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|Genres||Psychedelic rock, hard rock|
|Labels||EMI (Parlophone/Regal Zonophone)|
Motown (Rare Earth Records)
|Associated acts||Uriah Heep|
|Past members||Cliff Bennett|
Formed in June 1969, the band was fronted by former Rebel Rouser Cliff Bennett and, in the course of its two-year, two-album career, featured lead guitarist and keyboardist Ken Hensley; bassist John Glascock (who replaced original bassist John Konas (Joseph Stanley Konas)); and drummer Lee Kerslake. After the first album, Kerslake and Hensley were replaced by Brian Glascock (drums) and Alan Kendall (guitar) respectively.
The band was founded by Bennett, a former pop star, after the dissolution of the Cliff Bennett Band. He teamed with the former Gods keyboard player Hensley, who drafted in fellow ex-Gods members Kerslake and Glascock. The name was decided over dinner when Bennett and his manager attempted to create the most disgusting band name possible.
The eponymously titled first album flopped commercially, but gained considerable critical praise. Such was their stir that after their first single, "Workin' Nights", (the B-side was an early Elton John composition "Bad Side of the Moon") they were booked for a tour supporting Derek and the Dominos in the US. The album was also notable for its cover designed by the recently formed graphic art company Hipgnosis. The cover showed a beach scene with four people who have large toes superimposed over their heads. For the US release, a man and a topless woman in the background were replaced by the image of a sheep. The photo of the band on the back of the US album shows Cliff Bennett, Alan Kendall, John Glascock, and Lee Kerslake even though Alan Kendall did not play on the first album. This was an interim line-up, and Lee Kerslake would soon depart also before the second album was recorded.
Hensley quit the band to form Uriah Heep. Alan Kendall replaced Hensley, before their second album, Toe Fat Two. Bennett admitted in the sleeve notes of his Rebellion album that when asked he "probably should have joined them". Kerslake left to join the National Head Band, before also joining Uriah Heep in 1971. Glascock later joined Jethro Tull. Another ex-Gods man, Brian Glascock, became the new drummer.
Jonathan Peel (not the DJ) produced Toe Fat 2, after hearing them on several BBC radio sessions, including one for Terry Wogan. However, this LP also flopped, despite more radio airplay, and a reasonably successful US tour promoting it. Following these successive failures, their management and labels informed the group that they could no longer fund them.
Alan Kendall and Brian Glascock went on to play with, and write for, the Bee Gees.
- Cliff Bennett – lead vocals (1969–1971)
- Lee Kerslake – drums, backing vocals (1969–1970)
- Ken Hensley – guitars, backing vocals, keyboards (1969–1970)
- John Konas – bass, backing vocals (1969)
- John Glascock – bass (1969–1971)
- Alan Kendall – guitars (1970–1971)
- Brian Glascock – drums (1970–1971)
- Toe Fat (1970)
- Two (1970)