Get this crazy baby off my head!


Back Door

Back Door - The Human Bed - 2002 - Hux

Three previously unreleased BBC sessions from 1973-1974 are assembled on this CD. The first two of these (from 1973), spanning nine of the 14 tracks, feature the original trio lineup of bassist Colin Hodgkinson, saxophonist/pianist Ron Aspery, and drummer Tony Hicks; the final five songs, from 1974, also feature electric pianist Dave MacRae. From the point of view of the hardcore fan, the big attraction of this disc is the inclusion of four songs not on their studio albums: the Aspery-Hodgkinson originals "Captain Crack Up" and "Fanny Wiggins" and covers of Muddy Waters' "Louisiana Blues" and Robert Johnson's "When You Got a Good Friend." Hodgkinson is slightly critical of the fidelity of the five tracks from the earliest session in his liner notes, but actually the sound quality's decent throughout. Instrumental fusion jazz is what Back Door was most known for, and that's what they usually play on these cuts. But there's some variety that goes beyond that genre, like some fairly straight blues (on which Hodgkinson takes some occasional functional vocals), some Soft Machine-like fusion on the performances with MacRae (like "Silvadiv"), and even Lieutenant Pigeon-like novelty on "The Dashing White Sargeant." As there were other bands who did fusion and blues better, the big selling point is Hodgkinson's assertive bass playing, which often took a role more associated with standard guitarists via his full chording style. © Richie Unterberger, allmusic.com, http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:wjftxqt0ldhe

Good fusion album, with more than a touch of Canterbury rock. There are three complete, previously unreleased, BBC sessions. Including 4 songs which allegedly, have never been issued before in any form. This is in the realm of Soft Machine, and Slapp Happy, but as well as the great original jazz fusion (minus lead guitar), and the whimsical Robert Wyatt type pieces, there is also a blues touch with tracks like "Walkin' Blues", "Louisiana Blues", and "TB Blues". Listen to the band's "8th Street Nites" album, and The Colin Hodgkinson Group's "Back Door Too!" album


1 Vienna Breakdown - Aspery, Hodgkinson 3:20
2 Blue Country Blues - Aspery, Hodgkinson 2:30
3 Captain Crack Up [#] - Aspery, Hodgkinson 2:46
4 When You've Got a Good Friend [#] - Johnson 3:19
5 Adolphus Beal - Aspery, Hodgkinson 3:43
6 Human Bed - Aspery, Hodgkinson 2:29
7 Fanny Wiggins [#] - Aspery, Hodgkinson 3:01
8 Walkin' Blues - Johnson 3:45
9 Louisiana Blues [#] - Waters 3:15
10 Slivadiv - Aspery, Hodgkinson 3:32
11 The Spoiler - Aspery, Hodgkinson 5:31
12 TB Blues - Spivey 3:27
13 Blakey Jones - Aspery, Hodgkinson 4:00
14 The Dashing White Sargeant - Traditional 1:21

Allegedly, none of these recordings have been released before. Tracks 1-5 recorded for the Bob Harris show 03.01.73 :: Tracks 6-9 recorded for the Bob Harris show 05.12.73 : Tracks 10-14 recorded for the John Peel Show 05.09.74. [#] These tracks have never been issued in any form.


Colin Hodgkinson - Guitar (Bass), Vocals, Guitar (12 String)
Ron Aspery RIP - Piano (Electric), Sax (Alto), Sax (Soprano)
Dave MacRae - Piano (Electric)
Tony Hicks RIP - Drums


