‘Stonedhenge’: Ten Years After’s Monument To The Late 1960s

TYA’s first UK Top 10 album charted on February 22, 1969, with a title that captured the mood of the times.

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Stonedhenge Ten Years After

The year of 1969 went into the history of British blues-rock favorites Ten Years After as the one in which they broke through in America at the Woodstock Festival. But it was also the period in which they scored two of their total of four Top 10 albums in the UK. The first of those charted on February 22, 1969, with a title that you might say captured the mood of the times: Stonedhenge.

TYA had made their recording, and UK chart, debut in 1968 with Undead, an album recorded at the well-known London jazz club Klooks Kleek. For this and the follow-up set, they were paired with the respected Decca producer, and founder of the key British blues label Blue Horizon, Mike Vernon.

Listen to Stonedhenge right now.

His credentials already included some of the most important albums of the British blues-rock boom, such as 1966’s Blues Breakers by John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton, other albums with Mayall and numerous studio projects with Fleetwood Mac, including their self-titled debut and Mr. Wonderful follow-up, both in 1968.

The guitar sorcery of Alvin Lee

As with Undead, the Stonedhenge set was a showcase for the guitar sorcery of Alvin Lee, within the accomplished framework of Leo Lyons’ bass, Chick Churchill’s keyboards and the drums of Ric Lee. It included both concise pieces such as “Sad Song” and “Speed Kills” and extended workouts such as the eight-minute “No Title.”

Where Undead had peaked at No.26 in the UK in September 1968, Ten Years After’s ever-rising reputation saw Stonedhenge crash into the chart at No.6, as Diana Ross & the Supremes Join The Temptations continued at No.1. The TYA album spent three consecutive weeks at its entry position, charting in America on the same day and reaching No.61 there, as their stock continued to rise. Six months later, they went even higher in the UK chart, to No.4, with Sssh, then repeated that feat only another seven months on with Cricklewood Green.

Stonedhenge can be bought here.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Joe M

    February 22, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Saw them at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia 68 or so and again at Woodstock. The watermelon rolled on stage at the end of ‘Going Home’ is a tribute to the performance as food was running out. Lee’s playing will NEVER be duplicated and some of the live sets that are
    available should be in every music lover’s collection. ‘All hung up on mars.’

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