Category Archives: STONE THE CROWS
…the live bonus tracks completing the Angel Air reissue transport the listener to a smoky late night hostelry in Glasgow where the house band are performing blues like it should be.
If you are a ’70s person whose musical grounding was formulated during that decade, wherever you have arrived at today, Stone the Crows were there or thereabouts during your formative years and are worthy of another listen.
The Progressive Aspect (July 2015)
The eponymous 1970 debut opens with ‘The Touch Of Your Loving Hand’ (also a live bonus on CD2) introducing two of the best blues-rock vocalists this country has produced: Maggie Bell and Jim Dewar. The joint approach on vocals (echoed by the band’s contemporaries Robert Palmer and Elkie Brooks in Vinegar Joe) continues on ‘Raining In Your Heart’ (included on CD2 as a bonus live track). This track cracks along at a fiery pace with some super Les Harvey guitar and John McGinnis’ keyboard interjections.
Two covers (a Josh White song ‘Blind Man’ and the Beatles’ ‘Fool On The Hill’) give Maggie Bell the chance to stretch out with bluesy accompaniment from Harvey. ‘I Saw America’ filled one side of the original LP and features a number of blues rock to jazz themes with McGinnis’ keys and Harvey’s guitar to the fore. In places, they sound like The Doors at their moody best, with Harvey’s input always tastefully economical, much like Robby Kreiger. ****
That debut album was followed up within a year by Ode To John Law which built upon their ballsy blues rock calling card. Check out the opener ‘Sad Mary’, and ‘Love’ with its insistent and infectious riff whilst Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Danger Zone’ highlights Maggie Bell’s slow blues. With Jimmy Dewar providing bass and vocals (replaced by Steve Thompson in 1972), ex-John Mayall and future-Focus Colin Allen on drums, this band was a veritable ‘supergroup’ at the time with, potentially, a great future. ****
Get Ready to ROCK! (August 2015)
A more subdued moment echoes from the speakers on ‘Things are Getting Better’ which features additional voices for a pretty vocal harmony. On the record (Ode To John Law) is almost surely their biggest hit, ‘Danger Zone’ by Curtis Mayfield. It’s still one of those songs that you do not get out of your subconscious. STC made a sublime cover, with a somewhat psychedelic atmosphere. Listen especially to the interaction between the guitar and the threatening Hammond organ. Sublime!
Keys and Chords (August 2015)
For gutsy blues music you’ll need to go a long way to hear someone better than Stone The Crows
Martin Hutchinson, The Bolton News (May 2009)
…these 19 tracks come together as the fullest collection spanning the whole of the Glaswegian finest’s existence and presenting each of their line-ups. *****
www.dmme.net (June 2009)
This 2 CD set brings together all the band’s radio sessions from different shows…
Classic Rock Society (June 2009)
There isn’t one ounce of filler to be found anywhere on these two discs…
Ryan Sparks, Classic Rock Revisted (June 2009)
This 2 CD collection contains a number of radio sessions throughout the band’s career, with disc 1 covering 1969-’70 and disc 2 1971- ’72. As you would expect from a collection like this, there are a couple of tracks that are repeated but this takes nothing away from the quality of the performances.
The CD’s accompanying booklet contains comprehensive notes from the band’s drummer Colin Allen. ****/5
Nikk Gunns, www.getreadytorock.com (June 2009)
…brings together all the extant radio sessions…Fine performances of songs such as ‘Penicillin Blues’, ‘On the Highway’ and ‘Raining In Your Heart’ are given an airing alongside a typically muscular cover of Dylan’s ‘Ballad Of Hollis Brown’.
