Guitarist David "Clem" Clempson and bassist Terry Poole founded The Bakerloo Blues Line in early 1968, in their native Tamworth, Staffordshire. The band went through a series of notorious drummers, including John Hinch, Pete York, Bill Ward and Poli Palmer, before Keith Baker joined the fold. Managed by Jim "Big Bear" Simpson, the band were an early signing of the EMI Records imprint Harvest, and have the distinction of opening for Led Zeppelin's debut gig in October 1968 at the Marquee Club. Their first release, "Drivin' Bachwards" b/w "Once upon a Time," saw release in May 1969—the former an interpretation of the fifth movement of J.S. Bach's "Lute Suite in E minor," more famously covered by Jethro Tull in August. Their debut album, produced by Gus Dudgeon, kicks off with a tribute to their manager. "Big Bear Folly," a raucous blues number steeped in the prevailing hard blues of 1969, features a fiery Clempson on lead guitar. "Bring It on Home," a Willie Dixon number, is more traditional, and the following "Drivin' Bachwards" even more so. "Last Blues" slows down and stretches out, creating an evocative mood accentuated by Poole's vocals. "Son of Moonshine," however, presents Bakerloo at their heaviest, with a little "Cat's Squirrel" thrown in for good measure. After a hectic year with nonstop touring, the band fell apart towards the end of 1969. Clempson then accepted an invitation to join Colosseum following James Litherland's departure. Poole and Baker went on to May Blitz, but left before any recordings were made. Poole would later perform with Graham Bond and Colin Blunstone, while Baker would play drums on Uriah Heep's Salisbury album.
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Taken from The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock, here is an Album of the Week to enjoy and discuss.
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