Chocs Away (1975) / The Great Artiste (1976) / Golden Mile (1976) / Five Live Kursaals (1977) / A Former Tour De Force Is Forced To Tour (1988) plus bonus tracks. RPM.
Kursaal Flyers were an integral element of the ‘Thames Delta’ music scene emerging from the late 60s clubs into the bright lights of the 1970s pop world. Alongside contemporaries, and in some cases old schoolmates, in bands such as Dr Feelgood and Eddie & The Hot Rods , the Kursaal Flyers (named after a Southend amusement park carnival float) were a regular fixture on the Pub Rock and College circuit of 70s Britain.
Their sound was more diverse than their R&B contemporaries. Being influenced by American Country Rock, the band included banjo and pedal steel guitar as fixtures in their musical oeuvre. They toured Europe with The Flying Burrito Brothers. The Kursaals were also notable for a wry observational sense of humour which the band’s songwriters, Will Birch and Graeme Douglas, regularly injected into the material. Complemented by the chameleon-like vocal styles employed by front man Paul Shuttleworth.
Disc One contains the two complete albums made for Jonathan King’s UK Records label in 1975, ‘Chocs Away’ and ‘The Great Artiste’. Presented in a gatefold wallet to show the original artwork for both of the original LPs, these are the greatly enhanced remixed versions from 1991.
Disc Two has their first CBS album from 1976 ,’Golden Mile’, produced by Mike Batt, including both versions of their hit single “Little Does She Know”, the single edit, and the “kitchen sink” LP version which comes on like the 1812 Overture involving as they do the London Symphony Orchestra. Plus the non LP A+B-sides, and an unreleased track “The Questionnaire”.
Disc 3 has their live album recorded at The Marquee, ‘Five Live Kursaals’ released by CBS in 1977. As live albums tend to do, these recordings highlight how the band truly were on stage, a highly energetic rock band with a raw sound belying their country roots. A particular image in the booklet gives further rise to their mood depicting the moment Paul would smash up TV sets on stage with an axe (in an homage to The Move). Plus three tracks which were unreleased at the time, from recording sessions with Muff Winwood aimed at a second CBS studio LP which was never finalised.
Disc 4 is their third studio LP, ‘A Former Tour De Force Is Forced To Tour’ recorded in 1988 and exhibits a very strong country rock groove, which would not be out of place if released to today’s Americana market. The bonus tracks include a four song 1975 countryfied radio session, and a 1975 live recording in Southend of “Route 66” which is interestingly somewhere between Bobby Troup’s nightclub jazz original and Chuck Berry’s RnB version.
Disc One: Chocs Away / The Great Artiste: Pocket Money / Hit Records / Kung Fu / Tennessee / Chocs Away / Speedway / Brakeman / Now I’m Back / Yellow Sox / Silver Wings / Cross Country / Ugly Guys / The Great Artiste / Fall Like The Rain / Cruisin’ For Love / Back To The Book / Palais De Danse / Pain And Misery / Hypochondriac / Television / Drinking Alone
Disc Two: The Golden Mile: Little Does She Know / One Arm Bandit / Drinking Socially / Two Left Feet / Modern Lovers / Street Of The Music / Radio Romance / When The Band’s On The Stand / Detroit Tin / Third Finger Left Hand / Ready To Go / Little Does She Know (Edit) / Girl Talk / The Questionnaire / The Sky’s Falling In On Our Love / Revolver
Disc Three: Five Live Kursaals: Original Model / Yellow Sox / Pocket Money / Cruisin’ For Love / The Sky’s Falling In On Our Love / Little Does She Know / Street Of The Music / Tv Dinners / Speedway / Revolver / On My Mind / Anna (Go To Him) / Friday On My Mind / Television Generation / Girlfriend Kinda Girl / Everything But A Heartbeat / Girls That Don’t Exist
Disc Four: A Former Tour De Force Is Forced To Tour: If You Would Only Talk To Me (Like You Talk To The Dog) / Pre-Madonna / Tonight Before Tonight / Man In Mohair / A Former Tour De Force Is Forced To Tour / Luxury Lane / My Sugar Turns To Alcohol / Paranoid Weekend / Old Men Need Some Lovin’ Too / Monster-In-Law / Cruisin’ For Love (Remake) / Slimmin’ (For The Women) / Walking To School / Route 66 (Live) / Tennessee (Radio Session) / Foggy Mountain Breakdown (Radio Session) / Yellow Sox (Radio Session) / Route 66 (Radio Session)