Send Me No More Letters picture sleeve
Trapeze was formed in March 1969 by vocalist John Jones and guitarist/keyboardist Terry Rowley (both had previously been in a band called Montanas). They rounded out the lineup with Mel Galley (lead and bass guitar), Glenn Hughes (bass guitar), and Dave Holland (drums). In the new band, Jones would function solely as a lead vocalist, and Rowley would primarily function as the organist. The band was soon signed to the Moody Blues’ newly founded Threshold label (in fact, they were the first act added to the roster). Initially, the sound of the band was like a harder-edged version of the Moodies themselves, complete with lush melodies, psychedelic interludes, and hook-laden romantic ballads. Moody Blues bassist John Lodge had much to do with this musical direction, as he recruited Galley, Hughes and Holland, and produced their debut album, “Trapeze” (1970). In advance of the album, however, Trapeze released a single in late 1969: “Send Me No More Letters” b/w “Another Day”. This is today’s featured single.
“Send Me No More Letters” is a good example of the early sound of Trapeze. It starts off with a minor-key melody played on a piano, soon accompanied by Jones’ melancholy vocals: “It’s your smile, all the while/Keeps me dreaming of today/In your eyes, summer flies/Winter comes and slips away”. Although the guitars chime in about 25 seconds into the track, the overall feel of the track is restrained, as the band crafts a forlorn-sounding love ballad. The chorus of “Send me no more letters/And perhaps I might feel better/If you make me no more promises today” is quite catchy, and you might soon find yourself singing along with the music if you give it a listen. Although there is the sense that Hughes, Galley and Holland are somewhat restrained by the material that they are playing, Holland pounds the drums as hard as could be allowed on a melodic pop ballad. This song is good, but it’s also clear that there is the potential for a much harder rocking band with the trio of Hughes, Galley and Holland than the original configuration of the band allowed.
If “Send Me No More Letters” shows a hard rock band trapped playing melodic, psychedelic-tinged pop, “Another Day” is even more restrained. Whereas the lyrics of “Send Me No More Letters” seem personal – dealing with the subject of a relationship gone bad – the lyrics of “Another Day” are much more abstract and universal: “Do you feel like putting everything off ’til tomorrow/Perhaps the time will quickly pass way/Your views will change and rearranged/You conscience living, find another day”. The song starts with and acoustic guitar, soon joined by a bass guitar and organ, then by Holland’s drums about 30 seconds into the track. The song is notable for the harmony singing on the line “[t]roubles rising through another day” with Jones and Hughes singing together. On this track, Rowley’s organ seems to play a more prominent role; while it provides a solid backbone on “Send Me No More Letters”, on this track is seems much more noticeable. Both these tracks appeared on the bands debut album, released the following year.
This single (catalog #: TH-21001) was issued by Threshold Records in 1969, a U.K. subsidiary of Decca Records established that same year. I’m not sure what the label looked like, but I suspect it was the white label with the magenta Threshold logo on the top. As far as I know, no picture sleeve was issued with this release in the U.K., but the French release did, and is pictured here. In 1970, Jones and Rowley would return to Montanas, and the trio of Hughes, Galley and Holland would carry on, with Galley taking over lead vocal duties. This lineup released two albums: “Medusa” (1970) and “You Are The Music…We’re Just The Band” (1972). The band would tour the U.K. and in the southern United States; its commercial success was minimal up to this point. In 1973, Hughes would leave Trapeze to join Deep Purple, which resulted in renewed interest in the three albums Trapeze recorded with Hughes and an augmenting of the band’s fan base. Soon the band was playing small arenas, and by 1974 Pete Wright was recruited to replace Hughes and Rob Kendrick was recruited, giving the band a second guitarist. This lineup recorded two albums: “Hot Wire” (1974) and “Trapeze” (1976). The lineup of Hughes, Galley and Holland would reunite briefly in 1976, but Hughes left before anything came of this reunion. Galley and Holland would reform Trapeze in 1978, once again with Pete Wright on bass, joined this time with new lead vocalist/guitarist Pete Goalby. In late 1979, Dave Holland joined Judas Priest, and was replaced by Steve Bray. When Pete Goalby left to join Uriah Heep in 1981, Galley formed a new lineup, with Bray returning as drummer and adding Mervyn “Spam” Spence (bass guitar, vocals) and Richard Bailey (keyboards). This lineup toured once in 1982 before Trapeze disbanded that same year. The trio of Hughes, Galley and Holland reunited briefly in 1991 (augmented by keyboardist Geoff Downes) and 1994 (augmented by guitarist Craig Erickson). Mel Galley died of esophagus cancer on July 1, 2008, ending any possibility of another reunion of the classic Trapeze lineup.
Glenn Hughes performing You Are The Music, We’re Just The Band in Sweden in 1996