Search - Widowmaker :: Straight-Faced Fighters

Straight-Faced Fighters
Straight-Faced Fighters
Genres: Pop, Rock, Metal
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #2

First CD issue for the mid-70s British rock supergroup's 1976 debut album includes 13 bonus tracks, 'Such A Shame', (six live tracks recorded at Paris Theatre, London 1976) 'Come On Up', 'Such A Shame', 'Too Late', 'El ...  more »


Larger Image
Listen to Samples

CD Details

All Artists: Widowmaker
Title: Straight-Faced Fighters
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Castle - Old Numbers
Release Date: 1/14/2003
Album Type: Original recording remastered
Genres: Pop, Rock, Metal
Style: Hard Rock
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 823107229422


Album Description
First CD issue for the mid-70s British rock supergroup's 1976 debut album includes 13 bonus tracks, 'Such A Shame', (six live tracks recorded at Paris Theatre, London 1976) 'Come On Up', 'Such A Shame', 'Too Late', 'El Doomo', 'Ain't Telling You Nothing', 'When I Met You', (& six tracks from their 1977 sophomore album) Too Late To Cry, the title track, 'The Hustler', 'Here Comes The Queen', 'Something I Can Do Without', 'Sign The Papers' & 'Pushing & Pulling'. 22 tracks. Castle.

