Ten Years After

To coincide with Ten Years After’s eponymous debut release in 1967, Chrysalis Records are releasing a 50th Anniversary 10CD Box Set. This limited edition set includes a CD of previously unreleased material.

The blues-rock band, led by incendiary ES-335 blues wailer Alvin Lee, always had a strong following among heavy blues and hippy crowds, but shot to wider fame after their appearance at Woodstock in 1969; their rendition of “I’m Going Home” was featured in both the subsequent film and soundtrack album. Lee’s peace-sign-stickered “Big Red” Gibson ES-335 became an icon, and Gibson later produced an exact replica for fans of Lee’s superb playing.

The boxset collects albums from both the Chrysalis and Deram label periods, from 1967 to 1974. It’s limited to 1,500 copies worldwide, and the albums have been remastered from the original 1/4-inch production master tapes. It also adds an album of unreleased 1972 material, The Cap Ferrat Sessions, which have been newly mixed by acclaimed producer Chris Kimsey. The package comes in a luxury hardback format with slipcase and an accompanying book which includes newly commissioned in-depth 10,000 word sleeve notes written by Melody Maker journalist and early champion of the band, Chris Welch. There are extensive interviews with the remaining band members plus members of Alvin Lee’s family, and additional recording notes by Chris Kimsey.

“I’m genuinely excited about the new Ten Years After box set” says Ten Years After’s founding drummer, Ric Lee. Of The Cap Ferrat Sessions, recorded using The Rolling Stones Mobile recording truck, Lee says, “Each of the instruments were recorded in a different room – drums in the ballroom. Between Chris Kimsey, our recording engineer and I, we managed to get one of the best drum sounds on any Ten Years After recording. Natural ambience from the villa’s acoustics helped tremendously. The session tracks were originally planned for the Rock & Roll Music To The World album, but due to vinyl restrictions of the time, the tracks were not included in the final album release.

“More details are on the sleeve notes written for us by Chris Kimsey, who kindly agreed to mix the tracks for this boxed set release 45 years after they were recorded. This is a must-have collection for any avid Ten Years After fan, and any new fans that want to soak up the band’s recorded history.”

The full package of CDs included are:

  1. Ten Years After [Mono, 1967]
  2. Undead [Stereo, 1968]
  3. Stonedhenge [Stereo, 1969]
  4. Ssssh [Stereo, 1969]
  5. Cricklewood Green [Stereo, 1970]
  6. Watt [Stereo, 1970]
  7. A Space In Time [Stereo, 1971]
  8. Rock & Music To The World [Stereo, 1972]
  9. Positive Vibrations [Stereo, 1974]
  10. The Cap Ferrat Sessions [recorded in 1972, mixed in 2017]

It’s out November 10th, but as a strictly limited edition it will no doubt sell-out quickly and fans can order now via Pledge Music. There are only 150 sets available with signed Art Prints.

Alvin Lee died in 2013: here’s Gibson’s tribute.