The Sensational Alex Harvey Band

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band (SAHB) were a Scottish theatrical hard-rock band that released eight studio albums and a live disc on Vertigo between 1972 and 1978. They formed when veteran soul-rock singer Alex Harvey enlisted hard-rockers Tear Gas as his backing band. Their popularity peaked with the 1974/75 albums The Impossible Dream and Tomorrow Belongs to Me and the singles “Delilah” and “The Boston Tea Party.”

Members: Alex Harvey (guitar, vocals), Zal Cleminson (guitar, vocals), Chris Glen (bass), Ted McKenna (drums), Hugh McKenna (keyboards, 1972-77), Tommy Eyre (keyboards, 1977)


Alex Harvey (1935–1982) first performed in skiffle groups during the mid-1950s. Between 1958 and 1965, he headed Alex Harvey & His Soul Band, which gigged the UK and German club circuits. For a time, the band included his younger brother, guitarist Leslie Harvey (1944–1972). In 1964, they issued three singles and a self-titled album on Polydor, which also issued Harvey’s debut solo album, The Blues, that same year.

In 1965, Harvey cut two singles on Fontana, followed in 1967 by a pair of singles on Decca, both produced by (later Alan Parsons partner) Eric Woolfson. Two singles bearing Harvey’s name, but not involving him, were mysteriously issued on GTA Records in 1966. Harvey’s second solo album, Roman Wall Blues, appeared in 1969 on Fontana. In 1970, he sang on the first of two albums by Rock Workshop, a brass-rock supergroup that featured guitarist Ray Russell, trumpeter Harry Beckett, and reedist Bob Downes.

In early 1972, Harvey’s third solo album, Joker’s Wild, appeared on the German Metronome label. It features some of the last recordings of his brother, who was electrocuted that year during an onstage incident with Stone the Crows. Soon thereafter, Harvey assembled the Sensational Alex Harvey Band with guitarist Zal Cleminson, bassist Chris Glen, and drummer Ted McKenna and his keyboardist cousin Hugh McKenna, all from the final lineup of Tear Gas, which issued a well-regarded eponymous album (their second) the year prior.    


Discography:

  • Framed (1972)
  • Next… (1973)
  • The Impossible Dream (1974)
  • Tomorrow Belongs to Me (1975)
  • Live (1975)
  • The Penthouse Tapes (1976)
  • SAHB Stories (1976)
  • Fourplay (1977 • Sensational Alex Harvey Band (Without Alex))
  • Rock Drill (1978)

Sources:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *