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Max Webster - 1977 High Class In Borrowed Shoes



ARTIST: Max Webster
ALBUM: High Class In Borrowed Shoes
LABEL: Anthem
SERIAL: ANR-1-1007
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: 2012, Rock Candy Records, CANDY107
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Kim Mitchell - lead vocals, guitars * Terry Watkinson - keyboards, backing vocals, lead vocal (#7) * Mike Tilka - bass, arp, backing vocals * Gary McCracken - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 High Class In Borrowed Shoes * 02 Diamonds Diamonds * 03 Gravity * 04 Words To Words * 05 America's Veins * 06 Oh War! * 07 On The Road * 08 Rain Child * 09 In Context Of The Moon


Background
This is the band of eccentrics that featured the talented and amusing Kim Mitchell at the forefront. Not quite as unusual as fellow Canadians Klaatu, Wireless and the novel Frank Soda, Max Webster were still able to confound pundits regardless. This is the band's second album, released in March of 1977, and as you can see from the album cover, the imagery is off the charts. Thankfully the music sits nicely in the middle of what was a fertile period for Canadian melodic rock. Hooking up with the band was new drummer Gary McCracken, taking over the drum-stool from Paul Kersey. Engineering duties were handled by Rush alumni Terry Brown, while well-versed lyricist Pye Dubois would co-write eight of the nine songs.


The Songs
'High Class In Borrowed Shoes' is a great example of when Max Webster play just straight up hard rock without any quirky interludes. A cool song. 'Diamonds Diamonds' ventures into a pompy and spacey realm. Sort of like fellow Canucks Avalon, though we know this isn't really MW's forte. Terry Watkinson's keyboards are prominent once more on 'Gravity', with a gnawing keyboard stab which prevails throughout the song. Mitchell tries hard to bash his way into the mix, and succeeds to a point. 'Words To Words' takes the pace off the album's tempo thus far, a gentle flowing ballad.

'Oh War!' is the band's most progressive attempt on the LP. This one has a very Rush flavour to it. For those with long memories, it also appeared on the 1984 2xLP compilation 'Striktly For Konnoisseurs' set. 'On The Road' is a pastoral affair, acoustic mostly, and maybe it was inspired from travelling on those long highways out in Prairie Land. 'In Context Of The Moon' is a bright-sounding number though it does shuffle around the stylistic zodiac. Trying to pigeon-hole this one is impossible.. Lol


In Summary
Max Webster would go on to release a handful of albums in this style, right up until 1980. This album eventually reached Gold certification, and many years later, received a CD reissue from Rock Candy Records (2012), along with the 1976 debut and 1978's 'Mutiny Up My Sleeve'.


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Comments
#1 | Eric on July 16 2017 16:08:33
Those clothes, that cover...
#2 | Carl Noonan on July 16 2017 23:05:16
Never judge a book:-). An awesome band and this is an awesome record. There's no one like Max Webster and they certainly don't make them like this anymore which is a shame, released in the days when bands were creative and all had something different to offer.
#3 | gdazegod on July 17 2017 00:24:33
Thank you Carl. I will probably finish the set and get to the other three albums as well. Best to do that asap, as the music and my writings/musings are still relatively fresh.
#4 | Nick C on July 17 2017 17:32:27
Band never did a bad album. I actually bought this from Shades in London and the people who's flat I was staying at while down there just laughed and laughed at the cover....my god those fools didn't know what they were missing!
#5 | rkbluez on July 18 2017 02:48:21
When you listen to CLASSIC! music like Max Webster as compared to the new crap they toot as a classic it's laughable...as Carl said they don't make bands like this anymore and probably never will...they have more imagination and creativity in one song than some of these new bands have on their whole catalog...Max Webster was one of the best and IMO should of been every bit as big as a band like Rush...Kim Mitchell alone was blessed with an amazing talent and the rest of the band was always top notch...who knows what they would of came up with if they were allowed to still make albums after Universal Juveniles.
 
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