Tuesday 12 February 2013


It isn't very hip and trendy to like The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, don't think that it ever was mind you. I got into them through the hippies that I have mentioned before, well not them really but one of the guys who went about with them, whose name was Alec coincidentally, he was really into them.

When I was twelve/ thirteen I thought Alec was the best guitarist in the world, well Lanarkshire anyway. It was through listening to him, Jim and Chris jamming and rehearsing in New Lanark hall that I was first introduced to classic rock tunes by the likes of Cream, Hendrix, Black Sabbath and the rest.

I have a tape somewhere of one of these rehearsals, terrible quality but it has a wonderful version of Star Spangled Banner which goes on for ages and I can still remember how loud the feedback was that day.

Anyway, during one of these performances Alec started playing this 12 bar blues and began to sort of talk, sing over the top, when he came to the line "is your name Alexander?" I was rather impressed by his spontaneous song writing, it wasn't until the end of the day that I found out that he had not after all thought up these words on the spot but that it was actually a Leiber and Stoller composition. Years later I found out that the song was originally a Doo-wop song record recorded in 1954 by The Robbins and had been covered by Ritchie Valens, Canned Heat and Los Lobos amongst others. Harvey had recorded a version back in 1964 as Alex Harvey and His Soul Band, allegedly recorded live in Hamburg but was in fact recorded in the studio.

So after the session ended I asked Alec if he had any Alex Harvey stuff and he lent me the first two albums and the Live 1975 album which I duly took home immersed myself in and taped.

These days, if you asked people about Alex Harvey and they didn't just shrug and say who? they would probably mention the band's version of Delilah, sadly, as opposed to The Faith Healer, Next and of course Framed.

I was sure that I had the Live 1975 album which has an eleven minute version of Framed but I can't find it so you will have to do with the Live At The BBC version.

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Framed (Liver At The BBC)

and it's amazing what you can find on the internet. Here is the version from the non live, Live In Hamburg album.


Walter said...

You named all the tracks SAHB was famous for - and I agree to that. My first time I got in contact with this music was in small club in Kopenhagen in 1977. I spent my holidays traveling around in Europe with my younger brother. Walking the town I saw an announcement for a concert later this evening. So I got me a ticket (my brother wasn't old enough to join me) and saw The Sex Pistols. Before starting the show the DJ played some tunes to warm up the crowd. And I think it was also a live version of 'Framed'. Still a great song.

Charity Chic said...

SAHB -Live at the Hammersmith Odeon 1975 - one of the best live albums of all time