SINGLES COUNT BISHOPS Speedball EP 1975 Chiswick wav
Route 66 / I ain't got you / Beautiful Delilah / Teenage letter / Sweet little sixteen (bonus track)
Count bishops 1975 :
Johnny Guitar : guitar , vocalsPaul Balbi : drums
Steve Lewins : bass
Zen (Xenon de Fleur) : guitar , vocals
Mike Spencer : vocals , harp
July '75 and a band called CHROME were sculling around the third rate pub circuit long before Mr Rotten and Co. had pissed in their first ash tray. Ted Carroll looked at the Melody Maker gig guide(erama), pushed his glasses back up his nose and decided that with a name like that they had to be the first band on CHISWICK RECORDS. A week later, accompanied by diminutive partner, Roger Armstrong, he slunk into a seedy pub in Highbury and was confronted by four mean looking characters playing Chuck Berry riffs as if their lives depended on it. To the right, chewing gum and looking like he would eat your cat was ZENON HIEROWSKY; (later de Fleur) by any other name THE COUNT BISHOPS had arrived. Maniac American Mike Spencer inveigled his way into the operation several weeks later, sacked most of the band, brought JOHNNY GUTTAR over from the States on the promise of a vast record deal (CHISWICK RECORDS I ask you?) and gave birth to THE (original) COUNT BISHOPS. After one disastrous recording session, where the bass player couldn't even play "Walkin' The Dog", they went into Pathway Studios (8 tracks and no air) in August '75 and in about 7 hours laid down 13 blistering rock and roll tracks from which, in November of that year emerged the first release on CHISWICK, THE COUNT BISHOPS SPEEDBALL E.P.
It didn't exactly set the world on fire, but through the vast Rock On Empire of two market stalls and few sympathetic dealers it managed to shift its initial pressing of 1,000 copies in a surprising short space of time.Not long after the band drifted away from CHISWICK, for a while to a small Dutch label called Dynamite for which they recorded "Taking It Easy/Train Train". CHISWICK picked up the rights for this, flipped it to make "Train Train" the A side and released it as their fifth single. In the meantime Mike Spencer had left the band in an incident involving an unfriendly plate glass window. The four piece band that had recorded "Train Train" allowed an album of what were essentially demos to escape in Holland and went on to lay down backing tracks for what was to become the first '"official'' COUNT BISHOPS album.
At this point singer DAVE TICE was drafted by drummer and fellow Australian PAUL BALBI to complete the five piece line up that recorded "THE COUNT BISHOPS" album. Dave overdubbed his vocals on the already recorded backing tracks and the album came out in July '77. The single Baby Your Wrong/stay Free had already been pulled in April of that year.
During the rest of '77 and the early part of '78 the band gigged extensively building up a strong personal following despite being fairly unfashionable in the face of the punk publicity onslaught. In the Spring of '78 they recorded some live material at the Roundhouse for a projected live CHISWICK album featuring 6 different CHISWICK acts. Although the projected album never got off the ground THE BISHOPS set was so good that it warranted an album of its own. ''LIVE BISHOPS'' was released later that summer in 10"and 12"form with a name abbreviation to simply THE BISHOPS and a further personal change, PAT MCMULLAN replacing original bass player Steve Lewins. On the back of the album they toured with Motorhead equalling themselves more than adequately in front of the braying heavy metal fanatics with their red hot rock and roll.In April '78 the Sam & Dave classic "I Take What I Want" was unleashed to excellent radio play but slightly disappointing sales. The blistering "I Want Candy" came out in September as the first release through the EMI deal with CHISWICK, and though the sales were encouraging this time and the band made their first Top of The Pops appearance, the lack of radio action could not sustain the record to give it the chart placing it deserved.
And so into '79 with a lot of road work behind them, two critically acclaimed albums (and rightly so) one single that got the play but not the sales and one that got the initial sales but not the play (not to mention one bona fide classic in Train Train).
Three weeks ago the BISHOPS completed the album that they had been working on since early '78. Two days later ZENON DE FLEUR crashed his DB6 into a tree and died in hospital one week later. Despite the tragic loss, the band decided to continue as doubtless ZEN would have wished. Ironically, this looks like the one to break them .
"CROSSCUTS" will be out at the beginning of May with "Mr Jones" lifted as the single, and if hard work and commitment still mean anything then this album deserves to make it, for these boys have paid their dues several times over.
in The Count Bishops site , from R. Armstrong
Ce single devrait vous faire l'effet d'un speedball !