Kevin Bryan, Stirling Advertiser (July 2009)
The first CD and the first tracks on the second are the prime exhibits here, featuring the band’s original lineup.
www.maelstrom.nu (October 2009)
Montreux Festival has always been a place for many a great performance, and this one is no exclusion, having caught this magnificient British quintet at their deliciously rawest. Nobody knew then that by May Leslie Harvey, whose thick guitar slices drive this concert on, would be gone for ever. If not for the fatal electrocution, he may well have turned into a player of much large calibre. Harvey’s mastery of the instrument shines in “Love”, the band opting for the set comprised of material from the “Ode To John Law” album, more familiar to the audience than songs from the current “Teenage Licks”.
www.dmme.net (July 2008)
They’re firing on all cylinders, and play with lots of light and shade…
Alan Egerton, Classic Rock Society (August 2008)
Formed in Glasgow in 1969 Stone The Crows were fronted by Maggie Bell, playing blues rock they were mentored by Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant and released 4 albums before splitting up in 1972.
This live CD/DVD set features 2 gigs- the first recorded in Montreux in 1972 and featuring guitarist Leslie Harvey who was electrocuted during a sound check just weeks later. The 5 songs here weighing in at a shade under an hour, these include ‘Friends’, ‘Penicillin Blues’ and the Bob Dylan penned ‘Hollis Brown’.
The DVD comes from 1973 and was recorded for Germanys Beat Workshop, tracks here include ‘Going Down’, ‘Sunset Cowboy’ and ‘Good Time Girl’.
Extras on the DVD include interviews with band members Maggie Bell and Colin Allen, and a history of the band. ***
Nikk Gunns, www.getreadytorock.com (August 2008)
Audio surprisingly for 30+ years old material is good…
Amplifier, Issue 99
…a taste of the clatter and intensity of the Glaswegian combo in full flight…a characteristically smouldering blend of blues-fuelled rocking…
Steve Caseman, RocknReel (October 2008)
This live recording, taken from the personal archives of vocalist Maggie Bell, catches Stone the Crows at the height of their powers…This phenomenal band were one of the best British Blues Rock groups of the era and this wonderful live recording captures them in all their glory and is an indispensable piece of Rock history…
Steve Ward, Classic Rock Society (June 2002)
…the vibe that emanates from these brain-scorching fifty-plus minutes provides enough joy for any fan of mind-expanding, psychedelic blues-rock fever.
Jeff Monk, Mohair Sweets (June 2002)
…the protracted playing time was another sign of the times back then. No band worth their bell bottoms would bring in a number under six minutes long…It takes some staying power to see this all the way through but it’s worth the effort.
Tony Shevlin, East Anglian Daily Times (July 27 2002)
Progressive Rock rules OK, well it did back when this album came out and this is a shining example of the art…I have to say this is an exceptional piece of work, a lot of it sounds like jamming, especially on the twenty-one minute cover of Bob Dylan’s Hollis Brown. Leslie (Harvey) was a master of what he did and was a sad loss, but I am elated that this album has finally seeen the light of day, it’s outstanding.
Modern Dance, Issue 43 (January 2003)
Crows fans will clamour for this set…Thank you Angel Air for uncovering this gem.
Blues Matters (May 2003)
It’s an excellent watch. Mostly for the guitar work, it has to be said, and presents a rare look at a guy who would go on to help create many of the classic songs in the catalogue of Paul McCartney’s Wings and both of the comeback albums by the Small Faces in the mid-70s.
Jukebox (January 2007)
Classic, in every sense
Joe Geesin www.getreadytorock.com (January 2007)
Despite the vintage, sound and picture quality is excellent on this studio recorded set…What appear to be very contemporary interviews with Maggie Bell and Colin Allen add value…All things considered, as good a DVD debut as any of their fans could have hoped for.
Music Week (January 2007)
Maggie Bell was one terrific, bluesy rock singer and this concert captures her and the band at their peak in a 1973 German performance… Bonus material here are interviews with Bell and drummer Colin Allen, who joined the Crows after being in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. There also is a history of the band by Rich Wilson.
Clint Weiler (February 2007)
…a 13 song DVD that captures Bell and her Midnight Flyer band – bassist Tony Stevens, guitarist Ant Glynne, drummer Dave Dowle and keyboard player Chris Farren – at their dramatic peak.
… a decade on from her emergence aboard Stone The Crows (also the subject of an excellent Angel Air DVD), Bell remained one of British blues’ most scintillating performers.
Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine (June 2007)