In 1972 Ten Years After and their leader Alvin Lee where chugging right along with another classic blues boogie album titled Rock & Roll Music to the World. Now reissued in 24 karat gold in 2012.
The Ten Years After original lineup was Alvin Lee (lead guitar, vocals), Ric Lee (drums), Chick Churchill (organ, synthesizer) and Leo Lyons (bass).
This was more of the same that previous releases offered and exactly what the people wanted. They were well into their successful career by now with nothing to prove, yet this recording stands as one of their classic renditions of blues-rock.
The Audio Fidelity label made a good choice selecting Rock & Roll Music to the World to their already growing archive of classic rock masterpieces. Sonically the recording is exceptional for the time period and the label’s remastering process lends another dimension to the overall sound. Many folks including me complain about the compressed sound of MP3’s and find CDs lacking the warmth and depth of music on the vinyl LPs of yesteryear. As I have said many times before, these CDs are not only numbered limited edition collectables, they are a pleasure to listen to and are the closest to that vinyl sound that some listeners still love to this day.
Within the 9 tracks of Rock & Roll Music to the World the band shows why they were such a huge concert draw selling thousands of albums every year. “You Give Me Loving” kick starts your heart with some of Lee’s razor sharp licks and recognizable vocal style. From that point forward you get the Ten Years After arsenal coming at you full force. Some psychedelic flourishes (to go along with the iconic cover) are added here and there to suit the time period’s ever evolving blues rock landscape. “Religion” starts off as a slow burner that reaches a crescendo of sound and has a point to make with the lyrics. The combination of rock-blues-psychedelic is similar to what Hendrix would have done prior to his demise. The unique sounds and other worldly ending separate the track from the rest of the album. “Choo Choo Mama” was a bread and butter track that made the Ten Years After train roll on down the tracks. Everything is in place, the driving rhythm section, bursting guitar licks and vocals that you could visualize coming out of any juke joint or late night club on the chitlin’ circuit.
This band may have been a bunch of white boys from England but they rivaled any of their contemporaries that popularized the blues-rock style. Rock & Roll Music to the World is literally music to the ears for anyone that enjoys blues rock and bands such as Ten Years After. The fact that it is now offered in a slipcase, with original artwork and a clearly defined 24 karat gold format featuring a sharp and crisp sound makes the ride one you will want to take more than once.
Key Tracks: You Give Me Loving, Choo Choo Mama, Religion
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Founder MuzikReviews.com
October 3, 2012