Albums you should know, Part 1: Skin Alley - Two Quid Deal?
Song: "Bad Words And Evil People" (1972)
As with most bands signed to Doug Smith's Clearwater Productions, Skin Alley were associated with the London underground and free festival scene. Founded by bassist Thomas Crimble and drummer Alvin Pope, the band included Bob James on sax and guitar, and Krzysztof Henryk Juszkiewicz on keyboards. The band released two albums on CBS before bassist Crimble left for Hawkwind. His replacement was Nick Graham, fresh from Atomic Rooster, while Tony Knight replaced Pope on drums. Now signed to Transatlantic, Skin Alley recorded their finest, Two Quid Deal? in 1972. Oddly, the album (and their next) saw release in the US on Stax Records, famously known for Memphis soul. Nevertheless, the album is a driving mix of organ-rock, with Graham's Roger Daltery-esque vocals the icing on the cake. The band recorded a final album, Skin Tight, but even a proper Memphis production and commercial focus couldn't change their fortunes, and they folded shortly after its release. Graham had a successful career as a songwriter and musician, working with Cheap Trick, the ex- Roxy Music Explorers and David Jackson of VDGG, while Thomas Crimble continued running the Glastonbury Festival he co-founded. Their first three albums are lovingly reissued by Esoteric Recordings.