Sunday, June 29, 2008

SEA LEVEL / 1977 thru 1980

For those who may not know, this band's genesis came from Chuck Leavell (C. Level, get it?) leaving the Alllman Brothers Band and taking several other members with him. After one listens to this first Sea Level album it's not real hard to see why Chuck left the Brothers. They were obviously going in different directions musically and I'd hazard a guess that the Brothers sound was getting a bit boring and formulated for Chuck at that point in his life. So, he left and formed Sea Level. The first album was quite a knockout for me. Nice jazzy compositions and lots of nice and interesting melodies to lean on. It got a fair amount of turntable time in it's day.
For those of you who've followed this blog for awhile now you know that I'm a big Randall Bramblett fan and have been since his first solo album so imagine my pleasant surprise when the 2nd Sea Level album was released and Randall had joined the band with his great voice, keyboards and sax. "Cats On The Coast" was a knockout effort. There's nary a bad moment anywhere to be found on this entire lp. Several of Randall's tunes from his solo albums found their way onto Sea Level albums and their slightly different arrangements were a welcome addition to my collection.
To my mind by the time the 3rd album was released it should've been met with large amounts of fanfare and great reviews but other than the couple I happen to see the album seemed to be largely ignored by the masses. A crime to say the least.
By the time "A Long Walk On A Short Pier" came out I think they may had given up hope of becoming a big name, if that was a consideration for them, I dunno of course, I can only hazard a guess, but I think every band probably wants to make it big to some degree and when that doesn't happen in the timeframe you feel it should there's some demoralization that effects the overall sound and my ear could hear hints of that on their 4th effort. Still, a better album than 90% of the vinyl released that year, but not up to the standards of the first 3 releases either.
With the collapse of Capricorn records a number of bands, including Sea Level, had to find new labels to call home and their 5th effort was on Arista records. This one was a bit of a disappointment for me at the time although nowadays I like it just fine. When this album garnered them no recognition I would guess that Arista said "that's It for us" and they boys decided it was time to call it quits.
If you're a fan of Jazzy, melodic, soulful music and great instrumentation then I'd highly recommend downloading this series of albums and if you haven't done so yet, I'd go back and get the first two Randall Bramblett albums posted here. They're simply too good not to share.
Enjoy and remember...feedback is always appreciated.
TC

SEA LEVEL

TRACK LISTING:
Rain In Spain
Shake A Leg
Tidal Wave
Country Fool
Nothing Matters But The Fever
Grand Larceny
Scarborough Fair
Just A Good Feeling

THE BAND:
Jai Johanny Johanson - Drums, Percussion
Chuck Leavell - Keyboards, Vocals, Percussion
Jimmy Nalls - Guitar, Vocals
Lamar Williams - Bass, Vocals
CONTACT:
READ THIS for more information on this album.
CATS ON THE COAST
TRACK LISTING:
That's Your Secret
It Hurts To Want It So Bad
Storm Warning
Had To Fall
Midnight Pass
Every Little Thing
Cats On The Coast
Song For Amy
THE BAND:
Randall Bramblett - Vocals, Saxophones, Keyboards
Davis Causey - Guitars, Vocals
Jai Johanny Johanson - Drums, Percussion
Chuck Leavell - Keyboards, Vocals, Percussion
Jimmy Nalls - Guitar, Vocals
George Weaver - Percussion
Lamar Williams - Bass, Vocals

CONTACT:
READ THIS for more information on this album.
ON THE EDGE


TRACK LISTING:
Fifty-Four
King Grand
Living In A Dream
A Lotta Colada
This Could Be The Worst
Uptown, Downtown
Electron Cold
On The Wing

THE BAND:
Randall Bramblett - Vocals, Saxophones, Keyboards
Davis Causey - Guitars, Vocals
Joe English - Drums, Percussion
Chuck Leavell - Keyboards, Vocals, Percussion
\Jimmy Nalls - Guitar, Vocals
Lamar Williams - Bass, Vocals

CONTACT:
READ THIS for more information on this album.


LONG WALK ON A SHORT PIER

TRACK LISTING:
Tear Down This Wall
Canine Man
My Love
Just A Touch
Thirsty
A Two 'N Two
Morning Light
Too Many Broken Hearts
Twenty Miles From Nowhere
THE BAND:
Randall Bramblett - Vocals, Keyboards, Saxophones
David Causey - Guitar
Joe English - Drums, Percussion
Chuck Leavell - Vocals, Keyboards
Jimmy Nalls - Guitar, Vocals
Lamar Williams - Bass
CONTACT:
READ THIS for more information on this album.

BALLROOM

TRACK LISTING:
Wild Side
School Teacher
Comfort Range
Anxiously Awaiting
Struttin'
We Will Wait
You Mean So Much To Me
Don't Want To Be Wrong
Bandstand

THE BAND:
Randall Bramblett - Vocals, Keyboards, Saxophones
David Causey - Guitar
Joe English - Drums
Chuck Leavell - Vocals, Keyboards
Jimmy Nalls - Guitar
Lamar Williams - Bass
Matt Greeley - Percussion, Vocals

CONTACT:
READ THIS for more information on this album.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great band! As it happens and tastes go, Ball Room has some of my favorite songs. Shame there were not enough takers for this music. I do hope Chuck is getting rich from touring - or is it whoring - with the Stones.

Old Wolf

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 10:51:00 AM EDT  
Blogger walknthabass said...

Hey TC! How ya been!

Great stuff as usual! I've been too lazy - or too busy (depending on point of view) to do much vinyl lately.

But just to fill out the Sea Level collection here's this:

Sea Level - Special Limited Edition Pressing - Selected Instrumentals (1978)

http://my.opera.com/walknthabass/blog/show.dml/321934

Be safe my friend!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008 at 11:18:00 PM EDT  
Blogger BTO & The Penguins Rock ! said...

I tried to email you for 2 albums Im interested in but the link said the email wasnt valid?

Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 9:56:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Moose KnuckleHead said...

"Long Walk On A Short Pier" was named that because the band knew that Capricorn Records was going bankrupt. They realized that the album would not be distributed to any degree. This album was the final one released by the label.

Copies of the "Long Walk" album found in the US were actually pressed in Canada.

Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 9:32:00 PM EDT  

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