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When it comes to obscure names in rock and roll history, what about Screamin' Lord Sutch? Would you believe that he at one time enlisted the help of such big guitar names as Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Ritchie Blackmore? A name like Screamin' Lord Sutch and the names of these guitarists might have you thinking that he was a blues guy, but you'd be wrong.
Sutch came out of Britain playing rock and roll (mainly covers) in the early 60s predating the Beatles, through the 70s and 80s. He did have some major names guest star on his first major album, Lord Such and His Heavy Friends from 1970, including Jeff Beck, John Bonham, Nicky Hopkins, Noel Redding and Jimmy Page who also produced the album. I've never heard this album in it's entirety myself, but general consensus from the reviews I've read have been that it's pretty bad... a cult classic with a unique corny charm... but still pretty bad. It's definitely a rarity worth having in your collection though if you want to be complete. Other sessions included the work of Keith Moon, Ritchie Blackmore and Mitch Mitchell, but all after what many would consider Sutch's heyday: the early 60s.
His presence can still be heard right up to today actually, at least with a few of the modern rock and rollers. The White Stripes regularly cover Sutch's version of "Jack the Ripper", although appropriately turned up and distorted to better fit within their screeching, fuzz filled sets. This cover is actually how I first came to Sutch's music. It wasn't until I sought more information and did a little research did I realize that I'd heard a few of his other songs as well as part of various Halloween soundtracks.
Screamin' Lord Sutch was also known for a number of horror themed novelty songs that can still be found on some of the Halloween compilation albums floating around. That is why I thought it might be interesting to take a brief look at Sutch and his music on today, the eve of Halloween. Songs like "Dracula's Daughter, "She's Fallen in Love with the Monster Man", "Murder in the Graveyard", "Monster Rock", "All Black and Hairy" and "Jack the Ripper" seem quite appropriate for the upcoming holiday. Plus I thought that Screamin' Lord Sutch is such an obscure artist that unless some time has been spent actively seeking out his music, most people have probably never heard of him. I know I hadn't before hearing "Jack the Ripper".
Although perhaps not the best music (his early work is pretty good though), I think it's important to remember these artists who seemed to have such a tremendous impact on rock and roll, but have since drifted into obscurity themselves. Just take a look at a few of the names I listed as coming to support his albums and I think you'll agree that Screamin' Lord Sutch certainly had more than a little impact on the major players of classic rock.
Check out his music if you get the chance. Not only will you get a good look at one of the roots of rock, but also might catch a great Halloween song too.