Hardin & York – For The World (1971)

FrontCover1Hardin & York was a British rock duo that had great success around 1970, especially in Germany.

Eddie Hardin (keyboards) and Pete York (drums) became known with the Spencer Davis Group, which they both left in October 1968. Initially, the two pursued various other projects before joining forces to form a duo.

Hardin & York’s first gig was at London’s Marquee Club on 31 August 1969. After that they had engagements at the Star Club in Hamburg and at a festival in Essen. Their success was unstoppable.

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The first album Tomorrow Today was released at the end of 1969. A critic judged Hardin & York to be a mixture of Procol Harum and Traffic. The album sold well, especially in mainland Europe, but also in America, but surprisingly not in England. The album featured Herbie Flowers (bass), Vic Flick (guitar) and background singers Sue and Sunny, the wives of two of Hardin & York’s roadies.

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The recording of a 1970 performance in Germany was released as a bootleg album in 1971 without the band’s knowledge. At the beginning of 1971 Hardin & York performed as support band for Deep Purple. At that time both musicians had their own bands besides Hardin & York, York the Pete York Percussion Band, Hardin the formation Hardin/Fenwick/Newman. A solo album by Eddie Hardin was also released in 1971.

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In 1972 Ray Fenwick (guitar) joined Hardin & York and they performed as Hardin, York & Fenwick. In 1973 there was a revival of the Spencer Davis Group. In 1974/75 they played again as a trio together with Charlie McCracken (bass, ex key). After that, Hardin & York performed only occasionally at festivals under this name. In 1995 they released the album Still A Few Pages Left. From 2008 to 2012, Pete York played in Helge Schneider’s band, among others. Hardin & York then reunited for regular performances until Eddie Hardin’s death on 22 July 2015.

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Hardin & York’s third and final album, For the World (1971), put a greater emphasis on orchestration and slower tracks.

On this album we hear many of Eddie Hardin´s romantic and sentiental compoitions but although the real power of Hardin & York … exciting Rock & Jazz Rock tunes … like “Extension 345 ” or “David Difficult”.

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Other highlights are “Have Mercy Woman”, “Cowboy” (another imaginary western tune) or “Little Miss Blue” … a damn hot mixture of this brilliant organ/drums duo.

Another chance to discover “The world´s smallest big band” !

Enjoy it !

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Personnel:
Eddie Hardin (keyboards, vocals)
Pete York (drums, percussion)
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Ray Fenwick (guitar)
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unknown orchestra

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Tracklist:
01. Deep In My Despair (Hardin) 3.37
02 Have Mercy Woman (Hardin) 4.00
03 For The World (Hardin) 2.41
04 Some Places Are Better To Be (Hardin) 2.49
05 Extension 345 (Hardin/York) 5.42
06. Cowboy (Hardin/York) 4.22
07 I’ll Be Back Again (Hardin) 3.03
08 Feeling, Seeing, Hearing (Hardin) 2.36
09 Natural Gas (Hardin) 2.39
10 Take Away Today (Hardin) 6.03
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11 All I See Is You (Hardin) 3.23
12 Mulberry Place  (Hardin) 4.30
13 Sunday Morning (Hardin) 3.35
14 Rock ‘N’ Roll Music (Berry) 3.52
15 David Difficult (Hardin) 6.10
16 Little Miss Blue (Hardin) 3.54

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More from Hardin & York:
MoreThe official Eddie Hardin website:
EddieHardin Website

The official Pete York website:

Pete York Website

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Hardin & York – Tomorrow Today (1969)

Hardin&YorkFrontCover1The unusual power duo of keyboardist/vocalist Eddie Hardin and drummer Pete York made a few albums in the late ’60s and early ’70s, and were aptly described as a cross between Traffic and Procol Harum. They leaned closer to Traffic than Procol Harum, with their blend of hard rock, soul, progressive, and jazz influences; the swirl and swell of Hardin’s Hammond organ; and Hardin’s Stevie Winwood-esque vocals. And they came by that Traffic influence honestly: York had played alongside Winwood in the Spencer Davis Group before Winwood formed Traffic, and Hardin joined the Spencer Davis Group on keyboards and vocals after Winwood’s departure.

Both Hardin and York left the Winwood-less Spencer Davis Group in October 1968, and teamed up shortly afterward to form a two-man group, with Hardin on vocals and Hammond C3 organ, and York on drums. The two-man band is unusual in rock to this day, and as far as two-person organ-drum combos go, the only other one of note from that period was used by Lee Michaels, the keyboardist who sometimes performed and recorded only using drummer Frosty for accompaniment. (A much more obscure one, Hanson & Karisson, were also active in Sweden around this time.) Hardin covered the bass parts with the left hand of his organ, and the result was actually a pretty full band sound for just the two members. However, on their three albums, the duo was sometimes augmented by horns, flute, guitar, backup female vocals, and other orchestration.

