Welcome to Mellow's Log Cabin. This blog's purpose is to supply information on a diversity of American southern music - ranging from country, blues, old-time and folk to R&B, rock'n'roll and rockabilly. I regularly present my research results about artists, labels, shows and also give guest writers a chance to publish their texts here on occasion.


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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Christie on Epic

 Christie (Epic 5-10695), 1970

"San Bernadino"
"Here I Am"

Music journalist Bruce Eder once called Christie "England's answer to Creedence Clearwater Revival." Regarding their style and influences, this is certainly true but they lacked of success, unfortunately. Apart from two hit singles, their work is commonly unknown today.

The band Christie originally consisted of Jeff Christie on vocals and bass, Vic Elmes on lead guitar and vocals, and Mike Blakely on drums. Each one of them had played with other groups before. Christie started out in skiffle and rock'n'roll outfits, before recording some demos with the Tremeloes. That's where he met Blakely, whose brother Alan played guitar with the Tremeloes. Elmes performed with the Epics and the Acid Gallery before.

They were signed by the CBS label and released "Yellow River" as their debut single in 1970. However, this was actually Christie's and Elmes' vocals dubbed over an older instrumental track by the Tremeloes, recorded at Christie's first session with them. "Yellow River" soon proofed to be their first hit: it reached #1 in the UK and even #23 on the US charts, an enormous success for an unknown English group.

Their follow-up, "San Bernadino" / "Here I Am," showcased the band's different influences: pop, country, rock'n'roll. Both songs could have been recorded in almost the same manner by John Fogerty and his troop. While "San Bernadino" was more country flavored, "Here I Am" was a stone-hard rock'n'roll number that easily could have been recorded ten years earlier. It was the top side "San Bernadino" that reached #5 in Germany and #7 in the UK. It was released in the US on CBS' Epic label but failed to repeat the success of its precursor, reaching #92.

Christie's album "Yellow River" enjoyed moderate chart action but the band soon dropped out of the national music scenes. After numerous line-up changes, the group disbanded in 1971. Christie and Elmes pursued solo career in music and are still fronting their own bands.


JohnnyDiego said...

Sorry, Jeff Christie, but the sun will never "shine on the sea" in San Bernardino. It's about 60 miles from the ocean. But that's a nice song nevertheless.

Mellow said...

I guess he's singing "endlessly" rather than "across the sea!"