CRUSHED BUTLER : UNCRUSHED (UK'69-'71)
Underground Psychedelic-Punkrock (!!???)
Long before the Sex Pistols put the boot into what remained of the hippie dream, Read, guitarist Jesse Hector and bassist Alan Butler were living out those fantasies with a fury that gave other bands good reason for pause. Formed in 1969, the trio soon moved away from covering the day's more happening fare (including Small Faces' "Song Of A Baker") for an implosive urgency that won an underground following, but utterly baffled the labels that they courted. Uncrushed rounds up the six tracks honed at places like Regent Sound (1969), EMI House, Decca Studios (1970), and even the Marquee Club (1971) with a succession of bassists (including Barry Wyles of the pre-Queen link Smile). They even got a rave from Sounds following an impressive gig opening for UFO. But companies wouldn't bite, and manager/cohort Graham Breslau left in the summer of 1970, after nearly a year of fruitless effort. (Former Pink Floyd overseer Peter Jenner also declined to get involved.) By February 1971, the band had changed its name to Tiger, but found no takers for "High School Dropout"'s more restrained boogie-pop; former Crusaders guitarist Neil Christian bailed out, while orders by Black Sabbath/ELO overseer Don Arden to "sort out some gigs" never materialized. Crushed Butler split up in the spring of 1971 after Read approached Track Records - who'd rejected them before - and wound up being hired there as a songwriter.
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