Monday, April 3, 2017

Medicine Head - 1968/1977

British blues rock band Medicine Head was initially a duo. Active throughout the 70's, their biggest single success was 1973's "One and One is One", a number three hit on the British singles chart. The group recorded six original albums, the first three of which were on John Peels Dandilion label.

For most of it's carreer, the groupthe group was a duo comprising John Fiddler (vocalist, pianist, guitarist, drummer), and Peter Hope-Evens (harmonica, Jew's harp, and mouthbow player). At various stages, the band utilized other musicians, Clive Edwards, Keith Relf, Tony Ashton, Roger Saunders, George Ford, John Davies, Rob Townsend, and Morgan Fisher.

Fiddler and Hope-Evens began performing together on an informal basis in 1968 playing blues/rock songs in clubs in and around Birmingham. They were seen at the Lafeyette Club by radio DJ John Peel, who in turn played a tape of their songs for John Lennon, Eric Clapton, and Pete Townsend and, at Lennon's insistance, signed them to his Dandilion Record label. The dou's first album New bottles, Old Medicine, was recorded in a single two-hour session. and they toured with Peel at many of his gig's, Peel paying them out of his own fee. Their second album, Heavy on the Drum was recorded with Keith Relf, formerly of the Yardbirds, as producer. The single "(And The) Pictures in the Sky" rose to no. 22 on the U.K. singles chart in 1971, and was the first hit of the Dandilion label.

Hope-Evans left the band for over a year and Fiddler, Relf (on bass), and drummer John Davies recorded the band's third album The Dark Side of the Moon . It was released in 1972, the year before the Pink Floyd album of the same name. According to Nicholas Schaffner, Pink Floyd briefly changed the name of their piece (which they were already performing live) to Eclipse, until the Medicine Head album turned out to be "a commercial dud." The track "Only to Do Wahat is True" appeared on the 1972 compilation There is Some Fun Going Forward. 

Medicine Head signwed with Polydor records, and Hope-Evans returned for the album One And One is One produced by Tony Aston and recorded with various session musicians. The title track became the bands biggest hit, reaching # 3 in the U.K. in 1973, and they followed it up with "Rising Sun" (#11)

Despite constant touring (as a support act), Medicine Head failed to place an album on the U.K. Albums chart. For their final album, Two Man Band the band reverted to being a duo. Medicine Head finally folded in 1977.





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