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.

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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

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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
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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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Herne Place Studios, Sunningdale, Berkshire, England

 

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Eddie Hardin – Survival (1988)

FrontCover1Eddie Hardin (19 February 1949 – 22 July 2015) was not only the keyboard player for The Spencer Davis Group and Hardin & York, but he was a musician, who recorded many (more or less unsuccessful( solo albums.

This is one of his finest solo albums he ever recorded.

This album was a part of the “Landscape Series”, the “new age” label from  Coda Records:

The Coda record label was a subsidiary of the successful English independent record label Beggars Banquet from 1986 to 1992. Nick Austin, one of the company’s directors until 1992, suggested the idea after returning from America and being excited by an emerging new music genre called “New Age”. Coda served as an early UK outlet for the New Age genre.(by http://www.discogs.com)

Call this music new age or call it good music … These Eddie Hardin melodies are so peaceful, calm and quiet …

Most of the tracks (but not all !) were played by Eddie Hardin on the piano …

“We have become survivors in a world that´s sometimes lost its charms and I feel the titel “Survivors” apt for us all” (Eddie Hardin)

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Personnel:
Eddie Hardin (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Innocent Victims 3.59
02. Lost Chilhood 4.57
03. Seeds Of Suspicion 3.54
04. Schools Of Thought 4.19
05. Perfect Survivor 4.45
06. Lessons To Learn 4.00
07. Where Do We Go From Here 4.20
08. A Slice Of Paradise 3.39
09. Never Again 3.53
10. Rules We Can’t Ignore 4.26

Music composed by Eddie Hardin

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Eddie Hardin – Home Is Where You Find It (1972)

FrontCover1Eddie Hardin, a singer and keyboard player best known for his stints in the Spencer Davis Group and Axis Point, has passed away at the age of 66.

Hardin started his recording career in the mid-’60s, releasing a single with A Wild Uncertainty before joining up with the Spencer Davis Group, who were reshuffling their lineup following the departures of Steve Winwood and his brother Muff. This version of the Group released one album, 1968′s With Their New Face On, before turnover struck again, with Hardin and drummer Pete York splitting to form their own band, the aptly named Hardin & York.

Both men returned to the Spencer Davis Group several years later, recording 1973′s Gluggo and 1974′s Living in a Back Street before splitting up again; at this point, Hardin & York resumed activity for a brief period, although the duo had ground to a halt by the end of the ’70s, when Hardin helped spearhead the short-lived outfit Axis Point.

EddieHardin02Following Axis Point’s demise, Hardin resumed the solo career he’d begun in the early ’70s, releasing a series of albums that included 1985′s Eddie Hardin & Zak Starkey’s Musical of Wind in the Willows and 2000′s Just Passing Through. He also co-wrote a number of tracks on The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast, a concept album and live rock opera project spearheaded by Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover.

Classic Rock Magazine reports that Hardin passed after suffering a heart attack “while relaxing in a swimming pool,” and quotes a passage from a post at his site that reads in part, “A master of memorable tunes, without whom there wouldn’t be the fantastic ‘Love Is All’ that Ronnie James Dio sang, Eddie will be sorely missed.”

EddieHardin01“Always in my heart and on my mind”. Eddie has left us all with a very special gift, his music. I have spent so many hours listening to his songs, which, like the two of us, have stood the test of time, with everything that time brings, the good, bad, happy, and sad. His songs are the diary of his life, which was sometimes “rocky” to say the least, but his music saw him through. I have always appreciated how gifted he and his musician friends were. I consider myself fortunate to have met and toured with some of the best. EddieHardin03They continue to fill our lives with their music, present and past, continuing into the future. I am not a musician, just a music lover who found myself in the position of supporter and observer, always looking from the outside in at these very special people who have a bond like no other, a special breed. I have received so many lovely messages and so much support over the past few days, for which I am so thankful, to know that there were so many of you who loved and appreciated him as much as I did. It’s something we can share, bringing us all closer at this sad time. It’s a great shame he is no longer here to feel the love. His aim was to please, not just himself, but all his fans who stayed with him over the years, and it would appear there are many. People will remember Eddie not just for the songs, his voice, as a solo artist, a master of keyboards, especially that Hammond!, a part of the Spencer Davis Group, Hardin/York, a friend, a husband, a stepfather to my daughter Nicky and son Martin, a proud father to Emma, his daughter, a big personality with a great sense of wit and humour, but also, from time to time, a difficult, cantankerous old bugger. He was a true Music Man. Music was his life. He hated the music “business” but loved the music. The songs live on.
RIP Eddie. (by his wife, Liz Hardin)

My friend in music as in life has passed. The impact we made as “The World’s Smallest Big Band” was great, with three Gold albums during our touring from 1969 onwards. We EddieHardin04both had energy and enthusiasm and developed ourselves to be able to hold an audience for two breathless hours every night with only the organ and drums. Among the most creative playing of both our lives. I spoke to him almost every day in these recent times as we were hoping for a revival and picking up good critics. Then, on Wednesday morning, he didn’t answer. We will miss him greatly and send heartfelt condolences to Liz and Emma. (by Pete York)

Very sad to hear about Eddie. His was one of the best and funniest sessions I’ve done; he really looked after me and we had such a lovely time.
Love always. (by Deborah Bonham)

Eddie Hardin, one of the greatest British musicians, has tragically died, aged 66. Melodicist of the highest caliber, on par with Paul McCartney, he first came to prominence as a keyboard player and singer with SPENCER DAVIS GROUP before quitting (and, later, returning), together with drummer Pete York, to work as HARDIN & YORK for years. Then, there were AXIS POINT with former FAMILY members, and a string of brilliant solo albums of which the “Wizard’s Convention” trilogy, with many guest singers, including David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes, stands out.

