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Alan White

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Alan White Ramshackled album cover
2.66 | 36 ratings | 5 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ooooh Baby (Goin`to Pieces)
2. One Way Rag
3. Avakak
4. Spring - Song of Innocence
5. Giddy
6. Silly Woman
7. Marching into a Bottle
8. Everybody
9. Darkness (Parts I, II & III)

Total Time: 38:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Alan White / drums, percussion
- Peter Kirtley / guitars, vocals
- Colin Gibson / bass, percussion
- Kenny Craddock / keyboards, vocals
- Alan Marshall / vocals
- Bud Beadle / solo saxophone, flute
- Andy Phillips / steel drum
- Steve Gregory / tenor saxophone, flute
- Henry Lowther / trumpet
- Madeleine Bell / backing vocals
- Joanne Williams / backing vocals
- Vicky Brown / backing vocals
- David Bedford / orchestral arrangements and orchestra conductor
- Jon Anderson / vocals (4)
- Steve Howe / guitar (4)

Releases information

Released as a L.P.: Atlantic K50217 (UK); Atlantic SD 18167 (U.S.)
Released as a C.D.: AMCY-19 (Japan);Wounded Bird WOU-8167 (U.S., 2006)

Thanks to Ghost Rider for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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Wounded Bird Records 2006
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ALAN WHITE Ramshackled ratings distribution

(36 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(14%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (33%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

ALAN WHITE Ramshackled reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Guillermo
4 stars My late father was a great record collector of mainly Classical music records. Also he liked to have the best audio equipment available in the seventies (and later in the 80s-90s, but with less interest). So, he had subscriptions for some audio equipment magazines ("High Fidelity", "Stereo Review" and "Audio") and also, as a very good customer of one record shop, he was given for free (for years too!) the monthly Schwann record catalogues! He lent me his magazines and his record catalogues and I was more interested in reading the record reviews in that magazines and to see the new released albums in the record catalogues. So, I remember that I read in those magazines the reviews for many albums, and I read there the reviews for the solo albums that the then members of the band YES released between 1975 and 1976. The only album from which I never read a review was for this album, Alan White`s "Ramshackled", released in April 1976, but I knew about the existence of this album because it was listed in the Schwann catalogues. I also have a cousin who had a very good record collection of Prog Rock musicians, and he also had the other solo albums from the members of YES, but he didn`t have this album. I remember that I also read in one Schwann record catalogue from 1978 that this album was marked as "to be out of print soon; it is not going to be included again in the future editions of this catalogue". So, I never have seen a copy of the old LP of this album, and it seems that many people never knew about this album being released. But, in 1992, a now defunct and very missed FM Radio station in my city broadcasted a series of programmes dedicated to the discography of the band YES and also to some of the solo albums recorded by their members and former members. So, I recorded it in a cassette. But this album was previously released on CD only in Japan, but in this year, it was released for the first time on CD in the U.S., so it is available again, and I`m going to buy it as soon as I see it in the record shops.

This album is very good, IMO, it has a mixture of several styles with good Prog Rock arrangements. It was recorded by Alan White assisted by musicians who played with Alan before he joined YES. The songs of this album were not composed by Alan, but the songs were composed by Kenny Craddock, Colin Gibson and Peter Kirtley, alone or in different combinations. Alan and these musicians played together in a band called "Griffin", and also played together in several albums as session musicians. Craddock, Gibson and Kirtley also composed songs together for other projects before this album was planned and recorded. So, they had a lot of experience working together with Alan White before he joined YES, so I think that it was easier for them to record this album which was released as Alan`s solo album, but it could be also considered as a Griffin album.

The songs:

1. Oooh Baby (Going to Pieces`): it starts with Alan playing drums and percussion in a Samba- Bossa Nova musical style. Then, the other instruments appear and then the singer sings in a Soul music style.

2. One Way Rag: this song is influenced by Soul and Rhythm and Blues music, it is a simple song really, sometimes sounding like Pop music.This song was played a few times by YES on their "Solo Albums" tour in 1976. In the first gigs of that tour, the band played selected songs from their solo albums, but the idea was eliminated soon.

3. Avakak: it is an instrumental piece of music in the Jazz-Rock musical style with the addition of wind instruments and very good rhythm patterns by Alan and basist Colin Gibson.

