To any other Colin Hodgkinson fans: A new Back Door album out this week!

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by DaveBeny, Jun 25, 2002.

  1. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Doing the rounds of the record shops yesterday, I happened to stumble across a new CD by that great British fusion trio Back Door. It's not an album of new material as such, but a collection of tracks recorded live for broadcast on BBC Radio during 1973-1974. None of these recordings have been released before, and four of the fourteen tracks on the CD have never been released before in any form.

    The quality of the music varies, but the standout tracks are the vocal blues tracks, with Colin Hodgkinson singing and playing chordal bass in a Robert Johnson style. As I often point out, Colin is a great electric bass innovator who has never got the high profile that he deserves.

    This album, 'The Human Bed' is out on a small British label, Hux Records (

    The blurb from the website says:

    Back Door formed in Yorkshire and comprosed Colin Hodgkinson - ex Alexis Korner Band (bass/ vocals), Ron Aspery (sax/piano) and Tony Hicks (drums). The band attracted a great deal of interest as a result of Hodgkinson's unique full chording bass technique, a virtuoso style that has been influential ever since.

    The band released their self-titled debut album on an independent label in 1972. This attracted the attention of the major record companies and they eventually signed to Warner Brothers who later reissued the debut set and went on to release another three Back Door albums over the next four years.

    The album features three complete BBC Radio 1 sessions from 1973-4. two of these were recorded for Bob Harris and one for John Peel.

    1. Vienna Breakdown
    2. Blue Country Blues
    3. Captain Crack Up
    4. When You've Got A Good Friend
    5. Adolphus Beal
    6. Human Bed
    7. Fanny Wiggins
    8. Walkin' Blues
    9. Louisiana Blues
    10. Slivadiv
    11. The Spoiler
    12. TB Blues
    13. Blakey Jones
    14. The Dashing White Sargeant

    Tracks 1-5 recorded for the Bob Harris show 03.01.73

    Tracks 6-9 recorded for the Bob Harris show 05.12.73

    Tracks 10-14 recorded for the John Peel Show 05.09.74
    None of these recordings have ever been released before and four of these titles have never been issued in any form. These include two originals, 'Captain Crack Up', and 'Fanny Wiggins'. Also Muddy waters' 'Louisiana Blues' and robert Johnson's 'When You've Got A Good Friend'.

    The CD booklet features comprehensive liner notes by Back Door's Colin Hodgkinson.
  2. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Thanks for the heads up David!! I've always loved Colin's playing!
  3. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    AMG EXPERT REVIEW: Three previously unreleased BBC sessions from 1973-1974 are assembled on this CD. The first two of these (from 1973), spanning nine of the 14 tracks, feature the original trio lineup of bassist Colin Hodgkinson, saxophonist/pianist Ron Aspery, and drummer Tony Hicks; the final five songs, from 1974, also feature electric pianist Dave MacRae. From the point of view of the hardcore fan, the big attraction of this disc is the inclusion of four songs not on their studio albums: the Aspery-Hodgkinson originals "Captain Crack Up" and "Fanny Wiggins" and covers of Muddy Waters' "Louisiana Blues" and Robert Johnson's "When You've Got a Good Friend." Hodgkinson is slightly critical of the fidelity of the five tracks from the earliest session in his liner notes, but actually the sound quality's decent throughout. Instrumental fusion jazz is what Back Door was most known for, and that's what they usually play on these cuts. But there's some variety that goes beyond that genre, like some fairly straight blues (on which Hodgkinson takes some occasional functional vocals), some Soft Machine-like fusion on the performances with MacRae (like "Silvadiv"), and even Lieutenant Pigeon-like novelty on "The Dashing White Sargeant." As there were other bands who did fusion and blues better, the big selling point is Hodgkinson's assertive bass playing, which often took a role more associated with standard guitarists via his full chording style. — Richie Unterberger