Ten Years After were an English blues-rock band from London that released five albums and a live disc on Deram between 1967 and 1970, followed by four further studio albums and a live double on Chrysalis between 1971 and 1974. They are best known for their 1969 Woodstock performance and their 1971 acoustic hit “I’d Love to Change the Word.”
In 1973, guitarist/singer Alvin Lee cut a collaborative album with Christian singer Mylon Le Fevre and then launched a solo career. That same year, keyboardist Chick Churchill released a solo album, You & Me, with input from Supertramp pianist Rick Davies.
During the late 1970s, Lee dubbed his backing band Ten Years Later for two albums on RSO. In 1989, he revived Ten Years After with younger musicians, cutting further studio and live recordings over the following two decades.
Members: Chick Churchill (keyboards), Ric Lee (drums), Leo Lyons (bass, 1966-75, 1988-2013), Alvin Lee (guitar, vocals, 1966-75, 1988-2003)
Ten Years After were the end-product of a musical partnership between guitarist Alvin Lee and bassist Leo Lyons, who first teamed in 1960 as rockers in The Atomites.
Lee (1944–2013) hailed from Nottingham, where he grew up on his parents jazz and blues records. Spurred into action by the first wave of rock ‘n’ roll, he formed The Atomites with Lyons (b. 1943), a native of nearby Mansfield.
Several members passed through their early lineup on drums and vocals, including singer Ivan Jay, which prompted a name-change to Ivan Jay and the Jay Men. After his departure, they went through a sequence of names (The Jaymen, The Jaycats) before settling on The Jaybirds in 1962.
In 1964, The Jaybirds recorded numerous covers for CBS-subsidiary Embassy, mostly spread across split singles with other artists (Del Martin, Bud Ashton and His Group). One side features their take on The Kinks recent “All Day and All of the Night,” where Lee approximates the Dave Davies guitar break with equal abandon.
In August 1965, drummer Rick Lee (b. 1945, no relation to Alvin) of local rivals The Mansfields joined The Jaybirds. In 1966, they added keyboardist Chick Churchill (b. 1946) and played backup to London harmony-popsters The Ivy League.
Another sequence of band names (Blues Trip, Blues Yard) preceded their final name-change to Ten Years After, picked to honor the tenth anniversary of Elvis Presley’s arrival on the music scene in 1956. They opened for the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band at London’s Marquee club, followed by a set at the 1967 Windsor Jazz Festival that landed them a contract with Decca-subsidiary Deram.
- Ten Years After (1967)
- Undead (live, 1968)
- Stonedhenge (1969)
- Ssssh (1969)
- Cricklewood Green (1970)
- Watt (1970)
- A Space in Time (1971)
- Alvin Lee and Company (1972)
- Rock & Roll Music to the World (1972)
- Recorded Live (2LP, 1973)
- Positive Vibrations (1974)
- About Time (1989)
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