Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Max Webster

Prog Related

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Max Webster Mutiny Up My Sleeve  album cover
3.97 | 32 ratings | 5 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1- Lip Service
2- Astonish Me
3- Let Your Man Fly
4- Water Me Down
5- Distressed
6- The Party
7- Waterline
8- Hawaii
9- Beyond The Moon

Line-up / Musicians

Mike Tilka - bass
Kim Mitchell - guitars and vocals
Terry Watkinson - keyboards and vocals
Garry McGracken - drums

Releases information


Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
Edit this entry

Buy MAX WEBSTER Mutiny Up My Sleeve Music

More places to buy MAX WEBSTER music online

MAX WEBSTER Mutiny Up My Sleeve ratings distribution

(32 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(56%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MAX WEBSTER Mutiny Up My Sleeve reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Having shown a greater maturity with their second album and conquering their country, Webster set out to invade the planet with yet another controversial album title: Mutiny Up My Sleeve (but which sleeve are they talking about, you my wonder ;-) and this album was another step to greatness. By this time, the group was in full swing and churning out the hits and classics with an impressive regularity and this album would unleash another half dozen.

Webster was clearly one of the most cherished bands on the home front and not one single house party was complete without this album being played at least once during the night. This was no doubt due to the presence of THE best party track ever written: the aptly titled The Party, which was sung out by almost every teen from the first crowd yells until the last air-guitar cord mimed. Often this was played by the observing DJ (sometimes your truly ;-) as soon as the party menaced to become soft, and within the first two seconds of the start of this rack, all hell had broken loose, some dozen brews downed and so many more instantly opened and sacrificed on the honor of Webster. This track has everything to please everyone, from downright sex-incensed lyrics to fabulous guitars solos to impressive vocals (the utmost thing was to able to manage to come as close to Mitchell incredible word delivery without taking a breath), to constantly shifting rhythms and dizzying performances from the whole group.

But to limit Mutiny to this sole track would be insulting it: Lip Service is a real shocker and a superb intro to the album (and a solid proposed remedy to the album title ;-), while Astonish me is one of those superb slower tracks that Webster deals so well with. The album is rounded up by the now-habitual Moon track and this one is well within the line of its predecessors and two other tracks that are your average Webster tunes. Water Me Down is yet another cool track while only a track of Waterline's quality can hold up next to the encumbering 6-min The Party.

Again not the perfect album, but this was about as good as one could expect to crack the planet open. Alas for some reasons, this was not to happen, which probably has as much to do with the proverbial lack of self-confidence of Canadians in regards with their southern neighbors, but maybe also that south of the border no-one wanted one more Canadian band on the circuit. Far-fetched? Not so sure! Nevertheless yet another superb killer of an album that every progheads should lay at least an ear on. Sadly (and hopefully momentarily), this album seems to be harder to come by than others from Max.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars From beyond the moon strait to your speakers.

With this album Max Webster would establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with the Canadian hard-rock scene along with big brother Rush. A more mature version of the band emerged they would still manage to keep their partying side about them as they put out this next excellent album. A mix of typical 70s hard rock with a heavy whiff of progressive scent this album is certainly one that needs a few listens to get used to.

With Mutiny Up My Sleeve Webster started to use a nice heavy amount to synthesizers that they had already tinkered and flaunted with on their debut which had made the music so infectious and appealing to the prog heads. Insert Kim Mitchell's excellent use of the strings and you've got yourself quite the album. This one has a bit more slow moments than past albums, but it seems that they've really gotten used to doing it by this point. Ultimately, while less interesting upon the first few listens than their other albums this one becomes the most rewarding disc after enough spins thanks to the music depth it has to uncover.

Though slower and more ''mature'' at points, this album still has its heavy moments. After all, what would Webster be without them? The opener Lip Service is a midpaced track with some very catchy keys while The Party picks things up with typical Webster prowess and tells the story of our lives as they recap a couple of degenerate teenagers that we can all relate to somehow (''We're all here to be reckless!/We're all sleazy and easy to please/Dreamers and schemers on the loose!'').

From there on out, however, it's that more meditated and intricate sound. Starting with Astonish Me the keys get turned up a notch and Mitchell's voice becomes unfamiliarly emotional and lo-key as he belts out the lyrics. Most of the other songs on the album feel like this including the melancholic Water Me Down and the superb Distressed as well as the pseudo-instrumental Hawaii. However, it's the final and longest track, Beyond The Moon which takes the cake on this album. A mixture of what the rest of the album has to offer and hiding it behind and (almost) wall of sound while incorporating a number of stellar solos and high-points, this one comes close to rivaling Webster's opus Lily from their first album.

