Hardin & York

Hardin & York were the English blues-rock-soul duo of drummer Pete York and keyboardist–singer Eddie Hardin. York co-founded the Spencer Davis Group, which Hardin joined as Steve Winwood‘s replacement.

Hardin & York released the 1969–70 albums Tomorrow Today and World’s Smallest Big Band on Bell Records, followed by the 1971 Decca title For the World. In 1974, they teamed with TasteStud bassist Charlie McCracken. Hardin and McCracken cut two albums in the Streetwalkers spin-off Axis Point.

Members: Eddie Hardin (vocals, keyboards, piano, organ, synthesizer), Pete York (drums, percussion)


Background

Eddie Hardin (b. Feb. 14, 1949, London) and Pete York (b. Aug. 15, 1942, Redcar) first interacted in the late-sixties iteration of the Spencer Davis Group.

York co-founded SDG in 1963 with guitarist Spencer Davis and brothers Muff Winwood (bass) and his younger brother Steve (keyboards, vocals). Despite their function as a democratic unit, they made Spencer the namesake because Davis, unlike the others, enjoyed fielding business calls and interviews. The Winwood lineup released three albums and nine singles, including the 1966–67 transatlantic hits “Gimme Some Loving” and “I’m a Man.” After the Winwood brother’s departure — Steve to Traffic and a subsequent solo career; Muff to A&R and production work — the Spencer Davis Group hired Hardin and (ex-Les Fleur de Lys) guitarist Phil Sawyer.

Hardin cut one prior single in the mod band A Wild Uncertainty. The Hardin-era Spencer Davis Group made the 1967 psychedelic singles “Time Seller” and “Mr. Second Class,” both included on their 1968 album With Their New Face On. York and Hardin left the band in late October 1968 over policy differences with Davis.


Tomorrow Today

Hardin & York released their debut album, Tomorrow Today, on July 1969 on Bell Records.

The album features seven originals by Eddie Hardin, including both sides of the pre-released single “Candlelight” and “Tomorrow Today.” He co-wrote one song each with Pete York (“Mountains of Sand”) and former colleague Spencer Davis (“I’m Lost”).

A1. “Tomorrow Today” (3:30)
A2. “100 Years From Now” (2:37)
A3. “I’m Lost” (8:13)
A4. “Drinking My Wine” (4:47)
B1. “Candlelight” (4:36)
B2. “Beautiful Day” (2:27)
B3. “Mountains of Sand” (6:38)
B4. “Can’t Keep a Good Man Down” (6:00)
B5. “Listen Everyone” (3:42)

Producer – Mike Hurst
Engineer – Vic Smith
Arranged By – Eddie Hardin

Organ, Piano – Eddie Hardin
Drums, Percussion – Peter York

Guitar – Mike Hurst, Vic Flick
Bass – Herbie Flowers
Cornet – Ron Hills
Flute, Trombone – Mel Thorpe

Saxophone – Rex Morrissey

Design, Artwork [Sclupture] – Jephan de Villiers
Design, Photography By – Richard Dunkley


World’s Smallest Big Band

Hardin & York released their second album, World’s Smallest Big Band, in July 1970 on Bell.

Side One contains three Eddie Hardin originals and a medley of fifties rock ‘n’ roll chestnuts.

Side Two contains the epic Hardin–York signature “The Pike” and a ten-minute Beatles medley.

Apart from Hardin’s three numbers, they recorded the album live at De Lane Lea Studios “before an invited audience of Soho deadbeats.”

Despite its title, “I Can’t Find My Way Home” is not the same song as the recent Blind Faith ballad “Can’t Find My Way Home,” a song written by Hardin’s Spencer Davis Group predecessor Steve Winwood.

