Label: Connoisseur Collection - VSOP CD 139 • Format: CD Compilation • Country: UK • Genre: Rock, Childrens, Stage & Screen • Style: Pop Rock
The second half of the Connoisseur Collection 2LP set is made up of the Wizards Conventionan obscure album sought after by Deep Purple fans for the involvement of members of that band. The album was laid down just a few weeks after Deep Purple Mk 4 had played their final concert in Liverpool, with the members of the band all contemplating solo careers of one sort or another.
The album was in the main Eddie Hardin's. He wrote or co-wrote all the material and played many of the instruments himself. Several musician friends were brought in and the decision was taken to credit everyone equally on the sleeve, to try to promote it as a kind of jam session.
Released in Decemberthe album got lost in the Christmas rush. Promotion was minimal and sales poor, with the album quickly reaching the bargain bins, hastened, no doubt, by the advent of punk. The inclusion of the Purple gang has added an interest in the album which it is doubtful it would otherwise have had.
Apart from the Deep Purple members, several of the personnel will already be familiar from the Butterfly Ball album. Coverdale's track, 'Money To Burn' remains of interest, a good performance not unlike the material he was soon to be laying down for his first solo album, 'Whitesnake'. Elsewhere, Tony Ashton turned in a spoof twenties' performance in his inimitable style.
As noted, the album was quickly deleted in the UK. A German gatefold edition which sported a reworked sleeve from which the front cover logo is taken lasted a little longer but Blackout - Scorpions - Alive from a poor reissue in which was even harder to find than the original, the album has remained unavailable.
Former Spencer Davis Group keyboard player Eddie Hardin had many friends in the rock business by the time he came to record this album in Rather than do a traditional solo album, he wrote the songs and then asked a number of musicians to help him record them.
The result was an album full of variety and styles, which later became much sought after by Deep Purple collectors. Yet, despite a couple of earlier attempts, the project has never been properly compiled for CD until now, where the original album is augmented by three bonus tracks done at the time which couldn't be fitted on the original album with vocals by Ronnie Diowho would join Blackmore's Rainbow shortly after this.
The CD is being advertised in Classic Rock and will be reviewed in the usual Ballad Night - Collapsed Lung - Cooler. It is also being promoted via the Eddie Swanks & Swells I - Roger Glover and Guests / Wizards Convention - The Butterfly Ball And Wizards and Deep Purple web sites.
Eddie Hardin 's name is very much associated with Deep Purple following many projects he and band members have worked on Swanks & Swells I - Roger Glover and Guests / Wizards Convention - The Butterfly Ball And Wizards the years, right up to the Royal Albert Hall Orchestral show in where he played keyboards. The new sleeve has been adapted from colourful artwork done for the original album in Germany, while the accompanying booklet carries the usual detailed notes, rare pictures and a discography.
Ex-Manfred Mann lead vocalist and harmonica player extrodinaire, following solo hits in the 's a successful theatre career followed in the 's. Worked with Eddie on the Butterfly Ball album. Appeared on the Butterfly Ballnow equally noted for his painting with many specially commissioned album covers to his credit.
Ex-Fancy, then has honed his bass playing craft to the extent that he has been first choice for many artists thus contributing to albums by Phil Collins, Jeff Beck, Gerry Rafferty, The Shadows, Joan Armatrading. Also appeared on the Butterfly Ball album. Nowadays equally comfortable in the producer's chair as the bassist's. After playing on Peter Green's comeback albums, Snowy developed a solo career which reaped an international top 5 hit with Bird of Paradise.
Following this, he assisted Roger Waters in the live production of The Wall. Ex-The Who, has released solo albums and played on many sessions as a special guest. Now touring with Ringo Starr. Little sister of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, released her debut album in the late 's to great critical acclaim. Now just issued her next single and building up to recording her second album. Ex-Moody Blues founder memberthen following a solo career including the classic Say You Don't Mind, became the chief collaborator with Paul McCartney in Wings, and helped notch up over 30 chart entries.
Currently touring as a solo act again. Continued to make own solo albums in the s that were successful in Japan when the New Age genre developed.
A career that began with several groups in the 's including super group After Tea, followed by joining the Spencer Davis Group. During the 's played That Time Of The Year - Rhinoceros - Rhinoceros Fancy, followed by a long spell in the Ian Gillan Band, played on the Butterfly Ball album and in fact has been a regular contributor to most of Eddie Hardin's projects.
The 's saw Ray score well with the the make-up group Forcefield which included Cozy Powell and Jan Akkerman, their four albums doing especially well in Japan.
Now concentrates on solo albums. Ex-Roxy Music, solo artist whose eclectic style has just been amply demonstrated by an anniversary album issue by Virgin.
Owns the Gallery Studio where this Swanks & Swells I - Roger Glover and Guests / Wizards Convention - The Butterfly Ball And Wizards was recorded and, following a stint as a label owner, is now concentrating his producing powers on his passion for Spanish and Latin American music.
