The Climax Chicago Blues Band, Plays On, A Lot of Bottle, Tightly Knit and Rich Man. Plus 18 bonus tracks.
Formed in Stafford, England in 1968 by the band (originally known as the Climax Chicago Blues Band) recorded their debut album in September & November 1968 with a line up of Colin Cooper (Vocals, Harmonica), Pete Haycock (Guitar, Slide Guitar, Vocals), Arthur Wood (Keyboards), Derek Holt (Rhythm Guitar, Bass, Organ), Richard Jones (Bass) and George Newsome (Drums). Issued early the following year on EMI’s Parlophone label, the album saw the band gain an audience in the burgeoning electric blues scene in Britain with their mixture of Chicago Blues songs and their own concoctions.
Shortening their name to the Climax Blues Band, the group recorded and released the follow-up album, ‘Plays On’, later that year. The band were broading their remit with jazz and psychedelic tinges entering their sound. Jones was the first to leave the band, to be replaced by at first Anton Farmer and then Peter Filleul. The core five man line up remained for the rest of the period covered by this set.
By 1970 the band had moved to EMI’s “progressive” label, Harvest, and issued their third album ‘A Lot of Bottle’ later that year. This one was a more simple harder rocking affair - their next album ‘Tightly Knit’ (1971) was arguably their best of this period. The band’s final album for Harvest was ‘Rich Man’, issued in 1972. The album made commercial inroads in the United States and was the launching platform for their success in that country over the next few years which made up for their lack of big following in their home country.
The band continues today although Colin Cooper - the mainstay of the band died in 2008. Three of the current line-up have been in place since the mid-80s and remain a solid draw on the live circuit.