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Archive for June 21st, 2013

Gimme Some Lovin’: Cherry Red Distills Spencer Davis Group’s Live, Studio Tracks on “Keep On Running”

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Spencer Davis Group - Keep On RunningBetween 1964 and 1968, Birmingham’s Spencer Davis Group charted seven U.K. Top 40 hits (including two No. 1s) and two in the U.S. Top 10.  Although the R&B band was short-lived, songs like “Gimme Some Lovin’,” “Keep On Running” and “I’m a Man” remain classic rock staples today.  A collection of odds and ends has just been released by Cherry Red Records as part of its PressPlay series.  The label describes the PressPlay initiative as offering “the perfect introduction to the music of its most popular artists at a competitive price.  From ‘70s prog to punk, vintage ska to rock’n’roll, ‘60s beat to ‘80s indie, PressPlay’s The Collection range will complement the existing Cherry Red labels by combining great value-for-money with the best music from a wide range of iconic cult bands/artists.”  The budget-priced Keep On Running: The Collection brings together 20 tracks from The Spencer Davis Group’s discography.

Spencer Davis formed the group that bore his name in 1963 when the Welsh guitarist invited singer/guitarist/pianist Steve Winwood, Steve’s brother and bassist Muff, and drummer Pete York to join him in a new band.  By late 1965, The Spencer Davis Group had reached the summit of the U.K. pop chart with “Keep On Running,” written by Jackie Edwards.  Edwards’ “Somebody Help Me” and “When I Come Home” (co-written with Steve Winwood) continued the group’s winning streak, reaching No. 1 and No. 12, respectively, on the U.K. chart.  The stage had been set for success in America, too, which was achieved when 1966’s U.K. No. 2 hit “Gimme Some Lovin’,” co-written by Davis and the Winwoods, went all the way to No. 7 in the United States.  Its follow-up, 1967’s “I’m a Man,” by Steve Winwood and Jimmy Miller, also went Top 10 in both countries.

That same year, though, Steve and Muff Winwood left The Spencer Davis Group.  Steve went on to form Traffic, and Muff segued into a behind-the-scenes career at Island Records.  Davis soldiered on with new members, guitarist Phil Sawyer and keyboardist/vocalist Eddie Hardin.  Sawyer lasted only a matter of months, and was replaced by Ray Fenwick.  The album With Their New Face On introduced the new line-up, and the band actually collaborated with Traffic when both bands appeared on the soundtrack to the film Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.  Soon, Hardin and York departed – to form the appropriately named prog-rock duo Hardin and York! – and future Elton John Band members Dee Murray on bass and Nigel Olsson on drums stepped in.  (Olsson was actually a replacement for another short-lived member,  drummer Dave Hynes.)  1969’s Funky never received a British release, and two albums recorded in 1973 and 1974 for the Vertigo label with an altered line-up (Davis, Fenwick, Hardin, York, and bassist Charlie McCracken) didn’t reverse the group’s fortunes, though Spencer Davis still tours with a new version of the group today.

What will you find on Keep On Running?  Hit the jump for more details plus a full track listing and order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 21, 2013 at 11:24