Ten Years After – Love Like A Man

8th August 1970 · 1970, 1970s, Music, Uncategorised

I’m not sure I know a single other song by blues rockers Ten Years After but their only hit single has stayed in my mind, thanks to Alvin Lee’s memorable guitar riff.

It was a highly unusual single release back in August 1970 in that the A-side was the three-minute version played at 45rpm, for which the documentary-style video was made, while the B-side – unusually – played at 33rpm and was the extended ‘album version’  that lasted more than seven minutes.

I was aware at the time that Lee – also the band’s vocalist – was regarded by guitary types as being some sort of underappreciated genius and I find now that he is arguably the inventor of the high-speed “shredding” style.

Now that I have investigated, they seem to have been much bigger than I ever imagined, notching up eight albums in the chart from 1968-73 and actually formed much further back than that, in 1960, in Nottingham.

They really caught the popular imagination when they played at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, with the song I’m Going Home being prominently featured in the documentary film about it.

Lee’s lightning-fast guitar playing was right on-trend for the time – indeed, he was officially named “Fastest Guitarist In The West”, suggesting there might have been an even faster one somewhere in the Far East, waiting to be discovered. 

I also learn that, after leaving Ten Years After in 1973, he not only worked with a who’s who of famous musicians, from Bo Diddley to Jerry Lee Lewis and Mick Taylor, but his 1973 album On The Road To Freedom – a collaboration with gospel singer Mylon LeFevre, featuring guest spots by George Harrison, Steve Winwood, Ron Wood and Mick Fleetwood – is one of the first country-rock albums.