In the mid 60s Long John Baldry became a well-liked figure in the London club circuit, befriending among others The Beatles. He actually performed as a guest on one of The Beatles' TV shows in 1964, an impressive feat for a singer who was pretty much unknown to the record buying public. He also discovered a young Rod Stewart and recruited him as a second vocalist in his group, The Hoochie Coochie Men, before they disbanded. He then formed a new group known as The Steampacket with Stewart, female vocalist Julie Driscoll, organist Brian Auger, guitarist Vic Briggs, bassist Richard Brown and drummer Micky Waller. This short-lived band has often retrospectively been labelled a 'supergroup', but unfortunately they never made any proper recordings together.
At the same time as he was singing R&B in the London clubs, he worked on a second album which presented a different side of him. Looking At Long John came out in 1966, and saw him singing songs in more of an orchestrated pop / blue-eyed soul style. The songs themselves were mostly familiar numbers - "You've Lost That Loving Feeling", "Cry Me A River", "Make It Easy On Yourself", "Keep On Running", "I Love Paris", "Turn On Your Love Light" and others. Baldry's voice turned out to be just as suited to this style as it did to blues, and with some fantastic big arrangements it made for a really great sounding record. However it didn't give him any hits, and he continued to work with The Steampacket until they disbanded that same year.
Long John's Blues (1964) <|> Let The Heartaches Begin (1967)
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