Amen Corner (band)
|Genres||Psychedelic rock, pop rock|
|Associated acts||Fair Weather|
|Past members||Andy Fairweather Low
The band was named after The Amen Corner, a weekly disc spin at the Victoria Ballroom (later to become The Scene Club) in Cardiff, Wales, where every Sunday night Dr. Rock would play the best soul music from the United States.
Initially they specialised in a blues and jazz-oriented style, but were steered by their record labels towards a more commercial sound. Their first singles and album appeared on Decca's subsidiary label, Deram — see "Discography" below — but they left at the end of 1968 to join Immediate, where they were instantly rewarded with a No. 1, "(If Paradise Is) Half as Nice" in early 1969, followed by another Top 5 entry with the Roy Wood composition, "Hello Susie".
After recording a final studio album, Farewell to the Real Magnificent Seven, with a cover version of The Beatles' "Get Back" released as their swansong, they disbanded at the end of 1969. The band also appeared as themselves in the 1969 horror film, Scream and Scream Again.
Whilst saxophone player Allan Jones went on to form Judas Jump, guitarist and vocalist Andy Fairweather Low led Dennis Bryon (drums), Blue Weaver (organ), Clive Taylor (bass) and Neil Jones (guitar) into a new band, Fair Weather. The band scored a UK No. 6 hit with "Natural Sinner" in 1970 and recorded one album before disbanding after Blue left to join The Strawbs a year later.
Fairweather Low went on to a successful solo career in the 1970s, notably with the Top 10 hit "Wide Eyed and Legless" (1975); he became a regular player with Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Roger Waters. Blue Weaver joined The Strawbs as Rick Wakeman's replacement and later after a successful 1974 tour with Mott the Hoople, went on to join the Bee Gees, where Dennis Bryon was now the drummer. Blue Weaver also played keyboards for many artists as a session player and later Fairlight programmer.
Amen Corner's Decca back catalogue has been re-issued as part of the "The Collection" series; and their Immediate work, including their singles, live album and material recorded for an unreleased studio album, has been released on If Paradise Was Half as Nice: The Immediate Anthology.
- Andy Fairweather Low (born Andrew Fairweather Low, 2 August 1948, Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed, South Wales) - vocals
- Neil Jones (born 25 March 1949, Llanbradach, South Wales) - guitar
- Allan Jones (born 6 February 1947, Swansea, Glamorgan, South Wales) - saxophone
- Blue Weaver (born Derek John Weaver, 11 March 1947, Cardiff, Glamorgan, South Wales) - keyboards
- Mike Smith (born Michael Joseph Smith, 4 November 1947, Neath, South Wales) - tenor saxophone
- Clive Taylor (born 27 April 1948, Cardiff) - bass
- Dennis Bryon (born Dennis Ronald Bryon, 14 April 1949, Cardiff) - drums
- DM136 "Gin House Blues" (1967) — UK Singles Chart #12
- DM151 "The World of Broken Hearts" (1967) — UK #24
- DM172 "Bend Me, Shape Me"/"Satisnek The Job's Worth" (1968) — UK #3
- DM197 "High in the Sky" (1968) — UK #6
- IM073 "(If Paradise Is) Half as Nice" (1969) — UK #1
- IM081 "Hello Susie" (1969) — UK #4
- IM084 "Get Back" (1969) — Did not chart
SML1021 Round Amen Corner (1968) — UK Albums Chart #26
- Side One
- "Bend Me, Shape Me" - (Larry Weiss, Scott English)
- "Judge Rumpel Crassila" - (Andy Fairweather-Low, Mike Smith, Neil Jones, Blue Weaver, Clive Taylor, Dennis Bryon)
- "Love Me Tender" - (Elvis Presley, Vera Matson)
- "Our Love Is (In The Pocket)" - (George Clinton, Joanne Jackson, Rose Marie McCoy)
- "Something You've Got" - (Mickey Keen, Robin Shaw)
- "I Am An Angel (But I Can't Fly)" - (Andy Fairweather-Low, Mike Smith, Neil Jones, Blue Weaver, Clive Taylor, Dennis Bryon)
- Side Two
- "Expressway (To Your Heart)" - (Gamble and Huff)
- "Good Times" - (Vanda & Young)
- "Let The Good Times Roll / Feel So Good" - (Leonard Lee)
- "Can't Get Used To Losing You" - (Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman)
- "Lost And Found" - (Mickey Keen, Robin Shaw)
- "Gin House" - (Fletcher Henderson, Henry Troy)
- "Don't Want To Discuss It and Amen" - (Beth Beatty, Dick Cooper, Ernie Shelby)
- Andy Fairweather-Low - lead vocals
- Mike Smith - tenor saxophone
- Neil Jones - guitars
- Blue Weaver - Hammond organ, backing vocals
- Clive Taylor - bass, backing vocals
- Dennis Bryon - drums, backing vocals
- IMSP023 The National Welsh Coast Live Explosion Company (1969) — UK #19
- IMSP028 Farewell to the Real Magnificent Seven (1969)
- IML1004 The Return of the Magnificent Seven (1976)
- IML2004 Greatest Hits (1977)
- MS023 Amen Corner (If Paradise Is Half As Nice and More Hits) (2007) — includes live recordings
- List of artists who reached number one on the UK Singles Chart
- List of performers on Top of the Pops
- List of number-one singles from the 1960s (UK)
- Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 124. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
- "Biography by William Ruhlmann". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 21. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.