4. Spring - Song of Innocence: with lyrics by William Blake, this is a song very influenced by New Age music ( a style not so called like that in those days) and Prog Rock, with very good atmospheres, and the guest appearances of YES members Jon Anderson and Steve Howe. I think that this song could have been included in any YES album in those years.Alan plays a slow rhythm similar to YES song`called "Wonderous Stories". There are also very good flute-guitar-keyboard arrangements.Anderson sings lead and backing vocals.This song also was played a few times by YES on their "Solo Albums" tour in 1976.

5. Giddy: is a funny song also influenced by Jazz-Rock and Soul music. The lyrics tells the story of "a night of fun in the city". It includes a very good drum part by Alan. Again, lead singer Alan Marshall sings very well. This song also has a good orchestral arrangement.

6. Silly Woman: a Reggae song with good drums by Alan and a steel drum part. Maybe the lyrics are a bit offensive, but it is a funny song anyway. In the "Yesyears" video it is included a fragment of a promotional video for this song on which Alan appears smiling, and Patrick Moraz said in one interview that he also appeared briefly in this video as guest without having played a note in the song! This could be a good danceable song. It also has wind instrument arrangements.

7. March into a Bottle: is a song with classical guitar, flutes and other wind instruments and tuned and untuned percussion, inlfuenced a bit by Classical music and Folk Rock a la Jethro Tull. It also sounds IMO in the style of Steve Hackett`s music as soloist.

8. Everybody: is an energetic song with very good drums by Alan, a bit heavy, with wind instrument arrangements and backing vocals by Madeleine Bell, Joanna Williams and Vicky Brown. It has very good bass guitar parts, and acoustic guitar and steel drum.

9. Darkness: is the most Progressive song in this album, maybe the most "serious", with three parts, also influenced by Jazz-Rock. It also has wind instrument arrangements and an orchestral arrangement by David Bedford (who previously worked with Mike Oldfield) in the third part. The arrangements are a bit inlfuenced by YES music.There are some lead guitar parts too. The final part of the song includes a trumpet solo.

I think that this album deserves to be "discovered" and listened by the Prog Rock Fans who never have listened to it. The album is very eclectic, but it shows Alan White`s versatility as a drummer. He, in the "Yesyears" video, talking about this album, said that his idea was to record an album with a mixture of several styles. It seems to me that his previous musical experience of playing with artists of different musical styles helped him a lot to record an album with a lot of variety in the musical arrangements. This album, IMO, it is also interesting for Prog Rock Fans who also play drums and percussion (which is my case). I can hear a lot of interesting things in this album, and I hope that other listeners could find something interesting on it too. It also sounds to me like it was recorded with Alan and all the musicians having a lot of fun. So, even being a collaborative effort, not only a solo album, it is very good, IMO.

In Alan White`s official website there are some promotional videos for this album which can be seen there. They are also available in .

Update (11-January-2008): a year ago I bought the C.D. version of this album, released in the U.S. by Wounded Bird Records, and it sounds very good, but the booklet doesn`t include the lyrics and the full cover artwork. Anyway, it was a good buy for me.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars The (ALAN) white album

Alan White's only solo album to date is this 1976 release recorded subsequent to Yes' "Relayer", when the entire band decided to indulge themselves in solo activities.

White, probably wisely, chose not to try to create an album which sounded anything like his mother band, but instead went down the jazz funk route. He gathers together a proficient band, White's roll appearing to be primarily one of co-ordinator and co- producer, apart of course from being the drummer! White is not involved in the song writing either, leaving that aspect to the principal musicians on the album.

After a couple of vocal dominated funky numbers, "Avakak", which according to the lyric sheet also has a number of rather silly alternative names, is a piano based jazz instrumental which drifts through a number of moods and lead instruments. I have to confess it is too jazzy for my tastes, but those who enjoy the music of bands such as Soft Machine may find it appealing.

The only other Yes members to contribute are Jon Anderson and Steve Howe who appear on "Song of innocence", written by William Blake. The song is the most orthodox on side one of the LP (yes, I still have the record!), essentially sounding like an Anderson solo work.

Things take an unfortunate dip on side two on the second track "Silly woman", which is a second rate clone of 10CCs "Dreadlock holiday". According to the lyric sheet, the title of the following instrumental was to be "Darch of the lesbian Mwarphs", but the more prosaic "Marching into a bottle" was used instead. The track is quite different to the rest of the album, being a flute based acoustic piece with baroque influences. It sounds like Alan White may not actually perform on this track at all.

