Ten Years After guitarist Alvin Lee's hyperactive guitar solos (fretboard attacks a speed-metal guitarist would be proud to unleash) caught the ear of British rock fans and built a bridge to the blues. The well-produced Cricklewood Green, consisting of all-original material by Lee, is the group's best studio effort. For a band that made its reputation with live performances, most conspicuously at the Woodstock festival, that's probably minor praise, but it's praise nevertheless. The extended workout of the hit single "Love Like a Man" is the centerpiece of the album, one that opens with the frantic buzz of the back-to-back road songs "Sugar the Road" and "Working on the Road." But Lee, ably assisted by keyboardist Chick Churchill, fleshes out the trademark Ten Years After blues frenzy with an assortment of atypical approaches and styles. "Me and My Baby" delivers Lee and the band in a relaxed, almost swinging, mode, while "Circles" is a rare ballad offering. The sci-fi blues of "Year 3000 Blues" and semi-psychedelia of "50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain" and "As the Sun Still Burns Away" further extend the album's reach without sacrificing any of Lee's guitar excursions. --Michael Point
Similarly Requested CDs
Member CD Reviews
(galleywench) from WAKE FOREST, NC
Reviewed on 8/3/2010...
This is the best Ten Year's After cd ever!
Rock and roll baby
B. E Jackson | Pennsylvania | 08/08/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ten Years After were a pretty unique band back in the day. Sometimes they'd let it rip and just play lengthy blues jams. Other times they focused on shorter rock songs where the songwriting was the most important thing.
Cricklewood Green is mostly a songwriting-dominated album. If you like early 70's rock, this is definitely the album for you. While I'm slightly disappointed that the lightning fast guitar work made famous by Alvin Lee is absent for the most part, the album has some really nice vocal melodies and guitar tricks to make up for that.
The first track called "Sugar the Road" has a vocal style that reminds me of Boz Scaggs, but the music is good classic rock. It's one of those hard rock party song, no doubt about that. The guitar solo is nice, but not as good as other examples from the band. Actually, I can imagine the J. Geils Band doing this song live.
"Working on the Road' starts off with a nice groove and features a typically-fantastic early 70's vibe to the vocal melody. Hey, I like 70's music, and that's why I say "typically-fantastic" because just about EVERY thing music-related back then sounds good to me (and holds up quite well too). "50,000 Miles Beneath my Brain" really reminds me of the Rolling Stones classic "Sympathy for the Devil". Must be the way the music starts off quietly and eventually builds into a loud jam (though entirely listenable). I'm sure back in the day this would be a song considered as heavy as rock music can possibly be.
"Year 3,000 Blues" is a short 2-minute country song. It doesn't bother me, but doesn't excite me either. It's just there. "Me and My Baby" is a pure blues song with tasty guitar licks and other exciting things. I love it, especially the piano solo appearing around the halfway point. "Love Like a Man" is the one song on the record where the guitar is really showcased, and played with lots of excitement. I love this song as well. "Circles" is a vocal melody-dominated track (smooth, quiet and very pleasant) and "As the Sun Still Burns Away" is a very Spooky Tooth-sounding track. Pretty good stuff.
While the band had better albums, this is definitely worth owning."