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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Flying Squad - 1978 Flying Squad
Flying Squad - 1978 Flying Squad

ARTIST: Flying Squad
ALBUM: Flying Squad
YEAR: 1978


LINEUP: Ian Muir - vocals * Monty McMonagle - guitars * Alex Calder - guitars * George Crossnan - bass * Jim Kelly - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 G-Force * 02 My Friend * 03 Rock N Roll * 04 Streetfighter * 05 Backroom Boys * 06 Ride Ride Ride * 07 Alright On The Night * 08 Drive On * 09 Tell Me What To Do * 10 Glasshouse * 11 Baltimore Baby * 12 The Machine

Named (one would assume) after a certain section of the London police force were this bruising Scottish hard rock act who released a lone self titled album and except for Muir, then promptly disappeared. Well they may not have, but such little information is available regarding Flying Squad that it's the only sure explanation! Muir, renamed as Fin when he joined Waysted, commented in an interview that he was surprised the interviewer remembered the band, at only 20 years of age at the time he probably doesn't himself. He shouldn't be so quick to dismiss the album, it's a gritty piece of raw hard rock, given the appropriate treatment by Status Quo's Francis Rossi who produced this and helped lend it some of his own bands straight forward boogie prowess.

The Songs
Comparing this to the best of Status Quo would be generous, it falls far short of those impossible marks, but for a debut there was sufficient promise indeed. 'G-Force' quickly indicates this is to be a working class affair, lyrics about boozing and escaping the drudgery of everyday life set to some basic boogie riffing, simple yes, but always effective. 'My Friend' could be a lost Quo track from any of their 70's output, with shades of AC/DC and Rose Tattoo to boot. We've all heard that twelve bar riff a million times, but the charm remains! Suffice to say you know what to expect with songs titled 'Rock And Roll', 'Streetfighter' and 'Backroom Boys', credible hard rock with an Alex Harvey tinge, so simple that it makes perfect sense. 'Ride, Ride, Ride' gives prime Foghat a run for their money and it's hard not to be left smiling by the romp that is 'Alright On The Night', an anthem made for British TV if there ever was. The Foghat comparisons roll in further with 'Glass House', 'Drive On' with ender 'Machine' adding some organ into the mix, with an unstoppable riff at the helm closing out this impressive one off album.

In Summary
While scouring for information on this I did come across a comment made that Flying Squad deserved to fail as this was a safe and unimaginative form of rock that supposedly characterized the bland late seventies. What overblown and tepid words heard many times. For a debut this is remarkable quality and it helped having a seasoned pro like Francis Rossi to assist, capturing the essence of what makes true boogie so addictive. It's also easy to see why Muir would have been chosen by Pete Way for Waysted, he had the ideal voice for such blue collar rock, deep throated and rough, and has gone onto a moderately successful career since, highlighted by his vocals on the theme for 'The Office' that no doubt was more rewarding than twenty five plus years in the rock business. Recommended if you can locate this. The day this sees CD will surely be after we're all long gone!

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#1 | englandashes on July 27 2013 12:38:16
Picked this one up on my recent holiday, knew it had been covered here, but no idea what it was liked. So good work be Eric, I didn't realised the Fin connection at all, agree with the Quo, especially as Rossi is producing, but one or two of the tracks, have that twin guitar Thin Lizzy approach and so this helps mix up the album, rather than one boogie exercise. Looking at the back sleeve picture I recognise Fin, but only due to Eric's, detective work, cheers mate.
#2 | Eric on July 27 2013 13:04:21
Uhhh. I didn't write this, Alun did. George, can we correct the above?
#3 | gdazegod on July 27 2013 13:09:48
Sure.. sorry about that..
#4 | englandashes on July 27 2013 15:07:21
So...nice one DZ!, anyway its has inspired me to listen to Waysted's, The Good The Bad The Waysted, and starting writing a few notes on.
#5 | super80boy on March 26 2014 02:29:49
This is a tough album to track down, but it's a worthy late 70's melodic rock obscurity to own. You definitely hear that hard working class vibe in the vocal treatments on 'My Friend', 'Backroom Boys' and the good time melodies of 'Drive On', all songs are well delivered for what they are. I really liked the change up melodic pomp melodies in 'Street Fighter' and the keyboard playing at the end is a nice touch. Side 2's lead off 'Alright On The Night' is stellar and probably the standout track for me. 'Tell Me What To Do' really gets down and dirty on the bluesy side of things. Another standout comes with 'Glasshouse', which is uplifting AOR melodic rock with great guitars and prominent drumming. The album ends with the organ and guitar fury of 'The Machine'. Recommended.
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