Humble Pie (apparently there is no official website)
As Safe As Yesterday Is (1969)
Town And Country (1969)
Humble Pie (1970)
Rock On (1971)
Eat It (1973)
Street Rats (1975)
On To Victory (1980)
Go For The Throat (1981)
Back On Track (2002)
Humble Pie were a rock band from England, finding success in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. One of the late '60s first supergroups, they are remembered for songs such as "Black Coffee", "30 Days in the Hole", "I Don't Need No Doctor", and "Natural Born Boogie". The original band lineup featured vocalist and guitarist Steve Marriott from Small Faces, vocalist and guitarist Peter Frampton from The Herd, former Spooky Tooth bassist Greg Ridley, and seventeen-year-old drummer Jerry Shirley.
In January 1969 Steve Marriott, having just left Small Faces, got together with Greg Ridley, Peter Frampton and Jerry Shirley, who had been the drummer for the mod band Apostolic Intervention. Originally Marriott had brought together Shirley and Ridley as a possible band for Frampton, but ended up joining them himself. They eventually chose the name Humble Pie and were signed to Andrew Loog Oldham's record label Immediate Records. Their debut single, "Natural Born Boogie", was released on 8. August 1969 becoming a #4 hit in the UK Singles Chart and was quickly followed by the album As Safe As Yesterday Is, which peaked at #16 in the UK album charts. As Safe As Yesterday Is was one of the first albums to be described by the term "heavy metal" in a 1970 review in Rolling Stone magazine. Their second album, Town and Country released in the UK during 1969 while the band was away on its first tour of the US. This album featured a more acoustic sound and songs written by all four members. Humble Pie concerts at this time featured an acoustic set, with a radical re-working of Graham Gouldman's "For Your Love" as its centerpiece followed by an electric set. Recent tape archives show that the band recorded around 30 songs in its first nine months of existence, many of which remained unreleased for decades, including a cover of Henry Glover's "Drown in My Own Tears". During 1970, Humble Pie switched to A&M Records and Dee Anthony became their manager. Anthony was focused on the US market and discarded the acoustic set, instigating a more raucous sound with Marriott as the front man. The group's first album for A&M, Humble Pie, was released later that year and alternated between progressive rock and hard rock. A single, "Big Black Dog", was released to coincide with the album and failed to chart, however the band was becoming known for popular live rock shows in the US. In 1971 Humble Pie released their most successful record to date Rock On as well as a live album recorded at the Fillmore East in New York entitled Performance Rockin' the Fillmore. The live album reached #21 on the US Billboard 200 and was certified gold by the RIAA. "I Don't Need No Doctor" was an FM radio hit in the US peaking at #73 on the Billboard Hot 100, propelling the album up the charts. But Frampton left the band by the time the album was released and went on to enjoy success as a solo artist.
Frampton was replaced by Dave Clem Clempson and Humble Pie moved towards a harder sound emphasizing Marriott's blues and soul roots. Their first record with Clempson, Smokin', was released in 1972, along with two singles "Hot 'n' Nasty" and "30 Days in the Hole." It was the band's most commercially successful record, and reached #6 on the US charts, helped by a busy touring schedule. After the success of Smokin' the band's record label A&M released Humble Pie's first two Immediate albums in one double album, as Lost and Found. The marketing ploy was a success and the album charted at #37 on the Billboard 200. Looking for a more authentic R&B sound, Marriott hired three female backing vocalists, 'The Blackberries'. The trio consisted of Venetta Fields, Clydie King and Sherlie Matthews who was later replaced by Billie Barnum. They had performed with Ike and Tina Turner as The Ikettes and with Ray Charles as The Raelettes. This new line-up included Sidney George on saxophone for the recording of Eat It, a double album released in 1973 made up of Marriott originals (some acoustic), R&B covers, and a Humble Pie concert recorded in Glasgow. The album peaked at #13 in the US charts. Thunderbox was released in 1974, and Street Rats a year later. In 1975, joined by keyboardist Tim Hinkley, Humble Pie conducted their 'Goodbye Pie Tour' before disbanding.
In late 1979, Marriott revived Humble Pie with Jerry Shirley, adding Bobby Tench, former vocalist and guitarist from The Jeff Beck Group and bassist Anthony "Sooty" Jones, from New York. They submitted "Fool for a Pretty Face", a song Marriott and Shirley had just written, to record labels. They secured a recording contract with Atlantic Records subsidiary Atco and in the UK their material was released by Jet Records, owned by former Small Faces manager Don Arden. They recorded the album On to Victory (1980) and "Fool for a Pretty Face" reached #52 on the US Billboard Hot 100. On to Victory peaked at #60 on the Billboard 200. Humble Pie toured the US as part of the 'Rock 'N' Roll Marathon Bill' with Ted Nugent and Aerosmith and also recorded the album Go for the Throat (1981). This album was originally recorded by the band as a raw edged Rhythm and Blues album, but their record company chose to have them create a more produced album . At the beginning of the promotional tour for the Go for the Throat album, in April 1981, Marriott crushed his hand in a hotel room door, delaying earlier scheduled appearances by the band and he later developed a duodenal ulcer forcing the cancellation of all further tour dates in July 1981. Soon afterwards this line up disbanded, due to contractual differences.
In 1982 Marriott was back on the road with Jim Leverton (bass, backing vocals), former Steppenwolf keyboardist Goldy McJohn and Chicago born drummer Fallon Williams III. This grouping was originally set to be called The Official Receivers, The Three Trojans (after McJohn departed) or The Pie but ended up being billed by promoters as Humble Pie. McJohn was let go after suffering drug troubles and the remaining trio toured Australia in October 1982 billed mostly as Small Faces to entice patrons. In January 1983 Leverton ran into trouble at U.S. Immigration and was deported back to England. Marriott based himself in the Atlanta, Georgia area, since that was where his second wife, Pamela Stephens, was from, and continued to tour clubs as Humble Pie. Atlanta musician Keith Christopher (from The Brains) took over bass and a young guitarist from Tennessee, Tommy Johnson, joined as well. And after a hoped for deal with Capricorn Records in nearby Macon fell through after that label's second collapse, this lineup went into Pyramid Eye Studios in Chattanooga, Tennessee to record three songs for a projected album, but nothing further came from it. After Johnson missed a show, he was replaced by Phil Dix. The band was then scheduled to record demos with Yes/ELP producer Eddy Offord at Eddy's studio in Atlanta with Rick Richards (also from The Brains and soon to find fame with the Georgia Satellites) as the new guitarist. But when Rick and Keith missed rehearsals, Steve was so mad that he not only fired Rick but Keith as well. The recordings were done with Fallon on drums and Dave Hewitt (ex-Babe Ruth (band)) on bass. But when these demos failed to attract another record deal and Pamela left Steve for another man, Steve disbanded this version of the Pie and departed the U.S. to return to England in late 1983.
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