Friday, 25 February 2011

“Lie Back And Enjoy It” by JUICY LUCY. A Review Of Their 2nd Album From 1970 On Vertigo Now Reissued By Esoteric Recordings In 2010.

"…Ain’t Going Down That Lonesome Road…All By Myself…"

Released in September 1969 – JUICY LUCY’s self-titled debut LP was only the second album on the then new progressive rock label VERTIGO Records. And on the back of their blistering UK 7” single “Who Do You Love” which was lifted off the record and released in February 1970 - the "Juicy Lucy" album finally charted in the UK in April 1970. And that’s where this cool little CD reissue kicks in. "Lie Back And Enjoy It" was their hurriedly recorded follow-up LP (featuring a radically altered band line-up) – and it’s mid-price expanded CD reissue by the renowned Esoteric Recordings Label (part of Cherry Red) is a welcome boogie blast from my distant past…

UK released August 2010 (reissued June 2015) - "Lie Back And Enjoy It" by JUICY LUCY on Esoteric Recordings ECLEC2216 (Barcode 5013929731646) is an 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster and breaks down as follows (39:08 minutes):

1. Thinking Of My Life
2. Built For Comfort
3. Pretty Woman
4. Whisky In My Jar
5. Hello L.A. Bye Bye Birmingham
6. Changed My Mind, Changed My Sign
7. That Woman’s Got Something
8. Willie The Pimp/Lie Back And Enjoy It Medley
Tracks 1 to 8 are the album "Lie Back And Enjoy It" released October 1970 in the UK on Vertigo 6360 014. The album charted at number 53 on the UK LP charts for one week in November 1970. Their next two albums were on the 'Bronze' and 'Polydor' labels ("Get A Whiff A This" from 1971 and "Pieces" from 1972).

Track 9 "I'm A Thief" (Mono) is the non-album B-side to their second 7" single "Pretty Woman" (Track 3 on Side 1). It was released September 1970 in the UK on Vertigo 6059 015 (also on the Spiral label) but failed to chart.

Boasting a new 24-bit remaster by BEN WISEMAN at Audio Archiving in London (it was first put out by Repertoire in 1994) - it's also available digitally at

The 5-piece for this LP featured PAUL WILLIAMS on Lead Vocals, Congas & Piano [ex Zoot Money’s Big Band] with GLENN ROSS CAMPBELL on Lead Guitar, Mandolin and Vocals [ex The Misunderstood], MICKY MOODY on Guitars [ex Tramline, Mike Cotton Sound - later with Snafu, Whitesnake & duet work with Paul Williams], CHRIS MERCER on Saxophones & Keyboards [ex John Mayall's Bluesbreakers], KEITH ELLIS on Bass & Vocals [ex Koobas and Van Der Graaf Generator] and ROD COOMBES on Drums and Percussion.

Building on the greasy slide-guitar boogie-band feel of their self-titled debut, “Lie Back And Enjoy It” went down the same road – only this time they’d replaced Ray Owen as Lead Vocalist with Paul Williams and Neill Hubbard’s guitar work with that of Micky Moody. Like the first album it’s a mixed batch of the great and the ordinary. The Paul Williams penned “Pretty Woman” was released as the album’s only single and you can instantly hear why – catchy as a cold in Margate. The cover of the Willie Dixon song he gave to Howlin' Wolf "Built For Comfort" is less successful as is the awful version of Zappa’s “Willy The Pimp” (although it redeems itself at about 5 minutes 34 seconds in as it fades out and suddenly turns into a lovely 2-minute long piano instrumental - not surprisingly called “Lie Back And Enjoy It”). But the track I dig the most is “This Woman’s Got Something” which was co-written by Moody, Campbell and William (lyrics above) – it’s a bluesy builder with great guitar work and has graced more than a few 70’s FEST CDs I’ve made up for shop play.

Sound - like Esoteric’s 2010 reissue of "Juicy Lucy" the audio quality is incredibly clean and crisp, full of power and a massive improvement over what I had before - a really great job done. The 16-page booklet features a really detailed account by MARK POWELL of their transition from The Misunderstood of 1966 to Juicy Lucy of 1969 and onwards into 1970 and their many line-up changes. The original album artwork was an elaborate 4-way foldout poster affair that is reproduced in parts here. There are also full-page colour-plates for each member of the band, Vertigo adverts for the group and a foreign picture sleeve of the “Pretty Woman” single. Like its predecessor, it's all very nicely done.

There are some Seventies bands I go dolally over and JUICY LUCY is one of them. And although some of the tracks on here don't quite live up to the image and promise of the elaborate sleeve - there's tunes on here that do. I've loved re-hearing this long-forgotten album.

A wicked little reissue really...

PS: Their 1st Vertigo album from September 1969 "Juicy Lucy" has also been remastered and reissued by Esoteric in 2010 with a bonus track (see separate review)

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