The Second Disc

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The Seventies Preservation Society: Audio Fidelity Revisits Bad Company and Ten Years After

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Audio Fidelity is getting back to the basics of classic rock with two upcoming 24k Gold CD reissues scheduled for May 24. Mastering engineer Steve Hoffman will work the controls for both 1971’s A Space in Time from Ten Years After and 1975’s Straight Shooter from Bad Company. While these two albums may not share much on the surface, both albums represent a return to back-to-basics blues-rock from two successful British bands.

1971’s A Space in Time was the seventh album by Ten Years After,and the band’s first to be released on the Columbia label in America. (Chrysalis handled distribution in the U.K.) With their smoking performance at Woodstock in August 1969 still resonating with the public, A Space in Time caught the band at the peak of its powers, and it remains guitarist/vocalist/lead songwriter Alvin Lee’s favorite album. Lee, Chick Churchill (keyboards), Leo Lyons (bass) and Rick Lee (drums) created a largely acoustic album, but it manages to include those crunchy blues-rock riffs that made the band famous. “I’d Love to Change the World,” the band’s biggest hit, is included here, along with the folk-styled “Here They Come,” the early rock-and-roll homage “Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock ‘n’ Roll You” and the psychedelic “Let the Sky Fall.” Riding the success of single “I’d Love to Change the World,” A Space in Time is the best-selling album of Ten Years After’s career. Most of the cuts on the album are tight, leading it to have a more “pop” feel than some of the band’s other work. But “Uncle Jam” is present, credited to all of the band members, reminding listeners that few jammed better than Ten Years After.

Bad Company emerged onto the scene in 1974 on Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song label, a true British supergroup: Free’s Paul Rodgers on vocals and rhythm guitar and Simon Kirke on drums, King Crimson’s Boz Burrell on bass and Mick Ralphs from Mott the Hoople on guitar.  “Can’t Get Enough” and “Movin’ On” off the band’s self-titled debut both became radio hits and the LP itself hit pole position. Hopes were naturally high for the follow-up, and Bad Company more than delivered with Straight Shooter. The album’s first two tracks, “Good Lovin’ Gone Bad” and “Feel Like Makin’ Love” both were released as singles, with the former going to No. 36 and the latter all the way to No. 10. Like Ten Years After, Bad Company had its roots in blues-rock, and Straight Shooter shows the supergroup at its stripped-down, hard-rocking best.

Hit the jump for the track listings, pre-order links and more!

Neither release contains bonus tracks, and both titles are limited, numbered editions.  Audio Fidelity remastered Bad Company’s debut in 2006, and that disc now commands collectors’ prices, so now might be the time to order!  A Space in Time and Straight Shooter are due in stores from Audio Fidelity on May 24.

Ten Years After, A Space in Time (Columbia 30801, reissued Audio Fidelity AFZ112, 2011)

  1. One of These Days
  2. Here They Come
  3. I’d Love to Change the World
  4. Over the Hill
  5. Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock ‘n’ Roll You
  6. Once There Was a Time
  7. Let the Sky Fall
  8. Hard Monkeys
  9. I’ve Been There Too
  10. Uncle Jam

Bad Company, Straight Shooter (Swan Song SS 8413, reissued Audio Fidelity AFZ117, 2011)

  1. Good Lovin’ Gone Bad
  2. Feel Like Makin’ Love
  3. Weep No More
  4. Shooting Star
  5. Deal with the Preacher
  6. Wild Fire Woman
  7. Anna
  8. Call On Me

Written by Joe Marchese

May 11, 2011 at 11:21

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