Humble Pie

Humble Pie was an English hard-rock/blues band that released two albums on Immediate in 1969, followed by six albums and a live double-LP on A&M between 1970 and 1975. For the length of its run, the band featured ex-Small Faces vocalist/guitarist Steven Marriott, who formed the band with ex-Herd guitarist/singer Peter Frampton, who departed for a solo career in 1971.

Members: Jerry Shirley (drums), Steve Marriott (vocals, guitar, keyboards, Jew’s harp, 1969-81), Greg Ridley (bass, 1969-75, 2001-03), Peter Frampton (guitar, 1969-71), Clem Clempson (guitar, 1972-75), Bobby Tench (guitar, vocals, keyboards, 1980-81, 2001-03), Anthony “Sooty” Jones (bass, 1980-81)


Background

Humble Pie formed in January 1969 in Moreton, Essex, when Steve Marriott joined the band he helped assemble for his friend, Peter Frampton. The two singing guitarists met and bonded the prior year over their shared desire to break into the edgier realm of rock. Both arrived at their new band with prior success on the pop charts: Marriott in the Small Faces and Frampton in The Herd.

Marriott (b. 1947) hit the scene in 1963 with a solo single on Decca, followed by a sequence of beat gigs that brought him into contact with bassist Ronnie Lane, drummer Kenney Jones, and keyboardist Jimmy Winston, who collectively formed the Small Faces. Between 1965 and 1968, they placed ten singles on the UK Top 20, including “All or Nothing,” “Tin Soldier,” “Lazy Sunday,” and the transatlantic pop-psych evergreen “Itchycoo Park.”

Frampton (b. 1950) landed his first professional gig at age 15 in beatsters The Preachers, managed by Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman. In 1966, he joined The Herd, which charted with the singles “From the Underworld” and “Paradise Lost.” After the pop-psych whimsy of “Mixed Up Minds” and “I Can Fly,” they moved into rockier territory on the 1968 single “Sunshine Cottage,” a prelude to Frampton’s next band.

Marriott initially tried to get Frampton into the Small Faces as a fifth member, but this was vetoed by Lane, Jones, and Ian McLagen (Winston’s replacement). Undaunted, Marriott linked Frampton with bassist Greg Ridley and drummer Jerry Shirley.

Ridley first recorded in the R&B/mod band The V.I.P.s, which morphed into Art for the 1967 hard-psych album Supernatural Fairy Tales. With the arrival of American keyboardist/singer Gary Wright, they became Spooky Tooth and released the 1968/69 albums It’s All About and Spooky Two, the second released just after Ridley’s departure.

Shirley played on the 1967 pop-psych single “(Tell Me) Have You Ever Seen Me” (b/w “Madame Garcia”) by The Apostolic Intervention, produced by Marriott and co-written with Lane.

In December 1968, Frampton played as a sixth wheel on sessions between the Small Faces and French singer Johnny Hallyday. Amid growing tensions with his bandmates, Marriott jumped ship to Frampton’s new band.

Due to the established reputations of its two frontmen, the new band was hailed as a supergroup. To downplay the hype, they named themselves Humble Pie and signed to Immediate Records, owned by Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham.


As Safe as Yesterday Is

Humble Pie released their debut album, As Safe as Yesterday Is, in August 1969 on Immediate.

1. “Desperation” (John Kay) – 6:28
2. “Stick Shift” (Peter Frampton) – 2:22
3. “Buttermilk Boy” (Steve Marriott) – 4:22
4. “Growing Closer” (Ian McLagan) – 3:13
5. “As Safe as Yesterday Is” (Frampton, Marriott) – 6:05

6. “Bang!” (Marriott) – 3:24
7. “Alabama ’69” (Marriott) – 4:37
8. “I’ll Go Alone” (Frampton) – 6:17
9. “A Nifty Little Number Like You” (Marriott) – 6:11
10. “What You Will” (Marriott) – 4:20

Olympic Studios, London
Producer Andy Johns

Steve Marriott – vocals, guitar (1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10), slide guitar (2), acoustic guitar (7), harmonica (4, 7), organ (2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10), goofs (9), tablas (4), piano (6)
Peter Frampton – vocals, guitar, slide guitar (7), organ (1), tabla (5), bass tablas (7), piano (3, 8, 10)
Greg Ridley – bass, vocals (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10), happy noise (7), percussion (5), skins (4)
Jerry Shirley – drums, grins and explosions (1), percussion (4, 5, 7), tablas (7), harpsichord (8), big ones (2), piano (5), lead thumbs (3)

Lyn Dobson – flute (4, 7), sitar (7)

US copies replace “Growing Closer” with the Marriott blues rocker “Natural Born Bugie,” Humble Pie’s non-album debut UK single, released on August 8 with the exclusive b-side “Wrist Job.”


