Get this crazy baby off my head!


Colin Hodgkinson

by Dave Sez: go get, you won't regret!

For this megapost for A.O.O.F.C. and y'all, time to bring on some good old Seventies prog jazz/blues - with one hell of a difference! And that difference can be summed up in one name: Colin Hodgkinson, one of the most amazing bassists you'll ever hear. When Hodgkinson first hit the headlines in 1972, it was as a member of the jazz-rock instrumental trio Back Door, who stood out from the legions of other prog-jazzers by having no singer, guitar or keyboards, the lead instrument being Colin's bass backed by Ron Asprey's sax and Tony Hicks' drums. Colin's unique style was playing both rhythm and lead blues guitar riffs on the bass (think Jaco doing blues or Stevie Ray Vaughan or Wilko Johnson on bass), a style encouraged by his first mentor, "Godfather of the British Blues" Alexis Korner, and declared by bass maestro Jonas Hellborg to be his key formative influence. Having accompanied Alexis Korner from 1969 on, Colin would play in Back Door from 1972 until the group dissolved in 1976. He would go on to tour with British blues stalwarts Pete York and Spencer Davis throughout the 80's and then in the 90's formed the Electric Blues Duo with Frank Diez, Germany's leading prog/blues guitarist (cf. "Armageddon" by Armageddon, 1970). In the new millenium, Colin returned to the UK, briefly reuniting the original Back Door in 2003, playing with the British Blues Quintet in 2006, and then again reforming Back Door with new members in 2008 (Ron Aspery died in 2003 just after the "Askin' The Way" CD; Tony Hicks died in 2006). And I'm leaving out brief stints with Jan Hammer, Miller Anderson, Mick Jagger, Jon Lord, Cozy Powell and Whitesnake.

There's no better sampler of this most unusual rockin' style than to dive straight in and hear Back Door "Live in London" at the Paris Theatre for the BBC in 1973 - a short but sweet one, originally obtained from elasticrock: http://nukebass.blogspot.com/2008/04/back-door-live-in-london-1973.html. 1. Folk Song 3:21 2. Roberta 2:56 3. Linin' Track 3:59 4. Forget me Daisy 2:34 5. Blue County Blues 2:55 6. His Old Boots 4:02
Back Door would produce four albums in all plus a 2002 release of their 1973-74 BBC sessions. Critical acclaim would be instantly won by their debut "Back Door" in 1972 and the follow-up "8th Street Nights" (produced by Felix Pappalardi) in 1973 - the group would then play at the Montreux Jazz Festival. However, their later two albums "Another Fine Mess" (1975) and "Activate" (produced by Carl Palmer, 1976) were disappointing and have never been re-released on CD. Here then are the classic first two albums with thanks to Romer Lapina and nukebass: http://nukebass.blogspot.com/2007/12/back-door-1972s-debut-8th-street-nites.html. Search the site for "Back Door" and "Alexis Korner" to find further recordings featuring Colin Hodgkinson.
The 2002 release of Back Door's 1973-74 BBC sessions has already been posted on A.O.O.F.C. - find it here:
Again originally thanks to elasticrock, "Back Door - A Live Decade 1976-1985", which captures the group's rare performances after their official dissolution: http://nukebass.blogspot.com/2008/04/back-door-live-decade-1976-1985.html
And now the main dish: "Frivolous Fancy Fingers" (an Alexis Korner nickname for Colin), a Dave Sez 3-CD compilation covering Colin's non-Back Door recordings from the early 70's on with Alexis Korner, his 80's tours with Pete York and Spencer Davis, and his more recent work solo and with the reformed Back Door, with Frank Diez and with the British Blues Quintet.

"Frivolous Fancy Fingers" - Colin Hodgkinson 1970-2006

PART ONE: (85MB) http://sharebee.com/e20e48d2
Covers Colin's pre- and post-Back Door work with Alexis Korner until the latter's death in 1984, and ends with a brief collaboration with Cozy Powell in 1982-1983.

1970 Alexis Korner - Love Is Gonna Go (A.Korner / Duffy Power)
1971 Alexis Korner - Evil-Hearted Woman (Mance Lipscombe)
1978 Alexis Korner - Lining Track (Huddie Ledbetter)
1978 Alexis Korner - High Heel Sneakers (Robert Higginbotham)
1980 Korner Hodgkinson - Blue Monday (Bartholomew / Domino)
1980 Korner Hodgkinson - Key To The Highway (Broonzy / Segar)
1980 Korner Hodgkinson - Catcote Rag (Aspery / Hodgkinson)
1980 Korner Hodgkinson - Phonograph Blues (Robert Johnson)
1980 Korner Hodgkinson - Sweet Home Chicago (Robert Johnson)
1980 Korner Hodgkinson - I Got My Mojo Working (Foster)
1982 Cozy Powell - Octopuss (Powell / Hodgkinson)

PART TWO: (90MB) http://sharebee.com/3c54c722
Taken from three mid-80's gigs with Pete York/Spencer Davis, re-released as a triple CD in 2007.