"In 1969 my pal Ron Aspery and I were working in Eric Delaney's band on a sixteen week summer season at the Winter Gardens in Bournemouth. As well as doing a band feature we also played for everyone else on the show. Needless to say we soon got bored playing the same thing every night. So in the afternoons, when the theatre was empty, we took our instruments and Ron's little Grundig tape recorder and just played as a duo for a few hours. What came out of these sessions were tunes like Vienna Breakdown and Human Bed. At the end of September we left the band and moved to London, working at a Mecca ballroom at night. Ron started to pick up quite a few sessions and I joined Alexis Korner's band. Things were starting to go pretty well for us, but at the same time Ron and I wanted to spend a couple of years putting all our efforts into our own group. So we moved up to Redcar, where we'd first met as the house band in the Starlight club, and worked on the Back Door project during the day. After trying a couple of drummers, Tony Hicks joined us and we knew we had the perfect line-up. During the next year or so we sent out loads of demos to all the major record companies, but were turned down every time. 'No guitarist, no lead singer, no organ, get outta here!'' Around this time we were playing a regular Tuesday night gig at the Lion Inn, on Blakey Ridge, a really remote part of the North Yorkshire moors. After a few months the place was really packed and Brian Jones, the landlord, who loved the band, said he would put up the money for us to record an album. With about £500 we recorded twelve tracks in eight hours at a little demo studio and mixed it all in four hours the next day. We had a few hundred copies pressed by RCA and had a local journalist do the sleeve notes and photos. We sold quite a few copies locally and then one found its way to the NME offices in London. Charles Shaar Murray gave us a tremendous review and things started to move really quickly. We were invited to appear alongside Chick Corea's Return to Forever at Ronnie Scott's club for three weeks. During this time all the record companies who had originally turned us down now asked us to sign with them! We eventually signed with Warner Brothers and over the next four years we released four albums. During this period we toured all over the USA and Europe but, despite a lot of critical acclaim, we didn't have much commercial success. So, in 1976, we called it a day. Ron went on to a very successful career in the session world, Tony worked for a lot of different bands before moving to Australia, and I moved to New York to work with Jan Hammer. In 1986 we got together for a short reunion tour and that was it until recently when we went into a small studio in Sussex to record a new CD, which hopefully will be released in the not too distant future. Despite the fact that we hadn't played together for years everything fell into place straight away. It was all so natural, and felt great - like an old shoe!" © Colin Hodgkinson 2002 [ (from the sleeve notes for the album "Human Bed" ]


Back when giant carnivorous bass players ruled the Earth, Back Door were the hungriest of them all. They formed in 1971 as a jazz-rock trio, with Colin Hodgkinson (bass, vocals), Ron Aspery (keyboards, sax), and Tony Hicks (drums). Later Adrian Tilbrook took over on drums. What sets Back Door apart is the bass playing. While a few bassists — such as Chris Squire, John Entwistle, and Jack Bruce — have tried exploiting the bass' potential as a lead instrument, they were confined by bands where the guitar or keyboards were the usual lead. Not Colin Hodgkinson; he dispenses with these instruments altogether, allowing the bass to be the sole lead instrument. He strums chords on it the way you'd expect someone to with a six-string. Later bands like Ruins and Sadhappy have taken up this challenge, but many of Back Door's achievements remain unsurpassed. After releasing four albums on Warner between 1973 and 1976, and touring with Emerson, Lake & Palmer — drummer Carl Palmer produced their last album, Activate (1976) — they broke up in 1977. Hodgkinson went on to play with Jan Hammer, Alexis Korner, and the Spencer Davis Group. He even had his moment of crotch-grabbing fame as the bassist on the U.K. version of Whitesnake's massive-selling album Slide It In. After a move to Germany, he recorded for the Inakustik label, with the Electric Blues Duo and with the Spencer Davis Group. © Paul Collins, allmusic.com, http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:h9fixqr5ldae~T1