CD Reviews

Not The Wanky Dee Snider Outfit...
Clark Paull | Murder City | 05/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The odd man out in the entire Mott The Hoople saga was guitarist Ariel Bender, known as Luther Grosvenor when he handled six-string duties in Spooky Tooth and, briefly, Stealer's Wheel. Bender, who apparently underwent some sort of transformation from mild-mannered, nice guy to complete loony when he signed on to replace Mick Ralphs, only stuck around for a quick cuppa joe, appearing on "The Hoople" and "Live." According to legend, Bender's will was broken by the recording of "The Hoople" track "Marionette," although he did stick around for the tour that was the basis of the live album, including a historic residency at Broadway's Uris Theatre. In 1975, Bender formed Widowmaker with street urchins Steve Ellis (ex-Love Affair on vocals), Bob Daisley (ex-Chicken Shack and Broken Glass member and future Ozzy Osbourne, Rainbow, and Uriah Heep bassist), Paul Nicholls (ex-Lindisfarne and Skip Bifferty on drums) and Huw Lloyd Langton (ex-Hawkwind and Leo Sayer on guitar). This compendium pulls tracks from the band's only two albums, 1976's self-titled debut (with a cover photo of Bender looking like he's in the midst of one) and 1977's "Too Late To Cry." Both have been described as everything from "mediocre" to "meteoric," but it's probably more accurate to rate them somewhere in between, both solid, workman-like efforts from a bunch of underdog hard rock troopers. "Such A Shame," "Ain't Telling You Nothing," and, in particular, "When I Met You," all boast a no-frills sensibility and benefit immensely from the slinky yet fluid interplay between Bender and Langton's axework, while "Pin A Rose On Me" and "Leave The Kids Alone" are the type of understated ballads that could only have come from the 1970's and which today's bands just can't seem to get right, even if supplied with an instruction manual. To this day, the smell of burning hemp still brings to mind this album. Ellis was replaced by John Butler on "Too Late To Cry," and his reedy tenor fits the band like an old pair of jeans, particularly on the title cut, which sounds eerily like Slade, the low-rent reggae of "The Hustler," and "Pushing And Pulling." Like most bands I cotton to, both albums sank without a trace and Bender chucked it all in, retiring from the biz to run his own decorating company."
Less Long Winded Review
Blabberless | In the world somewhere | 09/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"So you won't be bored beyond tears, let's cut thru the b.s. The previous reviewer must love to hear his mouth running for hours on end. This review is different e.g. TO THE POINT. This compilation is long overdue, from a band who should've hit the big time but didn't. They were even featured on a BBC Rock Hour which actually hit the syndicated U.S. radio market, and may be the source of the live tracks. They had a great way of putting songs together, and then delivering the goods live. The guitar duo of Huw Lloyd Langton (Hawkwind) and Ariel Bender (Luther Grosvenor ex-Spooky Tooth and Mott among others) were truly magical, along with singer Steve Ellis (who sounded at times like Steve Marriott of Humble Pie), plus of course legendary bassist Bob Daisley. The first album and the live tracks are the highlights, but the second album has some gems as well, although in truth they were changing their sound a bit by then. In short, buy this one if you enjoy great 70s style heavy rock."
Straight Faced Mott
Kim Fletcher | Pattaya, Chonburi Thailand | 08/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Widowmaker is the nickname shared by a hurricane wind, a jetfighter plane, and a high powered drill, all of which are renown for mayhem, destruction, havoc and literally blowing you away. well as it happens it is also the name of one of the most devastating Rock'n'Roll Bands to emerge from the musical cauldron that was around in the mid-seventies. Comprised of five of the most inflammable and provocative
artists around at the time.
After a year as lead guitarist with Mott the Hoople, Ariel Bender (also known by his real name of Luther Grovesner, when he started out on Rock'n'Rolls long and winding path with early British Progressive Rock legends Spooky Tooth, but for the purposes of this review we will stick to the Ariel Bender pseudonym by which he was known at this time) left the Band at the height of their commercial successes looking to find his own way rather than on the tailcoats of an already Big Name act.
First he found Paul Nicholls a young powerful drummer, who had thumped the tubs in a reformed" Lindisfarne'', but was looking for something a little more powerful to bend his wrists to rather than the Geordies Folk/Rock, next to be pulled into the ranks was talented New Zealander Bob Daisley, who had already built up a solid reputation in such bands as "Chicken Shack" and "Broken Glass" as an excellent Bass player, a talented songsmith, with a reputation for enjoying the wild side of the Rock'n'Roll Lifestyle. After Widowmaker Bob Daisley went on to leave his mark with "Rainbow", ''Ozzy Osbourne", " Uriah Heep", and "Gary Moore" to name but a few.
Obviously a Singer had to be found to front this lot, Ariel Bender had always been a great admirer of the singer from "Love Affair" (Who had had a massive hit with the fabulous ' EverLastin' Love') that man was Steve Ellis who was lazing around in London after the collapse of his own Band" Ellis", when he was first approached Ellis was not keen to join this venture as he was jaded by the whole Rock'n'Roll
business, but once they persuaded him to come to one rehearsal, magic bonds were formed and the Band was complete and their debut album recorded in 1976, released under the Band?s own name it was a classic collection of hard rockers, stadium powerballads, some remarkable singing, with Ariel Bender living up to his reputation as the Greatest Rock'n'Roll Guitarist of his era, now we are not talking technical ability here, there are probably hundreds of better guitarists, but Ariel Bender brought with him that priceless commodity, Excitement.
Album opener 'Such a Shame' is very much in the same mould as 'Black Dog' that opened up "Led Zeppelin's" fourth album allowing the band to put their collective wears on show, After which comes the beautiful 'Pin a Rose on me' the sort of song that Jon Bon Jovi would kill to write, next up was rocker 'On the Road' which live used to be held back as the final encore, then the track that this collection is named after another slower song but not exactly what you would call a ballad. The next two songs which closed side one and opened side two when this album was released on vinyl are rightly the center piece of both their debut album, and their Stage show. 'Ain't telling you Nothing' starts off as a slow burner before building to a frantic climax where Ariel Benders guitar takes the song by the scruff of the neck and rings every ounce of excitement from it, 'When I met you' had originally been released on Luther Grovesner's solo album "Under Open Skies" but was dusted down and given the Rock'n'Rolls by the Band, the album closes with two more Rockers and two more ballads including the heart felt 'Leave the Kids Alone'.
You may now being thinking "But I thought this stupid dog said they were a Five piece" well thereby hangs a tale after recording the album whilst they were rehearsing to take the music to the streets, Ariel Bender liked moving and giving the Audience a show so much it was impossible for him to hold down all the guitar parts at the same time, so Huw Lloyd-Langton, the original space daze guitarist from
Hawkwind was drafted in to give ' Widowmaker a two pronged lead guitar attack. Huw Lloyd-Langton stayed with the band until the bitter end two years later. Steve Ellis left the band after just a year sighting frustration within the music business, they had signed with Don Arden Management (Father of Sharon Osbourne), who had put them on good tours of the United States and Europe (including the Who's Stadium tour of Britain), but the management were still concentrating more on Golden Goose stablemates "The Electric Light Orchestra" who were probably the biggest band in the world at the time, things were not moving quickly enough for Steve Ellis so he left. John Butler an able replacement was found and a new album recorded, but with the advent of Punk Rock and the fact that although everybody seems to say that Ariel Bender is the most Lovable man they have ever met, he was so crazy at times he was impossible to work with, the band imploded and was laid to rest.
But now twenty five years after their demise Castle Music have put out this two CD collection under the title of 'Straight Faced Fighters', what you get is, on CD one the whole of their Debut album then on CD Two you get a B.B.C. Radio One Live session recorded a couple of weeks after the release of the first album, at the Paris Studios, London introduced by Whisperin' Bob Harris, which really shows the Band at their best with the twin lead guitars really fired up, then the best of the second album, which had been titled ' Too Late to Cry ' very apt.
This collection has Greatness stamped all the way through it, catch it on the rebound.
Mott the Dog."