If you like a big bottom end on your rock records, this is the album for you.
This, their third album and first for A&M (which probably explains the master tape sound on domestic vinyl), is one of the few Humble Pie titles we’ve found that can offer honest-to-goodness Hot Stamper sound. There is no mystery in this case; the sound comes courtesy of none other than Glyn Johns. He knows Heavy British Rock like nobody else on the planet, or did at the time anyway. If you want fat, meaty drums and guitars — think Who’s Next, Sticky Fingers or A Nod Is As Good As A Wink — Glyn is your man.
Listen to how big and how far forward the drums are in the mix on the first track. That is a sound one rarely hears on a studio recording, and that’s a shame because the drum sound on this record is awesome.
A++. Big bottom, massive drums, no smear, tons of space, this side made it to the final round. A little more Tubey Magic and some extra top would have earned it another plus and maybe first place in our shootout.
A++, with big, grungy guitars that sound just right. The sound is full and lively — a bit of a mess but it’s a good mess. Cleaning it up would probably just make it worse. The vocals on the second track are especially nice by the way.
Live With Me
Only a Roach
One-Eyed Trouser-Snake Rumba
Earth and Water Song
Theme from Skint (See You Later…)
Red Light Mama, Red Hot!
Sucking on the Sweet Vine
Alternating hard-driving blues-rockers with country-folk numbers, Humble Pie neatly showcases the two sides of this band’s personality on their first release for a major American label and third album overall.
Humble Pie was a transitional album and a harbinger of the band’s new, heavier direction. The material was darker than their previous two efforts, with striking contrasts in volume and style — Peter Frampton’s gentle “Earth and Water Song” is buttressed between two of the heaviest tracks on the record, the band composed “One Eyed Trouser Snake Rumba,” and a cover of Willie Dixon’s “I’m Ready”.
Drummer Jerry Shirley contributed a rare lead vocal on his song “Only a Roach,” a country-twinged ode to cannabis that also appeared as the B-side of the summer 1970 single “Big Black Dog”. This was their first release under the auspices of new American manager Dee Anthony — who’d pushed for a louder, tighter sound both live and in the studio — and for their new label, A&M Records. At the end of 1969, the Pie’s old label, Immediate, owned by Andrew Loog Oldham, went bankrupt — a saga chronicled by Marriott on the satirical ballad “Theme from Skint (See You Later Liquidator)”.
Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny
A showcase for former Small Faces’ frontman Steve Marriott and one-time Herd guitar virtuoso Peter Frampton, the hard rock outfit Humble Pie formed in Essex, England in 1969.
Signed to the Immediate label, Humble Pie soon issued their debut single “Natural Born Boogie,” which hit the British Top Ten and paved the way for the group’s premiere LP, As Safe as Yesterday Is.
After touring the U.S. in support of 1969’s Town and Country, Humble Pie returned home only to discover that Immediate had declared bankruptcy. The band recruited a new manager, Dee Anthony, who helped land them a new deal with A&M; behind closed doors, Anthony encouraged Marriott to direct the group towards a harder-edged, grittier sound far removed from the acoustic melodies favored by Frampton.
As Marriott’s raw blues shouting began to dominate subsequent LPs like 1970’s eponymous effort and 1971’s Rock On, Frampton’s role in the band he co-founded gradually diminished; finally, after a highly charged U.S. tour which yielded 1971’s commercial breakthrough Performance: Rockin’ the Fillmore, Frampton exited Humble Pie to embark on a solo career.