Ten Years After – About Time (1989)

FrontCover1About Time is a 1989 album released by blues rock band Ten Years After, the final studio album released featuring Alvin Lee, their singer and most prominent songwriter since the band’s creation. It was also their first studio release in fifteen years (since Positive Vibrations in 1974).

About Time peaked at #120 on the US Billboard 200. (by wikipedia)

The 1989 reunion album About Time was released in a year rife with reunions, comebacks and 20th-anniversary-of-Woodstock hoopla. But while other bands seemed intent on cashing in on their fans’ nostalgia, Ten Years After made a good, straightforward album, exactly the one you would expect them to make in 1989 after changing with the times. The music of Ten Years After translated well to the digital age, certainly updated but not diluted. Terry Manning’s clean-and-loud production made them sound a bit like ZZ Top, but nothing was really compromised. Lee was still not the greatest lyricist — the most memorable lyrics here are about “Working In A Parking Lot”, a song that Lee had no hand in writing — but his distinctive voice and guitar playing are unmistakable.

Only the keyboard-dominated “Bad Blood” sounds uncharacteristic, but not in a negative way. If all reunion albums were as good as About Time, such albums would not have a bad name. (by rarebird)

This is a fantastic album. I bought it following a live show at the old Hammy Odeon in London after TYA got back together in 1988. It really captures the flexibility of the band moving smoothly from rock and roll to blues through the genius of Alvin Lee’s exciting, fluid guitar work. I do not like all of TYA’s 60’s compositions many of which now sound dated, but this album is instantly recognisable as TYA but is also very modern. (Heartzin Waleson)

And “Victim Of Circumstance” is one of the finest tracks Ten Years After ever recorded !


Chick Churchill (keyboards)
Alvin Lee (guitar, vocals)
Ric Lee (drums)
Leo Lyons (bass)
Nick Carls (background vocals)
Jimi Jamison (background vocals)

01. Highway Of Love (Gould/A.Lee) 5.13
02. Let’s Shake It Up (Gould/A.Lee) – 5:14
03. I Get All Shook Up (A.Lee) 4.38
04. Victim Of Circumstance (A.Lee) 4.29
05. Goin’ To Chicago (Hinkley/A.Lee) 4.22
06. Wild Is The River (Gould/A.Lee) 3.53
07. Saturday Night (Gould/A.Lee) 4.06
08. Bad Blood (Crooks/Lyons) 7.09
09. Working In A Parking Lot (Crooks/Lyons/Nye) 4.52
10. Outside My Window (Gould/A.Lee) 5.47
11. Waiting For The Judgement Day (Gould/A.Lee) 4.30


“Victim Of Circumstance”:

This world is driving me crazy.
Things goin’ on make me mad.
Waiting in the dole queue for money to come down.
No wonder this boy turned bad.
I’m gonna write my M. P.
Say what the fuck’s goin on,
All my life I’m runnin’ on empty,
Watchin’ everybody else have fun.

I’m a victim of circumstance, a victim of circumstance.
This boy never ever stood a chance, I’m a victim of circumstance,
whoa – yea!

See the big fat rich man in his Rolls – Royce;
Squeaky clean kids by his side.
I get the shit, they get the chances.
I get to walk, they get to ride.
You know I’m your problem boy,
I never even stood a chance.
Pent up frustrations runnin’ inside me now,
I’m a victim of circumstance.

I’m a victim of circumstance, a victim of circumstance.
This boy never ever stood a chance, I’m a victim of circumstance, ow!

What you doin’ for the workers?
What you doin’ for the unemployed?
Keep dishin’ out money for all those jerkers,
Can’y say I’m over-joyed.
So don’t mess with my life,
I’ve had to scrape and fight.
Just give me some hope it’s gonna get better,
Maybe I can sleep at night.

I’m a victim of circumstance, a victim of circumstance.
This boy never ever stood a chance, I’m a victim of circumstance,
Ow! Victim of circumstance, victim of circumstance,
This boy never ever stood a chance. Ah!

Ten Years After – Live At The Sports Stadium, Orlando, Florida (1973)

FrontCover1On a hot summer night Alvin Lee, Leo Lyons, Chick Churchill and Ric Lee took the stage to a capacity crowd at Orlando Sports Stadium in Orlando Florida. Here is the audio of this set.
It was also broadcast on a local F.M. radio station.