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Although Hardin & York weren’t that big in the U.K. or U.S., they had more success on the European Continent, particularly in Germany, where they were big both on record and as a touring act. In fact, they were the last band to play the famous Star Club in Hamburg in 1970 before it closed and were popular enough to be honored by a bootleg recorded in Germany in the early ’70s. In 1971 each member started playing with their own bands as well (the Pete York Percussion Band and Hardin/Fenwick/Newman), occasionally playing in those bands on the same bill as live Hardin & York concerts.

Hardin & York’s third and final album, For the World (1971), put a greater emphasis on orchestration and slower tracks. One of the session musicians on that record, guitarist Ray Fenwick (who had also played with the Spencer Davis Group in the late ’60s), joined Hardin & York in mid-1972, at which point the act’s name changed to Hardin, York & Fenwick. In mid-1973, Hardin & York, or Hardin, York & Fenwick if you prefer, disbanded when Hardin and York joined a reunited version of the Spencer Davis Group. Both Hardin and York remained active as session musicians and support players to Deep Purple and solo projects, and Hardin & York reformed their duo act in 1999, primarily for the German audience.

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Hardin & York’s debut album was quite competent yet derivative early progressive rock, and derivative of Traffic in particular. At least, however, it came by its influences quite honestly, Pete York having drummed behind Steve Winwood in the Spencer Davis Group, and Eddie Hardin having joined the Spencer Davis Group after Winwood left. And the duo does get quite a lot of sound out of their keyboards and drums, although they had plenty of backup from some session musicians. Hardin sings and writes uncannily like Winwood circa Traffic’s “Forty Thousand Headmen” period, but while that’s a good standard to shoot for, therein also lies the problem: it’s not quite as good as the Winwood-paced Traffic, and certainly not as original. All that noted, if you’re looking for something in the mold of Traffic-lite and keeping your expectations realistically modest, this is pretty decent stuff. It might be a tad more rooted in soul-pop than Traffic, but it doesn’t suffer for that. Hardin’s vocals are impressively rich and gritty, and his piano and organ quite skillful. (by Richie Unterberger)

On this album you cab hear some hightlights of the prog era …  listen to “”, “Candlelight” and “Mountains Of Sand” (this is a masterpiece !).

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Personnel:
Eddie Hardin (keyboards, vocals)
Pete York (drums, percussion)
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Vic Flick (guitar)
Herbie Flowers (bass)
Ron Hills (cornet)
Mike Hurst (guitar)
Rex Morrissey (saxophone)
Mel Thorpe (trombone, flute)
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background vocals:
Sue + Sunny

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Tracklist:
01. Tomorrow Today (Hardin) 3.36
02. 100 Years From Now (Hardin) 2.44
03. I’m Lost (Hardin/Davis) 8.23
04. Drinking My Wine (Hardin) 4.45
05. Candlelight (Hardin) 4.37
06. Beautiful Day (Hardin) 2.32
07. Mountains Of Sand (Hardin/York) 6.45
08. Can’t Keep A Good Man Down (Hardin) 6.23
09. Listen Everyone (Hardin) 4.06
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10. All I See Is You (Hardin) 3.23
11. Mullberry Place (Hardin) 4.30
12. Sunday Morning (Hardin) 3.35
13. Rock ‘N’ Roll Music(Berry) 3.52
14. Can’t Find My Way Home(Hardin) 2.37
15. Just A Case Of Time (Hardin) 4.22

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My copy of this album was signed by Eddie Hardin & Pete York

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Eddie Hardin (19 February 1949 – 22 July 2015)

Hardin & York – Still A Few Pages Left … (1995)

FrontCover1The unusual power duo of keyboardist/vocalist Eddie Hardin and drummer Pete York made a few albums in the late ’60s and early ’70s, and were aptly described as a cross between Traffic and Procol Harum. They leaned closer to Traffic than Procol Harum, with their blend of hard rock, soul, progressive, and jazz influences; the swirl and swell of Hardin’s Hammond organ; and Hardin’s Stevie Winwood-esque vocals. And they came by that Traffic influence honestly: York had played alongside Winwood in the Spencer Davis Group before Winwood formed Traffic, and Hardin joined the Spencer Davis Group on keyboards and vocals after Winwood’s departure.

