Love Like a Man single (DM 299)
Ten Years After started life as a band in the Nottingham/Mansfield area of the U.K. called The Jaybirds, which was formed in late 1960. The original lineup featured Ivan Jay on lead vocals, Alvin Lee on lead guitar, Leo Lyons on bass guitar, and Pete Evans on drums. By 1962, Ivan Jay left the band and Alvin Lee assumed lead vocal dutirs. Pete Evans was replaced by Dave Quickmire in 1962, and Ric Lee replaced Quickmire in August 1965. Chick Churchill joined the band as keyboardist in 1966. In November 1966, the band changed its name to Ten Years After, in honor of Elvis Presley’s breakthrough year of 1956. They became the first clients of the Chrysalis Agency, and soon secured a residency at the Marquee. They also received an invitation to play the Windsor Jazz Festival in 1967. This led to a recording contract with Deram (a subsidiary of Decca). In October 1967, their self-titled debut album was released. After touring Scandinavia and the United States, they issued their second album, “Undead” (1968), a live album which contained “I’m Going Home”. This was followed by their second studio album, “Stonedhenge” (1969), which contained “Hear Me Calling”. In July 1969, they appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival, the first event in which rock bands were invited to play, and played at the Woodstock festival in August 1969. Around this time, they also released their third studio album, “Ssssh” (1969), which was their first hit album in the U.S. During 1970, the band released “Cricklewood Green”, their fourth studio album, and the single off the album, “Love Like a Man” b/w “Love Like a Man” (live) became their only entry on the U.K. Singles Chart (peaking at #10). This is today’s featured single.
“Love Like A Man” is, in many ways, the quintessential Ten Years After song: almost nonsensical lyrics and relatively simple riffs combined into an extended blues-rock jam. There is one riff repeated throughout the chorus that is the main musical motif running through the song, although there is a much shorter riff played during the chorus (D-A-E, in 4/4 time). On the album version, after the third verse (“You are the woman/You can’t deny”), slightly more than two minutes into the song, there is an extended instrumental break which includes a rather lengthy guitar solo (beginning about three minutes into the song). After the guitar solo, the song gets quiet, as Alvin Lee’s guitar is accompanied only by the light percussion of Ric Lee, before we get a reprise of the song’s opening accompanied by a fourth verse (“I’ll tell you something/I think you know”). After the final verse, the chorus is repeated as the song fades out. The single edit of this song presumably cuts out much if not all of the guitar solo, resulting in a tighter-sounding pop song rather than an extended blues-rock jam.
The B-side of this single is somewhat unusual for two reasons: (1) it is a live version of the same song on the A-side of the single (recorded at the Fillmore East earlier the same year), and (2) the B-side must be played at 33 1/3 RPM instead of 45 RPM because of it’s over 8-minute length (making it probably the first single to be issued with different playing speeds for the A and B sides). And it is fortunate that the B-side features an unedited version of the track, because this rendition of “Love Like a Man” features a blistering guitar solo that is even better than the one on the studio version of the track. Other than that, the song is structurally similar to the studio version. Overall, this is a great, classic track, and a staple of early and mid-1970’s progressive rock stations.
This single (catalog #: DM 299) was issued on Deram Records in June 1970. No picture sleeve was issued with this release (although the paper sleeve issued with the record clearly shows the Deram logo, as can be seen in the accompanying image). The band moved in a more commercial direction with their next album, “A Space in Time” (1971), which also contained their biggest hit, “I’d Love to Change the World”. They moved to Chrysalis Records for their next studio album, “Rock & Roll Music to the World” (1972). They released a double live LP, “Recorded Live” (1973), and another studio album, “Positive Vibrations” (1974), but by this point, Ten Years After was going through the motions, as Alvin Lee had already released two solo albums. Ten Years After broke up in 1974, and they would not be heard from again until 1983, when they reunited to play the Reading Festival. They reunited again in 1988 for a few concerts, and for the Eurowoodstock festival in Budapest in 1994. In 2003, they reconvened on a more permanent basis, releasing two new studio albums, “Now” (2004) and “Evolution” (2008), as well as a new double live album, “Roadworks” (2005), but with Joe Gooch replacing Alvin Lee on lead guitar and vocals.
Ten Years After performing Love Like a Man live at the Marquee