The Hassles

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The Hassles
The Hassles.png
Background information
Genres Psychedelic rock, acid rock, blue-eyed soul
Years active 1966 (1966)–1969 (1969)
Labels United Artists Records
Associated acts Attila
Members Billy Joel
Jon Small
Richard McKenna
John Dizek
Harry Weber
Howie Blauvelt

The Hassles were a rock group in the 1960s, most notable for recording the first releases to feature Billy Joel. The group released two full-length albums (United Artists Records) and a number of singles.[1]

The original line-up of the group was Billy Joel (keyboards), Jon Small (drums), Richard McKenna (guitar), John Dizek (vocals), and Harry Weber (organ). Harry Weber was later kicked out of the band, due to excessive drug use, and replaced by Howie Blauvelt (bass). Dizek left some time after their first album, at which point Joel took over on vocal duties. Joel and Small eventually formed Attila (Epic Records)[2] he and the drummer, Jon Small, broke away from the Hassles and formed Attila in 1969.[2] while Blauvelt later joined Ram Jam.

Discography[edit]

The Hassles[edit]

Produced by Tony Michaels and Vinnie Gorman, The Hassles' eponymous debut album was released on November 21, 1967, and featured a number of cover versions of soul songs.[1] The single "You've Got Me Hummin'" was number 112 for one week on the Bubbling Under the Hot 100 chart, their only Billboard chart appearance. [3] In 1983, Billy Joel released a solo live recording of "You've Got me Hummin'" as a B-side to his hit "Tell Her About It" (available on the 12" maxi single, with the 'special remixed version' of the A-side).

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Warming Up" (W. Joel) - 1:38
  2. "Just Holding On" (L. Weiss) - 2:06
  3. "A Taste of Honey" (R. Marlow, B. Scott) - 4:17
  4. "Every Step I Take (Every Move I Make)" (W. Joel, T. Michaels, V. Gorman) - 2:30
  5. "Coloured Rain" (S.Winwood, J. Capaldi, C. Wood) (originally by Traffic) - 3:22
  6. "I Hear Voices" (G. Stashuk) - 2:53
  7. "I Can Tell" (W. Joel) - 2:57
  8. "Giving Up (Version #2)" (V. McCoy) - 4:16
  9. "Fever" (J. Davenport, E. Cooley) - 3:19
  10. "You've Got Me Hummin'" (I. Hayes, D. Porter) - 2:27

1992 Re-issued Bonus Tracks[edit]

  1. "I'm Thinkin'"
  2. "I'll Be Around"
  3. "When I Get Home"
  4. "It's Not Enough"
  5. "Love Luck"
  6. "Look And You Will Find"
  7. "Blow My Mind"
  8. "Giving Up (Version #1)"

Hour of the Wolf[edit]

Produced by Thomas Kay, the Hassles' second album was released on January 23, 1969. All songs on this album were original recordings written by Billy Joel, except where noted.[1]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Country Boy" (W. Joel, J. Small) 2:35
  2. "Night After Day" - 3:11
  3. "Hour Of The Wolf" (W. Joel, J. Dizek) - 11:58
  4. "Four O'Clock In The Morning" - 3:12
  5. "Cat" - 4:15
  6. "Hotel St. George" - 5:00
  7. "Land Of Despair" (W. Joel, J. Small) - 3:36
  8. "Further Than Heaven" (W. Joel, J. Dizek) - 7:16

Modern day compilations[edit]

  • In 1992, the first album was released on CD, with a number of bonus tracks
  • In 1999, Razor & Tie re-released the Hassles' two albums as a "best of" collection on a single Compact Disc with "Hotel St. George" missing, but also with additional bonus tracks
  • In 2004, a low quality rerelease of Hour of the Wolf was released as Billy Joel - the Early Years

References[edit]