CZAR, OTHER RECORDINGS
Notes by Bob Hodges, Keyboards.
After the LP was released in 1970 Czar went through both management and personnel changes. Anastasia Promotions took over the management and Tony Mac took over on drums. The band rehearsed during the summer of 1970 and in the Autumn were ready to record a new single. The two songs chosen were 'Oh Lord I'm Getting Heavy' and 'Why Don't we be a Rock and Roll Band', both written by Paul Kendrick.
Both tracks were recorded at Island Studios in west London on the 4th October 1970. The brass section was added, and the final mixing done on 14th October 1970. The tracks were produced by Patrick Campbell-Lyons who was half of 1960's duo Nirvana, they had a big hit with a song called Rainbow Chaser in 1968. Paul Kendrick sang lead vocals and the backing vocals on 'Oh Lord' were by Mick Ware from Czar and session singers Doris Troy and Kay Gardner. Doris Troy was fantastic, she improvises towards the end of the song which had a real gospel feel to it. I used the studios' Hammond C3 and also played piano, the brass arrangement was done by Patrick Campbell-Lyons as far as I recall. 'Why Don't We Be A Rock and Roll Band' is more of a straightforward rock number, but has time changes in it on each side of the guitar solo. The record was released on 4th December 1970 to some good reviews and radio play, but failed to achieve any chart success.
The label of 'Oh Lord I' Getting Heavy' released 4th December 1970.
Above is an advance copy of 'Oh Lord I'm Getting Heavy' which is on the Fontana label with the catalogue no. 6007027. This is a mystery, I do not know why the label and catalogue no. were changed for the actual release. I spotted this copy on ebay, acknowledgements to whoever put it on there.
Reviews of 'Oh Lord I'm Getting Heavy'
New Musical Express
Oh Lord I'm Getting Heavy was the only other release apart from the LP although quite a lot of other material was recorded.
Ritual Fire Dance
This track was recorded at the Philips Studios, Stanhope Place, London on 22nd February 1970 and finished on 27th February 1970. This is a long track, timing is 7 minutes 40 seconds and is a reworking of the Ritual Fire Dance from the ballet 'El Amor Brujo' (Love, The Magician) written by the Spanish composer Manuel De Falla (1876 - 1946). I arranged the number, which was completely instrumental, from a piano copy - I hadn't at that time ever heard the full orchestral version. In the late 1960's there was a fashion to rearrange classical pieces for rock band (Keith Emerson, Love Sculpture etc.) and we first performed Ritual Fire Dance around 1968 as Tuesdays Children. The number was a highlight of the stage act and the live version had a long improvisation section, some of which was captured in the recording. We originally wanted this track to go on the album but I think that there were copyright problems, so Philps wouldn't use the track. I have an acetate of the recording which I have transferred to CD, the original tape may still be in the archives somewhere. Regarding the arrangement, we did change the rhythm of the piece slightly and also speeded it up from the composers original speed. Apart from the main body of the piece there is the improvisational section which features Mick scraping his guitar strings on a mike stand and a build up near the end which leads into the last section and ending. The lead instrument is organ and I also played piano and Mellotron which gave an orchestral string sound. Alan from Hampstead played drums, the recording was made on the same sessions as Cecelia (see LP page).
The acetate copy of 'Ritual Fire Dance'. The other side has 'Doubtful Nellie' on it.
Eight Miles High
Czar recorded this at the start of the LP recording sessions in 1969. It was a reworking of the song by the Byrds who had had a hit with it earlier on in the 1960's. We would perform the song live, complete with 3 part harmonies and then go off on an improvisational section which included Mars from the Planets Suite by Gustav Holst. Again this track didn't see the light of day when the decision was made to use original material for the LP.
This was a Paul Kendrick song that we recorded during 1969. I played organ and harpsichord and there is an unfinished feel about the recording, it wasn't used on the LP, the only copy I have is on the other side of my acetate of Ritual Fire Dance.
1971 (information from Mick Ware)
During 1971 Czar recorded a lot of material with Don Hunter, a producer from the USA. By this time Paul Kendrick was playing 12 string guitar, my final gig with Czar was on 4th January 1971 at Ronnie Scotts upstairs disco which was above the jazz club as far as I remember. There were several different bass players and after Tony Mac left towards the end of 1970, Johnny Parker became the drummer. The band also toured in France and Holland, playing at the famous Paradiso Club in Amsterdam. Some of the Paul Kendrick songs recorded during 1971 are as follows:
Heavy Rain, I laid it on the line, Oh Darling, She's a lady of love, I'll try hard, Good morning sunshine. All these tracks except Heavy Rain are included in the August 2007 CD release from Sunbeam Records SBRCD5040 (see Czar LP page).
By the end of 1971 Mick Ware had split from the band and I think the end came a while later.
Follow Me from the Czar LP was featured on a CD titled 'Maximum Prog' in 2009 on the Past & Present label no. PAPRCD2117. The cover features a photo of Czar and the sleeve note are accurate (I suspect taken from this website). Other artists featured are Don Shinn, Aardvark, Rock Workshop, Second Hand, Sweet Slag, 9.30 Fly, Samurai, Quiet World, Big Sleep, Heaven, Brainchild, Abacus, Titus Groan, Quicksand, and Goliath. Altogether an interesting collection, nicely put together.
The front and back covers of the Maximum Prog CD.
Paul Kendrick Solo Singles
Paul's first solo single as far as I know was released on A&M AMS7106 in April 1974. The title was 'Let's Do It Now' b/w 'Teenage Smash' I am informed by Gianpaolo from Italy, who has a copy, that it is a very good rocking tune. His copy is the Dutch release which uses the picture from the Czar album as the front cover of the single .
Paul later went on to record another single 'Doing the best that I can' released in 1976 on Private Stock PVT64.
A third recording by Paul Kendrick is 'Love Has No Pride' / 'Bad Weather' which was also released in 1976 on Private Stock PVT75. The A side is a disco-soul type track, I have seen it advertized on ebay as Northern Soul.
There may be more but at the moment (2007) I haven't got any more information.
Bob Hodges 2007.