Week of July 1, 2007

Norman Haines Band

Neil Clark - Guitar
Norman Haines - Keyboards
Andy Hughes - Bass
Jimmy Skidmore - Drums

Den Of Iniquity (Parlophone PCS 7130) 1971; CD Progressive Line PL 528, 2002
Also reissued on a CD by Shoestring.

Daffodil/Autumn Mobile (Parlophone R 5871) 1970 - Credited to The Norman Haynes Band
Den Of Iniquity/Everything You See (Mr. Armageddon) (Parlophone SPSR 338) 1971 - Promo only
Finding My Way Home / Rabbits (Parlophone R 5890) 1971 - Released as Avalanche
Give It To You Girl/Elaine (Parlophone R 5960) 1972 - Norman Haines solo 45

This keyboardist's first significant band was a Birmingham-based pop outfit called The Brumbeats (surprise, surprise!) in which he played guitar. This was not the same Brumbeats that issued a 45 on Decca in 1964. He was soon offered a place in another Black Country outfit, Locomotive. When they split in late 1969, Haines formed a new band called The Sacrifice, which found it hard to get work. Their debut 45, "Daffodil", was a Latin-style 45, which sounded like a commercial version of Santana but didn't sell. To add insult to injury, the record company didn't like the name Sacrifice and credited the record to The Norman Haynes Band (even spelling Haines wrongly!)

Their album, "Den Of Iniquity", has gone on to become one of the most sought-after collectors items of the progressive era. The cover was striking and pictured a huge creature giving birth to miniature human beings and another huge creature chucking them through the air - presumably to their deaths. It seems likely that some stores didn't stock the album at the time on account of this artwork. Musically, the album boasted a very varied fare. It included a re-recorded version of Locomotive's classic, "Mr. Armageddon", but its finest moments were two lengthy instrumentals, "Rabbits" and Haines' "Life Is So Unkind". Curiously two tracks from the album ("Finding My Way Home"/"Rabbits") were also released as a 45 credited to Avalanche.

After a further solo 45, "Give It To You Girl", which sounded like early Locomotive, Haines called it a day, leaving behind what is now a much cherished collectors item.

The "Den Of Iniquity" album was reissued on CD by an indie label, Shoestring, with several bonus tracks (including the two 45s and the previously unreleased "I Really Need A Friend").

Taken from The Tapestry of Delights - The Comprehensive Guide to British Music of the Beat, R&B, Psychedelic and Progressive Eras 1963-1976, Vernon Joynson
ISBN 1 899855 04 1

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