Steve Marriott

Lend Us a Quid

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In 1975, Humble Pie had broken up (at least for a while) and Steve Marriott decided it was time to make a solo album; with that in mind, he retreated to the recording studio he'd built on his estate and invited some friends to help him lay down some tracks, including Boz Burrell, Ian Wallace, Joe Brown, Jimmy McCullough, and Clem Clempson. The material Marriott and his pals came up was tough, hard rock with a funky edge, especially when they dove into covers of James Brown's "Think" and Sam Cooke's "Shake." These sessions were never released, and a different, more polished set of material was released as Marriott's first solo album (titled, in a burst of inspiration, Marriott), but Wapping Wharf, a label affiliated with a Small Faces fanzine, have finally given the material an authorized release as Lend Us a Quid. Lend Us a Quid has an admirably rough and tumble sound that suits Marriott's voice well, and his hard-driven, bluesy roar is shown to better advantage on this material than much of his later work with the reunited Humble Pie or as a solo act. However, a lot of these tracks sound like demos rather than finished tracks, and while the slightly chaotic feel is right up Marriott's alley, the clanky drum machines that set the tempo on some tunes really should be lower in the mix, the oddball audio effects are sometimes intrusive, and the playing, while generally quite good, sounds as if the musicians were still working the kinks out of the material. It doesn't help that most of these tracks were clearly sourced from tapes a few generations away from the original masters, and the tinny, smeary sound of a few tracks suggest they were taken from old cassettes. And the final selections, two takes of Marriott and a guitarist struggling through "Anyhow, I Love You," are a chore for anyone except the most devoted fan. The bonus disc, which captures a Humble Pie gig from 1983, is raucous and energetic but finds Marriott sounding more than a little drunk and pretty obnoxious between tunes, even by his Bad Boy standards. Judging from what's here, Lend Us a Quid could have been a much stronger and more interesting album than Marriott, but these tapes needed some work, and in this release, the flaws are every bit as obvious as the strengths; this is for Marriott completists only.

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