Town & Country

Humble Pie released their second album, Town & Country, in November 1969 on Immediate.

1. “Take Me Back” – (Frampton) – 4:52
2. “The Sad Bag of Shakey Jake” – (Marriott) – 2:59 (spelled as ‘Shaky’ on some issues)
3. “The Light of Love” – (Ridley) – 3:00
4. “Cold Lady” – (Shirley) – 3:22
5. “Down Home Again” – (Marriott) – 2:56
6. “Ollie Ollie” – (Frampton, Marriott, Ridley, Shirley, Andy Johns) – 0:50
7. “Every Mother’s Son” – (Marriott) – 5:43
8. “Heartbeat” – (Bob Montgomery, Norman Petty) – 2:33
9. “Only You Can See” – (Frampton) – 3:38
10. “Silver Tongue” – (Marriott) – 3:20
11. “Home and Away” – (Marriott, Frampton, Ridley) – 5:55

Studio Olympic Studios, London, England
Engineers: Andrew Johns, Rob, John, Happy Keith

Steve Marriott – guitar (2, 4, 7, 8), Leslie guitar (10), sitar (3), vocals (2, 4, 5, 7-10), organ (11), Wurlitzer piano (2, 11), percussion (1), hammer and nail brandy bottle (1), maracas (2), drums (9), harmonica (2)
Peter Frampton – vocals (1-5, 8, 9, 11), guitar (1, 5, 9, 11), lead guitar (2, 7, 8, 10), Spanish guitar (3), bass (3), drums (4), Wurlitzer piano (9), plastic-cup (1)
Greg Ridley – bass (1, 2, 4, 5, 8-11), guitar (3), vocals (2-5, 8, 11), tambourine (1)
Jerry Shirley – drums (2, 5, 8, 10, 11), saw (1), tambourine (2), tablas (3), maracas (4), Wurlitzer pian


Humble Pie

Humble Pie released their self-titled third studio album in July 1970 on A&M.

“Live With Me” – (Humble Pie) – 7:55
“Only a Roach” – (Shirley) – 2:49
“One Eyed Trouser Snake Rumba” – (Humble Pie) – 2:51
“Earth and Water Song” – (Frampton) – 6:18
“I’m Ready” – (Willie Dixon) – 4:59
“Theme from Skint (See You Later Liquidator)” – (Marriott) – 5:43
“Red Light Mamma, Red Hot!” – (Humble Pie, lyrics – Marriott) – 6:16
“Sucking on the Sweet Vine” – (Ridley) – 5:46

Recorded by Glyn (The Man) Johns at Olympic Sound Studios, London

Steve Marriott – vocals (1-3, 5-7), guitar (1-3, 5-7), Wurlitzer piano (1, 4, 8), organ (4), drums (6), harmonica (7)
Peter Frampton – vocals (1-7), organ (1), percussion (2), guitar (3-8)
Greg Ridley – bass (all tracks), vocals (1-3, 5-8), guitar (8)
Jerry Shirley – drums (1, 3-5, 7, 8), piano (2, 6), vocals (2), percussion (6, 7)

B.J. Cole – pedal steel guitar (2, 6, 8)
Willie Wilson – drums (2)


Rock On

Humble Pie released their fourth album, Rock On, in March 1971 on A&M.

1. “Shine On” (Frampton) – 3:00
2. “Sour Grain” (Frampton, Marriott) – 2:40
3. “79th and Sunset” (Marriott) – 3:01
4. “Stone Cold Fever” (Ridley, Marriott, Shirley, Frampton) – 4:09
5. “Rollin’ Stone” (Muddy Waters, arranged by Humble Pie) – 6:00
6. “A Song for Jenny” (Marriott) – 2:35
7. “The Light” (Frampton) – 3:15
8. “Big George” (Ridley) – 4:08
9. “Strange Days” (music – Humble Pie; words – Marriott) – 6:36
10. “Red Neck Jump” (Marriott) – 3:06

Recorded and mixed by Glyn Johns at Olympic Sound Studios, London, January 1971 (“Strange Days” August-September 1970)
“79th & Sunset” recorded by Andrew Johns at Olympic, London, January 1970

Steve Marriott – organ (1, 7, 9), vocals (2-10), guitar (2-6, 8, 10), percussion (2, 3), harmonica (4, 5), Wurlitzer piano (6, 7), piano (9, 10)
Peter Frampton – guitar (all tracks), vocals (1-5, 7, 8, 10), percussion (4, 9)
Greg Ridley – bass (all tracks), vocals (3-5, 7, 8, 10), percussion (4, 9)
Jerry Shirley – drums (all tracks), percussion (1, 2, 4, 7, 9), piano (3), vocals (10)

