venerdì 22 aprile 2016

Boxer - Below The Belt (2012 Esoteric Recordings) 1975

Biography : Below the Belt was the debut album by Boxer, released on the Virgin label in January 1976. The album attracted less attention for its music than for its cover art. Photographed by Alex Henderson with graphics by Richard Evans, the cover featured model Stephanie Marrian spreadeagled and naked but for a pair of shoes, with a man's arm reaching up between her legs and his boxing-gloved hand hiding her genitalia. The back cover at first showed Stephanie in complete full-frontal nudity, but later pressings covered her up with the band's belt-styled logo. The cover was completely re-designed for the US market using the band photo from the inside of the UK gatefold cover. The lineup on this album is a live show quartet with keyboardist Chris Stainton brought in during the recording sessions. Wiki

Approximately two years after the breakup of Patto, Mike Patto and Ollie Halsall reunited in 1975 to form Boxer along with Keith Ellis on bass (Van Der Graaf Generator, Juicy Lucy, Spooky Tooth, et al.) and Tony Newman on drums (Sounds Inc., Jeff Beck Group, Kevin Ayers, et al.). Keith and Mike were in Spooky Tooth together.  Mike left that band after a year and began working as a promotions man for Good Ear Records, owned by Mike's manager, Nigel Thomas.  Nigel would also become Boxer's manager and give them their name.  Ollie and Tony were playing together touring with Kevin Ayers, and when the touring stopped they got Mike to quit the record biz and form a new band.
This time the music Mike and Ollie brought to the table was straight-ahead rock that reflected little of their Patto past, except for possibly some of the songs on the unreleased Monkey's Bum album. The band released it's first album, "Below The Belt", in 1975.  "All The Time In The World" was released as a single with a great non-LP B-side titled "Don't Wait".  They recorded a great second album called "Bloodletting" that would for some reason not be released until 1979. Very little of the Boxer story seems to be documented, especially about the breakup of the original lineup.  Sometime in late 1976, Halsall is said to have quit the band.  But somehow Boxer's management ended up in possession of the band's equipment, including Ollie's guitars (as late as 1981, Ollie still didn't own an electric guitar of his own).  This is just hearsay, but the story is that the band was very deep in debt with Nigel Thomas, and he held on to all their equipment.  Then Nigel's company was liquidated, and Ollie's guitars were likely auctioned off by the official receivers.  Where is Ollie's white Gibson Custom SG now? Mike put together a new lineup of the band to record one more Boxer album in 1977 called "Absolutely".  The new lineup band consisted of Mike, Chris Stainton on keyboards, Tim Bogert on bass/vocals, Adrian Fisher on guitar, and Eddie Tuduri on drums.  The album is not as raw and rocking as the first albums, but there are some fine moments of musicianship and songwriting on this album.  The Randy Newman-esque song "Everybody's A Star" was released as a single.  This album would be Mike's final release before passing away in 1979 with lymphatic leukemia (cancer of lymph glands). They did some BBC sessions, and their tours, at least for the original lineup, were critically acclaimed.  Their first LP cover did get them some attention through controversy.  Many seem to remember their first album cover, even if they never did heard the contents.  But, as is typical of the Patto story, Boxer did not achieve a great deal of attention or success. pattofan.com

01.Shooting Star 3:59
02.All The Time In The World 4:27
03.California Calling 4:45
04.Hip Kiss 2:58
05.More Than Meets The Eye 5:25
06.Waiting For A Miracle 5:06
07.Loony Ali 3:58
08.Save Me 3:36
09.Gonna Work Out Fin 5:57
10.Town Drunk 5:17
Bonus Track
11.Don't Wait (Single B-Side) 3:14

Keith Ellis - Bass
Ollie Halsall - Guitar and Keyboards
Tony Newman - Drums
Mike Patto - Keyboards and Vocals
Chris Stainton - Keyboard

1 commento:

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