Fair Weather

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1970-71)

- Dennis Bryon -- drums, percussion

- Neil Jones (RIP 2018) -- vocals, guitar

- Andy Fairweather-Low -- vocals, guitar

- Clive Taylor -- bass, vocals

- Derek "Blye" Weaver -- keyboards


  supporting musicians: 1970

- B.J. Cole - pedal steel guitar

- Bud Parkes -- horns




- Amen Corner (Dennis Bryon, Neil Jones, Andy Fairweather-Low

  and  Clive Taylor)

- The Bee Gees (Dennis Byron and Dennis Weaver)

- The Bleeding Heart (Andy Fairweather-Low)

- Andy Fairweather-Low (Andy Fairweather-Low)

- Mick Fleetwood and Friends (Andy Fairweather-Low)

- The Gadabouts (Andy Fairweather-Low)

- George's Band (Andy Fairweather-Low)

- John Mayall & Friends (Andy Fairweather-Low)

- Mott the Hopple (Dennis Weaver)

- Rock Therapy (Andy Fairweather-Low)

- Spirit of the Forest (Andy Fairweather-Low)

- The Strawbs (Dennis Weaver)

- Geriant Watkins & the Dominators (Neil Jones and 

  Andy Fairweather-Low)






Genre: rock

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Beginning from an End

Company: Neon/RCA Victor

Catalog: NE1

Country/State: Cardiff, Wales

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve; split top seam

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $20.00


Fronted by singer/guitarist Andy Fairweather-Low, during their 1966-69 recording career, the Wales-based Amen Corner became true English stars.  During that three year period the band managed to churn out three studio albums and six UK chart singles. In spite of those successes their run was over by 1969.  Following the band's break-up Fairweather-Low, guitarist Neil Jones, drummer Dennis Bryon, bassist Clive Taylor and keyboardist Derek "Blue" Weaver continued their creative partnership in Fair Weather.  


Based on their Amen Corner successes the band was signed by RCA, debuting with the single:



- 1970's 'Natural Sinner' b/w 'Haven't I Tried (To Be a Good Man) (RCA Victor catalog number 47-89899)



With an engaging Gospel-soul edge, the single provided the band with a top-10 UK seller.  RCA executives wasted little time rushing the band into the studio to record a debut album.  Produced by Fairweather-Low, "Beginning from an End' offered up a mixture of soul and boogie-influenced originals, rounded out by a pair of R&B and soul covers. Not sure why, but for some reason the album didn't include the earlier hit.  Musically these guys were tight, but there just wasn't a great deal of originality going on here.  Guest horn player Bud Parkes added elements of Blood, Sweat & Tears and even occasional dollops of Canterbury Sound dissonance to the mix.  Still, the big turnoff came in the form of Fairweather-Low's voice.  Shrill, craggy, nasally and definitely unmelodic, compositions such as '' and 'You Ain't No Friend of Mine' were okay, but that voice didn't do the band any favors.



The original UK release on RCA (catalog number SF-8165) featured eight tracks, but was quickly withdrawn and replaced with the addition of what was the title track.   








Released on Neon (catalog number NE-1) the collection featured a new gatefold sleeve.  








The UK cover was deemed a little to risque for the American market with RCA slapping a bland group photo on the cover and relegating the original artwork to the inner sleeve.






"Beginning from an End" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) God Cried Mother (Andy Fairweather-Low) - 5:31 rating: **** stars

Powered by Derek "Blue" Weaver's Hammond B3 organ and Bud Parkes' horns, 'God Cried Mother' opened the album with a surprisingly funky sound - a very early-'70s vibe that grew on me after a couple of spins.  Fairweather-Low's voice was an acquired taste, but along with the country-rock tinged group vocals,  I have to admit I've learned to appreciate the song.

2.) Don`t Mess With Cupid (Steve Cropper - Eddie Floyd - Parker) - 3:47 rating: ** stars

Great Stax tune and if you grew up with, or have ever heard the Otis Redding version, then there's no comparison to this cover.  Hearing Fairweather-Low's phlegm choking vocals was almost painful.

3.) Dead And Past  (Andy Fairweather-Low) - 4:44 rating: ** stars

The opening studio goofiness was merely irritating and was quickly replaced by the soulful 'Dead And Past.'  I'd love to say it was a great performance, but listening to the howling vocals, imagine CS&N with all of the members suffering from a bad case of strep throat.

4.) Beginning from an End (Andy Fairweather-Low) - 4:47

5.) I Hear You Knockin` (Dave Bartholomew - Pearl King) - 4:49 rating: ** star

Geez, the opening segment has always reminded me of something off a Sweet LP ... Well, I grew up on the Dave Edmunds version (recorded several years later) so this arrangement sounded crowded and overly busy.  Once again Fairweather-Low's shrill vocals weren't a big thrill.  Edmunds engineered the track.


(side 2)
You Ain`t No Friend  (Andy Fairweather-Low) -  5:33 rating: *** stars

Trotted out a full horn section 'You Ain't No Friend' found the band dipping their toes into boogie, but you were left to wonder whether Fairweather-Low's nasally voice was going to make it through the whole tune.  On the positive side, you got to hear some of his thick, sustained guitar moves.

2.) Sit and Think  (Andy Fairweather-Low) - 4:17 rating: **** stars

'Sit and Think' found the band shifting into a folk-rock mode.  Perhaps because it didn't strain Fairweather-Low's limited vocal range, this was one of the album's prettier performances.

3.) Looking For The Red Label (instrumental) (Andy Fairweather-Low) - 9:03 rating: *** stars

The extended, horn propelled instrumental 'Looking For The Red Label' sounded like the band had spent a lot of time listening to Stax material.  As a big Stax fan that wasn't a bad thing, but clocking in at over nine minutes this one just went on far too long.  An abbreviated version of the song appeared on the "B" aide of their 1971 'Lay It On Me' single.

4.) Poor Man`s Bum-A-Run (Andy Fairweather-Low) - 4:56 rating: ** star

B.J. Cole's pedal steel guitar added a country-flavor to the horn-powered ballad 'Poor Man`s Bum-A-Run.'  Wish I could be more positive about this one, but darn if it didn't just irritate me.  For some reason the tune was subsequently released as a German single:




- 1972's 'Poor Man`s Bum-A-Run' b/w 'Don`t Mess With Cupid' (Hansa catalog number 12 173-AT)