Back Door was a jazz-rock trio, formed in 1971. Colin Hodgkinson first met Ron Aspery whilst the two were playing in Eric Delaney's Showband. The two began to talk about forming their own band around 1969, and eventually Back Door came to fruition in 1971, with Tony Hicks joining on drums. Hodgkinson made an innovative use of the electric bass, making it a lead instrument rather than a part of a rhythm section. Their unique brand of jazz-rock and Hodgkinson's original playing was a hit at their regular venue; the Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge, Yorkshire. However, record labels were not keen and the band were repeatedly told "No singer, no contract". Ever the innovators, the band decided to record their first album themselves. It was recorded on a 4-track Ampex mixing console in eight hours, and mixed in four hours the next day. Around 1,000 copies were first printed by RCA. The album was sold over the bar at The Lion Inn, and at a few record shops in the local area. A copy of the record somehow made its way to the NME headquarters in London, and a superb review by Charles Shaar Murray was printed. After a few more reviews, the band passed an interview, and began playing a regular slot at The Senate in Peterlee, despite Aspery snapping a key off his saxophone moments before the audition. The band's popularity increased when they were asked to play a two week stint at Ronnie Scott's club in London, opening for Chick Corea. The run was eventually lengthened to three weeks. The record companies changed their tune, and after receiving many offers, the trio decided to sign with Warner Brothers. The band rejected an offer from Richard Branson (who was just starting up Virgin Records at the time) because, according to Hodgkinson: "they were successful - this other guy seemed really nice, but he had no track record". Warner Brothers then re-released their debut album. In 1974, the trio went to New York to record their second album, 8th Street Nites. The album was produced by former Cream producer, Felix Pappalardi. This was the first album to feature vocals, provided by Hodgkinson because "we needed a singer, and I was the least bad out of us." Papallardi himself also played on a few tracks. Warner Brothers duly released the record, and a tour of the United States supporting Emerson, Lake & Palmer followed. Subsequent tours (usually as the support act) included one with Alexis Korner in Germany, which led to a long-lasting collaboration between Korner and Hodgkinson, and The J. Geils Band in the U.S., as well as a few headlining tours of the university circuit in the UK. By the time they recorded their third LP, Another Fine Mess, Dave MacRae had joined the band on piano. He was a friend of Hicks' that he met whilst in Australia. The band shifted style slightly on this album, and more effects, processing and electronic sounds were used, although they were still defined as jazz-rock. McRae's stint in the band only lasted about a year however, and by the time they recorded Activate in 1976 he had departed the band, as had long-time drummer, Tony Hicks. The band hired Adrian Tilbrook as a replacement on drums, claiming they needed "a more hard-hitting drummer". The album was produced by Carl Palmer. After the release of Activate, the band played less and less together, and eventually broke up around 1977. Aspery went on to do work as a session musician, and Hodgkinson worked in a string of projects including the The Spencer Davis Group, a stint playing live with Alexis Korner and a few outfits alongside Jan Hammer, then of The Mahavishnu Orchestra. The original line-up briefly reunited for what was initially one night at the Ronnie Scott's 1986, although this was subsequently followed by a short tour of the UK. In 2003, the original line-up reunited once again to record a new album. Askin' The Way consists of 6 re-workings of favourite old songs, and 13 new recordings. Hicks also played accordion on this album on a couple of tracks. The official launch took place in The Lion at Blakey Ridge, where the band had first started out back in 1971. The band then played a few more shows but Aspery had been suffering from an illness for quite some time, and decided that the rigours of the road were no longer for him. On the 10 December that year, Ron Aspery died at his home in Saltdean, Sussex. The band played a few more concerts in 2005 with Rod Mason on saxophone, including the Guildhall venue at the Brecon Jazz Festival, Hull Jazz Festival, and further sold - out Blakey concerts in 2005. Tony Hicks died in Sydney, Australia on 13 August 2006. In 2007 Colin Hodgkinson formed a new trio under the name Colin Hodgkinson Group with Rod Mason (sax) and Paul Robinson (drums). In 2008 they released Back Door Too!, a mixture of old Back Door numbers and new material.


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

Kadek55 said...

Thanks a lot for all the great music!

Best Wishes for 2010!!


Rev. Dr. Moller. MDMA, THC and BAR. said...

Brilliant, I love Back Door. They were the first group I ever saw back in 1974 in Hull, I was 11 and nagged my Dad to take me. Support was Michael Chapman, my Dad sat there with his fingers in his ears allthe way through their set!

A.O.O.F.C said...

FOR Karel. Thanks very, very much for all your comments and kind words. I wish you and your loved ones a very happy 2010...(A.O.O.F.C)

FOR Your Reverence. Thankd Doc. Moller. Great band. Great album. Your Dad missed out! Thanks a million, Your Holiness, and all the best to you and your loved ones in the New Year...(A.O.O.F.C)