Soul Sisters:
P. P. Arnold, Claudia Lennear, & Doris Troy – vocals (1, 6)
B. J. Cole – pedal steel guitar (2, 3, 6)
Bobby Keys – saxophone (8)
Alexis Korner – vocals (10)


Performance: Rockin’ the Fillmore

In November 1971, Humble Pie released Performance: Rockin’ the Fillmore, a two-record document of their May 28–29 shows as New York’s Fillmore East. The seven-song set (72:39) features two Rock On numbers (“Stone Cold Fever,” “Rollin’ Stone”) and the third album Willie Dixon cover “I’m Ready,” plus exclusive covers of Ida Cox (“Four Day Creep”), Ray Charles (“Hallelujah I Love Her So”), Ashford & Simpson (“I Don’t Need No Doctor”), and a side-long renditions of Dr. John’s “I Walk on Gilded Splinters.”

1. “Four Day Creep” (3:46)
2. “I’m Ready” (8:31)
3. “Stone Cold Fever” (6:18)

4. “I Walk on Gilded Splinters” (23:25)

5. “Rollin’ Stone” (16:07)

6. “Hallelujah I Love Her So” (5:10)
7. “I Don’t Need No Doctor” (9:15)

Live recording by Fedco Audio Labs
Engineer: Eddie Kramer
Assistant engineer: David Palmer
Re-mixed at Electric Lady Studios, New York
Produced by The Pie


Lineup Change

During the mix-down for Rockin’ the Fillmore, Frampton Humble Pie over creative differences with Marriott.

Peter Frampton went solo with the 1972 A&M release Wind of Change. He formed Frampton’s Camel (no connection to Camel) for his 1973 second album, which features the concert staples “Lines On My Face” and “Do You Feel Like We Do.” His 1975 fourth album Frampton includes the studio versions of “Baby, I Love Your Way” and “Show Me the Way,” both made famous by his multi-platinum 1976 concert album Frampton Comes Alive!

Humble Pie carried on with guitarist Clem Clempson, who cut one album with blues rockers Bakerloo and joined Colosseum for their 1970–71 titles Daughter of Time and Colosseum Live.


Smokin’

Humble Pie released their fifth studio album, Smokin’, in March 1972 on A&M.

1. “Hot ‘n’ Nasty” Marriott / Ridley / Clempson / Shirley 3:22
2. “The Fixer” Marriott / Ridley / Clempson / Shirley 5:02
3. “You’re So Good for Me” Marriott, Ridley 3:50
4. “C’mon Everybody” Jerry Capehart, Eddie Cochran 5:13
5. “Old Time Feelin'” Traditional, lyrics by Marriott 4:00

6. “30 Days in the Hole” Marriott 3:57
7. “Road Runner/Road Runner’s ‘G’ Jam” Holland-Dozier-Holland, Humble Pie 3:43
8. “I Wonder” Cecil Gant, Raymond Leveen 8:53
9. “Sweet Peace and Time” Marriott / Ridley / Clempson / Shirley 5:48

Recorded February 1972
Studio Olympic Studios, London

Steve Marriott – lead and backing vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards
Clem Clempson – guitar, keyboards, backing vocals, lead vocals on “Old Time Feelin'”
Greg Ridley – bass, backing vocals
Jerry Shirley – drums, piano on “You’re So Good for Me”

Alexis Korner – vocals, tiple (similar sound to mandolin) on “Old Time Feelin'”
Stephen Stills – backing vocals on “Hot ‘n’ Nasty”
Doris Troy – backing vocals “You’re So Good for Me”
Madeline Bell – backing vocals “You’re So Good for Me”

Album cover art designed by Kosh
Engineers: Alan O’Duffy, Keith Harwood
Recorded at Olympic Studios, London, February 1972.
Produced by The Pie


Eat It

Humble Pie released their seventh overall album, the two-record Eat It, April 1973 on A&M. The hour-plus set (64:30) features four Marriott-penned rockers (Side One), four R&B covers (Side Two), four Marriott acoustic ballads (Side Three), and three live numbers (Side Four) from a concert at Green’s Playhouse in Glasgow.