This is a great hard rock album with enough progressive leanings to make a very prog-rock sounding record. Several listens are needed to get into this one, much more than previous or later records, however it's worth it since (as stated before) this is likely Webster's most rewarding effort of their painfully small discography. 4 stars! Recommended to anyone who doesn't mind a bit of rock in their prog. or a bit of prog in their rock!

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars MAX WEBSTER's third studio album features some good variety as usual, and one of their greatest concert tunes "The Party". Again the sound quality couldn't be better and neither could the instrumental work by the band.

"Lip Service" opens with some great sounding guitar and drums as Kim comes in with authority on vocals. Love the drumming. Some nice guitar 3 minutes in. Kim puts a show on vocally though. "Astonish Me" opens with piano as synths come in. It changes completely 30 seconds in to an almost jazzy flavour at first, before vocals come in with meaningful lyrics. The piano is prominant. Synths take over after 3 minutes before drums come pounding in. More synths later. "Let Your Man Fly" is a straight up tune with drums, piano, vocals and guitar leading the way.This is my least favourite song on here. My second from the bottom is the next song "Water Me Down" a ballad with reserved vocals. "Distressed" really reminds me of "Lily" from their debut. At least it moves me the same way emotionally. This comes from a combination of Kim's vocals and the sweet guitar. Amazing song. Kim sings emotionally "I am perplexed, I am distressed, where did I park my wheels."

"The Party" is a song every Zappa fan should hear. One of the best party songs ever. Check out the keyboard work, drums and guitar ! One of the best lines ever "Now we're just musicians here to thin the thickness of your skin." "Waterline" opens with spoken words and guitar. It kicks in before a minute. Pulsating keys. Some low end guitar after 2 minutes. Passionate vocals in this one. Catchy tune. "Hawaii" opens with sounds from the beach as spoken words come in. A very Zappa-like tune. Again this Canadian band is occupied with summer weather. "Beyond The Moon" has the most psychedelic lyrics you'll find from this band. Nice guitar in the intro. Piano and a calm a minute in as vocals are whispered. Back to full sound 2 minutes in.The guitar work is incredible the rest of the way. Fantastic song !

Fantastic band ! Although if you saw the pictures of them on the back cover you'd question their sanity. They sure liked to have fun.

Review by Gooner
5 stars My favourite album by Max Webster is _Mutiny Up My Sleeve_. It embodies everything Max Webster set out to accomplish without the fame and fortune...although they were quite popular in the Americans' attic (Canada). Having toured 2 albums and opening for labelmates Rush really seasoned these guys. Produced by Terry Brown, this album has the same kind of sound quality and production feel of Ken Scott's work on Dixie Dregs _What If_. As the Dixie Dregs were to the United States, so too is Max Webster to Canada(both countries' _best kept secrets_). As much as I love Rush(1978-1982), if the chips were down...the Max-machine could dance circles around them, especially the musicianship on this album. For one thing, Kim Mitchell is one the guitar greats - at times sounding like Allan Holdsworth, Steve Morse, Frank Zappa and Larry Carlton in a span of 20 seconds. Check out the track _Distressed_ if you don't believe me. Gary McCracken is as good as Neil Peart, but has an Ian Paice quality about him(he can really swing!) Whenever I listen to this album, it puts me in a place not far removed to Camel's SNOW GOOSE. Whereas, Max Webster rock out quite a bit here, it's the fluid ballad-like tracks such as _Astonish Me_, _Water Me Down_ and the instrumental _Hawaii_(it's the wordless female vocals that send me to the Snow Goose land). _A Million Vacations_ was Max Webster's prog.rock album and probably the best place to start. _Mutiny Up My Sleeve_ is to Max Webster fans as _Countdown To Ecstasy_ is to many Steely Dan fans(arguably their best album). Also worth mentioning is the lyricist Pye Dubois - sort of like a frost bitten Keith Reid(of Procol Harum) without the maudlin tendencies of suicide and sea shanties (oh..stop it, already! -ed.). Pye Dubois has a lyrical fixation on the moon and you get the feeling he was that one weird guy everyone liked to party with but you were afraid to introduce him to your parents. Terry Watkinson comes off sounding like a cross between David Sinclair of Caravan and Kerry Minnear of Gentle Giant(and at times Pete Bardens of Camel... especially _Rain Dances_-era). Max Webster have always been a hard band to pigeonhole, often like Germany's PASSPORT(what are they? Jazz rock fusion, or prog.rock?). Not a bad track on Max Webster's _Mutiny Up Sleeve_. Solid throughout and a Canadian prog.rock masterpiece which stands tall beside FM's _Black Noise_ and Rush's _Permanent Waves_.
Review by FragileKings
3 stars Max Webster's third album, released in 1978 in Canada and a year later in the U.S. it seems. I knew of the band because of the movie "Rush - Beyond the Lighted Stage" and I knew of Kim Mitchell because of a couple of hit songs he had in the mid-eighties. But I felt no compulsion to buy a Max album until I was searching for Canadian prog of the seventies (yes, kind of a rare bird, I know) and saw Max Webster labeled as prog. Referring to the reviews on PA, it seemed this was the album for being introduced to Max Webster.