A1. “Just a Case of Time” (4:00)
A2. “I Can’t Find My Way Home” (3:36)
A3. “Love, A Song For You” (6:16)
A4. “Rock & Roll Medley” (4:50)
      a. “Jailhouse Rock”
      b. “Mean Woman Blues”
      c. “Rip It Up”
B1. “The Pike” (8:58)
B2. “Northern Medley” (10:08)
      a. “Lady Madonna
      b. “Norwegian Wood

Recorded At – De Lane Lea Studios, Olympic Studios
Producer – Mike Hurst
Engineer [De Lane Lea Studios] – John Stewart (A4, B1, B2)
Engineer [Olympic Sound] – Blob (A1 – A3)
Arranged By [String Arrangement] – Phil Dennys (A1)

Drums, Percussion – Peter York
Organ, Piano – Eddie Hardin

Design [Front & Back cover] – Steve Thomas
Photography – Richard Dunkley

A: I Can’t Find My Way Home
B: Rock And Roll Medley


For the World

Hardin & York released their third album, For the World, in November 1971 on Decca.

A1. “Deep In My Despair” (3:33)
A2. “Have Mercy Woman” (3:58)
A3. “For the World” (2:39)
A4. “Some Places Are Better to Be” (2:48)
A5. “EX 345” (5:42)
B1. “Cowboy” (4:20)
B2. “I’ll Be Back Again” (3:03)
B3. “Feeling, Seeing, Hearing” (2:33)
B4. “Natural Gas” (2:38)
B5. “Take Away Today” (6:03)

Arranged By [String and Brass] – Phil Dennys
Producer – Mike Hurst
Written-By – Hardin, York (A5, B1)

Congas, Drums, Percussion [Assorted] – Peter York
Piano, Organ, Bass, Producer – Eddie Hardin

Design, Art Direction – Joe McGillicuddy
Typography [Lettering] – Chris Coates


Hardin & York with Charlie McCracken

In 1974, Hardin & York released their collaborative album with Charlie McCracken on Vertigo (Germany, Italy).

A1. “Ain’t No Breeze” (3:13)
A2. “Back Row Movie Star” (4:48)
A3. “Freedom” (10:03)
B1. “Wish I’d Never Joined a Band” (2:35)
B2. “Clubtrop” (4:16)
B3. “Some Sweet Dream” (5:05)
B4. “Loving You’s So Easy” (5:13)

Producer – McCracken and Hardin (A2 to B2, B4) Roger Glover (A1, B3)
Written-By – Hardin, Glover (A1, B1)

Drums, Percussion – Peter York
Piano, Organ, Synthesizer, Electric Piano, Clavinet, Vocals – Eddie Hardin
Bass Guitar – Richard “Charlie” McCracken

Backing Vocals – Barry St. John, Christine Holmes, Liza Strike


Hardin & New York

Hardin & York released their fifth and final album, Hardin & New York, in 1981 on the German TELDEC label. For this reunion, Hardin performs with York’s recent band, Pete York’s New York (hence the album title).

Hardin & New York features four songs by Eddie Hardin: “One Day Soon,” “Reservations,” and the revisited Hardin & York numbers “Tomorrow Today” and “The Pike Rides Again.” Two songs (“Dreamland,” “Give Me Be-Bop”) are co-writes by New York reedist Mel Thorpe and keyboardist Roger Munns. New York guitarist–bassist Steve Richardson wrote “Carnival Is Coming.” The album also features covers of Spooky Tooth (“Waiting for the Wind”) and early rock chestnuts by Jerry Byrne (“Lights Out”) and Ray Charles (“Tell All The World About You”).

A1. “Dreamland” (5:00)
A2. “Tomorrow Today” (3:40)
A3. “Tell All The World About You” (3:16)
A4. “One Day Soon” (2:37)
A5. “Lights Out” (2:50)
B1. “Reservations” (2:10)
B2. “Carnival Is Coming” (3:21)
B3. “Give Me Be-Bop” (2:29)
B4. “The Pike Rides Again” (7:20)
B5. “Waiting For The Wind” (3:16)

Producer – Eddie Hardin & Pete York

Piano, Organ, Synthesizer, Vocals – Eddie Hardin
Drums, Percussion – Pete York

Electric Bass, Electric Guitar, Vocals – Steve Richardson
Piano, Electric Piano, Synthesizer, Vocals – Roger Munns
Saxophone [Alto-tenor], Flute, Vocals – Mel Thorpe


Discography:
  • Tomorrow Today (1969)
  • World’s Smallest Big Band (1970)
  • For the World (1971)
  • Hardin & York with Charlie McCracken (1974)
  • Hardin & New York (1981)

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