Long-established as a hugely popular radio format, the Classic Rock sound was established – though not codified and canonised until some while later – in the Seventies, when numerous British bands from a pop or blues-based background pioneered a muscular, riff-based sound that dominated American FM airwaves and led the most successful practitioners to fame, fortune and all manner of related excess. But although there are innumerable radio stations now devoted to the baby boomer sounds of Classic Rock, their innately conservative, playlist-based nature means that the same heavyweight tunes are endlessly recycled: the casual listener could be forgiven for thinking that the careers of major bands like Thin Lizzy and The Who didn’t extend beyond ‘Whiskey In The Jar’, ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ and ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’. So allow the Grapefruit label to break down the walls of stultifying retroactive conservatism with an alternative look at the Classic Rock genre. Riding The Rock Machine features many of the era’s headline names (Lizzy and The ‘Oo, but also The Moody Blues, Free, Status Quo, Jethro Tull, Procol Harum, ELP, ELO, Uriah Heep etc) in slightly less familiar settings as well as some Classic Rock-friendly performances from acts who walked the walk and talked the talk but never quite received the same level of acclaim as the brand leaders. Housed in a no-expense-spared clamshell box with a lavishly annotated and illustrated 40-page booklet, Riding The Rock Machine features four hours of vintage sounds from British rock’s golden age as Grapefruit turns it up to eleven and goes where other labels fear to tread in search of the perfect riff. As our opening track proclaims, Long Live Rock’n’Roll!
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