|As Safe as Yesterday Is|
|Studio album by|
|Released||1 August 1969|
|Recorded||1969, Olympic Studios, London, England|
|Humble Pie chronology|
As Safe as Yesterday Is is the debut album by rock band Humble Pie, released in the UK in August 1969. The album peaked at number 32 in the UK album chart. Featuring former frontmen Steve Marriott (ex–Small Faces) and Peter Frampton (ex–The Herd). While the group had technically formed in January 1969, Marriott's final touring commitments to his former band followed by legal wrangles with Frampton's old management had delayed any album releases until August, during which time the band rehearsed and recorded enough material to fill at least three albums.
As Safe as Yesterday Is is a blend of heavy blues, crushing rock, pastoral folk, and post-mod pop. Marriott contributed six songs to the album, one co-written with Frampton, who also contributed two solo efforts. The record opens with a cover version of Steppenwolf's "Desperation" and the track "Growing Closer" was written by ex–Small Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan who actually rehearsed with Humble Pie early on, before deciding instead to regroup with Small Faces bandmates Kenney Jones and Ronnie Lane as The Faces, joined by newcomers Rod Stewart and Ron Wood.
The single-only track "Wrist Job" (the UK B-side of "Natural Born Bugie") is a reworking/completion of an unnamed backing track that Marriott originally wrote for The Small Faces, that was provisionally titled "The Pig's Trotters" by either the staff at Immediate Records or by future Small Faces archivists. It is thought to be one of the last tracks Marriott recorded with the Small Faces before leaving that group in early 1969, and if finished it may have been intended for the band's abandoned fourth album. This original version of the track was not officially released until it appeared on the Small Faces' first complete Immediate recordings box set in 1995. In truth however, while McLagan is indeed known to have rehearsed with the new group at least once while considering his post-Small Faces options, the distinctive keyboard part on the Humble Pie recording is performed by Marriott himself.
In addition, embryonic versions of both "Bang!" and "What You Will" from this album were recorded in French by singer Johnny Halliday in December 1968, with The Small Faces and Peter Frampton serving as Hallyday's backing group. Although now recognised as solely Marriott compositions, the Hallyday versions of "Bang!" and "What You Will" were recorded before the Small Faces' breakup in January 1969 and so there the music was credited to Marriott and Lane (as per the duo's publishing agreement that saw both credited no matter which of them actually composed a particular song).
Mike Saunders (later to become singer in punk band Angry Samoans) is credited with one of the first coinings of the term heavy metal as a subgenre in a 1970 review of As Safe as Yesterday Is for Rolling Stone, in which he wrote: "Here Humble Pie were a noisy, unmelodic, heavy metal-leaden shit-rock band, with the loud and noisy parts beyond doubt."
- "Desperation" (John Kay) – 6:28
- "Stick Shift" (Peter Frampton) – 2:22
- "Buttermilk Boy" (Steve Marriott) – 4:22
- "Growing Closer" (Ian McLagan) – 3:13 (US version omitted "Growing Closer" in favour of the single "Natural Born Bugie")
- "As Safe as Yesterday" (Frampton, Marriott) – 6:05
- "Bang!" (Marriott) – 3:24
- "Alabama '69" (Marriott) – 4:37
- "I'll Go Alone" (Frampton) – 6:17
- "A Nifty Little Number Like You" (Marriott) – 6:11
- "What You Will" (Marriott) – 4:20
CD bonus tracks:
- "Natural Born Bugie" (Marriott) (Single A-side) – 4:12
- "Wrist Job" (Marriott) (Single B-side) – 4:14
- Steve Marriott - vocals (01,02 [fade-out vocals],03,04,05,06,07,08 [second vocals],09,10), guitar (01,03,05,06,09,10), slide guitar (02), acoustic guitar (07), harmonica (04,07), organ (02,03,05,09,10), goofs (09), tablas (04), piano (06)
- Peter Frampton - vocals ([backvocals],10), guitar, slide guitar (07), organ (01), tabla (05), bass tablas (07), piano (03,08,10)
- Greg Ridley - bass, vocals, happy noise (07), percussion (05), skins (04)
- Jerry Shirley - drums, grins and explosions (01), percussion (04,05,07), tablas (07), harpsichord (08), big ones (02), piano (05), lead thumbs (03)
- Guests :
- Lyn Dobson - flute (04,08), sitar(08)
- Andy Johns - producer
- Arranged : Humble Pie
New Musical Express called it "a good LP and one that will grow in estimation with each listen," though "a sameness on certain numbers" was observed. A review in Melody Maker said, "Critically speaking Humble Pie aren't offering anything particularly new. It would be nice to hear more of their instrumental and vocal ability showcased as it gets submerged in the production, but as a team they work well together and given a fair chance and hearing, the group will develop into an important musical entity." A retrospective review by heavy metal historian Martin Popoff gave the album an 8 out of 10 and noted "a Stonesy rock 'n' roll immediacy gripping the proceedings, a number of these tracks sounding very much like the blueprint for The Black Crowes, especially Desperation and the title track, both languid and loud, confident at the road ahead."
Notes and references
- "At Last, Humble Pie's Debut". New Musical Express. 26 July 1969. 8.
- "The Top 30 British Blues Rock Albums of All Time". Classic Rock. Future plc. 23 March 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
- Hewitt, Paulo; Hellier, John. Steve Marriott - All Too Beautiful... Helter Skelter. p. 190. ISBN 1-900924-44-7.
- "Guide to British Music of the 1960s Humble Pie". Making Time 1995-2007. Archived from the original on 20 August 2007. Retrieved 22 August 2007.
- Hewitt, Paulo; Hellier, John. Steve Marriott - All Too Beautiful... Helter Skelter. p. 191. ISBN 1-900924-44-7.
- "New Pie not Faces or Herd". New Musical Express. 9 August 1969. 10.
- "Future is bright for Humble Pie". Melody Maker. 16 August 1969. 20.
- Popoff, Martin (2003). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal, Volume I: The Seventies. Collector's Guide Publishing Inc. p. 143. ISBN 1-894959-02-7.