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Pig Iron - 1970 Pig Iron



ARTIST: Pig Iron
ALBUM: Pig Iron
LABEL: CBS
SERIAL: Columbia CS1018
YEAR: 1970

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Alan Abrahams - lead vocals, drums; Marty Fogel - saxophone; Adam Ippolito - keyboards, trumpet, vocals; Bill Peters - lead guitar, vocals; Paul Squire - trumpet; Gary Van Scyoc - bass, trumpet, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 People Gonna Talk * 02 I Put A Spell On You * 03 Neighbor, Neighbor * 04 I Can't Make It Alone * 05 Easy Time Now * 06 Abe's Blues * 07 Wake Up Mr. Charlie * 08 Out Of Town * 09 Top Of The World


Background
The first and only album from this New York City band, Pig Iron offered up brassy hard rock in the style of Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears which received critical praise and little else. The group toured the U.S. playing large outdoor festivals under headliners The Rascals, Blodwyn Pig, Bob Seger System and the aforementioned Chicago, but it didn't last long for whatever reason and Pig Iron split in 1971. A talented bunch; lead vocalist Alan Abrahams would go on to an extensive production career with Pure Prairie League, Joan Baez and David Cassidy among others while keyboard player Adam Ippolito and bassist Gary Van Scyoc would join Elephant's Memory - the group John Lennon and Yoko Ono would annex for their own musical vision. Last but not least, sax player Marty Vogel had an extensive career in Lou Reed's band although the whereabouts of guitarist Bill Peters and trumpeter Paul Squire are a mystery.


The Songs
Pig Iron had a lot going for them with a competent vocalist and co-producer in Abrahams, outstanding musicianship and a knack for clever arrangements. Case in point their cover of the Screamin' Jay Hawkins classic 'I Put A Spell On You' which is absolutely breathtaking. A mixture of classical and blues styles that hands down beats the original and any other version you've heard. 'I Can't Make It Alone' is another favourite - a pop number with a melody I've heard a zillion times before while still sounding fresh and original. Over to the second side and more musical treats with the BS&T influenced and delightful 'Easy Time Now', the gospel flavoured 'Abe's Blues' and 'Top Of The World' which is nothing short of stunning jazzy brass pop that leaves most pretenders of such styles lying in the dust.


In Summary
On many collectors of early 70's rock want lists for CD reissue, its criminal this hasn't happened already although news is there is a pirate floating around from the unknown 'Footprint' label. Sounds dubious to me and since copies of the LP are still relativity inexpensive; this is clearly the better option. On the other hand, perhaps its time to pester a few of the reissue labels dealing in this period of music to give it a go in digital once and for all. Any takers?


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