The Count Bishops

 
The Story - Part 4
 

Dave TICE and the first CHISWICK album
 

By this time, in Australia, the very popular hard boogie band BUFFALO (in which Paul BALBI had been the original drummer) dissolved just before releasing their last album, "Average Rock 'n' Roller" in 1977.

BUFFALO's singer, Dave TICE, had already gone to England, in February 1977, after he took up an offer from Paul BALBI to join The COUNT BISHOPS. Within two days of arriving in London, Dave was in JACKSON Studio (Rickmansworth, England) laying his vocals over the already recorded tracks of the next COUNT BISHOPS album.

JACKSON Studio is the home of Vic MAILE, a well known producer (The PIRATES, The INMATES, MOTORHEAD ...). But this session is produced by The COUNT BISHOPS themselves. Vic is the recording engineer. 

Johnny GUITAR remembers:  "Zen and I argued so much with Stevie (LEWINS) during this session that Vic knocked two hours worth of studio time off the bill on the grounds that that was two hours worth of work he hadn't had to do".

No matter, the first single featuring Dave on vocals is issued on April 22th, 1977 by CHISWICK. "Baby You're Wrong" is backed by "Stay Free". Both tracks are Zen's composition. Again, this single was later reissued with a minor reference change.

Two months and a half after the single came the album (on July 8th, 1977), simply titled "The Count Bishops". It includes "12 punchy songs" said Nick CHARLES in the RECORD MIRROR dated July 30th, 1977.

Five of the twelve tracks are originals, two of them had already been published as the single. The remaining three are Steve's compositions:  "Talk To You", "Someone's Got My Number" and "You're In My Way". The seven covers are by The KINKS ("I Need You"), SAVOY BROWN ("Taste And Try"), or The STANDELLS ("Good Guys Don't Wear White"). The other ones are blues classics.

Dave's voice fits perfectly. This album was simply one of the best of 1977. It was later reissued with a new reference number when EMI took over the distribution.

One must notice that CHISWICK Records made a lot of promotion in the press and have also issued a promo only E.P. which includes four tracks from the album:  The KINKS, The STANDELLS, SAVOY BROWN's covers together with "Talk To You".

In the summer of 1977, soon after the release of the album, Steve LEWINS left to join Wilko JOHNSON'S SOLID SENDERS.

The COUNT BISHOPS then ask Pat McMULLEN to join them on bass. So he did.

 

 

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April 30, 2005

 

 

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Herve Colombet, 2003 - 2005