Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chicory Tip - Son Of My Father 1972

Chicory Tip is a British pop group from Maidstone, Kent, originally comprising; vocalist Peter Hewson; guitarist Rick Foster; bass guitarist Barry Mayger; drummer Brian Shearer; and guitarist and keyboard player Rod Cloutt.

Chicory Tip only released a few records in the US, and their name was shortened to just Chicory for the US market.

The band formed in 1967, their name having been chosen by Peter Hewson who saw a coffee bottle (probably Camp Coffee) that reminded him of chicory, and they were signed to CBS Records. The first few singles flopped, although "Excuse Me Baby" in 1971 secured the band its first appearance on the BBC Television pop music programme, Top of the Pops.

The group's finest moment came after studio manager Roger Easterby came across an advance copy of "Son of my Father", a song written by Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. Convinced of its potential, he secured the option to rush record the group's own cover version in competition with the original. The result was a Number One hit in the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in February 1972. It was one of the first hit singles to prominently feature a Moog synthesizer (in this case played by studio engineer and record producer, Chris Thomas). It sold over one million copies by July 1972, and was awarded a gold disc.

Two further Top 20 hits in similar vein followed, "What's Your Name", and "Good Grief Christina" which also managed number 4 in Norway. Another release, "Cigarettes, Women and Wine" was heavily played on Radio Luxembourg but failed to chart, in the UK probably owing to a BBC Radio 1 ban because of its references to smoking, however it did make the Norwegian charts at number 8.
The group released one album, also entitled Son Of My Father. Although it brought success, the band resented its image as a pure pop band and on stage its sound was much closer to heavy rock and the group claimed it was more like Deep Purple. However, it never succeeded in broadening its appeal to an older audience. The group disbanded in 1975, but later reformed to play gigs on the 1970s revival nostalgia circuit. A later band was formed under Peter Hewsen, with John Wilson, and Trevor Price, but they split, and Chicory Tip is still on the circuit with three original members.

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