1. “Get Down to It” (Marriott) – 3:25
2. “Good Booze and Bad Women” (Marriott) – 3:11
3. “Is It for Love?” (Marriott) – 4:39
4. “Drugstore Cowboy” (Marriott) – 5:35

5. “Black Coffee” (Ike Turner, Tina Turner) – 3:09
6. “I Believe to My Soul” (Ray Charles) – 4:03
7. “Shut up and Don’t Interrupt Me” (Johnny Bristol, Edwin Starr) – 2:58
8. “That’s How Strong My Love Is” (Roosevelt Jamison) – 3:44

9. “Say No More” (Marriott) – 1:58
10. “Oh, Bella (All That’s Hers)” (Marriott) – 3:25
11. “Summer Song” (Marriott) – 2:42
12. “Beckton Dumps” (Marriott) – 3:13

13. “Up Our Sleeve” (Humble Pie, lyrics by Steve Marriott) – 4:57
14. “Honky Tonk Women” (Keith Richards, Mick Jagger) – 4:03
15. “Road Runner” (Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland) – 13:28

Studio Steve Marriott’s Clear Sounds home studio, (Essex)

Steve Marriott – guitars, harmonica, keyboards, remixing, vocals
Dave “Clem” Clempson – guitars, backing vocals
Greg Ridley – bass, backing vocals
Jerry Shirley – drums

The Blackberries:
Billie Barnum – vocals
Clydie King – vocals
Venetta Fields – vocals

Guests:
B.J. Cole – pedal steel guitar
Sidney George – saxophone

Album production:
Chris & Irish – Engineer
Fin Costello – Inside photo, photography
Michael Doud – Art direction
Kosh – Cover design, preparation
Jim McCrary – Photography


Thunderbox

Humble Pie released their seventh studio album, Thunderbox, in February 1974 on A&M.

1. “Thunderbox” (Marriott, Clempson)
2. “Groovin’ with Jesus” (Gene Barge, Bennie Swartz)
3. “I Can’t Stand the Rain” (Ann Peebles, Don Bryant, Bernard Miller)
4. “Anna (Go to Him)” (Arthur Alexander)
5. “No Way” (Marriott, Ridley)
6. “Rally with Ali” (Marriott, Clempson, Ridley, Shirley)
7. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” (Marriott, Clempson, Ridley, Shirley)
8. “Ninety-Nine Pounds” (Don Bryant)
9. “Every Single Day” (Clempson)
10. “No Money Down” (Chuck Berry)
11. “Drift Away” (Mentor Williams)
12. “Oh La-De-Da” (Phillip Mitchell)

Recorded Olics Sound
Producer Steve Marriott

Steve Marriott – guitar, harmonica, keyboards, lead vocals
Dave “Clem” Clempson – guitar, slide guitar, backing vocals
Greg Ridley – bass, backing vocals; lead vocals on “Drift Away”
Jerry Shirley – drums, backing vocals; piano on “I Can’t Stand the Rain”

With guest:
Mel Collins – horns
Special thanks to The Blackberries:
Carlena Williams – vocals
Venetta Fields – vocals
Billie Barnum – vocals

Technical staff
Hipgnosis – original album sleeve design
Arranged and produced by The Pie
Recorded at Olics Sound, somewhere east of Guatemala
Editing: Alan O’Duffy


Street Rats

Humble Pie released their eighth studio album, Street Rats, in February 1975 on A&M.

1. “Street Rat” (Steve Marriott) – 2:52 (Lead Vocal: Steve) (Drums: Ian Wallace)
2. “Rock and Roll Music” (Chuck Berry) – 2:55 (Lead Vocal: Greg)
3. “We Can Work It Out” (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) – 3:18 (Lead Vocal: Steve)
4. “Scored Out” (Clem Clempson, Marriott) – 2:43 (Lead Vocal: Steve)
5. “Road Hog” (Marriott) – 3:08 (Lead Vocal: Steve)
6. “Rain” (Lennon, McCartney) – 5:58 (Lead Vocals: Steve and Greg)
7. “There ‘Tis” (Marriott, Clempson) – 3:06 (Lead Vocal: Steve)
8. “Let Me Be Your Lovemaker” (Clarence Reid, Willie Clarke, Betty Wright) – 5:57 (Lead Vocal: Greg)
9. “Countryman Stomp” (Greg Ridley, Clempson, Tim Hinkley) – 2:20 (Lead Vocal: Greg)
10. “Drive My Car” (Lennon, McCartney) – 3:43 (Lead Vocal: Greg)
11. “Queens and Nuns” (Clempson, Marriott, Ridley, Jerry Shirley) – 3:04 (Lead Vocal: Steve)

Recorded January 1975
Studio Olympic Studios, London and Marriott’s Clear Sounds Studio Essex
Producer Andrew Loog Oldham, Steve Marriott

Steve Marriott – guitar, harmonica, keyboards, vocals, producer
Clem Clempson – guitar, slide guitar
Greg Ridley – bass guitar, vocals
Jerry Shirley – all drums except on “Street Rat”

Additional personnel
Mel Collins – saxophones
Tim Hinkley – keyboards
Ian Wallace – drums on “Street Rat”


On to Victory

Humble Pie released their ninth studio album, On to Victory, in April 1980 on Atco.