Now before I even heard a single note, I read the notes on the back of the 24 bit audio remastered CD and I got the impression that Max Webster was a wild and crazy hard rock band blending progressive rock in their music. I knew the album was co-produced by Terry Brown and that the band often toured with Rush. So, my expectations were getting pretty high. The album, however, did not adequately satisfy either the hard rock anticipations or the prog ones.

After a few listens now, I cannot escape the conclusion that this is a late seventies rock album with some hard rock and a little prog. It's a diverse album to be sure. No two songs sound like they were inspired by the same experience, and the band make a fine concoction of party rock with passionate and heart-felt numbers, with bluesy grit, with powerful music approaching anthemic. Oh, not to forget the humour as well! But this are the praises. For what this album is about, I will do the old track by track play by play.

"Lip Service" is an excellent and fun hard rocker. The lyrics, "He should be down under, pushing up wheat for the hungry" and "Only your right hand knows you're left handed" underscore the humour of the band. For a hard rock album, this is a great opener.

"Astonish Me" starts of like a piano ballad but soon transforms into a mellow song with a powerful chorus. The instrumental section teases with a promise of prog but seems reluctant to follow through. My impression of this song is that it is really typical of the late seventies. If you heard this on the radio for the first time and were asked to guess the year of release, you'd likely miss by no further than a year off. I also feel the synthesizer is barely keeping steady. It's like watching a tightrope walker who keeps looking like he's about to lose balance.

"Let Your Man Fly" is a typical guitar/piano/organ rock and roll song.

"Water Me Down" sounds like a crazy rock and roll band is trying to do a serious ballad. It doesn't come across as a candidate for a classic, but I can imagine it getting requested at some Ontario high school dance in the late seventies.

"Distressed" is another true blue late seventies tune. The chorus makes me think of Survivor ("Eye of the Tiger"), not like that song but like they could have done this in '78. Or maybe I'm thinking of The Little River Band, or REO Speedwagon or someone else. The instrumental part actually flirts with stepping into prog territory and it looks positive. But then it's over and the chorus returns.

"The Party" is a wild and fun song with the band exhibiting humour and hard rock. It sounds like they made off with a rocker roller penned by Gil Moore for Triumph and made it more fun. There's a part in the guitar solo that sounds a lot like Steve Morse's playing style. Well done!

"Waterline" sounds like it could have come from a Don Henley solo album.

"Hawaii" starts with seagulls and tinkling sea shells. There's a yawn and then someone (Kim Mitchell I presume) proclaims with an Ontario accent, "The headaches are gone and it's morning for this song." The tone and timbre of the voice makes me think that this is making fun of the narration in Rush's "The Necromancer". And then a simple piano piece accompanied by acoustic guitar and percussion carries on and it's like we have finally come to the first real prog-sounding track on the album. It's not daring like classic prog but a pleasant surprise.

And then we reach what for some must be the real highlight of the album: "Beyond the Moon". This is where the band are both at their heaviest and at their most progressive. It begins with some speedy Spanish guitar and shouts of encouragement before quickly switching to a heavy rock number. Before long, the music eases back and drops down low in volume, going for atmosphere and mood. At 6:33, this is the longest song on the album and it does cover its territory well. If I had heard only this song I would have snapped up the album without any hesitation. They saved the best for last.

There's one negative impression that I feel each time I have listened to this album. It's basically that Max Webster sound here like second tier Canadian talent. No, not Kim Mitchell. The band and this album. Second tier is not a bad thing. It's not second rate. What I mean is that to me there is a feeling like this is a Canadian band who could do the best for themselves in Canada but were not suited for world domination. They don't sound world class to me. The CD booklet describes how Terry Brown didn't feel the songs were truly coming together in the studio even though Mitchell insisted they band was playing the best they could. Bassist Mike Tilka was fired early on but was snapped up by Ray Daniels Management and sent over to manage the band that had just fired him. When Terry Brown walked out on the production, Tilka was asked to take over. So, the fired bass player became the new manager and producer.

The CD booklet says that this album was the end of the beginning, and possibly for Kim Mitchell, the beginning of the end. The fun that had gone into the first two albums was now met with music industry frustrations. As for me, I may yet seek out one more Max Webster album, but I will check out the songs first before I click the order button.

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of MAX WEBSTER "Mutiny Up My Sleeve "

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.