Eddie Hardin – Circumstantial Evidence (1982)

frontcover1Taken from the original liner notes of a reissue, published in 1998 by Angel Air Records:

In 1967, the successful R&B combo the Spencer Davis Group lost their key member Stevie Winwood who went on to form Traffic. He was replaced by the then completely unknown Eddie Hardin.

Straight out of school and only 18 years old Eddie was already showing signs of becoming a true master off mighty Hammond organ. He had a strong and bluesy voice, and he could also write good songs. A brief spell with the Mod group, The Wild Uncertainty, had produced the impressive single “Man With Money”. It seemed destined that Eddie Hardin would not only fill out the empty hole left by Winwood but also create a completely new image for Spencer Davis and his cohorts. Their first album featuring Eddie Hardin was titled “With Their New Face On”. There was also a string of brilliant and innovative singles such as ‘Mr. Second Class’ and ‘Time Seller’ which became huge hits, particularly on the Continent. Following, this, however, there were disagreements of various kinds and it wasn’t long before Eddie had left the group along with drummer Peter York.

They both embarked on a year or so of working separately as session musicians, playing in lesser known line-ups and for Eddie’s part, writing songs, before getting together again to form organ/drums duo Hardin & York – billed as “The World’s Smallest Big Band”.

Hardin & York were darlings with the press overnight. To those who refused to believe in the idea of an organ/drum duo the advice would quite simply be, “hearing is believing”. Perhaps the most incredible thing was that all this sound, though it obviously grew out of very high musicianship, was completely rid of empty flamboyance and the tendency to overstate.

Peter York was a jazz drummer, heavily into Buddy Rich. Eddie Hardin also had an affinity for jazz but furthermore had a background in classical music. Obviously, they complimented each other well.

From the outset, Hardin and York were destined to become press pets, a musicians’ act – and wildly popular on the Continent, where they scored a number of huge hits and toured large venues. During their brief but immensely successful career is a duo (1969-71), they recorded three magnificent studio albums: “Tomorrow Today”, “The World’s Smallest Big Band” and “For The World”. Since then a compact disc of live performances and unreleased demos has been released under the title, “Live in Europe”.

Both Eddie and Pete embarked on solo projects during 1971. Eddie Hardin released a solo album in 1972, “Home Is Where You Find It”, but they were soon seen working together again in the reformed Spencer Davis Group. After that lineup folded, Pete York was particularly active and successful as a studio musician. He moved to the Continent and worked several years for German television as a creative manager.

eddie-hardin2

Eddie Hardin got involved with ex-Deep Purple bass player Roger Glover and his “Butterfly Ball” project. Eddie co-wrote “Love is all”, the beautiful song which went hand in hand with an equally charming cartoon and became a huge hit all over the world. At one time it was the best-selling record in Holland ever, and went recently re-released it became a huge hit in France. The song is presented here in the form of a rare demo!

Eddie also wrote and produced the first “Wizards Convention” album and worked as a producer for Iris Williams and Mike D’Abo. A number of highly successful solo albums in the New Age genre established his name in Japan during the 1980s, where he also released the “Wizards Convention 2” album in 1995 (now available in the rest of the world as SJPCD009). He currently lives in France. Still active is a composer, keyboard player and singer he has written a musical score for “The Wind In The Willows”, which was broadcast by German television in the ’80s.

This current release, recorded in 1982, is Eddie Hardin’s second solo album. Eddie chose to make an album in perhaps the most difficult of styles. Like some of Paul McCartney’s solo efforts (and there is certainly a McCartney inspiration here) this is in album with the words “recorded at home” written all over it. Luckily Eddie was more or less living in a recording studio at the time, so the sound quality is perfect. However, there’s an intense “living room” atmosphere about this record which – along with its highly demanding “less is more” attitude, its precision in playing and arranging – makes it stand out.

Paul McCartney started the ball rolling in this department and there certainly are lots of fine gems to be found hiding on his solo records. However, none of his albums are as consistent and artistically successful as Eddie Hardin’s “Circumstantial Evidence”. No wonder this is Eddie’s own favourite among all the LPs he has made! (by Claes Johansen)

A very laid-back album by one of my favourite keyboards players …

And … the wonderful frontcover was drawn by the daughter of Eddie Hardin, Emma Elizabeth Hardin at the the age of three !

Recorded at Herne Place Studios 1981/82
All bonus tracks were recorded prior to Circumstantial Evidence
Produced by Eddie Hardin, Roger Glover & John Acock

eddie-hardin

Eddie Hardin (19 February 1949 – 22 July 2015)

Personnel:
Bimbo Acock (saxophone)
Ray Fenwick (guitar,vocals)
Mo Foster (bass)
Roger Glover (guitar,bass,keyboards,vocals)
Kim Goody (vocals)
Eddie Hardin (keyboards,bass,vocals(
Michael O’Donnell (bass)
Mickey Lee Soule (vocals)
Rob Townsend (drums)
Pete York (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Little Teaser (Gosling/Hardin) 3.28
02. Mine Tonight (Hardin) 3.06
03. Maybe I’m Amazed (McCartney) 4.21
04. That’s What The Lady Said (Hardin) 2.51
05. Long Tall Sally (Blackwell/Johnson/Penniman) 3.35
06. California (Hardin) 3.33
07. It Won’t Be Long (Lennon/McCartney) 3.46
08. Universal Dream (Fenwick/Hardin) 4.07
09. Maybe Baby (Fenwick) 3.53
10. Mess Of Blues (Pomus/Shuman) 3.15
+
11. Accidental Instrumental (Glover/Hardin) 3.03
12. Strawberry Fields Forever (Lennon/McCartney) 3.58
13. Isolated Lady (Glover/Hardin) 2.58
14. Love Is All (demo version) (Glover/Hardin) 3.06
15. Move In The Right Place (Hardin) 3.11
16. Resurrection Shuffle (Ashton) 3.21
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heren-place-studios
Herne Place Studios, Sunningdale, Berkshire, England

 

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