1984 Davis York Hodgkinson - Midnight Special (trad)
1984 Davis York Hodgkinson - Walking Blues (Robert Johnson)
1984 Davis York Hodgkinson - Sliding Delta Blues (Hurt)
1984 Davis York Hodgkinson - Somebody Help Me (Edwards)
1985 Auger York Hodgkinson - Catcote Rag (Aspery / Hodgkinson)
1985 Auger York Hodgkinson - San Francisco Bay Blues (Fullek)
1985 Auger York Hodgkinson - Going Down Slow (Howlin' Wolf)
1988 Davis York Hodgkinson etc - Stormy Monday (T Bone Walker)

PART THREE: (85MB) http://sharebee.com/4abfcf78
Covers Colin's collaboration with Frank Diez, his outstanding 1999 solo album, the short-lived revival of the original Back Door in 2003 with the CD "Askin' The Way", and the British Blues Quintet.

1997 Electric Blues Duo - Blues For Jimmy Vancey (Hodgkinson)
1997 Electric Blues Duo - J.J. (Diez / Hodgkinson)
1999 Colin Hodgkinson - Tight Lines And Screaming Reels
1999 Colin Hodgkinson - All Blues (Hodgkinson)
2003 Back Door - Askin the Way (Aspery / Hodgkinson; live from youtube)
2003 Back Door - Human Bed (Aspery / Hodgkinson; live from youtube)
2004 Colin Hodgkinson - Snab's Rag (Hodgkinson; live from youtube)
2005 Back Door - Vienna Breakdown (Aspery / Hodgkinson; live from youtube with Rod Mason on sax)
2007 British Blues Quintet - San Francisco Bay Blues (Fullek)
2007 British Blues Quintet - Walkin' Blues (Robert Johnson)
Previous Colin Hodgkinson-related posts on A.O.O.F.C. include:
Hope ya like it, and leave a comment if you do. As always, I do not copy other people's links but give the original page address; please go and thank the original posters whilst getting their offerings. For more Dave Sez megaposts (Here & Now/Planet Gong, Faust, Television, Gang of Four, JJ Burnel, and, on the second page, Magazine and pre-Midge Ure Ultravox), see http://knowyourconjurer.blogspot.com/search/label/Dave%20Sez, and don't forget to check the comments sections for updates and more unreleased material. Cheers, Dave Sez.

A million thanks to Dave for this invaluable info which is greatly appreciated by me, A.O.O.F.C, and I hope, by all real music lovers out there.


Bassist/singer Colin Hodgkinson was born in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England, on October 14, 1945. He began playing professionally in 1966, initially in a jazz-rock trio, then as a member of Eric Delaney's Showband. He briefly played in Alexis Korner's band New Church in 1969. He was the leader of the jazz-rock trio Back Door, which he formed in 1971 in Blakey, Yorkshire, England, with Ron Aspery (keyboards, saxophone) and Tony Hicks (drums; replaced by Adrian Tilbrook in 1975). The group was unusual in that Hodgkinson's bass was the lead instrument. Their first, self-titled album, consisting entirely of instrumentals, was released on the local Blakey Records label in 1972. (The tunes were mostly written by Hodgkinson and Aspery.) Then, the band was signed to Warner Bros. Records, which reissued the album in 1973 and released their three subsequent LPs, 8th Street Nites (1973), Another Fine Mess (1974), and Activate (1976). Back Door disbanded in 1977. (The Human Bed, an album containing the band's BBC sessions of 1973-1974, was released in 2002.) All along, Hodgkinson had appeared on sessions with Alexis Korner (Bootleg Him!, Alexis Korner, Mr. Blues, Get Off My Cloud), and after the demise of Back Door, he continued to do so (Just Easy [1978], The Party LP [1980]), sometimes performing with Korner in a duo. He also worked with Jan Hammer (Black Sheep [1979]; Hammer [1980]; Untold Passion [1981] and Here to Stay [1982], by Neal Schon & Jan Hammer), Cozy Powell (Octopuss [1983]), Whitesnake (Slide It In [1984]), Mick Jagger (She's the Boss [1985]), James Young (City Slicker [1986], Out on a Day Pass [1994]), Konstantin Wecker (Wieder Dahoam [1986]), the Spencer Davis Group (Live Together [1988]), and Miller Anderson (Celtic Moon [1998]). Often, he contributed songwriting to these projects as well as playing bass. Eventually, Hodgkinson moved to Germany, while continuing to appear with different editions of the Spencer Davis Group. In 1998, the German Inakustik label released his debut solo album, The Bottom Line. He also worked with guitarist Frank Diez in the Electric Blues Duo, resulting in the 1998 release Lucky at Cards. A third 1998 album was Steaming, credited to Pete York, Brian Auger, and Hodgkinson. He continued to record with other musicians, notably on Jon Lord's Pictured Within (1999) and Chris Rea's Return of the Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes (2008). Backdoor Too!, credited to Colin Hodgkinson Group (including Rod Mason [saxophone/piano] and Paul Robinson [drums] and thus replicating the instrumental lineup of Back Door) was released on the Inakustik imprint Rokoko Records in 2008. © William Ruhlmann © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/colin-hodgkinson-p87146/biography


Anonymous said...

As usual with my megaposts, the comments section serves for readers to make requests or offer further recordings - so over to you! Cheers, Dave Sez.

Anonymous said...

For new links for the 3-CD Frivolous Fancy Fingers compilation and more rare Colin Hodgkinson recordings, see the comments to this post:


Cheers, Dave Sez