Ten Years After

Ten Years After were an English blues-rock band that released five 1967–70 studio albums and a live disc on Deram, followed by four 1971–74 studio albums and a double live on Chrysalis. They are best known for their 1969 Woodstock performance and the 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 and cut further studio and live discs over the next two decades.

Members: Chick Churchill (keyboards), Ric Lee (drums), Leo Lyons (bass, 1966-75, 1988-2013), Alvin Lee (guitar, vocals, 1966-75, 1988-2003)


The Atomites

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 & The Jay Men. After his departure, they went through a sequence of names (The Jaymen, The Jaycats) before settling on The Jaybirds in 1962.


The Jaybirds

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

Ten Years After released their self-titled debut album on October 27, 1967, on Deram. Alvin Lee wrote three cuts (“Feel It for Me,” “Love Until I Die,” “Don’t Want You Woman”) and co-wrote songs with Chick Churchill (“Adventures of a Young Organ”) and soundman Gus Dudgeon (“Losing the Dogs”).

Side One contains covers of Paul Jones (“I Want to Know”), Al Kooper (“I Can’t Keep from Crying Sometimes”), and Willie Dixon (“Spoonful”). Ten Years After wraps with a lengthy take on the Sonny Boy Williamson standard “Help Me.”

1. “I Want to Know” (2:08) Sheila McLeod as pseudonym Paul Jones
2. “I Can’t Keep from Crying Sometimes” (5:21) Al Kooper
3. “Adventures of a Young Organ” (2:32)
4. “Spoonful” (6:00) Willie Dixon
5. “Losing the Dogs” (2:58)

6. “Feel It for Me” (2:37)
7. “Love Until I Die” (2:04)
8. “Don’t Want You Woman” (2:34)
9. “Help Me” (9:46) Ralph Bass, Willie Dixon, Sonny Boy Williamson

Recorded September 1967
Studio Decca Studios, London
Producer Mike Vernon, Gus Dudgeon


Undead

In July 1968, Ten Years After released the live album Undead, a document of their May 14 show at Klooks Kleek, a jazz and R&B club at the Railway Hotel in north-west London.

Undead contains three Alvin originals, including the lengthy set piece “I May Be Wrong, But I Won’t Be Wrong Always.” Side One features a rendition of the Woody Herman jazz chestnut “Woodchopper’s Ball.” Ric Lee’s “Shantung Cabbage” appears in medley form with the George Gershwin standard “Summertime.” 

1. “I May Be Wrong, But I Won’t Be Wrong Always” (10.28)
2. “Woodchopper’s Ball” (7:48) is a 1939 jazz composition by Woody Herman and Joe Bishop.

3. “Spider in My Web” (7:46)
4. “Summertime” / “Shantung Cabbage” (5:56)
5. “I’m Going Home” (6:27)


Stonedhenge

Ten Years After released their second studio album, Stonedhenge, on February 7, 1969, on Deram. Alvin Lee wrote six numbers, including “Going to Try,” “Hear Me Calling,” and the eight-minute “No Title.” He co-wrote the closing track, “Speed Kills,” with producer Mike Vernon.

Stonedhenge also contains interludes credited to Chick Churchill (“I Can’t Live Without Lydia”), Leo Lyons (“Faro”), and Ric Lee (an arrangement of “Three Blind Mice”).

1. “Going to Try” (4:52)
2. “I Can’t Live Without Lydia” (1:23)
3. “Woman Trouble” (4:37)
4. “Skoobly-Oobly-Doobob” (1:44)
5. “Hear Me Calling” (5:41)

6. “A Sad Song” (3:24)
7. “Three Blind Mice” (0:57)
8. “No Title” (8:15)
9. “Faro” (1:13)
10. “Speed Kills” (3:42)

Sessions occurred during the first two weeks of September 1968 at Decca Studios.

