Skin Alley – Bad Words And Evil People: The Transatlantic Anthology 1972-73 (2006)

Posted by Green on June 18, 2019as

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Formed in the fall of 68, Skin Alley turned professional when they signed to Clearwater Productions as managers (whom also handled High Tide, The Trees and a bit later Hawkwind), on word from an ex-member that was now in the firm. Gigging around regularly for free (concerts organized by their management firm) in order to find a following, this West-London quartet developed a different kind of rock that drew much from jazz and blues. Built around keyboardist Juskiewicz and part-time guitarist, but sax and flute player Bob James, Skin Alley had a distinctive sound, which made them stand out at the many free concerts they played. Having been spotted by the legendary John Peel, they recorded a BBC session for the Top Gear programme, which in the short term landed them a recording contract with the English branch of CBS. Recorded in November of that year, it was released in March 70 coupled with a non-album single. The critical acclaim and encouraging sales lead CBS to allow Skin Alley (who suffered the departure of Crimble during the recording and was partly replaced by ex-Atomic Rooster bassist Nick Graham) to release a second album, From Pagham And Beyond, later that same year.

For some reasons (the album was not as successful as the debut), CBS decided not to invest further in the band, and Skin Alley had to find another label, which took a while. It wasn’t until early 72 that their third album was released on the small folk Transatlantic label (and amazingly enough, the soul Stax label in the US), but by that time Skin alley was a different band, drummer Pope had left the group, replaced by Tony Knight, and the SA had a much rockier approach aimed at the US, even enjoying some success with the track Skin Valley Serenade. Their third album Two Quid Deal offers much prog while they recorded the last album Skintight in Memphis, Tennessee (home of Stax Record), maybe a hint that they had axed everything towards America, because of its country rock flavours. They disbanded the following year and outside Graham, none were to make much waves in the music industry.

2 Comments

  • Al Fresco says:

    These 2 albums have some bonus tracks that just yesterday I was trying to find individually. And today you post the albums in full. Thank you very much Green.
    If you were able to provide: Skin Alley – Big Brother Is Watching You: The CBS Recordings Anthology then that would be great.

  • Al Fresco says:

    Did a Google and found what I was looking for!

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