Youlden, Chris


Band members               Related acts

- Roy Barrington - bass (1973)
- John Beecham - trombone (1974)
- Dave Caswell - trumpet (1974)
- Mike Cotton - trumpet (1974)
- Ray Fenwick - guitar (1973)
- Roscoe Gee - bass (1974)
- Dereck Griffiths - guitar (1974)
- Danny Kirwan - guitar (1973)
- Foggy Lyttle - guitar (1973)
- Mike McNaught - keyboards (1973)
- Jack Mills - guitar (1974)
- Nick Newell - sax (1974)
- Bruce Rowland - drums, percussion (1973-74)
- Chris Spedding - guitar (1973)
- Andy Sylvester - bass (1973)
- Pete Wingfield - keyboard (1973-74)
- Chris Youlden - vocals, keyboards

 

- Savoy Brown (Chris Youlden)


 

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Nowhere City

Company: London

Catalog: PS-633

Year: 1973

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear; original inner sleeve

Available: 1

Price: $40.00

 

Best known for having replaced Bryce Portius as one of Savoy Brown's original lead singers (see separate entry), during his tour of duty Chris Youlden rivaled Kim Simmonds in serving as the band's focal point. In addition to being blessed with a voice that was perfectly suited for the band's bluesy rock moves, his reputation wasn't hurt by his onstage attire - often a bowler and monocle, or a tux. It also didn't hurt that Youlden was a capable writer, responsible for penning roughly half of Savoy's classic early-'70s material.

Unhappy with Savoy's constant touring and drift towards what he considered to me mindless boogie, in May 1970, Youlden tendered his resignation. He effectively vanished for the next three years, unexpectedly reappeared in 1973 signed by London Records as a solo act (coincidently Savoy Brown's label). Produced by Barry Murray, 1973's "Nowhere Road" was notable for the fact it bore little resemblance to his Savoy Brown catalog. With Youlden penning all 11 tracks, material such as "Chink of Sanity" and "Mama Don't Talk So Loud" retained a bluesy base, but injected a distintively sinewy funky edge into selection such as the title track (boasting a great guitar solo), "One October Day" (with some tasty horns) and the blazing "Cryin' In the Road". Chris Spedding and Fleetwood Mac axeman Danny Kirwan provided sterling support throughout. A commercial disappointment, the set barely charted, peaking at #210. (Sporting one of the year's ugliest covers certainly didn't help sales.) The lack of sales was unfortunate since Youlden's instantly recognizable voice remained in prime form. Without wanting it to sound like hype, had Savoy Brown recorded an album this good, they would've been stars ...

"Nowhere Road" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Nowhere Road (Chris Youlden) - 4:50
2.) One October Day (Chris Youlden) - 2:24
3.) Chink of Sanity (Chris Youlden) - 3:58
4.) Cryin' In the Road (Chris Youlden) - 3:36
5.) Mama Don't You Talk So Loud (Chris Youlden) - 3:15

(side 2)

6.) Standing On the Corner (Chris Youlden) - 3:28
7.) In the Wood (Chris Youlden) - 4:13
8.) Wake Up Neighbor (Chris Youlden) - 2:26
9.) Street Sounds (Chris Youlden) - 4:31
10.) Time Will Tell (Chris Youlden) - 2:43
11.) Pick Up My Dogs and Gone (Chris Youlden) - 2:45

 



Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  City Child

Company: London

Catalog: PS-642

Year: 1974

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear

Available: 1

Price: $40.00

 

Having listened to 1974's "City Child" a dozen times, we're still on the fence in terms of our final opinion. Youlden has a great voice and is capable of writing classic material. Here the results are kind of hit-or-miss. His second solo effort, the collection found Youlden handling production duties. Self-produced, the album was more varied than his debut. While the bluesy "Little Cog In a Big Wheel", "Love and Pain" and "It Ain't for Real" recalled his Savoy Brown-styled roots, "Conjure Wife" was an out-out-out rocker, while "Born and Raised In the City" and "Keep Your Lamp Lit" were actually funky (in a Boz Scaggs kind of way). Best of the lot was the haunting ballad "Spare Change". Like the debut, the set proved commercially stillborn.

"City Child" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Conjure Wife (Chris Youlden) - 3:40
2.) Born and Raised In the City (Chris Youlden) - 4:00
3.) The Morning Light (Chris Youlden) - 3:25
4.) Keep Your Lamp Lit (Chris Youlden) - 3:24
5.) Little Cog In a Big Wheel (Chris Youlden) - 3:54

(side 2)

6.) Peace of Mind (Chris Youlden) - 3:23
7.) Walking the Streets Again (Chris Youlden) - 2:27
8.) Spare Change (Chris Youlden) - 3:44
9.) Love and Pain (Chris Youlden) - 5:49
10.) It Ain't for Real (Chris Youlden) - 3:09

 

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  A British Blues Legend

Company: London

Catalog: 50016

Year: 1975

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: SOLD

Available: SOLD

Price: SOLD

 

If you wanted to be technical about it, 1979's optimistically titled "A British Blues Legend" wasn't a true Youlden solo effort. Part of a London Records reissue program (which also saw a Kim Simmonds/Savoy Brown restrospective), the compilation pulled together a mixture of material from Youlden's Savoy Brown catalog as well as his two mid-'70s solo ventures. Since the earlier solo efforts are hard to find, it made for a competent, if slightly under-whelming compilation.

"A British Blues Legend" track listing:
1.) Nowhere Road (Chris Youlden) - 
2.) Chink Of Sanity (Chris Youlden) - 
3.) Spare Change (Chris Youlden) - 
4.) Love And Pain (Chris Youlden) - 
5.) In The Wood (Chris Youlden) - 
6.) Standing On The Corner (Chris Youlden) - 
7.) Life's One Act Play
8.) Little Cog In A Big Wheel (Chris Youlden) - 
9.) It Ain't For Real (Chris Youlden) - 


Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Second Sight

Company: Line

Catalog: 901027

Year: 1995

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: German import

Available: SOLD

Price: SOLD

Having earned a degree in sociology, starting in the late-'80s Youlden cautiously resumed his musical interests, playing in a number of London-based R&B bands (The Slammers). Released by the German Line Records, 1996's "Second Sight" marked Youlden's first studio set in thirteen years. While most comebacks are major disappointments, this was one of the rare exceptions. Backed by an all-star band including guitarist Tim Renwick and keyboard player Pete Wingfield, 

"Second Sight" track listing:
1.) Don't Lead Me On (Chris Youlden)
2.) Extraordinary Woman (Mike Vernon - Bob Ross)
3.) The Way It Is (Mike Vernon - Bob Ross)
4.) Let It Rain (Chris Youlden)
5.) Soulmate (Chris Youlden)
6.) Tongue Tied (Chris Youlden)
7.) Making Love On The Telephone (Chris Youlden)
8.) Turn Your Red Light Green (Chris Youlden)
9.) Lady Of The Silver Screen (Chris Youlden)
10.) The Name Of The Game Is Love (Chris Youlden)
11.) You Ain't Foolin' Me (Chris Youlden)
12.) You Got A Hold Of My Heart (Chris Youlden)
13.) That'll Get It (Mike Vernon - Bob Ross - Gary Shaw)

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