Czar

Czar was an English symphonic-rock band from London that released a self-titled album and standalone single on Fontana, both in 1970. Three-fourths of the band hailed from Tuesday’s Children, which released six singles between 1966 and 1968. Organist Bob Hodges briefly played in the heavier psych-rock combo The Attack.

Members: Paul Kendrick (vocals, bass), Mick Ware (guitar), Bob Hodges (Hammond organ), Derrick Gough (drums)


Background

Czar marked a change in identity for late ’60s popsters Tuesday’s Children, who were finally given the chance to record an album after issuing six 1966–68 singles on Columbia, Pye, King, and Mercury. Sessions for the album covered all of 1969, during which bassist/vocalist Paul Kendrick and guitarist Mick Ware wrote new material that was far removed from the pop-oriented singles.

By the time sessions wrapped in February 1970, the band — deeming the name Tuesday’s Children too lighthearted for the new music — renamed itself Czar.


The Album

Czar was released in May 1970 on Fontana. It features seven songs, bookended by the melodramatic epics “Tread Softly on My Dreams” and “A Day in September.” Musically, the album is dominated by Kendrick’s demonic vocals and Hodges’ thick, frosty organ. The album was co-produced by Roger Wake (Evensong, Nucleus, Beggars Opera) and David Voyde (Magna Carta, Kaleidoscope, Alan Skidmore Quintet).

Drummer Derrick Gough quit just as sessions wrapped for the album. As Czar struggled to find a permanent replacement, managerial problems plagued the band, leaving them unable to promote the record when it hit the shelves. Their only other release as Czar was the 1970 single “Oh Lord I’m Getting Heavy.”


After Czar

Ware surfaced in mid-’70s hard-rockers Consortium, a rebirth of late-’60s psychsters West Coast Consortium. In 1975, they recorded an album’s worth of material that was released 30 years later on the CD Rebirth. Kendrick signed to Private Stock for a string of mid-’70s singles, culminating with the 1978 album Cheatin’ In the Dark.

Czar was first reissued in 1995 on Fingerprint Records and has since been repressed more than 10 further times by archivists Akarma, Sunbeam Records, and Belle Antique.


Discography:

  • Czar (1970)
  • “Oh Lord I’m Getting Heavy” / “Why Don’t We Be a Rock’n’Roll Band” (1970)

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