Ten Years After
Alvin Lee – vocals, guitar, piano, Chinese fans
Chick Churchill – organ, piano
Ric Lee – drums, tympani
Leo Lyons – bass, bow-bass, string bass, percussion

Additional personnel
Roy Baker – sound effects on “No Title”
Martin Smith – train sound effects on “Speed Kills”
Simon Stable (credited as “Count Simon (Stable) de la Bedoyere”) – bongos on “Going to Try”
Mike Vernon – backing vocals on “Hear Me Calling”


Ssssh

Ten Years After released their third studio album, Ssssh, in September 1969 on Deram. It features one blues cover and seven Alvin Lee originals, including “Bad Scene,” “Stoned Woman,” and “The Stomp.”

1. “Bad Scene” (3:20)
2. “Two Time Mama” (2:05)
3. “Stoned Woman” (3:25)
4. “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” (6:34) originated as a 1937 Bluebird aside by Chicago blues singer Sonny Boy Williamson.

5. “If You Should Love Me” (5:25)
6. “I Don’t Know That You Don’t Know My Name” (1:56)
7. “The Stomp” (4:34)
8. “I Woke Up This Morning” (5:25)

Ten Years After self-produced the album in June 1969 at London’s Morgan Studios.


Cricklewood Green

Ten Years After released their fourth studio album, Cricklewood Green, on April 17, 1970, on Deram. It features eight Alvin Lee originals, including “Working on the Road,” “As the Sun Still Burns Away,” “Sugar the Road,” and “Love Like a Man.”

1. “Sugar the Road” (3:59)
2. “Working on the Road” (4:15)
3. “50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain” (7:37)
4. “Year 3,000 Blues” (2:17)

5. “Me and My Baby” (4:12)
6. “Love Like a Man” (7:29)
7. “Circles” (3:55)
8. “As the Sun Still Burns Away” (4:42)

Lee produced the album in late 1969 at London’s Olympic Studio 1.

Cricklewood Green reached No. 14 on the US Billboard Top LPs Chart and No. 19 on Australia’s Kent Music Report.


Watt

Ten Years After released their sixth album, Watt, in December 1970 on Deram. It features seven Alvin Lee originals, including “My Baby Left Me,” “Think About the Times,” and “The Band With No Name.” Side Two closes with their performance of the Chuck Berry chestnut “Sweet Little Sixteen” at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. 

1. “I’m Coming On” (3:44)
2. “My Baby Left Me” (5:21)
3. “Think About the Times” (4:36)
4. “I Say Yeah” (5:14)

5. “The Band with No Name” (1:34)
6. “Gonna Run” (5:57)
7. “She Lies in the Morning” (7:19)
8. “Sweet Little Sixteen” (4:07)

Ten Years After self-produced the studio tracks in September 1970 at Olympic Sound Studios.
Chris Kimsey – engineer

Watt reached No. 5 on the UK Albums Chart and peaked at No. 13 in Australia and No. 21 on the US Billboard 200.


A Space in Time

Ten Years After released their seventh album, A Space in Time, in August 1971 on Chrysalis (UK) and Columbia (US). It features nine Alvin Lee originals, including “Here They Come,” “Hard Monkeys,” “Over the Hill,” and the band’s signature song “I’d Love to Change the World.”

1. “One of These Days” (5:52)
2. “Here They Come” (4:27)
3. “I’d Love to Change the World” (3:42)
4. “Over the Hill” (2:28
5. “Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock ‘n’ Roll You” (2:10)

6. “Once There Was a Time” (3:20)
7. “Let the Sky Fall” (4:19)
8. “Hard Monkeys” (3:12)
9. “I’ve Been There Too” (5:40)
10. “Uncle Jam” (1:54) group-written

Producer Ten Years After
Recorded at Olympic Studios, London
Engineer – Chris Kimsey
String arrangement on “Over the Hill” by Del Newman
Front cover photograph – Ed Caraeff
Back cover photograph – Alvin Lee

“I’d Love to Change the World” / “Let the Sky Fall”
Released: September 1971
“Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock ‘n’ Roll You”
Released: January 1972

A Space in Time went Top 20 in Norway (No. 13), the United States (No. 17), and Australia (No. 18). It peaked at No. 21 in Canada and No. 36 on the UK Albums Chart.


Alvin Lee and Company (1972)

Rock & Roll Music to the World (1972)

Recorded Live (2LP, 1973)

Positive Vibrations (1974)


Discography:

  • 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)

Sources:

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