Mar 9, 2009
JOHNNY KIDD & THE PIRATES - THE (almost) COMPLETE HMV RECORDINGS ( 1959 - 1966)
Johnny Kidd's musical career began as leader of the 'Nutters' skiffle group. As the 1950s drew to a close most of the Lonnie Donegan inspired groups began to migrate to rock and roll. So it was with Johnny Kidd who with former 'nutter' Alan Caddy, Tony Docherty, Johnny Gordon and Ken McKay formed his new group 'The Pirates'. Their first release 'Please Don't Touch' managed to reach the chart, but didn't get inside the top twenty. As that rare commodity, 'British Rock and Roll' it ought to have done better. After failure of its follow-up the band reverted to a cover 'You Got What It Takes' which managed #25 despite direct competition from Marv Johnson who took the song to #5.
The Pirates line up gradually changed and Brian Gregg (bass) and Clem Cattini (drums) replaced Gordon and McKay. It was the first single with the new line-up that pushed Johnny Kidd to the top. 'Shaking All Over' is arguably the most atmospheric and original rock and roll record ever to have been produced in a British studio, though much is owed to the guitar riff played by session man Joe Moretti.
Further personnel changes were made to the Pirates over the years and some change of style took place with the coming of the British 'Beat Boom', but the underlying theme remained. The band would dress in pirate regalia and Kidd would always wear his eye-patch which is often unnecessarily explained through an apocryphal story concerning a broken guitar string.
Sadly, Johnny Kidd- possibly Britain's most original rock and roll performer- was killed in a road accident on October 7th 1966 near Bolton in Lancashire when he and his latest batch of Pirates were driving away after a performance.
The groups' numerous recordings offer some great cuts, with many gems hidden away on the flipsides of singles. There are also many tracks that were unreleased in Kidd's lifetime, including those from a 1964 aborted album which show off how powerful the group's sound could be... A two CD set, 56 tracks, newly remastered...
Here Disc One
Here Disc Two