ALEX HARVEY: ROMAN WALL BLUES (1969)
1) Midnight Moses; 2) Hello L.A., Bye Bye Birmingham; 3) Broken Hearted Fairytale; 4) Donna; 5) Roman Wall Blues; 6) Jumping Jack Flash; 7) Hammer Song; 8) Let My Bluebird Sing; 9) Maxine; 10) Down At Bart's Place; 11) Candy.
After several years of relative inactivity, during which
Then again, maybe not. The more I listen to Roman Wall Blues, the better I understand just how much of a difference The Sensational A. H. Band really made. Roman Wall Blues has it all —
Alex himself must have known that, because he took the trouble of re-recording some of the best songs on this collection — such as the blues-rock rave-up of 'Midnight Moses', or the dark quasi-folk of 'Hammer Song' — with the Sensational Band. This is very laudable, but in the meantime it does not excuse the limp blues-and-brass backing on this record, and I am not even mentioning cases when it ceases to be backing and starts to be fronting — as on the exquisitely boring four-minute jam 'Down At Bart's Place'.
The worst problem, though, is that with poor musical backing,
I certainly understand why the record bombed — it's one of those albums you don't really know what to do with. It doesn't rock hard enough, it isn't nearly as funny as it could be, the hooks aren't tremendous, and the mood is neither heartily sincere nor explicitly insincere. It sort of slips through your fingers and through your ears, and few of us like records that slip through, so it's a thumbs down, from both the heart that finds itself offended for not being offered any emotional food and the brain that does not feel intellectually satisfied, either.