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14.7.11

Deke Leonard



Deke Leonard - Before Your Very Eyes - 1981 - United Artists Records

The fatal flaw of the Welsh band Man is that they couldn't quite decide if they wanted to be Ducks Deluxe or Hawkwind; the balance between pub rock and prog is actually quite interesting on their first several albums. Recorded in 1979, after pub rock had mutated into a strain of the British new wave, it's clear which side ex-Man lead guitarist Deke Leonard is on. Produced by Martin Rushent and featuring fellow travelers like Rockpile's Billy Bremner and Dave Edmunds alongside Leonard's Man accomplices Terry Williams and Martin Ace, Before Your Very Eyes is a terrific collection of 14 power-popping rock & roll songs with a loose, convivial spirit akin to Rockpile's own albums, Graham Parker's work with the Rumour, and even the young Elvis Costello. The loose, horn-charged R&B shake of the potential hit "Marlene" and the jangly, nervy "Map of India" are particular highlights, but the whole album is just swell, and deserves far more than the near-total oblivion it received when it was released in 1981, a full two and a half years after it was recorded. The Voiceprint CD adds two tracks. © Stewart Mason © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/before-your-very-eyes-r43045

Though Deke Leonard recorded this third solo album in the seventies, the album's release was delayed due to the tracks being recorded over a three year period, and also problems with record label politics. The album differs from other Deke Leonard albums in that it is not prog. rock orientated, but has a touch of the "alternative" and "new wave" style. This sound could be attributed to the album being produced by Martin Rushent who also produced albums for bands like the Human League. However, the album is not all rubbishy synth driven '80's mush. Fundamentally it's a very good "pop Rock 'n' Roll" album with a shot of R&B. There's little of Deke's incisive guitar on the album, but guitarists like Lenny Macaluso, bassists John McKenzie and Ron Francois, organists Chris Parren and Malcolm Morley, and saxophonists, Ron Aspery, Chris Mercer, and Martin Drover all provide great backing for Deke's songs. Some of the best tracks on the album include the Steely Dan flavoured "Hiding In The Darkness", the funky "Oh", the effective piano backed "When Am I Coming Back", the great, catchy pop rock song, "Get Off The Line" which includes some great hornwork, and "What Am I Gonna do When the Money Runs Out?" which Man used to play live. There is not a dud track on the album. The last two bonus tracks were originally released as a single, and Track 13, "Map Of India" is one of Deke's best compositions. This album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Sound quality @ 256 Kbps could be better, but the album is perfectly listenable. Listen to Deke's "Freedom And Chains" album, the Tyla Gang's "Yachtless" album, and Man's outstanding "Revelation" album

TRACKS

A1 Someone Is Calling
A2 Fools Like Me
A3 Marlene
A4 Oh
A5 When Am I Coming Back
A6 Get Off The Line

B1 Hiding In The Darkness
B2 Big Hunk O'Love
B3 I Feel Like A Pill
B4 The World Exploded In My Face
B5 What Am I Gonna Do When The Money Runs Out?
B6 Bad Luck

13 Map Of India [Bonus CD Track]
14 Hey There (Lady In The Black Tuxedo) [Bonus CD Track]

All songs composed by Deke Leonard except Track B2 by Schroeder/Wyche

MUSICIANS

Deke Leonard - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocals, Handclapping
Lenny Macaluso - Guitar
John McKenzie, Ron Francois - Bass
Martin Ace - Bass, Handclapping
Chris Parren - Keyboards, Organ
Malcolm Morley - Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocals, Handclapping
Dave Charles - Drums, Vocals
Terry Williams - Drums, Vocals, Background Vocals
Ron Aspery, Chris Mercer - Tenor Sax, Saxophone
Martin Drover - Saxophone, Trumpet
Kenny Moore, Vicky Silver & Doreen Chanter (The Tina Turner Band), Billy Haynes - Vocals
Anton Matthews, Dave Edmunds, Billy Bremner - Vocals, Background Vocals
Martin Rushent - Vocals, Background Vocals, Handclapping
Virginia Peck, Jan Stevens - Handclapping

