Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rockpile: Seconds of Pleasure, Spread Over the Years

Rockpile - Terry Williams, Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds & Billy Bremner

One of the most influential "forgotten" bands in the history of Rock n Roll, Rockpile, took a Rockabilly sound, power pop chords and the aesthetic of the 1970's London streets to create a series of albums that to this day stand almost unchallenged in their attempt to mix a classic style with a modern sensibility.

Created in 1970 by guitarist Dave Edmunds as the name for his touring band, the original line-up included drummer, Terry Williams, who would be a mainstay of the later band. 

The classic version of Rockpile came together in 1976 when Edmunds began what would be a remarkable collaboration with fellow song writer, bassest Nick Lowe, Joined by the excellent Billy Bremner on Rhythm Guitar and backing vocals, and Williams on drums, the band went on to record four of the best albums of the late 1970's.

However since both Edmunds and Lowe were under contract as solo artists. Lowe as an artist for Stiff and Edmunds was working for Led Zeppelin's Swan Song there was the problem of getting the albums released.

The simplest answer was to record as Rockpile, but put the records out as solo albums.

Tracks On Wax 4

1978's, Tracks On Wax 4, was a blast of pure old style raw Rock n Roll in the middle electronic era, with strong performances from the whole band, and generated the minor hit, Heart of the City.

After touring as a band, Rockpile came back together in the studio and simultaneously recorded Lowe's Labour of Lust and Edmund's Repeat When Necessary

Labour of Lust

Repeat When Necessary

Both albums feature the band pushing on all cylinders and produced certifiable classics such as, Cruel to Be Kind......

Queen of Hearts.....

 Crawling From The Wreckage....

 Cracking Up....


and Girl's Talk........

....were all amazing tracks taking a classic RnR approach to the styling but at the same time lyrically being right in the middle of modern life.

Finally in 1980, Rockpile put out their only release under the bands name, Seconds Of Pleasure.

Seconds of Pleasure

Seconds of Pleasure is a fine album and did feature the lovely, Teacher, Teacher.....

Never the less, the pressure to be a "supergroup" was straining the band, and while all of the members have continued to record together over the years, this was pretty much the end of Rockpile as a working band.

Rockpile was not the most revolutionary band that ever existed, but their style, sound and love of the past while embracing the future made for one of the best groups of the era.

Let's finish up with the band playing live at the 1980 Concert for Kampuchea, with pal Robert Plant on vocals, doing their blistering version of Little Sister...

Just a hell of a band.

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