Hearts & Arrows (2LP+7″)



Cat Nº: YATC10



Without exaggeration we can defend that Blue Ash had a certain level of importance from a historical point of view. longside other bands of their time such as The Raspberries – also from Ohio-, Big Star or the British Badfinger, they helped defining on the early seventies the sound that would later became a scene under the sign of power-pop. Likewise the rest of the above mentioned bands, they avoided the influence of the symphonic and progressive as well as the hard-rock push and opted for a more peculiar and, in a way, anachronic mix: the strength of seventies rock modelled by pop melodies coming from the earlier decade.


Blue Ash was a modest band from Youngstown formed in 1969. They seeked -and managed to achieve by far- to pull a sound just like the Beatles, The Who, Kinks, Hollies, Small Faces and all those big names from the Brit Invasion without loosing those folk-rock harmonies of the Beau Brummels or The Byrds nor the sound of the West Coast bands of the time. They lasted for a decade, during which period they received the support of some key characters like Greg Shaw and Paul Nelson -who signed them to Mercury…like the New York Dolls!- and published two albums. The first one, No More, No Less (Mercury, 1973), is an impeccable album, a guitar pop classic, a reference for those devoted to seventies rock. It didn’t sell all that well despite of the great critics. Years later they publishing Front Page News (Playboy, 1977), an album to recapture, poorly understood due to a more ambitious production, but full of great songs.


Not long after the band had split up they were widely acclaimed. First it was The Records, including “Abracadabra (Have you seen her)” in their classic Ep that came with the first LP, that Shades in Bed. But it wasn’t just them, since all one had to do was just to to expose oneself to the songs of Blue Ash to be fully impregnated by their sound. The good news is that even though they never had too much luck nor commercial success the band were very prolific making songs and had the good practice of visiting the Peppermint Studios in Ohio to rehearse and record their songs as demos. The result was overwhelming, with nothing less than a legacy of two hundred and nineteen tracks amongst which a selection of twenty eight have been put together in this Hearts & Arrows that is going to look fab in your record collection. Some of those tracks ended up as part of their official LPs, others appeared in Around Again, that double CD published by Not Lame in 2004 and that discovered us the treasure chest, with eight previously unreleased songs too. Excellent songs, superb rock and roll.