Here we have a reissue of Humble Pie’s tenth studio album ‘Go for the Throat’, which was originally released back in 1981. It’s notable, I guess, for being their final album on the Atco/Polydor label, as they were “dropped soon after due to contractual differences”. And, looking online, I can only presume this reissue has new cover art, as a quick search about the album reveals an entirely different photo on the front which, to be honest, is drastically and hilariously bad. Perhaps there’s some licensing issue with using the original cover? Either way, it’s not mentioned within this digipak, or the press blurb (and there’s not even a credit for the new cover art), but it is an improvement on the original.
Humble Pie were, of course, fronted by the Small Faces’ Steve Marriott, who’s credited with guitar, harmonica, keys and vocals on this release. I can’t knock the guy’s multi-instrumental talents, but I guess his voice is a little marmite. While evidently singing with a raw passion, his gravel-toned delivery becomes a little “pinched” and “shrill” at times, notably at the high-end of his voice. I have to say, I’m not a fan, but maybe I need to reserve judgement until listening to more of the guy’s stuff than this one album.
As for the music, it’s certainly of its time… well, that’s not entirely true, as it’s all about retro hard rock, rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll, which is not just retro sounding in the twenty first century, but undoubtedly already sounded pretty retro in 1981. Sounds of the 70s rock scene colour each and every track, along with some 60s rock idioms, but it’s all very likeable, bouncy R&B stuff. No more so than the album opener, which is a rhythm and blues take on Elvis Presley’s 1957 hit, ‘All Shook Up’. I kind of cringed at this before even hitting the play button, but it’s actually a very decent version, with its tempo shifts from slower paced passages to a few up tempo interjections working brilliantly, and a nice heavy resonance in the bass and guitars.
There are no notes, either within the digipak itself or on the press sheet, which indicate whether or not the album has been remastered. I’ve not heard the original, so haven’t the comparative means to make any kind of judgement on this. However, what I will say is that it has a very nice sound to it indeed - clarity, resonance and consistency throughout. Evidently, ‘Go for the Throat’ was a very well-produced album back in the day (Gary Lyons is credited) and has a great mix… and if this is the original mastering, then it’s stood the test of time in this sense. I guess the same can’t be said for the music, although it’s nice to indulge in a bit of retro rock revelry now and again, whether it be before your time or not.
Store for Music
GO FOR THE THROAT
Review by Mark Holmes
18th October 2019
1) All Shook Up
2) Teenage Anxiety
3) Tin Soldier
4) Keep it on the Island
6) Restless Blood
7) Go for the Throat
8) Lottie and the Charcoal Queen
9) Chip Away (The Stone)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...it’s all about retro hard rock, rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll, which is not just retro sounding in the twenty first century, but undoubtedly already sounded pretty retro in 1981."