BIO (WIKI)

Roger "Deke" Leonard (born 18 December, 1944, Llanelli, South Wales) is a rock musician, "serving a life sentence in the music business." Best known as a member of the progressive rock band Man, which he joined and left several times, and for fronting his own rock and roll band Iceberg, which he formed and disbanded several times, he is also an author, raconteur and television panellist. He formed his first band Lucifer and the Corncrackers in 1962, with Mike Rees (vocals), Geoff Griffiths (drums) and Clive “Wes” Reynolds (bass), whilst still at Llanelli Grammar School, choosing his stage name from "Deke" Rivers, Elvis Presley’s role in his second film Loving You. Leonard left school to work for a building contractor, which he left to avoid being fired, so became a full-time musician. The Corncrackers ran their own club, the "L" Club, featuring themselves and other local musicians, whilst also playing support to acts such as Johnny Kidd & The Pirates and The Hollies at a rival venue. When Rees left they continued as a trio, Keith Hodge then replaced Griffiths, but when Reynolds left to join the South Wales band The Jets, The Corncrackers broke up. Leonard also joined The Jets, on keyboards, but preferred playing guitar, so reformed The Corncrackers with additional guitarist Brian Breeze, before replacing Vic Oakley as bass player in The Blackjacks, with whom he toured US bases in Europe. On his return, he rejoined The Jets, with Tony "Plum" Hollis on vocals, Martin Ace (bass) and Beau Adams (drums). There were too many Jets on the circuit, so they changed their name to The Smokeless Zone and took residencies in Germany, including Hamburg's Top Ten Club where Tony Sheridan played with them. Adams was replaced by Terry Williams, but after more European residencies, they disbanded. Breeze left the Corncrackers, so Leonard rejoined, playing London residences and recording demos for EMI & CBS. When Hodge left, Terry Williams joined on drums and Martin Ace as a multi-instrumentalist. The band changed its style to psychedelia and its name to Dream, who, not sure what a "freak-out" was, invented their own with shaving foam and confetti. In November 1968, Leonard joined The Bystanders, to replace Vic Oakley (again), just as the band changed their musical direction from close harmony pop, to a psychedelic/American west coast style, and their name to Man. Leonard initially stayed with Man until they were mixing their second album 2 Ozs of Plastic with a Hole in the Middle, then left to join his wife in Llanelli. He became productivity manager in a piano factory, but quit having supported a wild-cat strike, and was accepted back into the band whilst Man's original bass player and drummer were replaced by Leonard's former Dream colleagues, Martin Ace and Terry Williams, which some saw as a take-over. When Ace left in 1972, Leonard was fired by Micky Jones and Williams, but was immediately offered a solo record deal by Man’s A&R man, Andrew Lauder. He joined Help Yourself to avoid them having to cancel a tour, as Malcolm Morley was ill, but stayed on after Morley rejoined, recording Christmas at the Patti on 19 December 1972, as support to Man. Leonard recorded his first 'solo' album Iceberg, with Micky Gibbons (Badfinger), Byron Berline (The Flying Burrito Brothers), Tommy Riley, Martin Ace, Beau Adams and all of Help Yourself. Needing a band to tour and promote the album, he formed the band Iceberg, with former Corncrackers' Brian Breeze (guitar) and Keith Hodge (drums), and ex Help Yourself Paul Burton (bass). The album received good reviews, the single "Hard Way to Live" was on the BBC playlist and was promoted by John Peel, for whom this Iceberg recorded a Peel Session on 14 May 1973. After touring the album, Martin Ace replaced Burton, and after another tour, Dave Charles replaced Hodge. This line up recorded the Kamikaze album, with help from Dave Edmunds, but the album was seen as "a big disappointment". They recorded another Peel session on 26 November 1973, before Ace was replaced by Help Yourself’s Ken Whaley. They toured supporting Man, during which Micky Jones and Leonard arranged a new Man line-up, so when Man split in December 1973, Leonard disbanded Iceberg. Leonard rejoined Man in January 