You Make Me High

‘Love Like a Man’ was written by Alvin Lee the guitarist from Ten Years After and it was released on their 1970 album Cricklewood Green.  It charted #10 in the UK, but only made it to #98 in the US.  It was their only UK Singles’ chart hit.  Alvin said that he wrote most of the songs for this album in the taxi on the way to the studio.  This is a very unusual single which features the same song on both sides of the record.  The A-side of this single is to be played at 45 rpm whilst the B-side is to be played at 33 rpm.  The B-side is a live version of the song recorded at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East and runs at 7:56 in marked contrast to the A-side which is shorter being only 3:05.

The guitarist was born Graham Alvin Lee on Dec. 9, 1944, in Nottingham, England.  His father, Sam, was a builder that collected jazz and blues records, and his mother, Doris, was a hairdresser.  Alvin’s father was an avid fan of chain/prison work songs, chain-gang songs, that kind of thing and he was always playing this ethnic blues stuff around the house, and both of his parents were fans of swing jazz and blues.  One day his father brought home American blues singer-guitarist Big Bill Broonzy (whose real name is William Lee Conley) when he was touring the U.K. after a concert playing in a club in Nottingham, and seeing him sitting in their living room playing made a big impact on Alvin and the blues would remain in his heart from that time on.  Broonzy was one of the first singers of what would later be called the blues and he claimed that he learned to play the blues from an itinerant songster named ‘See See Rider’, who was a former slave, that played a one-string fiddle.  At age 12, Alvin had a year of clarinet lessons, but the next day after Big Bill Broonzy came to his house, he sold his clarinet and bought a guitar.

Alvin got into his first band the Jail Breakers when he was 13.  Alvin Lee was known for his speedy fingers and that earned him the unofficial title of “the fastest guitar in the West”.  The “Woodstock” movie also marked the beginning of the end for Ten Years After, as the sudden fame that came from the film meant that the group stopped doing cozy performances in clubs to move into big arenas and that changed the sound of the band.  Lee said they “sort of auditorium-alized” explaining their stylistic move away from the group’s British blues-jazz-rock roots and this caused them to lose their creativity.  Lee stopped doing interviews and that made it worse, as the media thought he was acting like Greta Garbo.  TYA toured the USA 28 times in 7 years, more than any other U.K. band. Exhausted by touring, Lee quit the group in the mid-1970s, saying that he always wanted to be a working musician, not a rock star, it’s really all he knew how to do.  Lee said that he always tried to be a musician rather than a pop star, as he hates anything to do with pop music.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was created to honor the legendary performers, producers, songwriters, disc jockeys and others who have made rock and roll the force that it is in our culture and once an artist or group has gone twenty five years after the release of their first record, they become eligible.  Ten Years After has been eligible since January 1, 1992.  A Committee called NIHOF Not in Hall of Fame Rock and Roll was formed and they came up with 250 artists who they feel deserve consideration for enshrinement in Cleveland and Ten Years After is on their list.

You roly-poly
All over town
But you come on back to me
When things are down
Love like a man
Love all you can
Your satisfaction
Is growing less
If you come on back to me
Use my address and let you
Love like a man
Love all you can
You are the woman
You can’t deny
You look so good to me, girl
You make me high
I’ll tell you something
I think you know
When you flash those eyes at me
All systems go and let you
Love like a man
Love all you can

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge I’d Love To Change The World.

6 thoughts on “You Make Me High

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