Blue Ash ‎– No More, No Less

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Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
SRM 1 666, SRM-1-666 Blue Ash No More, No Less(LP, Album) Mercury, Mercury SRM 1 666, SRM-1-666 US 1973 Sell This Version
SRM 1 666 Blue Ash No More No Less(LP, Album, Promo) Mercury SRM 1 666 US 1973 Sell This Version
CCM-963 Blue Ash No More, No Less(CD, Album, RE, RM) Collectors' Choice Music CCM-963 US 2008 Sell This Version
CCM-963 Blue Ash No More, No Less(CD, Album, RE, RM) Collectors' Choice Music CCM-963 US 2008 Sell This Version
URA-1-666 Blue Ash No More, No Less(LP, Album, Ltd, RE, 150) Uranus Records (4) URA-1-666 US 2016 Sell This Version
URA 1 666, URA-1-666 Blue Ash No More, No Less(LP, Album, Promo, RE) Uranus Records (4), Uranus Records (4) URA 1 666, URA-1-666 US 2016 Sell This Version

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streetmouse

streetmouse

March 8, 2017
referencing No More, No Less, LP, Album, SRM 1 666, SRM-1-666

Alright … this is one of those records that I purchased on the strength of The Beatle cover, “Anytime At All,” which was an unexpected selection to say the least, and they did a super nice job; but that’s where things sort of go sideways.

Relying on three minute songs, which we now call ‘power pop’, the band lay down some powerful rhythms that stress the melody, laced with strong harmonies and a contagious enthusiasm … though for all the world, that enthusiasm, that aspect of contagious high spiritedness seems a slightly over the top, not quite disingenuous, more that they seem to be trying too hard. It’s most self evident that Blue Ash, and a great name it is, stand squarely on the shoulders of their heroes, The Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart, and that’s is their shortcoming in a nutshell, that they’re not standing on their own feet.

Of course back in the day, this band formed in Youngstown, Ohio must have has some serious public relations money behind them, as the music rags where full of stories, saying that Mercury Records had been in and won the bidding war over this long haired band who’d shed their hippy attire in favor of some smart clothing looks, along with a super stage presence where they delighted in engaging the audience. Considering that, I found it odd that they also covered an unrecorded Bob Dylan song as well, “Dusty Old Fairgrounds,” though I promise you, with the manner in which Blue Ash has worked the number, it does not sound like a Dylan song at all, delivered with thunderous wailing guitars. Other tracks such as “Just Another Game,” come across with memories of The Byrds, while “Plain To See” shimmers with choruses that will get stuck in your head, though I’m not sure that’s a good thing, al-la Freddie & the Dreamers.

All of this brings me to the conclusion that Mercury Records, who had also recently signed The New York Dolls, where looking for more of the same, not drag queens necessarily, but bands with the same energy, sending them out on tour backing Iggy & The Stooges and Aerosmith, with Bob Greene of The Chicago Sun Times going far out on a limb, and in the first couple years of the new decade, calling Blue Ash the greatest American band of the 1970’s. Rolling Stone Magazine said the same thing, as did Phonograph Record, Bomp!, and even Cream, while Dick Clark featured them on American Bandstand. Even stranger, the UK newspaper, The Guardian in 1973 stated that this was one of the 1000 albums you simply had to hear before you died … though in 1973, there were few people with 1000 vinyl records. Talk like that does little to raise expectations, and the band crashed and burned shortly thereafter, never becoming anything near to being a hitmaker, with the album falling into obscurity, only to be reissued on compact disc in 2008 … though I assure you, the vinyl is not hard to find, and should be the preferred media for listening.

Blue Ash had too much going on at once, too many styles of music, too many styles of delivery, totally unprepared for what the music industry was going to toss at them, and could have certainly use a serious guiding hand, rather than their own star filled eyes. So you’d think that they’d have attempted to discover their own space, yet alone style, though later with Playboy Records, things turned even more bizarre, where they added horns and strings to their already bloated roster, one that at the end included rock n’ roll dance steps, turning themselves into a bump on the Ohio map.

The Fun Facts: Of course people took the band’s name as being a reference to the ash hanging onto the end of a joint, or at least a cigarette, Blue Ash was in fact a city in Hamilton County, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, where the band called home.

Review by Jenell Kesler
Klektic

Klektic

June 5, 2016
referencing No More, No Less, LP, Album, SRM 1 666, SRM-1-666
70's U.S. Power-Pop Gem out of Youngstown, Ohio ...recorded at 'em famous Peppermint studios! ...a real sweeper of the genre this is! ...there's Byrds-ian magic, Beatle-fied melo-charm in the harmonies, the passion-play on elevated bay in Glass Harp vein! ...and a rockin' punch! great acoustic/electric mix w/ HOT cover of Dylan's "dusty old fairgrounds" and the Fab Four's "anytime at all" ...rest is all orig. material and that stuff strikes right! boss production, cool sleeve... a stone 70's CLASSIC!