Both Hardin and York left the Winwood-less Spencer Davis Group in October 1968, and teamed up shortly afterward to form a two-man group, with Hardin on vocals and Hammond C3 organ, and York on drums. The two-man band is unusual in rock to this day, and as far as two-person organ-drum combos go, the only other one of note from that period was used by Lee Michaels, the keyboardist who sometimes performed and recorded only using drummer Frosty for accompaniment. (A much more obscure one, Hanson & Karisson, were also active in Sweden around this time.) Hardin covered the bass parts with the left hand of his organ, and the result was actually a pretty full band sound for just the two members. However, on their three albums, the duo was sometimes augmented by horns, flute, guitar, backup female vocals, and other orchestration.

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Hardin & York with the legendary Roadie called “Pike”

Although Hardin & York weren’t that big in the U.K. or U.S., they had more success on the European Continent, particularly in Germany, where they were big both on record and as a touring act. In fact, they were the last band to play the famous Star Club in Hamburg in 1970 before it closed and were popular enough to be honored by a bootleg recorded in Germany in the early ’70s. In 1971 each member started playing with their own bands as well (the Pete York Percussion Band and Hardin/Fenwick/Newman), occasionally playing in those bands on the same bill as live Hardin & York concerts.

Hardin & York’s third and final album, For the World (1971), put a greater emphasis on orchestration and slower tracks. One of the session musicians on that record, guitarist Ray Fenwick (who had also played with the Spencer Davis Group in the late ’60s), joined Hardin & York in mid-1972, at which point the act’s name changed to Hardin, York & Fenwick. In mid-1973, Hardin & York, or Hardin, York & Fenwick if you prefer, disbanded when Hardin and York joined a reunited version of the Spencer Davis Group. Both Hardin and York remained active as session musicians and support players to Deep Purple and solo projects, and Hardin & York reformed their duo act in 1999, primarily for the German audience. (by Richie Unterberger)

BookletBackCover1And this is their rare reunion-album from 1995:

The first few tracks are a bit of a throwback to the 70,s typical blues/rock when there is a Hammond organ about. track 2 John Lords solo is quite tame like Keith Emerson on a quiet night in with light shades of Deep Purple. Debbies voice is very unmistakable like today and comes in at a time when the music on the album needs a bit of a lift. The track that seems like it could have been the single “Is this Love” is the liveliest so far with the band singing & Debbie filling in on a few backgroud vocals. Track5, Stocktaking sounds like they got Eric Clapton to sing & maybe if they did this would be the best track on the album, but then it probably is anyway. Some lovely guitar work & vocals on the last track, tinkles of some 80s style Genesis keyboarding but thats more the Synths ending in contrast to the earlier Hammond organ.
Finally “I thank E bay for this one as I don’t think it would be too easy to come by if you are out there collecting, so keep your eyes on E-bay even if your outbidding me” (by Pat).

HardinYork01Personnel:
Ray Fenwick (guitar, bass)
Eddie Hardin (keyboards, vocals)
Pete York (drums, percussion)
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Debbie Bonham (background vocals on 03., + 04.)
Jon Lord (organ on 03.)
Neil Wilkinson -(drums, Percussion)

Booklet1Tracklist:
01. Credit Card City (Hardin) 4.15
02. My Eyes Don´t See (When You Are Gone) (Hardin) 3.55
03. Stuck On You (Hardin) 9.09
04. Is This Love (Hardin) 4.08(Hardin)
05. Stocktaking (Hardin/Fenwick) 5.13
06. Salvation (Hardin) 4.08
07. Still A Few Pages Left Suite (Hardin) 5.59
08. It´s Just A Feeling (Hardin/Fenwick) 4.45

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Hardin & York – Live (1994)

HardinYorkLiveFCOne of the first German bootlegs was the “Hardin & York” live recording at a youthclub in Hamburg-Altona in 1970. A real collector´s item and till 1994 really hard to find. But then Eddie Hardin & Pete York decided, to publish this bootleg as an “official bootleg”.

It´s really amazing to listen to the live sound of “the smallest big band”, which was then and now more than exciting.

A mixture between a jazzy version of The Beatles tunes “Lady Madonna” and “Norwegian Wood” (later called “Northern Medley”) sentimental ballads and of course their famous Rock N Roll Medley.

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Personnel:
Eddie Hardin (keyboards, vocals)
Pete York (drums)

Tracklist:
01. Lady Madonna/Norwegian Wood (Lennon/McCartney) 24.17
02. Drinking My Wine (Hardin) 3.50
03. I´ll Drown In My Own Tears (Charles) 4.28
04. The Long Road (Hardin) 3.15
05. Driftin´ Blue (Hardin) 6.36
06. Jailhouse Rock/Mean Woman Blues (Leiber/Stoller/Demetrius) 5.04

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