Humble Pie

The A&M CD Box Set (1970-1975)

Arena-rock pioneers Humble Pie launched some of the grittiest heavy rock of the ’70s, courtesy of vocalist/guitarist Steve Marriott, bassist Greg Ridley, and successive lead men Peter Frampton and David “Clem” Clempson. This eight-CD box set includes the Pie’s seven main A&M albums and a bonus disc of 14 B-sides/rarities, five debuting here.

1970’s Humble Pie includes the loose “Live With Me.” The following year’s Rock On burns brightest on “Stone Cold Fever” and “Rollin’ Stone.” Also from ’71, Performance: Rockin’ the Fillmore is one of the best FM live albums, proven by the nine-minute swaggering blast of “I Don’t Need No Doctor.”

Clem Clempson replaced Frampton for 1972’s Smokin’ (see “Pop ’N Hiss” in the February ’23 issue). “30 Days in the Hole” grooves ferociously. 1973’s Eat It swerves closer toward R&B, such as “Black Coffee.” The era’s relentless recording and touring grind took its toll creatively, and Humble Pie started recording more covers. Thunderbox includes the slinky “Ninety-Nine Pounds,” while 1975’s haphazard Street Rats (not originally intended as a Pie album) contains the smoldering “Road Hog.” Straight-ahead rockers “Big Black Dog” and “Mister Ring” as rarities highlights.

In all, this box is essential for fans – and devotees of ballsy guitar rock.

This article originally appeared in VG’s March 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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