Hammersmith - It's For You

EricEric USA
edited August 1 in year-1976

Following their 1975 debut and striking while the iron was hot, 'It's For You' was released a year later and featured a new guitarist and drummer but the songs remained the same-solid no fuss, no muss maple leaf rock 'n' roll.

Hammersmith - Its For You
ARTIST: Hammersmith
ALBUM: It's For You
LABEL: Mercury
SERIAL: SRM-1-1102
YEAR: 1976

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada Flag
LINEUP: Dan Lowe - lead guitar * Doran Beattie - lead vocals * Craig Blair - lead guitar, background vocals * Royden Morice - bass, lead & background vocals * Dale Buchner - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Be A Star * 02 Barre's Bizarre * 03 Goodbye Goodbye * 04 When I Was Young * 05 Breakaway * 06 Dancin' Fools * 07 Kickin' Back * 08 Hello, It's For You * 09 Under The Sea * 10 Mr Las Vegas

Background

Man, those Canadian's knew how to rock in the 1970's and few better than Hammersmith. Many of you will remember Painter; a band whose superb 1973 album we've already covered here at Glory Daze and the first Hammersmith album released 1975 was an extension of Painter - retooled and renamed.

Under the direction of BTO manager Bruce Allen, the group managed a couple of hit singles in Canada followed by months of heavy touring. Striking while the iron was hot, 'It's For You' was released a year later and featured a new guitarist and drummer but the songs remained the same-solid no fuss, no muss maple leaf rock 'n' roll.

The Songs

'Be A Star' kicks the album into high gear with a sound reminiscent of both Styx and Queen with a dash of Uriah Heep. A brilliant cut with the help of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, who were no stranger to backing up rock bands and can be heard at their very best on Procol Harum's classic 'Conquistador'. A brief instrumental 'Barre's Bizarre' segues into 'Good-Bye, Good-Bye' and again Styx is a good comparison.

I quite like the laid-back feel of 'Breakaway' and instrumentally guitarist's Dan Lowe and Craig Blair work off each other perfectly and vocalist Doran Beattie reminds me of Starz' Michael Lee Smith in spots. In fact the albums only single 'Dancin' Fools' and 'Kickin' Back' both remind me of Starz at their most commercial.

The coolest cut on the album has to be 'Under The Sea' with watery vocals from Beattie and an almost progressive rock vibe, the band outdo themselves on this experimental gem. While I admit some disappointment with the records final cut 'Mr. Las Vegas' as I would have much preferred an all-out rocker than a piano-led orchestral ballad, it is what it is.

In Summary

More touring followed the release of 'It's For You' including shows in Eastern Canada with Kiss and U.S dates with Rod Stewart followed by a headline tour of their own, crisscrossing the Provinces' clubs and lucrative hockey arena circuit.

Unfortunately, Hammersmith called it a day in 1977, but not before the band became something of a musical revolving door whose membership included Loverboy's Mike Reno and April Wine's Jim Clench among others.

Following the split Dan Lowe had the greatest success appearing with 451° and Prototype as well as producing for White Wolf, Pretty Rough and Qwest while Doran Beattie went the country music route.


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