential. That didn't stop Threshold from tapping it as the leadoff single:
- 1975's 'Bareback Rider' b/w 'The Tunnel' (Threshold catalog number 5N 67022)
2.) In Dreams (Adrian Gurvitz) - 5:13 rating: *** stars
'In Dreams' opened up with some stark and attractive Gurvitz lead guitar, before exploding into a mid-tempo rocker. The orchestration was a bit heavy, but the song had a nice melody and Gurvitz's rustic vocals weren't bad this time out. He actually reminded me a bit of a bored Pete Townshend. It certainly rocked harder than your standard Moody Blues song.
3.) Lost In Space (Graeme Edge) - 4:28 rating: *** stars
One of three Edge compositions exhibiting his longstanding interest in science fiction, 'Lost In Space' boasted an entertaining and offbeat lyric and a nice rocking melody. Once again Gurvitz's rugged voice wasn't the greatest thing you'd ever heard and the shrill backing vocalists were just plain irritating, but you could overlook his sonic limitations given the song's other strengths. Goofy and quite entertaining.
4.) Have You Ever Wondered (Graeme Edge) - 5:10 rating: *** stars
For anyone looking for a Moody Blues-styled ballad, 'Have You Ever Wondered' was a godsend. Also penned by Edge, the song featured one of those lush scores that typified The Moody's catalog which probably wasn't a surprise given the fact Edge was responsible for writing a host of The Moody's better known songs. Pretty and something you could hum, but hardly a song you'd want to hear repeatedly. That said, the highlight came in the form of Gurvitz's gorgeous George Harrison-styled slide guitar solos. Threshold released the song as a French 45:
- 1975's 'Have You Ever Wondered' b/w 'The Tunnel' (Threshold catalog number 86.507)
Side two opened up with the epic 'My Life's Not Wasted'. Well, it was short.
2.) The Tunnel (Adrian Gurvitz - Graeme Edge - Paul Gurvitz) - 2:06 rating: **** stars
Totally unexpected, 'The Tunnel' sounded like something pulled off of a Norman Whitfield produced Temptations album. Very funky and quite cool because it was soooooooooooo different from the rest of the album. Shame it wasn't longer.
3.) Gew Janna Woman (Adrian Gurvitz) - 4:15 rating: *** stars
Yeah the title was a complete mystery to me, but 'Gew Janna Woman' was also an unexpected surprise; the band chugging away at a big band blues number. Surprisingly engaging and Ginger Baker guested on drums.
4.) Shotgun (Adrian Gurvitz) - 4:10 rating: *** stars
The Western theme was kind of lame, but kicked along by Gurvitz's melodic slide guitar (again recalling George Harrison), 'Shotgun' was an interesting country-rocker.
5.) Somethin' We'd Like To Say (Graeme Edge) - 3:32 rating: ** stars
'Another big ballad with some modest progressive leanings, Somethin' We'd Like To Say' ended the album with the most Moody Blues-like track. Again, the results were pretty and mildly entertaining, but nothing you hadn't heard before.
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