1. “Fool for a Pretty Face” (Marriott, Shirley) 4:12
2. “You Soppy Pratt” (Marriott, Jones, Shirley) 4:08
3. “Infatuation” (Marriott) 3:45
4. “Take It from Here” (Marriott) 3:39
5. “Savin’ It” (Tench, Marriott) 4:41

6. “Baby Don’t You Do It” (Holland-Dozier-Holland) 3:25
7. “Get It in the End” (Marriott, Jones, Shirley) 2:41
8. “My Lover’s Prayer” (Otis Redding) 4:02
9. “Further Down the Road” (Marriott, Tench, Jones, Shirley) 4:29
10. “Over You” (Allen Orange, Clarence Toussaint ) 2:22

Studio Villa Recorders, Modesto, California
Producer Humble Pie, John Elijah Wright
Engineered by John Wright, Akili Walker, Claig

Steve Marriott – guitar, harmonica, keyboards, vocals
Bobby Tench – guitar, vocals
Anthony “Sooty” Jones – bass, vocals
Jerry Shirley – drums

Additional personnel
Cheryl Ashley – backing vocals
Marge Raymond – backing vocals
Lisa Zimmerman – backing vocals


Go for the Throat

Humble Pie released their tenth studio album, Go for the Throat, in June 1981 on Atco.

1. “All Shook Up” (Otis Blackwell, Elvis Presley) 2:40
2. “Teenage Anxiety” (Marriott) 4:44
3. “Tin Soldier” (Marriott, Ronnie Lane) 3:09
4. “Keep It on the Island” (Marriott, Shirley) 3:54
5. “Driver” (Marriott) 3:19

6. “Restless Blood” (Richard Supa) 4:04
7. “Go for the Throat” (Marriott, Tench) 3:59
8. “Lottie and the Charcoal Queen” (Marriott, Shirley) 4:37
9. “Chip Away the Stone” (Richard Supa) 4:55 (Aerosmith cover)

Recorded 1980
Studio Mediasound (New York City) Soundworks (New York City)
Producer Gary Lyons

Steve Marriott – guitar, harmonica, keyboards, vocals
Bob Tench – guitar, keyboards, vocals
Anthony “Sooty” Jones – bass, vocals
Jerry Shirley – drums, percussion[6]

Additional personnel
Robin Beck – vocals
Maxine Dixon – vocals
Dana Kral – vocals


“Live With Me”.. slow churchy organ intro… Cm tonality forms… joined by the band after eight bars… rising/rippling organ, slow/smoldering guitar lines… Marriots vocals enter at 1:30, hi-octave howling as he reaches the chorus line amid volume swellup…searing Frampton solo threatens to take over around 3:15 before Marriot reasserts…comparable to Spooky Tooth (“Evil Woman”), Blind Faith and Ashton Gardner & Dyke. Haunted organ sounds spiral high after 5:00, threatening to take over… rescing once again for Marriot, singing at a distance amid a darker, bassier fog…volume overspills one last time around 7:00 as things climax, Marriot screams.. end on G “Earth and Water Song” rustic acoustic plucking (Led Zep acoustic)… Frampton vocal, sustained vowels, over open chordal strums, accompanied only by bass… light hi-hat enters to add pace… full band enters at 1:30…presaging Frampton’s solo ballads…crooning voice, evocative line “I am the earth, she is my water”… Leslied (?) lead solo around 3:00….another, more lyrical solo with bendy, sustained high-notes at 3:45…loosely structed sequence of chords and vocals.. song reshapes at 5:00 “there must be a better land”… lead guitar and organ outro… lyrically, the song uses Earth and water as metaphors for masculine and feminine in the context of a love song, in which the narrator wishes for a simple life of romance, stability and beauty of nature


Discography:

  • As Safe as Yesterday Is (1969)
  • Town & Country (1969)
  • Humble Pie (1970)
  • Rock On (1971)
  • Performance: Rockin’ the Fillmore (live 2LP, 1971)
  • Smokin’ (1972)
  • Eat It (1973)
  • Thunderbox (1974)
  • Street Rats (1975)
  • On to Victory (1980)
  • Go for the Throat (1981)

Sources:

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