UPP

UPP was an English jazz-funk band that released two albums on Epic during 1975 and 1976, the first produced by Jeff Beck. Drummer Jimmy Copley hailed from rustic-rockers Spreadeagle; he later did session work for Ann Lewis, The Quick, Go West, and Killing Joke. Keyboardist Andy Clark recorded three 1969–71 albums as part of the jam-rock duo Clark Hutchinson, the second featuring future UPP bassist Stephen Amazing (aka Stephen Fields). Clark is not to be confused with the namesake Be-Bop Deluxe keyboardist.

Members: Stephen Amazing (bass), Andy Clark (keyboards, vocals), Jimmy Copley (drums), David Bunce (guitar)


Background

They formed as 3 UPP when keyboardist Andy Clark and bassist Stephen “Amazing” Fields teamed with drummer Jim Copley.

Clark played in an early lineup of psych-rockers Sam Gopal with guitarist Mick Hutchinson. The two formed the splinter duo Clark Hutchinson, which released the 1969–71 albums A = MH², Retribution, and Gestalt. Fields played in a series of sixties beat groups (The Kinetics, The Abstracts) and served as a third-wheel on Retribution, which features five fractious blues jams. Copley was fresh out of Spreadeagle, which cut the 1972 album The Piece of Paper on Charisma Records.

UPP formed as American funk influences took hold in the UK, where the band rehearsed daily for three months, inspired by Otis Redding, Sly & The Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, and Donny Hathaway. In mid-1973, guitarist Jeff Beck heard their jam session through a wall at a London studio. He entered and voiced his appreciation at their choice in material (James Brown).

On January 26, 1974, UPP opened for Beck, Bogert & Appice at London’s Rainbow Theatre.


UPP

UPP released their self-titled debut album in 1975 on Epic. It features six group-written songs and one (“Jeff’s One”) co-written by Clark and producer Jeff Beck, who plays uncredited guitar on the album.

Clark’s arsenal consists of Fender Rhodes electric piano, Minimoog synthesizer, Mellotron, and Hohner clavinet D6.

A1. “Bad Stuff” (7:19)
A2. “Friendly Street” (3:26)
A3. “It’s a Mystery” (3:54)
A4. “Get Down In the Dirt” (4:49)
B1. “Give It to You” (7:09)
B2. “Jeff’s One” (5:20)
B3. “Count to Ten” (5:36)

Sessions took place at Escape Studios in Kent, where Beck produced UPP amid work on his own 1975 release Blow By Blow, his first of two instrumental jazz-rock albums.


This Way

UPP released their second album, This Way, in 1976 on Epic.

A1. “Never Turn My Back On You” (8:25)
A2. “Groovin’ Mood” (3:20)
A3. “Say Goodbye” (5:00)
B1. “Dance Your Troubles Away” (3:40)
B2. “I Don’t Want Nothing (To Change)” (3:25) guitar solo – Jeff Beck
B3. “There’s Still Hope” (4:00)
B4. “Nitto” (3:50)
B5. “Get To The Bottom” (3:25)

Arranged By, Producer – Christopher Bond
Engineer – Armen Steiner, Matt Hyde, Dick “Tom-Toms” Palmer
Engineer [Assitant] – Barry Rudolph, John Mills, John Sands, Steve Levine
Concertmaster – Jimmy Getzoff

Bass [Electric & Mutron] – Stephen Amazing
Drums – James Copley
Guitar – David Bunce
Keyboards, Lead Vocals – Andy Clark

Percussion, Vibraphone – Gary Coleman
Saxophone [Solos] – Tom Scott
Backing Vocals – Christy Thompson, Jeanie Arnold

Jeff Beck produced and also played guitars on this LP, although there was no mention of him playing in the liner notes. Upp released its next album a year later, titled This Way Upp. Beck again produced this album and played guitar solos on “Dance Your Troubles Away” and “Don’t Want Nothing to Change.” This album was recorded at CBS Studios, London. The group backed Beck on the 1970s BBC One special Five Faces of Guitar, which also featured Julian Bream. They played two songs, which were “Get Down in the Dirt” and Beck’s arrangement of The Beatles’ song “She’s a Woman“, with an interview about Beck’s instrumentation as an intermission between the two. The group’s track “Give It to You” contains one of the popular breakbeats of all time, and is featured in the Ultimate Breaks and Beats series.


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