EddieHardin05And, of course, nobody but Eddie could pull out two beautiful “animal” concepts: “The Butterfly Ball And The Grasshopper’s Feast” and “Wind In The Willows,” although the first one is attributed to Hardin’s friend Roger Glover, while the stage realizations of both of them featured another DEEP PURPLE member, Jon Lord. A master of memorable tune, without whom there wouldn’t be the fantastic “Love Is All” that Ronnie James Dio so gloriously sang, and many more perfect pop-rock confections, Eddie Hardin will be sorely missed. (by Dmitry M. Epstein)

So sorry to hear of Eddie’s passing, I always liked him, a great player and a wonderful sense of extreme humour, we were of the same mindset. Thanks for the memories, Eddie! (by Tony Newman)

Dear Ed. I worked with him just one time. We had plans to do a movie about Johnny Ray, with him writing with Zak Starkey, as he wrote the “Wind In The Willows” music together with him. I liked him, as a new friend back then it was a great experience doing the show in the Black Forest! Wish we could have followed through with that musical project. It would have been great! We love you, young man… always will! I am saddened deeply.
To his family I send my love. (by Graham Bonnet)

EddieHardin06My dear, dear friend. I’m so sorry for not having met you in person, while remaining your erstwhile webmaster over the course of the last 17 years. There’s really no excuse, and it’s too late now.
For not making an effort to attend the Concerto event at the Royal Albert Hall in ’99, where I would’ve also met, as your guest of honour, such giants of rock as Jon Lord and Ronnie James Dio (both RIP). There’s absolutely no excuse for that either.
And, finally, for not venturing out to France for a few days when you were inviting me “so we could finally meet”. I will never forgive myself.
We did have a good chat on the phone and via email on occasion, and proofreading and posting your blog entries on the official site was always so much fun.
I hope you’re in a better place now. No, I’m sure you’re at peace. Thank you so very much for all the great moments of joy you’ve brought to this fan and countless others with your tremendous musical contributions, there will never be another one like you.
Rest in peace, Eddie. (Alex Gittlin)

I only worked with him twice, but he was good to me and a good musician. He will be sadly missed. (by John Lawton)

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And this is is first soloalbum … a great mixture between sentimental-romantic tunes and some fine songs written in a boogie-style.

Eddie Hardin had been a member of the Spencer Davis Group and made records with fellow Davis bandmate Pete York that were slightly more progressive than that group’s recordings. On his first solo album, 1971’s Home Is Where You Find It, Hardin sticks to very traditional singer/songwriter territory laying down a strong mix of ballads, rockers and string-laden pop tunes and coming up with something not a million miles away from Elton John territory. There is also a McCartneyesque feel on some of the quieter songs like “Let Me Comfort You” too. In fact the record is truly a hidden gem that stacks up well next to the best of either of those legends work. It may lack any hits, but it is a fully realized and satisfying work.

BackCover1With the help of Pete York and another Davis refugee Ray Fenwick, who lends some fine guitar work and co-wrote many of the songs, Hardin creates a very intimate and organic sound based around his piano and warm, unprepossessing vocals. The rockers are fine, “Driving” certainly lives up to its title, and the straight-ahead ballads like “Sunshine” and “We Can Give It a Try” are truly lovely, sounding like the Band with no literary pretensions. Where the record really flies is on the songs like “Strange People” and “My Soul’s Awoken” when the group is augmented by strings. It adds some timely grandeur and drama and lifts the record to a different level. Perhaps best of all is “California Sun,” with a unique harpsichord-led arrangement and a sweet-as-sunshine melody. Eddie Hardin is not a well-known name but on the strength of Home Is Where You Find It he should be. Certainly anyone is a fan of Elton, McCartney, Traffic or non-soft rock singer/songwriters of the ’70s should consider seeking this album out. (by Tim Sendra)

EddieHardin08Personnel:
Ray Fenwick (guitar, bass)
Eddie Hardin (keyboards, celesta, harpsichord, vocals)
Dee Murray (bass)
Tony Newman  (drums)
Ian Paice (drums),
Peter York (drums)

Booklet1Tracklist:
01. Driving (Hardin) 2.54
02. Strange People (Hardin) 3.35
03. Gone Is The Sunshine (Hardin) 3.05
04. Home Is Where You Find It (Hardin/Fenwick) 3.22
05. Let Me Comfort You (Hardin) 2.30
06. Sunshine (Hardin/Fenwick) 4.21
07. Brother We Can Surely Work It Out (Hardin/Fenwick) 2.00
08. We Can Give It A Try (Hardin/Fenwick) 3.03
09. My Soul’s Awoken (Hardin/Fenwick) 3.04
10. When There’s Not You /Hardin) 2.32
11. I Don’t Like It (Hardin) 2.43
12. California Sun (Hardin/Fenwick) 3.29
13. Spend Your Money Honey (Hardin/Fenwick) 4.24
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14. And In The Morning (Hardin/Fenwick) (rare Deram single from 1972 by a Hardin/Fenwick group called “Jake”) 2.59

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EddieHardin09Goodbye, Eddie Hardin … you was of my favourite keyboard player
and I have to thank my brother (who died a few years ago),
that he introduced me to your music !
R.I.P. EDDIE HARDIN