The Count Bishops

 
The Story - Part 5
 

The "LIVE !" album and "I WANT CANDY" single
 

By the end of 1977, no other record have been released. On February 18th, 1978 The COUNT BISHOPS played at the London Roundhouse. BLAST FURNACE, Wilko JOHNSON and MOTORHEAD were at the same bill. The gig have been taped.

On March 31st, 1978 the new single is released. It's the first record featuring Pat on bass. It's also the first one to use the new abridged name:  The BISHOPS. The single is a cover of SAM & DAVE's "I Take What I Want" as the A-side while the B-side, "No Lies", is a composition penned by Dave and Zen.

At last, with this single, The BISHOPS got some recognition. David "Kid" JENSEN made it his RADIO 1 single of the week. "We were play-listed for six weeks. We couldn't believe it" remembers Johnny.

The BISHOPS, alonside Dr Feelgood, were one of the best R & B bands in the United Kingdom since the 60's blues boom.

Then - on April 28th, 1978 - was released the famous "Live!" album. It's made of the tape recorded on February 18th which had at once been intended to produce a live CHISWICK sampler. But The BISHOPS gig was so hot that it was decided to release it as an album in itself. 

Johnny remembers this concert:  "Our performance was fast and furious even by BISHOPS standards. Myself and other members of the band were suffering from a deliberating flu that evening, and LEMMY (of MOTORHEAD) gave us some sound practical, theoretical and pharmacological advice"

The introduction is by Charles SHAAR MURRAY who is a friend of The BISHOPS and a journalist at the NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS. He's also the lead singer and guitarist in BLAST FURNACE.

The "Live!" album, produced by Neil RICHMOND,  have been issued in two formats:  both as a 10 inches and as a classic 12 inches. Both were later reissued with different numbers. 

The 10 inches album includes 10 tracks, the 12 version have 12 tracks, "Route 66" and "Taste And Try" being the bonus.

The whole album is a must. High powered energy. The BISHOPS at their best ... LIVE!

A promo 6 inches single has been produced to promote the album and help the sales. The A-side is "Train, Train" while B-side is made of excerpts of "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White" + "Don't Start Me Talking" + "I Want Candy" + "Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight".

Nearly two months after the release of the "Live!" album, the next BISHOPS' single reached the shops (June 16th, 1978). "I Want Candy" is a cover of The STRANGELOVES' song. The (COUNT) BISHOPS have already recorded it twice but never officially released it before.

The single was recorded at T.W. Studio with Alan WINSTANLEY as engineer and Neil RICHMOND as producer. They played it at THE TOP OF THE POPS but it didn't help to get the charts. The B-side, "See That Woman", is a great Dave and Zen composition.

Again, the single was available in 3 different formats:

  • as a common 7 inches single
  • as a less common 10 inches
  • and as a not common at all 6 inches

Just three months after the release of the "Candy" single, CHISWICK signed a distribution deal with EMI that led to reissue it on September 15th, with a new reference number. This means that the 3 different formats of the single were available again with a new reference number. This is hard work for completists collectors (as I am!) to get every record.

Josh THORNE, who was the road manager and sound engineer during the BISHOPS’ 1978 tours, remembers this year (1978) : "My memory doesn't serve me that well but I think we did around 9 gigs in Ireland: Dublin, Belfast and some coast towns too. We also did Edinburgh, Dundee, Glasgow up in Scotland and of course all the good R ‘n’ B clubs and pubs in London where I come from. A load of venues around England where also gigged and I remember [The BISHOPS] cutting an EP for CHISWICK [Mr. Jones] in the middle of all that too.

I remember really well going around to Dave house in North London and listening to him and Zenon working songs out (originals) ... that was fun".

And Josh adds: "Zen was a good friend at the time and I was very sorry to loose him, and even after all these years and I still miss [him]. He signed me up for the band in the first place. Dave and Paul were my next best buddies. CHISWICK records did not treat me well and that's why I left them".

 

 

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April 30, 2005

 

 

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© Herve Colombet, 2003 - 2005