Sunday, February 1, 2009

CCS - CCS II 1972

Tracks 1 to 10 are their 2nd album - which as well as their 1970 debut - was simply called "CCS" on the original vinyl LP - here it's called CCS II for CD purposes. It was originally released in April 1972 on Rak Records SRAK 503 and on the strength of the March 1972 7" single "Brother" - the album charted at 23, the only one of their three LPs to break the UK Top 50. Great sleeve too. (Their first album in the USA was called "Whole Lotta Love" released in April 1971 - named after their hit cover version of the Zeppelin classic - see paragraphs below).

Tracks 11 and 12 are the bonus tracks:
11 is "Mister What You Can't Have" which is the non-album B-side to "Brother" on RAK 126
(it's a John Cameron original - great fun track)
12 is "Sixteen Tons" which is the non-album A-side of RAK 141 issued in 1972. It's B-side is the Peter Thorup original "This Is My Life" - it's Track 7 on the album. However, the single version is shorter and different. It has Thorup vocals only, while the album version includes both Thorup and Korner. If you want the single mix (unfortunately not included here), it's on the superb EMI CD "A's B's & Rarities" which also sports 2 previously unreleased CCS tracks not on any of these Repertoire issues. Well worth seeking out that. Back to the A though. I've always thought CCS's version of "Sixteen Tons" to be one of 'the' great lost Seventies gems - and for soul boys looking for a funky rock track to fill out that cool 70's CD-R, this is the place to look. It's a cover version of the Tennessee Ernie Ford 1950's classic which was followed quickly by a Platters version - this fabulous take on that famous 'shovelling coal' song borrows a bit from both of those versions and it's a song that whenever we play it in the shop, it has customers coming to the counter asking "who's this, who's this?"

The huge ensemble group CCS was the brain-child of British Blues Boom Godfather ALEXIS KORNER who along with Danish singer PETER THORUP and British arranger JOHN CAMERON pulled together the cream of brass/flute-playing session-men of the time and went after the BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS market for funked-up rock. Deciding right from the start to include cover versions ala B, S & T, they did a fantastic brassed-up take on Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" that not only complimented the original, but also defined that "CCS" sound. So when the new BBC pop program "Top Of The Pops" needed a cool new theme song, they took this winner from their 1970 debut album, dropped the flute intro and the vocal middle and end - and a theme song legend was born. That mixture of cover-versions given the CCS treatment alongside JOHN CAMERON and ALEXIS KORNER originals continued on this LP. "Black Dog" is another Zeppelin cover from IV, "I Want You Back" was made famous by The Congregation and The Jackson 5 while the "Whole Lotta Rock `N' Roll" track is a 5-part medley of Chuck Berry, Little Richard and a reprise of Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love".

But the best bit is the SOUND. Repertoire re-issues are always good in my book, but this licensed-from-EMI remaster is exceptional. I'd expected wads of hiss, but the transfers are very clean - and given the amount of brass coming at you, muscular to a point where you have to sometimes reach for the volume control! A really great job done.

When CCS folded, both Korner and Thorup teamed up with King Crimson's BOZ BURRELL and IAN WALLACE to form SNAPE who issued some albums in Europe which were good too. But my heart is with the fab C.C.S. Highly recommended to those who love their Seventies with a bit of balls and a sense of humour.
( By Mark Barry at Revival Records, Berwick Street )

Tracks :

1. Brother
2. Black Dog - CCS, Jones, John Paul [1
3. I Want You Back - CCS, Gordy, Berry Jr.
4. Running Out of Sky
5. Whole Lotta Rock'n'roll - CCS,
6. School Days - CCS, Berry
7. This Is My Life - CCS, Thorup
8. Misunderstood
9. Maggie's Song
10. City
11. Mister What You Can't Have
12. Sixteen Tons - CCS, Travis, Merle

Link : @

Ripped by : evermoreblues
Artwork included


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. "Humble collection"?! Adequate puctuation does not exist for such a quote :)

  3. Many thankx.Always fantastic music here.

  4. Cool records, they were also known as the Collective Consciousness Society.


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