Well that's what he told me" says Eddie. Classic hits with Out Of Time and Handbags and Gladrags Where I Wanna Be - Raff - Hypnotized the 's accompanied by his famed backing band the Thunderbirds featuring, in turn, Albert Lee. An original member of Colosseum with whom he is now touring again. Ringo's son and currently touring with his father, also previously toured with Roger Daltrey.
Played on Eddie's Wind in the Willows album. Ex-Manfred Mann replacing Paul Jones and here recording together for the first time.
Recorded several solo albums, produced many for others and now also works in radio. Recently on tour in Australia. Two years later he wrote and produced ' Wizards Convention '. Then in he returned to the UK from France where he now livesto record this album co-written with Ray Fenwick.
Together these great musicians produce an album that is fundamentally the Blues. If you like the Blues then you should find something on here that you'll like, as virtually every style of Blues is represented. A worthy successor to its illustrious predecessor. The record moves back and forth emotionally in a silhouette of your typical love affair The treasure here is not so much the concept but the songs.
Each one written and performed for maximum impact and successfully so I have never had the opportunity to hear the first version of " Wizards Convention " but after the number of listens this disc has gotten in my house I am off straight to Swanks & Swells I - Roger Glover and Guests / Wizards Convention - The Butterfly Ball And Wizards shop to pick it up. If it is anything like this installment I will be getting many hours of enjoyment from it as well. Many words have been written about me and my music I take the pseudo-musician phraseology whereby friends suddenly become 'sidemen' and 'keyboardists' and others do 'guitaring' or 'vocaling'.
I mean what the fuck is that all about? On this album I decided to try and be as literate as possible for myself. This album was originally conceived in Cannes in I suppose from my friendship with Roger Glover, an enormous amount of talent was introduced to me, certainly during the course of recording Butterfly Ball.
I had accumulated a good array of songs that frankly did not suit my style of singing, so I decided to start putting other voices to the tunes. I think with great success, David Coverdale turned 'Money To Burn' into something I Swanks & Swells I - Roger Glover and Guests / Wizards Convention - The Butterfly Ball And Wizards have thought of whilst Glenn Hughes worked closely with me to achieve what I consider to be Menuettes - Miguel Barbera - Invitation To The Classic Guitar Music of the finest tracks on the album.
All the basic tracks were recorded prior to the singer's involvement, not even keys were considered though fortunately all worked out well. The first song to be recorded was 'The Craig Song', this was about John Craig, a friend of mine, who assisted from conception to fruition, though I think he had reservations as to when or even if the album would ever be completed.
I think a point to note is that all the artistes involved are still around and working, and that counts for over a quarter of a century! Think of the bands and singers over the past few months even I look back of these sessions with great affection, it was Hysteria - Muse - Sampler time that I met John Acock, the engineer, who came in the last minute replace Louie Austin who went off to engineer for The Sweet I still work with John to this day, and have just completed two new albums with him.
Ray Fenwick, my friend now for nearly 30 years, plaid guitar and assisted on songs then as now. We have a tremendous bond in writing songs together though on this particular album most of the compositions are my own. You can always spot Ray's influence when the words 'sunshine' or 'stormy weather' appear! Sorry Ray. The bonus tracks are somewhat of my own personal collection, and to a degree show how my songs are conceived, indeed some are in a raw state though I've grown to love them as they are.
On 'I'm Looking Forward To Tomorrow', I tried three singers, and have included here two of them, Billy Ocean and Maggie Bell, both completely different interpretations, though I felt it justified to include both versions. I have also added two songs sung by a friend of mine Lynn Sheppard, he is completely unknown though I'm sure you will agree his performance rates with the best on 'Perfect Survivors' and 'Why Can't We Go Home'.
This is the kind of thing we recorded at home in the gaps! Finally I would like to thank all my friends and family for assisting me throughout this project, now amounting to 20 years of sufferance I've loved every minute of it, thank you all. Merlin, in the form of Eddie Hardin, Chief Wizard, convener and your main man in the conical hat, has done it again. And before you are beguiled by the magic, let me assure you, this kind of gathering of multi-talents takes Trench - Jonny Greenwood - Bodysong than the wave of a wand from even King Arthur's mythological sidekick.
Even so, Eddie's wanderful at it. Did I write that? In this life 'tis said you get what you pay for. The evergreen Mr. Hardin did he really play with the Spencer Davis Group all those years ago - how old was he, eight? What's the other adage, you ask. You did ask? It goes something like 'They do write 'em like they used to'. And I can't see any stoppages in this man's musical pipeline, either. Eddie manages to combine nostalgia, not only in his music, take a lingering look at the photograph he's chosen to front this album, but with a healthy optimism for the future.
If, as the gentleman says, variety is the spice of life, then this is surely the nutmeg grated over a great and varied compilation. And while we're talking feasts, Maggie Bell serves up her own inimitable a la carte course with 'Maggie's Theme'.
This lady is well named, she goes like the clappers and leaves one's head ringing.
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