Category Archives: Teenage Licks/Ontinuous Performance

STONE THE CROWS Teenage Licks/Ontinuous Performance


Teenage Licks is a total success as it is filled with energy, thanks to the exceptional vocal parts by Maggie Bell but also the brilliant guitarist Leslie Harvey. Teenage Licks is considered the fans’ favourite album…

…Ontinuous Performance is their fourth album, substantially already finished when Leslie’s accident occurred. Therefore, we hardly hear the guitar of the new guitarist, only present on the track, ‘Sunset Cowboy’ – a tribute to Leslie, which is very emotional. For the rest we are in familiar territory: ‘King Tut’ is an all instrumental and boiling in swing, Leslie soaring with his instrument during a performance of unforgettable beauty, the title inspired by the Tutankhamen exhibition at the British Museum.

Highlands Magazine (November 2015)

There’s funky abandon to Les Harvey’s riffs and Colin Allen’s drumming that feel so relaxed in the brass-splashed paean to drugs ‘Mr. Wizard,’ yet their bluesy flow infuse ‘Faces’ and Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice’ with a spiritual uplift, whereas the live rendition of Freddie King’s ‘Going Down’ redresses the balance. But acoustic fibre of ‘Seven Lakes’ offers a perfect ride into the sunset, its jazzy gauze pointing to the band’s swan song: ‘Ontinuous Performance.’ It would always be blackened by Les’ untimely passing – the guitarist was electrocuted and died on-stage – yet his playing on ‘Niagara,’ where the ensemble interplay is at its tightest, and on ‘Penicillin Blues’ feels economic but fiery, while he delivers a stately, if understated, solo on the piano-driven ‘One More Chance.’

Still, the punchiest tracks of the album were cut with Jimmy McCulloch, en route from THUNDERCLAP NEWMAN to WINGS, whose guitar ups the brass-spiked panache of ‘Good Time Girl’ and soars from the sublime harmonies of ‘Sunset Cowboy’ which pays homage to the CROWS’ fallen hero. It was also a fall for the group as Harvey’s demise sucked the soul of them and, as being cold couldn’t be an option for STC, the quintet broke up soon to never return. A sad story with a great soundtrack. (November 2015)

…Maggie Bell’s raucous vocals impress on originals like ‘Big Jim Slater’ and ‘Faces’. Guitarist Les Harvey, horrifyingly, was electrocuted on stage before Ontinuous Performance was completed with Jimmy McCulloch replacing him on two tracks, including a tribute to Harvey, ‘Sunset Cowboy’.

Blues In Britain (November 2015)

Teenage Licks, their third album, came quickly in 1971. Their sound had grown even stronger and more potent; vocalist Maggie Bell was quickly becoming one of the best female blues vocalists since Janis Joplin, and the music reflected that. The red-hot rockers of ‘Mr. Wizard’ and ‘Big Jim Salter’ were paired up with the powerful ballads of ‘Faces’ and ‘Seven Lakes,’ while a take on Bob Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice’ brings a definite tenderness to the masterful lyrics…

…1972′s Ontinuous Performance is a fine record; McCulloch is an excellent replacement, and the songs are bigger, grander, and tougher. ‘Good Time Girl,’ ‘Niagra’ and ‘Penicillin Girl’ are their strongest numbers, showing that in spite of the losses, their continuation looked to be an admirable feat that couldn’t stop the band’s progression. The music buying audience agreed; Ontinuous Performance was their best selling record.

The Recoup (November 2015)

This double CD set features all the original tracks from the albums Teenage Licks and Ontinuous Performance…plus four additional live bonus tracks. Guitarist Les Harvey died during the recording of Ontinuous Performance and was replaced by McCulloch. But the band never really recovered from the loss and eventually abandoned ship. Because the popularity of Stone The Crows was somewhat geographically limited at the time, this reissue will hopefully make a whole new legion of fans aware of the band. There’s a lot to sink your teeth into here. Twenty tracks in all including “Don’t Think Twice,” “Seven Lakes,” “Let It Down,” “On The Highway,” “Sunset Cowboy,” and “Good Time Girl.”

babysue (October 2015)

…The band were fronted by Les Harvey guitar (Alex’s younger brother) and the incomparable Maggie Bell on vocals. And for me and I guess many others its Maggie’s vocal pyrotechnics that linger. I always thought of her as Britain’s own Janis Joplin as I’m sure many did. Essentially a blues/rock band I loved, and still do that ‘dirty’ guitar blend with Maggie’s abrasive vocal which blazes from the kick off on tracks like ‘Big Jim Salter’, ‘Faces’ and Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice’, just three of the highlights of the eleven (2 live) tracks on Teenage Licks originally released in 1971.

SMART – Seventies Music And Retro Talk (October 2015)

Thanks must be made to Angel Air for making sure these recordings are once again available for fans to either discover for the first time or finally get a CD copy of their old vinyl versions. Though their first albums are the cream of the crop, there’s still plenty of exciting blues rock here to enjoy, featuring the amazing skills of one Maggie Bell.

Sea Of Tranquility (October 2015)

‘Teenage Licks’ is the proof that this band knew how to make good music without falling into banality. Strong guitar riffs, backed by the powerful sounds of a Hammond organ, we immediately have to deal with both in the opener ‘Big Jim Salter’, and that a keyboard is still an instrument that generates added value is made clear in ‘Faces’.

Keys and Chords (October 2015)

They did bequeath a fine body of work to posterity during their short time together however, and newcomers to Stone The Crows’ gritty brand of bluesy rock would be well advised to lend and ear to tracks such as ‘Penicillin Blues’, ‘Big Jim Slater’ and the elegiac ‘Sunset Cowboy’.

Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (October 2015)

The band were dealt a massive blow on May 3 1972 when Les was electrocuted onstage at the Swansea Top Rank club and died. The band elected to carry on and brought in Jimmy McCulloch from Thunderclap Newman to finish the recording of the Ontinuous Performance album.

Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (August 2015)

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