KEV MOORE Of WITCH CROSS – Reveals What Album He Cannot Live Without!
This post marks the first of (hopefully) many features that showcase musicians and the album they cannot live without. Every music lover has that one album they cannot live without! I would think, anyways! Metal be thy name.
The only parameters I’ve asked from each gracious participant is that they not choose an album of their own and they can answer in as many words as they would like. Our first participant is Kev Moore! Kev has a Rock ‘N Roll resume that is exceptional, is a multi-instrumentalist and is the lead vocalist/songwriter for the legendary Witch Cross.
Here’s Kev Moore’s album he cannot live without, in his own words:
Way back in the hazy days of the early 1970’s, barely a month went by without a band releasing an album of note. They were the times. Rock music was gaining momentum, approaching perhaps one of several peaks from a commercial standpoint, unknowingly about to crash and burn upon the rocks of insipid disco and punk, the latter ironically fuelling the NWOBHM and a whole new era. But as the 70’s dawned, the giants were already walking among us. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, releasing masterworks one after the other. As I look back through time’s kaleidoscope, I marvel at my good fortune to have been born into this era of Rock creativity.
But the album that I cannot live without, at the time, marked a sea-change, a huge gamble for the band concerned. It introduced a singer to the world that, up until that moment had sung only part-time, worked in a boutique in the Industrial north of England, and whose only publicity photo was one of him as a boy scout, which he duly sent to the group in question. It is to his eternal credit that he seized the opportunity given to him and never faltered when thrust into the limelight, and to the band’s credit that they recognised something in this raw, untested vocalist. This five piece supergroup were not just replacing their frontman however, they also needed a bassist. They were huge, and replacing two-fifths of the band was a decision not to be taken lightly.
The bassist they settled on, although having three albums and some American touring under his belt, was far from a household name himself however. But he was possessed of something else. One of the greatest voices in rock. When combined with his fluidity, his virtuosity, his feel, on the bass, it was an irresistible combination for me as a young 16 year-old drummer. The drums were gone. From that moment on, I was a bass playing vocalist. Something I still am, almost forty years later. This album – BURN by DEEP PURPLE and their bass player/singer GLENN HUGHES, changed my life forever, and it is therefore THE album I simply cannot live without.
Don’t get me wrong, Coverdale impressed me – as a twin vocal attack, no-one, but NO-ONE has ever come close. But Glenn’s soaring screaming harmonies, his soulful vocal sections, a magnificent counterpoint to The Cov’s Blues wail, coupled with his fluid, driving bass runs, stole my heart. “That”, I declared to an otherwise empty living room, “is what I want to do.” It is quite simply the reason I am a professional musician to this day, and I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to meet Glenn on several occasions, the first of which gave me the chance to tell him so.
The album itself is a masterpiece. Comprising just 8 tracks, one of which is a fairly throwaway instrumental, it is still nevertheless one of the greatest rock albums of all time. Because the previous seven tracks just hit you over the head. There is no pause for breath. The title track is surely one of the openers of all-time. It absolutely takes no prisoners. the band is on fire – as if to say, “think we made a mistake? think again!” Both vocalists are magnificent, Paice is a drum solo all over the track, but never overshadowing it, Blackmore’s machine gun riff is unstoppable, Glenn’s bass weaves in and out with ease and the late Jon Lord sprinkles classical magic over the whole shebang. It is simply awesome. You barely have time to draw breath before the Vanilla-Fudge inspired riffage of ‘Might just take your life’ grabs you by the throat. Coverdale wails and moans, the whiplash crack of the snare, then Glenn’s bass is all over it. Coverdale owns the verse, Blackmore’s counterpoint guitar subtle…then Hughes’ harmonies lift us into the Chorus. It’s glorious stuff. Coverdale and Hughes bring a swagger and boogie to the band that wasn’t there before. Hughes then takes over vocals, wonderfully contrasting Cov, and the song soars because of it. Lordy fires up the Hammond, and we’re off…what’s not to love?
A honky-tonk piano drags us into “Lay Down, Stay Down”, Blackmore and Hughes doubling another classic riff while Coverdale and Hughes trade the vocal line by line. Other bands of the day must’ve hung their heads in despair when they heard these two big guns firing. Their vocals blend superbly on the choruses, greater than the sum of their parts. Paice is all over the track, jazz-influenced fills, the band is really swinging. Something all the best rock drummers can do. The tone of Ritchie’s guitar on the solo is to die for, no hundred notes a minute here, just an amazing SOUND. Then we’re into Side 1’s closer, ‘Sail Away’. Probably one of my favourite riffs of all time, it is funk-laden rock monster, with a deep-throated Coverdale setting the scene, the higher-octane Hughes taking it on to another level. the song is full of menace, it is superb stuff. Hughes’ bass pops and shimmies all over the chorus, he owns it. It should be illegal; for one guy to have this much talent. Thank God he conquered his demons and can still share it with us.
You could be forgiven for thinking they’d shot their bolt with a side one like that, but flip it over and you’re kicked in the teeth with ‘You Fool No-one’, perhaps one of the greatest duets you’ll hear this side of heaven, for that’s what it is. It might rocket along like freight train, propelled by Paice’s incredible rhythm track, but it’s still a duet. When Glenn sings “Gonna make you live to regret it!” you know you would sell your own Grandmother to sing like that.
“What’s Goin’ On Here” just exudes joy, you can hear a band on fire, long before the rot set in, revelling in their abilities. In a song full of star turns, Jon Lord’s glorious saloon bar piano is top of the bill in this one, I just break into a huge grin every time the solo kicks in. This is quintessential, good-time rock’n’roll.
The instrumental A200 aside, the closer for me is ‘Mistreated’. This is where Coverdale, from the grim industrial town of Middlesboro in the North of England, growing up in the shadow of local hero Paul Rodgers of Free, finally gets the appropriate showcase to sing his blues. And boy, does he sing them. This one of the great modern blues songs. Just think for a moment….to be surrounded by the likes of Blackmore, Lord and Paice, and one of the great vocalists in Hughes, how intimidating must it have been to deliver that song? He nailed his colours to the mast that day. The interplay between Blackmore’s guitar and Coverdale’s vocal is sublime.
Burn is an album I have played regularly, without fail, since the day I bought it back in ’74. I know every note, every nuance. It is in my DNA. It is the reason I am a working musician. It is a masterpiece, and hell no, I cannot live without it.
* For more info on KEV MOORE: Moore: Music
* For more info on WITCH CROSS:
Facebook: Witch Cross
LONG LIVE KEV MOORE.
LONG LIVE WITCH CROSS.
LONG LIVE DEEP PURPLE.
This entry was posted on July 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm and is filed under classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, Hard Rock, hard rock albums, Heavy Metal, Music, rock albums, rock music, rock music news with tags album you cannot live without, classic rock, Deep Purple, deep purple burn, hard rock albums, kev moore. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.