Their appearance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival catapulted Ten Years After into the realm of superstardom. The subsequent release of “I’m Going Home” in the Woodstock movie and on the soundtrack album inspired countless guitar players and became a staple of FM radio throughout the next decade. Although front man Alvin Lee has publicly lamented that he missed the intimacy of smaller venues, there is no denying the impact that their Woodstock appearance made in bringing his music to a worldwide audience. The band continued releasing acclaimed albums in the early 1970s, including the 1971 release A Space In Time, and Rock And Roll Music To The World the following year, but by this point, Lee was looking to expand his musical horizons and began working outside the band, releasing the more introspective On The Road To Freedom in collaboration with Mylon Le Fevre.

TenYearsAfter02When Ten Years After hit the road again in 1973, the band retained the high-energy sound they were well known for. In January, they recorded a double-live album in Frankfurt, Germany that captured the group in full flight. When the tour hit the United States, arrangements were made to record the band again for a King Biscuit Flower Hour broadcast. Here for the first time is an expanded edition of that performance featuring all the songs featured in that original August 1973 KBFH broadcast, in addition to two songs that, due to time limitations, were not included.

The recording kicks off with the classic title track to the Rock And Roll Music To The World album. A straightforward rock ‘n’ roll number, this retains the infectiousness of the studio recording, while raising the excitement level up a notch. “Slow Blues In C,” the first of the two songs not included in the original broadcast, follows this. Here, Alvin Lee gets a chance to display his blues roots while the band gets an opportunity to improvise a bit. “Spoonful,” a song more associated with Cream than Ten Years After, gets a relatively concise treatment here, with the band demonstrating their expertise at building tension, beginning slowly and modestly before Alvin Lee’s furious soloing brings it to a frenetic close.

A rare live performance of “Turned Off T.V. Blues” follows, featuring passionate vocals from Lee and extraordinary interplay between Lee and keyboard player Chick Churchill. Throughout this set, Churchill often veers away from his trademark organ to play electric piano. This adds a distinct change to the band’s sound, but is never less than impressive. The rhythm section of Leo Lyons and Ric Lee are also featured prominently in the mix and it is a delight to hear the bottom end so crystal clear and punchy. The performances aside, this recording has an outstanding mix that captures the interaction of the four band members and better represents where the group was at musically in 1973 than the live album recorded earlier that same year.


The other song that was never broadcast is up next. “I Woke Up This Morning” features imaginative soloing from Alvin Lee, with Churchill’s organ and the rhythm section vamping along in the bebop style that defined the band’s sound in the early years. Leo Lyon’s jazzy bass style and Alvin Lee’s lightning-fast fretwork are in abundance here.

The set ends with a frenetic romp through Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen” before closing with the blazing crowd-pleaser “I’m Going Home.” As can be expected, Alvin Lee’s remarkably fluid and technically proficient solos leave one gasping for breath, bringing this set to a blistering close. (by concertvault.com)


Chick Churchill (keyboards)
Alvin Lee (guitar, vocals)
Ric Lee (drums)
Leo Lyons (bass)


01. Rock & Roll Music To The World (A.Lee) 4.02
02. Slow Blues In ‘C’ (A.Lee) 7.33
03 Spoonful (Dixon) 6.33
04. Turned Off TV Blues 05:34
05. I Woke Up This Morning (A.Lee) 4.33
06. Sweet Little Sixteen (Berry) 3.45
07. I’m Going Home (A.Lee) 11.43



Ten Years After – The Friday Rock Show Sessions (1990)

FrontCover16 March 2013 was a sad day for British rock, when it was announced that Alvin Lee had died suddenly.  He was 68 but had seemed to be invincible.  However, with Ten Years After and subsequently solo, he never really re-captured the great success of Woodstock in 1969, the festival that catapulted him to world attention and a highlight of the subsequent film.

So, inevitably, this 1983 Reading set includes those Woodstock set-pieces ‘Good Morning Little Schoolgirl’ and ‘Going Home’ (along with ‘Hobbit’ and ‘I Can’t Keep From Cryin’ Sometimes’).  Recorded for Tommy Vance and his venerated “Friday Rock Show” we are swiftly transported back 30 years and are in the midst of the action.  This album was originally issued on the Raw Fruit label in 1990.

