Maggie Bell

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Maggie Bell
Maggie Bell 1971 (Heinrich Klaffs Collection 76).jpg
Maggie Bell in Hamburg 1972.
Background information
Birth name Margaret Bell
Born (1945-01-12) 12 January 1945 (age 69)
Maryhill, Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland
Origin Glasgow
Genres Rhythm and blues, blues rock, blues, rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1967–present
Labels Atlantic, Swan Song, Angel Air
Associated acts Power
Stone the Crows
Midnight Flyer
The British Blues Quintet
The Manfreds
Chris Farlowe
Brian Joseph Friel
Website maggiebell.co.uk

Margaret "Maggie" Bell (born 12 January 1945, Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland) is a Scottish rock vocalist.[1]

Career[edit]

From a musical family, she sang from her teenage years, leaving school at the age of fifteen, to work as a window dresser by day and singer at night. Bell was introduced to Leslie Harvey, by his older brother Alex, after getting up on stage to sing with the latter. Leslie Harvey was, at that time, a guitarist with the Kinning Park Ramblers. Bell joined the group as one of the vocalists. After the band split up, Bell moved to the Mecca Band at the Sauchiehall Street Locarno, and later to the Dennistoun Palais Band.[2]

Power[edit]

She then rejoined Harvey, forming Power initially known as The Power of Music and eventually The Power. Bell and The Power regularly performed at The Easterhouse Project, run by Archie Hind and Graeme Noble. They also toured United States Air Force bases Germany in the mid 1960s. Peter Grant, who was managing The Yardbirds at the time, heard Power playing at one of these bases and agreed to produce and manage them, impressed by the vocal ability of Bell and the guitar playing of Harvey. Power was then renamed as Stone the Crows, an expression used by Grant upon hearing this band.[3]

First solo album[edit]

Stone the Crows split up in 1973, after Leslie Harvey's accidental death from electrocution on 2 May 1972. Harvey had been an integral part of the band and its music.[4] Peter Grant remained as Bell's manager after the split, and along with Mark London offered to help Bell record a solo album. She subsequently recorded two further albums for Atlantic Records, one produced by Felix Pappalardi and the other produced by Felix Cavaliere. Neither has yet been released.[5] Grant then oversaw her first solo album release Queen of the Night (1973), which was recorded in New York City with record producer Jerry Wexler.

Swan Song and Midnight Flyer[edit]

Bell signed to the then newly formed Swan Song Records in 1974, along with Bad Company and The Pretty Things, as one of the first signings to the label. Jimmy Page contributed to her second album Suicide Sal (1975).[6] Bell then tried to capture past blues rock glories by fronting Midnight Flyer,[7] a phenomenal live act but their sole eponymous album released in 1981 was not a commercial success.[8] Jimmy Page put together a tribute album to Maggie featuring Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, as well as John Bonham, having Mark Hitt on guitar[9]

Solo again and B. A. Robertson[edit]

Returning to a solo career, she had her biggest hit in the UK in 1981 duetting with B. A. Robertson on a cover version of "Hold Me" which reached No. 11 in the UK Singles Chart. Bell also performed at many charity gigs during this period.

Television and beyond[edit]

Bell sang the end credits theme for the late 1970s ITV detective drama Hazell, with lyrics written by Judy Forrest and music by Andy Mackay. Her song "No Mean City", written by Mike Moran, was the theme music to the TV crime drama Taggart. She also appeared in a single episode of Taggart called "Evil Eye" in 1990, playing a gypsy fortune teller named Effie Lambie who is murdered early in the episode.

In 2009 she provided the singing voice of rock singer Esme Ford (played by Joanna Lumley) in the episode "Counter Culture Blues" of the ITV series Lewis.[10]

Netherlands and The British Blues Quintet[edit]

After living in the Netherlands for twenty years, Bell returned to the UK in early 2006 and joined The British Blues Quintet, sharing lead vocals with Zoot Money. Also featuring former Stone The Crows drummer Colin Allen and bassist Colin Hodgkinson, the band quickly became established on the UK and European live blues circuit. Their debut album, Live in Glasgow (2007), was recorded at one of their first gigs, on Glasgow's Renfrew Ferry in 2006. In addition, Bell toured with Chris Farlowe in the autumn of 2006 and The Manfreds during 2006 and 2008.

Discography[edit]

With Stone The Crows (1968–1973)[edit]

  • Stone The Crows (1970)
  • Ode To John Law (1970)
  • Teenage Licks (1971)
  • Ontinuous Performance (1972)
  • BBC Radio 1 1971/72 (1998)
  • Coming on Strong (2004, also solo recordings)

Solo[edit]

  • Two singles with Bobby Kerr as Frankie and Johnny (1966)
  • Queen of the Night (1974)
  • Suicide Sal (1975)
  • Great Rock Sensation (1977, compilation)
  • Crimes of the Heart (1988)
  • Live at the Rainbow, 1974 (2002)
  • Live at Boston, USA, 1975 (2002)
  • Coming on Strong (2004, also with Stone The Crows)
  • The River Sessions, Live in Glasgow 1993 (2004) with Ronnie Caryl
  • Sound & Vision – Best of Maggie Bell (2008, compilation)

With Midnight Flyer[edit]

  • Midnight Flyer (1981, re-release: Angel Air SJPCD 198, 2005)
  • Live at Montreux 1981 (2007, CD/DVD)

With The British Blues Quintet[edit]

With Jon Lord Blues Project[edit]

Singles[edit]

[11]

Guest appearances[edit]

Television appearances[edit]

  • Taggart (1990) as "Effie Lambie"
  • Your Cheatin' Heart (1990) as "Roxanne"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Logan, Nick & Woffinden, Bob (eds.) The New Musical Express Book of Rock, W.H. Allen &Co. Ltd (Star), 1973, p. 48. ISBN 0-352-39715-2.
  2. ^ Logan, Nick & Woffinden, Bob (eds.) The New Musical Express Book of Rock, W.H. Allen &Co. Ltd (Star), 1973, p. 489. ISBN 0-352-39715-2.
  3. ^ Welch, Chris (2002). Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin. p. 23. ISBN 0-7119-9195-2. 
  4. ^ Yorke, Ritchie (1999). Led Zeppelin: From Early Days to Page and Plant. p. 192. ISBN 0-86369-744-5. 
  5. ^ Chris Welch, Liner notes to reissue of Suicide Sal. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  6. ^ Review by Jo-Ann Greene at Allmusic
  7. ^ Review by Jo-Ann Greene at Allmusic
  8. ^ Williamson, Nigel (2007). The Rough Guide to Led Zeppelin. p. 110. ISBN 978-1-84353-841-7. 
  9. ^ Roman, Ed. "Mark Mark Hitt". celebrityrockstarguitars. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  10. ^ IMDB Internet Movie Database
  11. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 52. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

Other sources[edit]

  • Logan, Nick & Woffinden, Bob (eds.) The New Musical Express Book of Rock, W.H. Allen &Co. Ltd (Star), 1973, p. 48. ISBN 0-352-39715-2.
  • Welch, Chris (2002). Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin. p. 23. ISBN 0-7119-9195-2.
  • Yorke, Ritchie (1999). Led Zeppelin: From Early Days to Page and Plant. p. 192. ISBN 0-86369-744-5.
  • Williamson, Nigel (2007). The Rough Guide to Led Zeppelin. p. 110. ISBN 978-1-84353-841-7.

External links[edit]