1974, bringing Malcolm Morley and Ken Whaley with him. He stayed until Man disbanded in December 1976, playing on all the albums from Rhinos, Winos, and Lunatics to All's Well That Ends Well. When Man disbanded, Leonard still had a solo record contract, so recorded Before Your Very Eyes, with Martin Ace, Terry Williams and others. Produced by Martin Rushent, the album release was delayed for five years, when EMI took over United Artists. He briefly played with Sean Tyla (ex Ducks Deluxe) in the Tyla Gang, appearing on their 1977 album Yachtless, then reformed Iceberg, initially with Lincoln Carr (bass) and Terry Williams. A later line up of Richard Treece (ex Help Yourself) (guitar & bass), B.J. Cole (pedal steel guitar) and Reg Isadore (drums) evolved into Leonard, Howard Hughes (piano) and Anthony Stone (drums) who performed another Peel Session on 15 February 1978. Also in 1978, Leonard, Big George Webley and Pete Thomas helped Larry Wallis record an album, to be called Leather Forever, but the album was shelved, although some tracks were later released on "Pink Fairies and Deviants" compilation albums Hams (Vol 2) and Hogwash. Leonard briefly moved to the USA in 1981, where he worked on Walter Egan's album The Last Stroll, before rejoining Sean Tyla to form The Force with Micky Groome (bass) and Paul Simmons (drums). After extensive touring, they recorded an eponymous album, The Force but Tyla suffered severe stage fright and left the band, which became another Iceberg. In 1983 Leonard disbanded Iceberg again, to join the reforming Man, playing with them until 1996, when he suffered a minor stroke. Man played as a trio until he recovered, and rejoined them in 1997. In 2002 Leonard issued Unfinished Business a CD of demos, rejects and out-takes. Later that year Micky Jones had several operations on a brain tumour, but in 2004, when Jones had recovered enough to rejoin, Leonard decided to leave Man again. In 2004, Leonard formed another Iceberg, with former Man bassist Will Youatt, guitarist Clive "Snob" Roberts and Bob Richards (who continued drumming with Man). Roberts was diagnosed with lung cancer after their first gig, and died shortly after, being replaced by Brian Breeze, who was in turn replaced by Ray "Taff" Williams (not Ray Williams, the original Man bass player, who died in 1993). In 2004, Leonard also recorded a solo album Freedom and Chains, the studio time being sponsored by 56 "Angels" who are credited in the sleeve-notes; and in 2005, a collection of Iceberg recordings for 1970s radio shows, including John Peel, was released as Wireless. Leonard started his writing career with sleeve notes for the 1970s Man albums. After Man disbanded he wrote articles and reviews for Vox, Studio Week and other music magazines. His first autobiographical book Rhinos, Winos & Lunatics (1996) had limited sales, but his second book Maybe I Should’ve Stayed in Bed? (2000) received very good reviews, prompting a second edition of the first book, which has since been translated into German. In 2003, The Fiction Factory acquired the film rights to both books. As of 2009, he is writing a third book. Leonard read extracts from the books for a series of BBC radio programmes It's Crazy Man which were nominated for a Sony Radio Academy "Special Music Award" in 2006. He has also toured a one-man show, retelling selections of his rock and roll anecdotes, interspersed with songs. Leonard has also appeared as panellist, commentator and narrator on several television and radio programmes including: Pub Rock Quiz, Rock Of Ages, Dragons Breath (a history of Welsh rock music), Tales Of The Road and Juke Box Heroes.

3 comments:

2ndderangement said...

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Posted by 2ndderangement for A.O.O.F.C

angelitotitorito said...

¡Muchas gracias por esta edición con bonus tracks! espero que tengan chance de postar los demás discos de Deke, es representativo de Man y tan bueno como el resto del grupo. ¡Gracias otra vez!

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

Hola,angelitotitorito! Gracias por su comentario. Intentaré encontrar más de música de Dekes. También tengo gusto de la música del hombre (Man). Mi español es malo. Me disculpo por ése. Gracias otra vez. Vuelto pronto!...P