Ten Years After had already split up once – in 1975 – and in 1983 reformed for a gig at the Marquee Club in London and the Reading Festival.  Lee demonstrates his legendary guitar hero fluidity against the very tight rhythm section of Leo Lyons and Ric Lee and punctuated by Chick Churchill’s wonderful Hammond.

Of course, there are other TYA live albums including ‘Recorded Live’ in 1973 and ‘Live At Fillmore East’ (2001) and sadly there is inevitable duplication especially as in 1983 the band weren’t promoting new product.  However the inclusion of their classic ‘Love Like A Man’ and ‘I May Be Wrong But I Won’t Be Wrong Always’ (originally on their 1968 live album Undead) makes this a useful and compact late-career summary. (by David Randall)

On this album you can hear a very, very rare performance of “Susi Q” by Dale Hawkins !

Ten Years After were definitely a class of their own !

Chick Churchill (keyboards)
Alvin Lee (guitar, vocals, harmonica)
Ric Lee (drums)
Leo Lyons (bass)

01. Love Like A Man (A.Lee) 5.10
02. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl (A.Lee) 6.29
03. Slow Blues In ‘C’ (A.Lee) 5.50
04. Suzie Q (Hawkins) 7.03
05. Hobbit (R.Lee) 4.12
06. I May Be Wrong But I Won’t Be Wrong Always (A.Lee) 6.02
07. I Can’t Keep From Cryin’ Sometimes Extension On One Chord (Kooper) 9.30
08. Going Home (A.Lee) 9.45


Ten Years After – Eagles Auditorium Seattle (1969)

FrontCover1Even though Woodstock showcased Ten Years After to the world, the blues-rock band could not really break out to the masses the way Cream did on their own. Here is an old press report about Alvin Lee when he was in The Jaybirds before the group turned into Ten Years After (in 1966):

Alvin broke new ground when he was forced to play a lashing, stinging five-minute solo intro to “Money” as chairs and fists flew dangerously close to the stage. But in those days Alvin had quite a reputation as an innovator. Many have still never recovered from the traumatic effects of the time he tottered into the hall on the first pair of Cuban heel boots ever seen in Sutton… But Alvin had a certain polish even then. The group’s “Poison Ivy” was thought by many to be an improvement on The Stones’ EP version, and nobody could change from rhythm to lead guitar with quite the same smooth panache as Alvin.

Those who feel that the blues ended with Eric Clapton would be surprised at how good Alvin Lee was. Lee was simply blistering at this 1969 Seattle show.

Alternate front+backcover

This is what Ten Years After fan DaBoss posted on the net:

Great show! The ferocity of Alvin Lee’s guitar is incredible – he just pounds and shreds his way through these cuts like a meatgrinder making sausage. This is when they were young and hungry and it shows. Loud, fast and fun. The mix is pretty good, the guitar is the most forward, vocals are mid, drums and cymbals slightly behind vocals and bass somewhat in the back and not all that muddy – considering. The sound quality is at least as good, if not better than the commercially released “Undead” of about the same period – but the performance is much more intense here.

Thanks to 38f for sharing the tracks on the net back in 2005 and to Novella1949 for the artwork.

Recorded live at the Eagles Auditorium, Seattle, WA; March 22, 1969
Very good FM broadcast.

Chick Churchill (organ)
Alvin Lee (guitar, vocals)
Rick Lee (drums)
Leo Lyons (bass)


CD 1:
01. Spoonful (Dixon) 7.15
02. Love Until I Die (A.Lee) 6.24
03. Spyder In My Web (A.Lee) 9.12
04. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl (A.Lee) 10.05
05. Hobbit / Drums Solo (A.Lee/R.Lee) 5.51

CD 2:
06. I Can’t Keep From Crying, Sometimes (Kooper) 15.59
07. Help Me (Williamson/Bass) 13.40
08. I’m Going Home (including: Baby Please Don’t Go / Blue Suede Shoes / Roll Over Beethoven / Shake Baby Shake / I’m Going Home (A.Lee) 14.47