Medicine Head

Don't Stop the Dance

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With Don't Stop the Dance, the Angel Air label provides the missing pieces to the Medicine Head story, filling in the gap during the mid-'70s when the duo of John Fiddler and Peter Hope-Evans expanded to a quintet before shrinking back to a twosome for their grand finale, Two Man Band. Bringing on board former Family drummer Rob Townsend, ex-Freedom guitarist Roger Saunders, and future Cockney Rebel bassist George Ford, the pumped-up Head began work on a new album in 1974. It was never finished, although two singles, "(It's Got to Be) Alright"/"Part of the Play" and "Mama Come Out"/"Come On Over" did eventually emerge. In the end though, the band never really coalesced, mostly because Fiddler and Hope-Evans never quite worked out how best to use them as a unit. Individually, though, they arranged them magnificently, as "Dark Side of the Moon" illustrates. This exquisite ballad was delicately constructed solely around a bassline and acoustic guitar to splendid effect. Still, on the blues-heavy title track, the driving covers of "Walking Blues" and "Just Wanna Make Love to You," and both sides of its rocking R&B second single, the band does function more than adequately. However, the showstoppers are the sparser-sounding numbers, like "You Gotta Love Somebody," for even at its most driving the band never quite gels. This is equally evident on the three live bonus tracks, all which hint at a hesitation in Head's sound and a sense of insecurity about the music. Perhaps the unit just needed more time to feel its way through, but it wasn't to be. By 1975, Head were again a duo, without even an album to show for their efforts. The final act was yet to come, but Dance finally puts to rest all the questions and speculation about this shaky period in their career.

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