Geoff Whitehorn – Whitehorn (1974)

FrontCover1Geoffrey Charles ‘Geoff’ Whitehorn (born 29 August 1951, London, England) is a guitarist and singer-songwriter, who has played as a member of If, Crawler and Procol Harum.

In August 1973, Whitehorn joined the pioneering British jazz-rock band, If, in what was their third and final line-up, appearing on their last two albums, Not Just Another Bunch of Pretty Faces (1974) and Tea Break Over, Back on Your ‘Eads (1975). During that period, he recorded his first solo album, Whitehorn (1974, Stateside), featuring fellow If members Dick Morrissey and Cliff Davies. This was followed by two largely instrumental solo albums, Big in Gravesend and Geoff Who? which he also re-recorded and expanded as Geoff Who? 2002. In 1976–1979, Whitehorn played in the band Crawler (formerly known as Back Street Crawler), replacing the band’s founder Paul Kossoff after the latter’s death.

Geoff also played as lead guitarist with Chuck Farley with Steve Simpson, Boz Burrell, Poly Palmer and Alan Coulter.

WithIfIn 1979 Whitehorn joined Roger Chapman’ s Band The Shortlist, touring Europe extensively and recording ten albums with Chapman. His playing in the Band was inspired by jazz – harmonies. He left Shortlist in 1988.

In 1991, he joined the group Procol Harum, and is now their longest serving guitarist, having played on all of their recent recordings, such as The Long Goodbye, One More Time – Live in Utrecht 1992 and The Well’s on Fire as well as on Procol Harum’s live DVDs in Denmark and at Union Chapel (Concert on Friday 12 December 2003), and one recorded with an orchestra in 2006 at Ledreborg Castle, again in Denmark. He has also played live and recorded with The Palers’ Project, the Procol Harum quasi-tribute collective. He changed his style into a more classic rock solo performance.

Whitehorn has also contributed to the recordings and performances of other artists, such as Bad Company, Jethro Tull, Kevin Ayers, Elkie Brooks, The Who, Roger Waters, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Paul McCartney, Billy Ocean and Paul Rodgers. In 2007, he worked with Elkie Brooks on her UK tour. Since then Geoff has played regularly with Gambler and, more recently, The Strumbums.

Exceptional performances of Free’s All Right Now (with Paul Rogers), The Who’s Quadrophenia in Hyde Park & New York playing lead (while Pete Townshend strums acoustic), Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven (with Never the Bride and the British Rock Symphony) can be found on a popular internet video site. (by wikipedia)

withProcolHarumAnd this is his first soloalbum from 1974, Whitehorn was just 23 years old:

Cliff Davies and Dick Morrissey and both are mentioned on the sleeve as ‘friends of Geoff’: they were under contract with Gull Records (1974) to record the If album Not Just Another Bunch Of Pretty Faces (which includes Geoff). Geoff made this album just before joining If.

Makin’ It Funky, UFO, Fall Out – backing vocals by producer Tony Atkins and Gerry Morris. Recorded and mixed at Marquee Studios, London.The sleeve is a story in itself: quite shocking for the seventies as it’s a drawn picture of an old man with a German war cross around his neck putting his teeth into the bare boobs of a huge well-shaped lady. In front of those, two smoking ladies plus a smoking ape (!), but all five have head phones on … on the back, a picture of Geoff in a smoke cloud (was this album sponsored by some cigarette company?).

Whitehorn1974Compared to his albums of the nineties, ‘Whitehorn’ is less interesting for Procol fans as his vocals are more to the fore than his – this time funky – guitar-playing, though on Fire Fire Geoff really shines. Day of Awakening could be an If outtake, Mamma Said has some nice interplay between Geoff’s guitar and Morrissey’s sax and My Mind Within is a slow ballad where Geoff stretches out the notes like only he can.

Geoff Whitehorn about this album:

‘I was being groomed for something,’ says Geoff about this early solo outing. He was 22, and had been doing lots of sessions: session work was plentiful in those days. Tony Atkins, a producer for whom he did a lot of work, suggested it was time he got a solo album out.

‘It was a half-arsed deal,’ Geoff laughs now, ‘It was recorded in a couple of days. I didn’t know what I was doing, really. I was easily led.’

The music is ‘very 70s’, he says, and was played by members of the session ‘firm’ that Geoff worked with at Marquee Studios, alongside Dick Morrissey and Cliff Davis, his former colleagues from If.

The record came out, Geoff tells us, in Germany, France and Japan.(by

SinglesSingles from this album

Peter Arnesen (keyboards)
Geoff Whitehorn (guitar, vocals)
Gerry Morris (bass)
John Richardson (drums)
Cliff Davies (drums on 03. + 06.)
Dick Morrissey (saxophone, flute on 03. + 06.)

01. Makin’ It Funky (Morris) 2.55
02. Fire Fire (Whitehorn) 5.56
03. Day Of Awakening (Whitehorn) 5.17
04. UFO (Morris) 3.46
05. I Stand Accused (Starrs/Morris) 4.36
06. Mamma Said (Whitehorn) 4.10
07. Fall Out (Whitehorn/Morris) 4.08
08. My Mind Within (Whitehorn/Morris) 2.59
09. Snake In The Grass (Morris) 2.59
10. Blue Jiver (Morris).3.16