Friday, January 12, 2018

Humble Pie 5: Rockin' The Fillmore

While Humble Pie remained relatively obscure throughout the U.S., somebody had the bright idea to record their residency at New York’s Fillmore East, and then release a double live album from it. (This in a calendar year that already saw similar albums from the Allmans to Zappa.)
But most bands rose to the occasion at the Fillmore, particularly when their diehard fans went to every show, and the Pie truly kick their butts on Performance: Rockin' The Fillmore. Building on the volume of Rock On, which they were supposed to be promoting. Starting with the swapped vocals on “Four Day Creep”, it’s a punishing plow through “I’m Ready” and “Stone Cold Fever”. Every track is loud and most are pretty long, two even taking up a side each—one of those is an incredibly slow but fascinating drag through Dr. John’s “I Walk On Gilded Splinters”, the other an equally muddy “Rollin’ Stone”. Side four picks up the pace, and is given over to two songs usually associated with Ray Charles, “Hallelujah I Love Her So” and the terrific “I Don’t Need No Doctor”.
Mysteries remain about the album, such as why they needed a two-part title, and if they went through all the trouble about including special labels on two of the sides, wouldn’t it have made more sense to have them be photos from the actual show, rather than an outdoor concert somewhere far from the venue being commemorated? Then, over 40 years later, the upstart Omnivore label managed to curate a set of all four shows from this stint, which spelled out which tracks came from which shows. As it turns out, “Stone Cold Fever” was played only the once, and all the sets began with the same four songs, close to the same length, though there was a little stretching on the encores, which varied. Unfortunately, Steve Marriott’s patter didn’t always vary, and the third time he describes “Gilded Splinters” as his favorite boogie isn’t as funny as the first. But if you loved the original album, the complete set is a must.

Humble Pie Performance: Rockin' The Fillmore (1971)—


  1. Hi Wardo. I came across your blog a short time ago actually, and tho I already have pretty much everything I'm interested in having, I just have to give you major chops for some of the finest album reviews I've read...anywhere. I confess I haven't read them all bu purusing your past catalogue, and maybe I've missed somethin...but one by one I go through them and see there's NO COMMENTS. WTF? While I don't always agree with your evaluations, for the most part they're spot on, and I just had to say (because it doesn't seem anybody else is) I very much appreciate your reviews, and the fact that you are self motivated enough to continue. SO...thanks! Keep up the great work and I'll keep reading. Perhaps now that the first Roxy Music album is being re-released (with a Steven Wilson 5.1 mix) you can eventually review more than two later Roxy albums. In any case and once again, thanks for all the efforts.

    1. Thanks for the kind words -- I'll keep going as long as I have the energy not to repeat myself!