Alex Har­vey col­lec­tion was a labour of love

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Tickets -

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

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