Alex Harvey collection was a labour of love
The most comprehensive CD collection spanning the career of one of Scotland’s finest musicians hits shelves this week — and it’s all thanks to the passionate efforts of a Coatbridge super fan.
‘Alex Harvey – The Last of the Teenage Idols’ is a 14-disc, 217-track boxset taking listeners on a musical journey through the life of the late Glaswegian-born singer-songwriter.
The set features all of the star’s early solo albums and the eight albums with The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, which included Coatbridge cousins Hugh and Ted McKenna, on keyboard and drums respectively. Helping to put this all together is Kirkwoodborn Joe Black, a lifelong fan of Alex and freelance music consultant working for Universal Music.
Joe, 55, said: “A few years ago, we overhauled all of the Alex Harvey albums and they didn’t sound great — and looked even worse.
“But we got them remastered and brushed up the artwork and it re-ignited my love for Alex and the band.
“I wanted to do something much bigger and, after speaking to a few people, we found out a lot of Alex’s back catalogue was owned by Universal and I thought: ‘We control it and it’s just sitting there’.
“So we compiled the boxset and I acted as the glue that held everything together. It was two years from me submitting the idea to pulling all the threads together for the completed boxset and this has been a real labour of love for me.”
From 1958 to 1965, Alex was the leader of Alex Harvey’s Big Soul Band, playing blues and rock and roll songs.
Following a brief solo career, Alex formed the Sensational Alex Harvey Band in 1972 and they enjoyed top 40 UK hits with singles ‘Delilah’ – an unforgettable cover of the Tom Jones classic which reached number seven in 1975 – and ‘The Boston Tea Party’.
‘Alex Harvey – The Last of the Teenage Idols’ is the biggest cross-label collection of the singer’s work ever assembled, with over a third of the tracks officially released for the first time.
It also comes with a 64-page hardcover book featuring a new essay by Tim Barr and previously unseen personal family photographs.
Joe added: “The set also includes non-album B-sides, live tracks and radio sessions.
“We can’t boast that it’s a complete set as there are early recordings that people didn’t want to share, but it’s as complete as we can get it.
“I hope the fans like it – I’m sure they will. It may even lure in some new fans.”
‘Alex Harvey – The Last of the Teenage Idols’ is available in stores and on digital format.
Cracking collection ‘Alex Harvey – The Last of the Teenage Idols’ is on sale now thanks in part to the hard work of Joe Black, inset Owning the stage The Sensational Alex Harvey Band perform in Reading in 1977