"Everybody" sees things take a turn for the worse again, in an rather unfocused melee which sounds like "Captain Beefheart" on an off day. The best is however saved for last. "Darkness" has an impressively progressive structure, and much tighter composition. The first section is a bluesy vocal performance which leads into an orchestrated jazz rock burst. A delicate latter section, with good vocals and a trumpet voluntary concludes the album in fine style. This is undoubtedly the finest track on the album. Had the rest of the tracks been of a similar style and quality, White could have been competing with Squire for the best Yes solo album award. As it is, this is a competent but unexciting offering which is a solo album in name only. The fact that it took Alan the best part of 30 years to take one the role of leader on an album again (see WHITE) perhaps indicates that he recognised that he could achieve far more as 20% of the finest prog band ever.

The album sleeve is, unsurprisingly, similar to that of "The White Album", inside though is a colourful print of the hand written lyric sheet, and an insert with an illustration by Henry S Hodgson which at first appears to be a sophisticated old man, but closer inspection reveals his face to consist of a number of naked ladies.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
1 stars White goes black!

After the release of the Relayer album, the members of Yes decided to all release solo albums. Jon Anderson released his Olias of Sunhillow, Steve Howe his Beginnings, Chris Squire his Fish Out Of Water, Patrick Moraz his The Story Of I and Alan White released this. While none of these solo albums are similar to the style of Yes music, Ramshackled is definitely the least Yes-like of them all. This is a laid-back, very funky, jazzy and soulful album! Ironically this White album has a very black sound!

This is not poorly performed or badly recorded; Alan enlisted a number of talented musicians and helpers here. However, this is just not my cup of tea at all. Also, the role of Alan himself is very dubious. He played drums for sure, but everything else, including all the writing as far as I understand, was handed over to other people. This is an Alan White album in name only.

All this make this album into a typical example of an album that is for completionists only - people, like myself, who wants to have everything Yes related just because it is Yes related and for no other reason. But this album stretches the boundaries even of how far even I am willing to go for Yes related stuff.

Alan was smart to enlist Steve Howe and Jon Anderson to perform on one track making the album more interesting for Yes fans. But even with this song included it is not enough to make this album really interesting for more than one listen. All five 1975-76 solo albums by the Yes members took fans far away from Yes in many diverse and interesting directions, but this album simply took us too far away!

This is perhaps not a poor album, but the Prog quotient is very poor indeed. And the relevance of this album to Yes is almost none. Therefore, one star only.

Review by stefro
3 stars Certainly a departure from his day job, 1976's 'Ramshackled' proves the real oddity amongst the numerous Yes solo albums issued in the wake of both 'Tales From Topographic Oceans' and 'Relayer'. Whilst his cohorts produced either classy symphonic rock(Squire's excellent 'Fish Out Of Water'), classically-influenced piano prog('Story Of I' by Patrick Moraz) or glacial art-pop (Jon Anderson's delicate 'Olias Of Sunhillow') White opted to a navigate a different path, cooking up a funky, jazz-rock mixture glazed with cool pop melodies and augmented by the occasional fusion-laced instrumental flight-of-fancy. Strangely, a glance at the writing credits reveals not a single mention of the name 'White', with 'Ramshackle' written entirely by the little-known trio of Peter Kirtley, Kenny Craddock and Colin Gibson. White does contribute a collection of impressive percussive displays - check out the whirring, rock-solid beat of the groove-licked 'Avakak (a.k.a. Twelve Ways To Drink Meths)' - yet he is by no means the star performer. A slick, polished and slightly over-sweet album, 'Ramshackled' nevertheless exudes a certain infectious charm, the streamlined blend of rock, fusion and funk tinged with just enough progressive artfulness for it to maybe catch the ear of the odd Yes aficianado and beyond. Some may find it all a bit too close to Weather Report or suchlike for their liking, those who dabble in the occasional slice of classic 1970s funk - Green, Gaye, Hayes etc - may just find their next favourite album. Kudos to Alan White for treading such an unexpected pathway. Yes this certainly ain't; 'Ramshackled' really does proves a very apt title. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2013

Latest members reviews

3 stars Been getting into Billy Cobham,Lenny White,Soft Machine,Larry Coryell's Eleventh House ,Perigeo and the likes lately.Was browsing I-Tunes for something new and stumbled upon this one.Listened to the snippets and read the reviews here.Thought what the hell and bought it. I can see where EasyLi ... (read more)

Report this review (#188703) | Posted by gr8dane | Monday, November 10, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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