The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Eat It: Humble Pie Reissues Coming Soon From Lemon

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There’s plenty of buzz over here about Universal U.K.’s upcoming Small Faces remasters, but another project of Small Faces frontman Steve Marriott is also getting some reissue love.  Marriott left the Small Faces in late 1968 to join Peter Frampton, Greg Ridley and Jerry Shirley in Humble Pie, free of the pop expectations of his former band.  Signed to Andrew Loog Oldham’s Immediate label, also home to the Small Faces, Humble Pie launched its career with 1969’s As Safe as Yesterday Is.  For its series of three remastered original albums, Cherry Red’s Lemon Recordings imprint is looking forward, though, to the band’s time at Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss’ A&M Records between 1970 and 1975.  On March 27, Lemon will reissue Humble Pie (1970), Eat It (1973) and Thunderbox (1974) in remastered editions with new liner notes drawing on interviews with the band members.  The series does not include the two studio albums that arrived between Humble Pie and Eat It, namely Rock On (1971) and Smokin’ (1972).

Humble Pie’s first single,” Natural Born Woman” (or “Natural Born Boogie,” augured for great things to come.  A U.K. Top 10 hit right out of the gate, it was inevitable that the single would lead to a full album by the recently-formed unit.  As Safe as Yesterday emphasized the band’s blues-rock sound, though not without touches of folk and pop.  Rolling Stone’s Mike Saunders is considered by some to have coined an entire sub-genre of rock when he described the album as “Here, Humble Pie were a noisy, unmelodic, heavy metal-leaden shit-rock band, with the loud and noisy parts beyond doubt.”  (Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild” and its “heavy metal thunder” lyric, however, is likely the phrase’s first usage in a rock context.)   The band’s second album, Town and Country, was a somewhat quieter affair, even featuring a cover of Buddy Holly’s “Heartbeat.”

Hit the jump for details on Lemon’s new editions!

For the A&M debut Humble Pie, the band took an even heavier approach than that of Yesterday.   Peter Frampton’s gentle “Earth and Water Song” provides a respite from the band-composed “One Eyed Trouser Snake Rumba” and a cover of bluesman Willie Dixon’s “I’m Ready.”   Drummer Jerry Shirley took the lead vocal on his song “Only a Roach,” a country-and-western ode to a popular substance.   Steve Marriott took a pointed jab at Andrew Loog Oldham, whose Immediate label went out of business in 1969, with “Theme from Skint (See You Later, Liquidator).”   Humble Pie was not only the band’s first album for A&M but their first under the auspices of American manager Dee Anthony, a straight-talking Bronx native who, over the years, also counted among his clients Spooky Tooth, Traffic, Tony Bennett and Peter Allen!  Lemon’s reissue comes with new artwork and sleeve notes by Malcolm Dome, and of course features the original album artwork by Aubrey Beardsley.

The 1973 double-LP Eat It featured a unique concept for each side.  Side 1 features Steve Marriott- penned rock and roll; Side 2 offers classic R&B covers; Side 3 is a collection of Marriott’s acoustic songs; and Side 4 excerpts a live concert performance from Glasgow.  Peter Frampton was gone by this point, having struck out on his own after 1971’s Rock On.  With manager Anthony at his side, he would go on to even greater success as a solo performer.  Dave “Clem” Clempson took Frampton’s place.  Many of the covers on Eat It are choice: Ray Charles’ “ I Believe to My Soul,” the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women” and mod favorite “(I’m A) Road Runner” among them.  Lemon’s reissue of Eat It marks one of the first times the album has been released on CD outside of Japan, and in addition to remastered sound, it features new notes from Dome.

Finally, Lemon brings the follow-up to Eat It, Thunderbox.  Twelve songs appear here, six of which were originals; the band again relied on cover versions as a major component.  Here, Humble Pie takes on Ann Peebles’ soulful “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” Arthur Alexander’s “Anna (Go to Him)” and The Staple Singers’ “Oh La-De-Da.”   A recent hit, Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away” (composed by Mentor Williams) is also given an airing.  Thunderbox (the word noted by the label as “a seventeenth century slang word for the toilet which gives an example of Humble Pie’s sense of humour”) shows the band enjoying its boogie spirit, and as with Eat It, the album hasn’t been widely available outside of Japan.  The remastered reissue features Dome’s new notes and the original artwork.

Only one more Humble Pie studio album arrived on A&M.  1975’s Street Rats was an unlikely “collaboration” between the band and Andrew Loog Oldham, who was engaged by the label (without the band’s consent) to mix the tracks.  After the album’s release and a farewell tour, Humble Pie was no more.   As with The Small Faces, there would be Humble Pie reunions with modified line-ups, but Street Rats was the last gasp of the band’s original period.

Lemon’s reissues will arrive in the U.K. on March 27 and approximately one week later stateside.  You’ll find track listings and pre-order links below!

Humble Pie, Humble Pie (A&M SP-4270, 1970 – reissued Lemon CDLEM 203, 2012)

  1. Live with Me
  2. Only a Roach
  3. One-Eyed Trouser Snake Mama
  4. Earth and Water Song
  5. I’m Ready
  6. Theme from Skint (See You Later Liquidator)
  7. Red Light Mama, Red Hot
  8. Sucking on the Sweet Vine

Humble Pie, Eat It (A&M SP-3701, 1973 – reissued Lemon CDLEM 204, 2012)

  1. Get Down to It
  2. Good Booze and Bad Women
  3. Is It For Love?
  4. Drugstore Cowboy
  5. Black Coffee
  6. I Believe to My Soul
  7. Shut Up and Don’t Interrupt Me
  8. That’s How Strong My Love Is
  9. Say No More
  10. Oh, Bella (That’s All Hers)
  11. Summer Song
  12. Beckton Dumps
  13. Up Our Sleeve
  14. Honky Tonk Women
  15. (I’m A) Road Runner

Humble Pie, Thunderbox (A&M SP-3611, 1974 – reissued Lemon CDLEM 205, 2012)

  1. Thunderbox
  2. Groovin’ with Jesus
  3. I Can’t Stand the Rain
  4. Anna (Go to Him)
  5. No Way
  6. Rally with Ali
  7. Don’t Worry, Be Happy
  8. Ninety-Nine Pounds
  9. Every Single Day
  10. No Money Down
  11. Drift Away
  12. Oh La-De-Da

Written by Joe Marchese

February 27, 2012 at 10:11

Posted in Humble Pie, News, Reissues

2 Responses

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  1. this is good news… let’s hope also that the stunning, wonderful live album that is “Performance – Rockin’ the Filmore” will have a new reissue… on CD it was remastered properly only on a 2007 japanese edition… maybe someone at Universal / Hip-O is reading this…


    February 28, 2012 at 14:21

    • Yeh Rockin is THE one – I heard a while back that Frampton had the mastertapes & was planning a remaster with bonus tracks bu nuthin to date (shame !) No bonus tracks on the above ?

      PAUL B

      March 5, 2012 at 17:49

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