This Dutch blues band was formed in the Hague around 1967, becoming a regular outfit from 1969. The early line-up included Bjorn Toll (vocals), John Lagrand (harmonica), Ted Oberg (guitar), Ruud Fransen (bass) and Niek Dijkhuys (drums) but although the name remained wholesale changes soon took place, bringing in a new singer, Nicko Christiansen, and new bass and drums, Peter Kleinjan and Beer Klaasse, the latter pair being swiftly replaced by Gerard Strutbaum and Cesar Zuiderwijk, while keyboard player Henk Smitskamp was added. Other changes followed through the 70s, by which time the band’s repertoire was more inclined towards rock. Musicians involved included bass players Ruud van Buuren, Jan van der Voort, Jaap van Eijk and André Reynen, drummers John Lejeune, Herman van Boeyen, Cor van Beek, Michel Driessen, Kenny Lamb and Arjen Kamminga; the latter pair played in the band simultaneously for a spell. Smitskamp sometimes played bass, singer Johnny Frederiksz came in, as did organist Paul Vin and guitarist Ron Meyes.
In 1981 the Climax Blues Band was located in Los Angeles, recording yet another album to meet the heavy demand for their musical aspirations. Lucky For Some featured, once again, the tightly knit line up of Peter Haycock on guitar and vocals, Colin Cooper on vocals and saxophone, Derek Holt on vocals, bass guitar and keyboards and John Cuffley on drums. By now, the band had been on the road for a decade or more and played with a telepathic sense of communication on these nine superb original LP tracks, including four Haycock originals. But the guys were also helped out in the studio by some distinguished guests, notably the late session keyboard player Nicky Hopkins and vocalist Glenn Hughes. Complete with a saucy album cover design, Lucky For Some has some hot performances like Peter's Shake It Lucy and Derek Holt's Breakdown , plus a bonus track Darlin (single version).
Climax Blues Band had undergone a few changes by the time they cut Sample And Hold in 1983. While Peter Haycock (guitar and vocals) and Colin Cooper (sax and vocals) were still holding the fort, they had sampled a new rhythm section. The latest recruits were George Glover on keyboards, Dave Markee on bass and Henry Spinetti on drums. Together they kept the Climax flag flying. This song-packed ten original LP track CD kicks off with an upbeat and optimistic sounding Friends In High Places , with the vocal harmonies set in place by the old firm of Haycock and Cooper. Peter's guitar solo on this song is especially effective. Although the overall band sound veers towards modern Eighties pop, the guitar and drums, while still rock and strings are brought into play on The End Of The Seven Seas . A fine album with informative CD liner notes that put a much loved British band's career and this album into perspective.
Flying the flag for British rock throughout the Seventies and well into the next decade, Climax Blues Band were at the forefront of high quality, entertaining music, performed with equal success ‘live’ and on record. This ten track selection was first released in 1980, a time of change and conflicting influences. But whatever the moods affecting the musicians, they always played with maximum passion and expertise, as is revealed on ‘Flying The Flag’. The opening number ‘Gotta Have More Love’ is closer to disco pop than the blues that first inspired the group, but whatever style they espoused, Climax always delivered songs with cool expertise. And the core feeling for the rockin’ blues can always be found in performances like Peter Haycock’s outstanding ‘So Good After Midnight’ and the aggressive ‘Blackjack And Me’, that are among the highlights of a vibrant high flying album.
Gold is right – after gradually building their reputation a series of nine LPs, the Climax Blues Band finally enjoyed a serious hit single with "Couldn't Get It Right," which hit number three on the American charts and led to this album and then two years of almost constant touring. The group is at its most laid-back here, slipping more into a funk than a blues groove for most of Gold Plated's length. They keep some elements of their earlier sound, such as Peter Haycock's searing guitar solo on "Mighty Fire," but those looking for the group's unabashed older style will have to content themselves with just three numbers here: "Berlin Blues," with its chiming overlaid and over-amplified guitars, or the slow, Chicago blues-style "Rollin' Home," and the high-energy "Extra."
Led by Colin Cooper, the former frontman of the R&B unit the Hipster Image, the Stafford, England-based Climax Chicago Blues Band were one of the leading lights of the late-'60s blues boom. A sextet also comprised of guitarists Derek Holt and Peter Haycock, keyboardist Arthur Wood, bassist Richard Jones, and drummer George Newsome, the group debuted in 1969 with a self-titled effort recalling the work of John Mayall. Prior to the release of 1969's Plays On, Jones left the group, prompting Holt to move to bass. In 1970 the Climax Chicago Blues Band moved to the Harvest label, at the same time shifting toward a more rock-oriented sound on the LP A Lot of Bottle…
Heavy on the kind of blues-rock favored by Humble Pie, this is a live outing in front of a too-loud New York audience. Sax player Colin Cooper helps to separate these English midland lads from the heads-down no-nonsense boogie competition, although the emphasis is squarely on guitarist Peter Haycock. His solo electric slide showcase "Country Hat" is a marvel. The band's pop leanings featured so strongly on their studio recordings come through in "I Am Constant." It's a solid outing, and much meatier than subsequent offerings.
Following on from the hard-hitting blues of their debut album, Plays On caught the Climax Chicago Blues Band in somewhat transitional waters, testing any number of different musical styles, but never really setting on any. Certainly the funk thump that characterized their better later work was still an idea waiting to be explored, as the group instead fluttered between the scurrying jazz of the opening "Flight," the psychedelic tinge of "Hey Baby, Everything's Gonna Be Alright Yeh Yeh Yeh," the semi-Santana fusion of "Cubano Chant," and the heavy blues of "So Many Roads," all interrupted by "Mum's the Word," a dynamic Moog sequence that builds out of the theme from 2001, and then freefalls into total space rock.
The Chicago mainstay's debut album was a rough, gruff, no-nonsense affair typified by the decidedly unsentimental track "Your Love Is like a Cancer." Seals wasn't all that far removed from his southern roots at this point, and his slashing guitar work sports a strikingly raw feel on his originals "Look Now, Baby," "Cotton Picking Blues," and "Hot Sauce" (the latter a blistering instrumental that sounds a bit like the theme from Batman played sideways).