6 November 2014

Stevenson's Rocket - Alright Baby/ Teenager Dreamer

Label: Magnet
Year of Release: 1975

Pete Waterman has had a longer career than many people tend to give him credit for. Long before his golden patch with PWL in the eighties, his fingers were in many pop pies, of which Stevenson's Rocket were probably the most hyped. A group of keen and cute teenagers who played their own instruments (Kevin Harris on vocals, Alan Twigg on bass, Mick Crowshaw on guitar, Steve Bray on drums and Dave Reid on keyboards) they were fortunate to be spotted by the Hitman while playing a live set in Tiffany's in their native Coventry.

Gifted with ample television slots, press and radio play, their debut single "Alright Baby" sounds like an absolute sure-fire hit, and deserved far better than the paltry number 37 placing it achieved. All the best elements of teenage fifties Spector pop collide with the anthemic sugar-rush of seventies bubblegum, and it's possibly one of the finer Waterman obscurities. Rumours (which I haven't been able to verify) abound that it was bumped out of the charts after a chart hype campaign was unveiled, which would certainly be one good explanation for its failure.

The Rocket managed two more singles after this before fading into complete obscurity, despite seeming to have started their careers on an absolute media high. Their present whereabouts are unknown, but I and a number of other people online would be keen to have word of what they're up to now.


Graham Clayton said...

I presume that the band took their name from the famous 19th century steam engine?

23 Daves said...

Yes, I've wondered if the rail enthusiast Waterman gave them that name... Or if it's what got his attention in the first place.

Arthur Nibble said...

Bearing in mind the significance of the year, it wouldn't surprise me if Waterman tried to re-release his minor First World War associated hit "Good-Bye-Ee" (released by 14-18, co-produced by him and Alvin Stardust Mk I, Peter Shelley), which somehow charted four places than the Rocket. Now, had Waterman discovered Coventry punk band The Flys, let alone The Specials, he would have gone up in my estimation. Mind you, he did manage to marry one of those stunnas in Tight Fit (no, not Steve Grant).