Ten Years After

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Ten Years After
Ten Years After in 1970. Leo Lyons (top), Chick Churchill (left), Ric Lee (right), Alvin Lee (front)
Ten Years After in 1970. Leo Lyons (top), Chick Churchill (left), Ric Lee (right), Alvin Lee (front)
Background information
OriginNottingham, England
GenresBlues rock[1]
Years active
  • 1966–1975
  • 1983 (one-off reunion)
  • 1988–present
MembersChick Churchill
Ric Lee
Marcus Bonfanti
Colin Hodgkinson
Past membersAlvin Lee
Leo Lyons
Joe Gooch

Ten Years After are a British blues rock group, most popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Between 1968 and 1973, the band had eight consecutive Top 40 albums on the UK Albums Chart.[2] In addition, they had twelve albums enter the US Billboard 200.[3] They are best known for tracks such as "I'm Going Home", "Hear Me Calling", "I'd Love to Change the World" and "Love Like a Man".


Formation: 1962–1966[edit]

Leo Lyons and Joe Gooch of Ten Years After at Suwałki Blues Festival, 2009

The band's core formed in late 1960 as Ivan Jay and the Jaycats. After several years of local success in the Nottingham/Mansfield area, they changed their name to the Jaybirds in 1962, and later to Ivan Jay and the Jaymen. Ivan Jay sang lead vocals from late 1960 to 1962 and was joined by Ric Lee in August 1965, replacing drummer Dave Quickmire who had replaced Pete Evans in 1962. Roy Cooper played rhythm guitar and sang from 1960 to 1962. The Jaybirds moved to London to back the Ivy League in 1966.[4] In the same year, Chick Churchill joined the group as keyboard player. That November, the quartet signed a manager, Chris Wright, and changed their name to Blues Trip. Using the name Blues Yard they played one show at the Marquee Club supporting the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. Alvin Lee and Leo Lyons again changed their name in 1966 to Ten Years After – in honour of Elvis Presley,[5] one of Lee's idols.[5] (This was ten years after Presley's successful year, 1956).[4][6] Some sources[7] claim that the name was pulled by Leo Lyons from a magazine, advertising a book, Suez Ten Years After (referring to the Suez Crisis).

Ten Years After: 1967–1974[edit]

The group was the first act booked by the soon-to-be Chrysalis Agency. They secured a residency at the Marquee, and were invited to play at the Windsor Jazz Festival in 1967. That performance led to a contract with Deram, a subsidiary of Decca – they were the first band without a hit single that Deram signed. In October 1967 they released the self-titled debut album Ten Years After.[8] In 1968, after touring Scandinavia and the United States, they released a second LP, the live album Undead, with a first version of the noteworthy song "I'm Going Home".[8] They followed this in February 1969 with the studio issue Stonedhenge, a British hit that included another well-known track, "Hear Me Calling", which was released as a single (and was covered by the British glam rock band Slade in 1972). In July 1969, the group appeared at the first instance of the Newport Jazz Festival that rock bands were invited to. On 26 and 27 July 1969, they appeared at the Seattle Pop Festival held at Gold Creek Park. On 17 August, the band performed a breakthrough American appearance at the Woodstock Festival; their rendition of "I'm Going Home" with Alvin Lee as lead singer/lead guitarist was featured in both the subsequent film and soundtrack album and increased the group's popularity.[8] In 1970, Ten Years After released "Love Like a Man", the group's only hit in the UK Singles Chart, where it peaked at #10.[2] It was the first record issued with a different playing speed on each side: a three-minute edit at 45 rpm, and a nearly eight-minute live version at 33 rpm.[citation needed] The full studio version song appeared on the band's fifth album, their most successful in Britain, Cricklewood Green.[8] In August 1970, they played the Strawberry Fields Festival near Toronto, and the Isle of Wight Festival 1970.[9]

In 1971, the band switched labels to Columbia Records (US) and Chrysalis (UK) and released the hit album A Space in Time, which marked a move toward more commercial material.[8] It featured the group's biggest hit, "I'd Love to Change the World".[8] In late 1972, the group issued their second Columbia album Rock & Roll Music to the World and, in 1973, the live double album Ten Years After Recorded Live. The band broke up after their final 1974 Columbia album, Positive Vibrations.[8]

Post-break-up, then reunion[edit]

In the second half of the 1970s and early 1980s, Alvin toured with a new band he called Ten Years Later.

The original Ten Years After reunited in 1983 to play the Reading Festival,[10] and this performance was later released on CD as The Friday Rock Show Sessions – Live at Reading '83' .

In 1988, the members reunited for a few concerts and recorded the album About Time (1989) with producer Terry Manning in Memphis.[6][8] They stayed together for their longest continuous period, until 2003, though without releasing new material. In 1994, they participated in the Eurowoodstock festival in Budapest.

In 2003, the other band members replaced Alvin Lee with Joe Gooch, and recorded the album Now.[8] Material from the subsequent tour was used for the 2005 double album Roadworks.[8] Alvin Lee mostly played and recorded under his own name following his split from the band. He died from complications during a routine medical procedure on 6 March 2013.[11][12][13] Ric Lee is currently[when?] in a band called Ric Lee's Natural Born Swingers, along with Bob Hall. In January 2014, it was announced that Gooch and Lyons had left Ten Years After.[14] Two months later, veteran bass player Colin Hodgkinson and singer/guitarist Marcus Bonfanti were announced as their replacements.[15] In October 2017, the band released its most recent studio album, A Sting in the Tale.[16][17]

Band members[edit]




  1. ^ Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 19 January 2002. p. 24. ISSN 0006-2510.
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records. p. 553. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ "Ten Years After | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Alvin Lee biography". Alvinlee.com. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  5. ^ a b Yardley, William (7 March 2013). "Alvin Lee, British Blues-Rock Guitarist, Dies at 68". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Roberts, David (1998). Guinness Rockopedia (1st ed.). London: Guinness Publishing Ltd. p. 444. ISBN 0-85112-072-5.
  7. ^ "Pre-Ten Years After". alvinlee.de. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Ruhlmann, William. "Ten Years After | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  9. ^ Roberts, David (1998). Guinness Rockopedia (1st ed.). London: Guinness Publishing. p. 205. ISBN 0-85112-072-5.
  10. ^ Roberts, David (1998). Guinness Rockopedia (1st ed.). London: Guinness Publishing. p. 355. ISBN 0-85112-072-5.
  11. ^ Power, Rob (6 March 2013). "Ten Years After's Alvin Lee dies". MusicRadar. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  12. ^ "Ten Years After singer and guitarist Alvin Lee dies aged 68". Stereoboard.com. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  13. ^ "MusikWoche | News | Alvin Lee von Ten Years After verstorben". Mediabiz.de. Retrieved 15 June 2013.[dead link]
  14. ^ "Ten Years After lose frontman and bassist". Classic Rock Magazine. 13 January 2014. Archived from the original on 13 January 2014.
  15. ^ "Ten Years After reveal new line-up". Classic Rock Magazine. 21 March 2014. Archived from the original on 22 March 2014.
  16. ^ "Ten Years After - A Sting In The Tale". Discogs. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  17. ^ "A Sting in the Tale - Ten Years After - Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 August 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • The New Musical Express Book of Rock, Star Books, 1975. ISBN 0-352-30074-4.
  • Paytress, Mark (January 1997). "Ten Years After". Record Collector. No. 221. pp. 84–89.
  • Staehr, Herb (2001). Alvin Lee and Ten Years After: Visual History. Free Street Press. ISBN 978-0970870001

External links[edit]