Faded old-world flowers adorn both sides of the cover with a big strip of black grease disturbing the lovely imagery on the back. Beginning with Arthur Crudup's "My Baby Left Me," like that other band of famous backup players, the Section, how can this be anything but very musical? Guitarist/vocalist Henry McCullough's "Mistake No Doubt" has eerie backing vocals and is suitably well done, as is his "Let It Be Gone," and though this is far from commercial, it is important to have this document of the guys who made magic behind Joe Cocker in 1969 and Marianne Faithfull in the mid-'70s. This came right in the middle, and the Grease Band's collaborative effort, "Jesse James," could be mistaken for Doug Yule singing Lou Reed's "Train Comin' Round the Bend." It's got that chug-a-lug subdued rock sound. With Henry McCullough's Wings connection, The Grease Band gets a touch of the Beatles' guilt-by-association mystique. As intriguing and wonderful as this album is, had Joe Cocker guested on bassist Alan Spenner's "Down Home Mama" or had Marianne Faithfull taken on the traditional "To the Lord," there would have been that something extra, that intangible that makes records so very special. On their own, they sound like a cousin to the Band, and even cover Dylan on the follow-up to this Shelter Records debut. Recorded in London, it is vintage stuff, and 100 years from its making will no doubt be respected for the historic and studious record that it is. For the time The Grease Band was released, though, the four players barely looking up from the album cover appear like backing musicians, and that lack of identity is what separates this very good music from music that is considered great. Five Henry McCullough originals, one by Alan Spenner, and three Grease Band collaborations do make it, as stated, a good Wings spin-off project for collectors of Beatles-related music.
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AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione