Dead Line 2019
Review by David Bowling
Humble Pie was and is an English Rock band formed in the late 1960’s by guitarists Steve Marriott and Peter Frampton. They were well received in their home country and the United States and released seven studio albums between 1969 and 1974. Their crowning achievement was their live 1971 release Rockin’ The Fillmore, which captured the essence of the band and in some ways the era.
By 1974 the band was on life-support but went into the studio to support an American tour. The result was Street Rats, which was by far the worst album of their career. A second album’s worth of material was purportedly never released until now.
There are some good and bad issues with the release. Many of the tracks were issued in 1999 as a part of the Running With The Pack release, so the material was not truly lost. Secondly, Peter Frampton is pictured and this is misleading as he was long gone from the band. Also their company did not see fit to release the album in 1975, and this fact, combined with the musicianship of the released album, does not bode well for the newly released Joint Effort.
What we have is an album for Humble Pie completists. The album revolves around Marriott and bassist Greg Ridley. Marriott seemed to record what he wanted without any restraints. His rocker “Charlene” and Ridley’s bluesy “A Minute Of Your Time” come the closest to Humble Pie’s better material. There is a loopy rendition of the Beatles “Rain” and an excellent vocal by Marriot on James Brown classic “Think.”
There are a number of misses as well. The sound is average at best and there seems to be a lack of energy throughout the release. The band members would separate after the recording sessions, although there have been a number of reunions, albums and tours.
Joint Effort is stuck in time and is what it is. The essay that is included is excellent, and good, bad, or indifferent; Marriot, who died in 1991, was a musical genius at times, so any rare material is always appreciated. But, buyer beware, there are better places to start.