Trapeze-Don’t Stop The Music

Spread the metal:

Reviewed: March, 2023
Released: 2023, Cherry Red / Purple Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

I know very little of the 70’s Rock band Trapeze other than a few people of serious and notable Hard rock and Metal heritage were once in the ranks. They were founded in 1969 churned out six albums until 1978 (and broke up in 1982) so they were just on the periphery of my musical consciousness. Thanks to Cherry Red I can now explore this well-regarded proto-Metal/rock band.

Cherry Red has just released DON’T STOP THE MUSIC a six CD box-set of the band’s music. With a sub-title of COMPLETE RECORDINS VOL 1, we can anticipate Vol 2. This set has the first three albums (1970-1972) so logically we can expect Volume 2 to have the last three studio albums (1974-1978).

As per the labels preferred format, the packaging is a six CD set, with the wallets/cardboard sleeves housed in a clamshell box. Each CD has the original cover art. The classical black and white image on the 1970 self-titled debut looks like it could be a black Metal album cover! Speaking of cover art, one could be forgiven if you looked at the live photo on the front cover of the 1972 album, YOU ARE THE MUSIC, WE ARE JUST THE BAND and thought it was a live album. I always did! There is a 40-page booklet with a long essay by Malcolm Dome, technically a series of small essays. I found them very informative!

In the early days the band rode on the coattails of The Moody Blues (who were huge at the time) signing to their Threshold label and touring with them. On the debut, only the songs ‘Fairytale’ and ‘Suicide’ resembles anything Hard Rock. The fact that the first album was pretty mellow is not unique, early offerings by Deep Purple, Krokus, UFO and others were also shaking off the sounds of the 60’s before getting on the early wave of Hard Rock.

MEDUSA is the second album. The band have pared down from a quintet to the classic power-trio of Glenn Hughes, Mel Galley and Dave Holland. This is widely considered their best/heaviest album. The third album steps off the gas a bit and adds some unwelcome horns , adds a bit more funk and soul but still fits in with proto-Hard rock of the era.

What is quite remarkable about this set is the inclusion of a completely unreleased Double Live album, simply entitled LIVE IN DALLAS. What an amazing gem for long-time fans of the band. Imagine. This live album sat in the vaults for fifty year before seeing the light of day. Could it even be too late? Let’s imagine for a moment, some guy in Dallas saw that concert when he was 20 years old in 1973…he is 70 years old today…maybe not even alive! Come to think of it…how many people who were at that concert on April 27th, 1973 are even still alive? Perhaps I’m being a tad morbid…

The final live Disc is pretty neat. The band reunited briefly in 1992 for a few shows and naturally one of them was captured for posterity. The nine-track album was recorded in London. It seems to be a partial show at only 60 minutes and the liner notes suggest some things were cut off due to technical issues. The sound quality is decent and all those years later the renditions seem a bit heavier if anything. Oddly enough not a single track from the debut makes the live album as they prefer to concentrate on the heavier second and third albums.

There is a reason I put this in out Let’s Get Rocked section. This is just rock and roll. The 60’s pop influence is still strong, especially on the self-titled debut. However, Trapeze is an important little link in the history and future evolution of Hard Rock and I’m glad these albums have been preserved for history.

Track Listing:

TRAPEZE (1970)

1 It’s Only A Dream
2 The Giant’s Dead Hoorah!
3 Over
4 Nancy Gray
5 Medley: Fairytale/Verily Verily/Fairytale
6 It’s My Life
7 Am I
8 Suicide
9 Wings
10 Another Day
11 Send Me No More Letters
12 It’s Only A Dream

MEDUSA (1970)
1 Black Cloud
2 Jury
3 Your Love Is Alright
4 Touch My Life
5 Seafull
6 Makes You Wanna Cry
7 Medusa

1 Keepin’ Time
2 Coast To Coast
3 What Is A Woman’s Role
4 Way Back To The Bone
5 Feelin’ So Much Better Now
6 Will Our Love End
7 Loser
8 You Are The Music

Recorded live at the Majestic Theatre, Dallas, Texas, USA, 27th April 1973
Previously Unreleased
1 Way Back To The Bone
2 You Are The Music
3 Jury
4 Seafull
5 Your Love Is Alright

Recorded live at the Majestic Theatre, Dallas, Texas, USA, 27th April 1973
Previously Unreleased
1 Medusa
2 Black Cloud
3 Keepin’ Time
4 Touch My Life

Recorded live at The Borderline, London, 16th May 1992
1 You Are The Music
2 Way Back To The Bone
3 Welcome To The Real World
4 Coast To Coast
5 Midnight Flyer
6 Homeland
7 Touch My Life
8 Your Love Is Alright
9 Black Cloud