Today, Metalville Records announces November 24th as the international release date for Trapeze‘s Lost Tapes Vol. 1.
When rock band Trapeze called it a day, they left behind them a series of now-classic albums. Their influence on other groups has been immense, with individual members themselves going on to join heavyweight rock acts such as Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Judas Priest, and Uriah Heep. But their story’s not over, as Trapeze‘s Lost Tapes Vol. 1 will soon reveal!
Tracklisting for Trapeze’s Lost Tapes Vol. 1
1. Cool Water
4. Don’t Let Them Push You
6. Lights Of Tokyo
7. So In Love
8. Bad Kid From School
9. Catching Up On You
10. Do You Understand
11. Enough Is Enough
12. You’ve Got It
13. Who Do You Run To
14. Going Home
These are tracks recorded on tour, and on either side of album releases: great songs that were stockpiled but just never released, as the various lineups hit the ground running, playing live relentlessly and honing their craft while rarely seeing home.
However, guitarist Mel Galley did take those tapes to his elder brother Tom’s house. There, they – as co-writers of many of the band’s best-known songs – would review them, making various decisions that felt right at the time. Mel also had the foresight to leave them with Tom for safekeeping, so they didn’t get lost.
“One of Mel’s last wishes, before he passed away, was that I’d get together with Trapeze manager Tony Perry and put all these things together,” said Tom Galley, who went onto produce the celebrated Phenomena album series. “And that’s what we’ve done!”
Lost Tapes Vol. 1 is an opportunity to hear Trapeze with all the primal energy of young men stretching out, demonstrating there was even more untapped potential between the musicians involved than had hitherto been imagined.
Smashing the doors open across America by pioneering a heavy funk rock sound that would later be taken up by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Extreme, and others, back in the ’70s, Glenn Hughes (vocals, bass), Mel Galley (guitar, vocals), and Dave Holland (drums) barely had time to catch their breath while stepping into studios to lay down several unique songs that you’ll find on this collection, as well as tracks later recorded at Garage Studios in the UK during their ’90s reformation.
Strident hard rocker “Breakdown” comes from that latter period. “This features Glenn singing – his voice is one of the wonders of the world!” Tom remarked, and it truly is, the song sounding immensely fresh and contemporary even today. From the same period, with “Don’t Let Them Push You,” it’s a case of “More cowbell!” and Mel’s guitar weaving tirelessly with him also taking lead vocals.
On the trio’s older tracks, with songs like “Bad Kid From School” and “Enough Is Enough,” it’s their classic sound you’ll relish hearing afresh. “I was able to get that funky heavy rock sound out of those old tapes – and that’s what I call the Trapeze style!” With various co-writing tracks from that period recovered, Tom also noted how “Catching Up On You” had “started off as an instrumental, but they decided to add vocals.”
These tracks embrace both powder-kegged bravado performances as well as the band’s more nuanced emotional side – with nothing off limits, as the musicians involved can be heard exploring their potential both collectively and as individuals. Powerful with deft time-changes, tinged with subtly or bleeding out ferociously, belting rockers find them surging forward as one only for a propulsive rhythmic heartbeat to take hold over which solos soar.
Initially a five-piece patronized by The Moody Blues, even as that line-up fractured, Galley, Holland, and original keyboard player Terry Rowley went into 10cc’s recording studios, and some of those songs will also see the light of day for the very first time on this record. “’Destiny’ and ‘Lights Of Tokyo’ were songs that were overlooked and never ended up on an album,” recalled Tom. Important pathfinders on the band’s journey, they pre-empt the heavier rock & progressive sounds that the band would find acclaim with, beginning with 1970’s Medusa album.
Following Hughes’ joining Deep Purple, Mel Galley took the helm, both singing and playing guitar, while bringing in bass player Pete Wright and second guitarist Rob Kendrick. This was their 1974 Billboard-charting Hot Wire era, finding them particularly prolific, laying down tracks in studios like Island in the years either side. “Going Home” is a fiery arena-ready alternative rendition of that album’s classic, pinpointing exactly why The Rolling Stones had Trapeze open for them back then.
From a little later, we get “So In Love.” “If you listen to ‘Chances’ on the second self-titled Trapeze album, it’s ‘So In Love’ with different lyrics, sung by Glenn, and Mel sings this,” we’re told of a more melodic number. Likewise, “Lover” finds the guitarist in particularly good form on vocals. Blending funk rock with a little soul, this so should have been a single, back in those days when music crossed the airwaves without fear of genre-boundaries, and only good taste mattered.
When Kendrick joined Budgie, Pete Goalby came forward and stepped up to the mic, oozing impressive vocal charisma and allowing Galley a chance to ease his voice. From that late ’70s golden patch, we get the mainstream appeal of “You’ve Got It” and “Who Do You Run To,” while on “Cool Water,” it’s slick, funky with a blues rock edge that’s sat somewhere in between The James Gang and Little Feat in their prime. “Mel wrote and sang on an original version, but this is a version with him and Pete both singing. It also had Terry Rowley on keyboards,” recalled Tom, noting the ongoing bonds between former members, before astutely noting in conclusion: “This collection of recordings shows not only how good the various line-ups were, but captures the passion and excitement of the creation of the songs themselves.”
Never a band who stood still, these recordings are often paths less taken. Had time, circumstances, and other opportunities not proved otherwise, we can only imagine what heights Trapeze would have reached… As listeners will discover, Lost Tapes Vol. 1, features Trapeze songs as classy as any on their previous rock album releases, with some likely to become classics still!