Tramline was a hard-rocking blues-based quartet, not too different from Free and other guitar-heavy outfits of the late '60s, and for a time even shared label affiliation with the latter band. Formed by John McCoy (vocals, harmonica), Mick Moody (guitar), Terry Sidgwick (bass, vocals), and Terry Popple (drums). Chris Blackwell plucked them from the club scene in 1968 and signed them to Island Records, whence they began work on their debut LP, Somewhere Down the Line (with Blackwell producing). The band made enough worthwhile noise to get some exposure on the BBC's Top Gear, hosted by John Peel, but the album never sold in large numbers. Island wasn't done with them, however, and in 1969 a second LP, Moves of Vegetable Centuries, was forthcoming, this time produced by the renowned Guy Stevens and emphasizing Moody's guitar in the mix. It didn't do any better than the first album, however, although one cut off the album, a cover of Traffic's "Pearly Queen," got a lot of exposure to the underground press and in prog rock circles when it earned a place on the Island sampler album You Can All Join In. The group had split by 1970, with McCoy and Sidgwick evidently leaving music behind while Moody passed through Juicy Lucy and Snafu before achieving huge success with Whitesnake; Popple tagged along for a time in Snafu, as well as working with Matthew Fisher and Alan Hull, and passed through the lineup of Radiator.
by Bruce Eder