Friday, 8 November 2019

Terry Reid - Zodiac Blues (1969)

Terry Reid was born in 1949 in Huntingdon, England, and at the age of 15 joined Peter Jay's Jaywalkers after being spotted by the band's drummer, Peter Jay, playing in local band The Redbeats. In 1966 The Jaywalkers were named as a support act for The Rolling Stones for their concert at the Royal Albert Hall, and Graham Nash of The Hollies became friends with Reid at that concert, suggesting The Jaywalkers sign up with Columbia Records. Their first single was the soul-inspired 'The Hand Don't Fit the Glove' which was a minor hit in 1967, but by then The Jaywalkers had decided to disband. Reid came to the attention of producer Mickie Most, who was in partnership with Peter Grant at the time, and Most became his manager. His first single with Most, 'Better By Far', became a radio favourite, but the following album, 'Bang Bang, You're Terry Reid', was not a commercial success, although a 1968 tour of the United States with Cream did much to gain him a loyal following. Yardbirds guitarist Jimmy Page became interested in Reid's work, and when The Yardbirds disbanded, Page wanted Reid to fill the vocalist spot for his proposed new group, the New Yardbirds, which was later to become Led Zeppelin. Reid had already committed to go on the road for two tours with The Rolling Stones and another with Cream, and so turned down the offer, but he did recommend a young Birmingham-based singer, Robert Plant, and also suggested that Page check out Plant's band's drummer, John Bonham! 
Following the release of his second, eponymous album in 1969, Reid had a falling out with producer Mickie Most, who wanted him to become a balladeer and follow Most's own formula, and so consequently was unable to record or release his music while waiting for the outcome of the litigation. Instead he concentrated on live work, and in 1971 he was signed by Ahmet Ertegun to Atlantic Records, and with his band of David Lindley, Lee Miles and Alan White he began recording in the UK and the US, releasing the 'River' album in 1973 to favourable reviews, but commercial failure. Over the next decade, Reid switched to different labels in search of a winning formula, and released 'Seed Of Memory' in 1976, and 'Rogue Waves' two years later, but in 1981 he retired his solo career to concentrate on session work, appearing on albums by Don Henley, Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt. In 1991 he returned with producer Trevor Horn for the WEA album 'The Driver', and he is still working today. This album concentrates on his early recordings with Peter Jay and The Jaymen, as well as solo tracks that never made it to his albums, and the only song I've omitted is that first single with the Jaymen, which wasn't really in keeping with the rest of material on here (if you check it out on Youtube you'll see what I mean). If Reid is remembered for anything these days, it's as the man who turned down Led Zeppelin (and I don't help by using the Led Zep font for the  artwork!), but these recording show that there was much more to him that that, and with a bit more luck he could have been a major recording artist in the early 70's. 

Track listing

01 This Time (b-side of 'The Hand Don't Fit The Glove' with The Jaywalkers 1967)
02 Better By Far (single 1968)
03 Fire's Alive (b-side of 'Better By Far')
04 Just Walk In My Shoes (with The Jaywalkers 1967)
05 Ain't That Peculiar (previously unreleased 1968)
06 I've Got News For You (previously unreleased 1968)
07 I'll Take Good Care Of You (with The Jaywalkers 1967)
08 Summer Sequence (previously unreleased 1968)
09 Rich Old Lady (previously unreleased 1968)
10 It's Gonna Be Morning (with The Jaywalkers 1967)
11 Penny (previously unreleased 1969)
12 Funny How Time Slips Away (with The Jaywalkers 1967)
13 Zodiac Blues (previously unreleased 1969)


  1. Thanks a lot! i saw Terry Reid in London in the 70s ( with Carol Grimes), he was great live too!

    Stuffy from Sweden

  2. Thank you for this. I am a HUGE Terry Reid fan and I have some of these songs but not all of them. I saw Terry as the opening act for the Rolling Stones in 1969 , two of the nights they played Madison Square Garden. Saw him at the Bottom Line in 1992 and got to meet him. Also saw him in 1973 at Central Park on his "River" tour. One of my all time favorites.