20 years since it first appeared in the shops, Chiswick's very first record in 1975 makes the transition to CD. The Count Bishops' Speedball was that initial release and with the move to CD, the (now ancient) EP format's original 4 tracks are aug-mented by a further nine songs cut at the same time and two others from an earlier session at Dave Robinson's Hope & Anchor studio. The 15 prime R&B cuts - with their straight ahead, no-nonsense approach to the music and leather-clad swagger - effectively link early 1970s pub rock with the music that would arrive on the scene a year later - punk. Will Birch will be telling the story of that transitional era in his upcoming piece on pub rock to be published in Mojo magazine sometime in early 1996. Meanwhile another leading music writer recalls The Count Bishops brief but musically glorious career.The Count Bishops arrived during the interregnum between Dr Feelgood and full-blown punk. A rowdy "deep rock" outfit who were downright magic on a good night and never less than fun even on a bad one, they combined an Anglophile taste in American music - they clearly adored Otis Redding and Sam & Dave as well as Howlin' Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson - with a Yankophile take on mid-60s British invasion, being totally on their backs for the Kinks and The Beatles as well as the Stones and (utter anathema for actual Brits) the likes of Savoy Brown. They also managed to be an archetypally British group whose definitive line-up (the one which cut the awesomely brutal "Bishops Live" album in 1978) of two Australians (singer Dave Tice and drummer Paul Balbi), an Irishman (bassist Pat McMullen), an American (lead guitarist Johnny Guitar) and a Pole (rhythm guitarist Zenon De Fleur), didn't contain a single Brit.Too much larger-than-life to be pub rock, too traditional to be punk and too rock'n'roll to be pop, The Bishops managed to fall between more stools than most groups knew existed. If fate has condemned them to be little more than a footnote in the chronicles of the British rock of the second half of the 70s, this CD and its predecessor (CDWIKD 150) demonstrate that sometimes it's more than worthwhile to check out the footnotes.The Bishops never quite recovered from Zen's death. They soldiered on as a four-piece even after Paul Balbi's enforced return to Oz - and his replacement by Charlie Morgan, who went on to play with Kate Bush and earn a serious crust by composing the theme music for The Bill - but the vibe was gone. Rock mythologies glorify both 'survivors' and 'martyrs', but once again The Count Bishops slipped through the cracks.In the words of Ice-T, "I'm outta here like I stole somethin'". In the meantime, check out this CD featuring the legendary Speedball EP (Charles Shaar Murray)- Charles Shaar Murray is a leading music critic and the author of boo
- 01 Preview Route 66
- 02 Preview I Ain't Got You
- 03 Preview Beautiful Delilah
- 04 Preview Teenage Letter
- 05 Preview Cry To Me
- 06 Preview Buzz Me Babe
- 07 Preview Sweet Little Sixteen
- 08 Preview Honey I Need
- 09 Preview Carol
- 10 Preview Don't Start Crying Now
- 11 Preview Mercy Mercy
- 12 Preview Reelin' And Rockin'
- 13 Preview Down The Road Apiece
- 14 Preview I'm A Man
- 15 Preview I Want Candy
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