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Classic rock catalog: Humble Pie discography


It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to call Humble Pie a supergroup, at least under the definition that would have applied in 1969, when the band was formed.

Guitarist-vocalist-songwriter Steve Marriott came from Small Faces. Peter Frampton, although still in his teens at the time, had made a name for himself as guitarist with The Herd. Greg Ridley had been bass guitarist for Spooky Tooth. Jerry Shirley was the drummer for a band called The Apostolic Intervention, not a household name by any stretch, but one of the pioneers in Brit psychedelic rock.

Eight of their 11 studio albums were released between 1969 and 1975, when the band went on hiatus for the first time. Humble Pie were one of several British bands of the era who found greater commercial success in the US than in their native UK. Marriott was once quoted as saying, "We owe America something because they turned us into a touring band." They were on the road almost constantly during those first six years, only one "current" live album was released, in 1971. Four more have been culled from archival recordings.

1969 - 'As Safe As Yesterday Is'

Humble Pie - As Safe As Yesterday Is

With their debut album, Humble Pie seemed to be testing for a style that suited them, sampling pop and folk, blues and heavy metal. Most of the songs were written by Marriott and Frampton, with one contribution from Marriott's former Small Faces mate, Ian McLagan and one from Steppenwolf's John Kay. The album was produced by Andy Johns, who would later produce IV for Led Zeppelin and Exile on Main Street for The Rolling Stones. As Safe As Yesterday Is peaked at #32 in the UK, but did not chart in the US.

Original LP Track List
Side 1
1. "Desperation"
2. "Stick Shift"
3. "Butter Milk Boy"
4. "Growing Closer"
5. "As Safe As Yesterday Is"

Side 2
1. "Bang!"
2. "Alabama '69"
3. "I'll Go Alone"
4. "A Nifty Little Number Like You"
5. "What You Will"
Watch a promotional video for "Bang"

1969 - 'Town and Country'

Humble Pie - Town and Country
Immediate Records

The band's second studio release, Town and Country came just three months after their debut album. The album was assembled hurriedly, with all of the band's members sharing songwriter duties. It had a much softer sound than the first album, with a mix of ballads, blues, folk and country rock. The album failed to chart in the UK or US.

Original LP Track List
Side 1
1. "Take Me Back"
2. "The Sad Bag of Shaky Jake"
3. "The Light of Love"
4. "Cold Lady"
5. "Down Home Again"
6. "Ollie Ollie"

Side 2
1. "Every Mother's Son"
2. "Heartbeat"
3. "Only You Can See"
4. "Silver Tongue"
5. "Home and Away"
Watch a 1970 TV performance of "The Sad Bag of Shaky Jake"

1970 - 'Humble Pie'

Humble Pie
Lemon Records UK

With their self-titled third album, Humble Pie started moving in the direction of a harder, louder sound. All of the songs except the blues standard "I'm Ready" were written by band members. "Theme from Skint (See You Later Liquidator)" was a satirical homage to the band's first label, Immediate, who had gone bankrupt a few months earlier. Humble Pie continued the dubious tgrend of being absent from the album charts.

Original LP Track List (US Version)
Side 1
1. "Live With Me"
2. "Only a Roach"
3. "One Eyed Trouser Snake Rumba"
4. "Earth and Water Song"

Side 2
1. "I'm Ready"
2. "Theme from Skint (See You Later Liquidator)"
3. "Red Light Mama, Red Hot!"
4. "Sucking on the Sweet Vine"
Listen to "Earth and Water Song"

1971 - 'Rock On'

Humble Pie - Rock On
UMVD Special Markets

Rock On was the last Humble Pie album performed by the band's original lineup, as Frampton left shortly after it was released. They had finally settled on the hard blues rock for which they would finally become well known. It was the first of their albums to chat in the US, peaking at #118, but it failed to chart in the UK.

Original LP Track List
Side 1
1. "Shine On"
2. "Sour Grain"
3. "79th and Sunset"
4. "Stone Cold Fever"
5. "Rollin' Stone"

Side 2
1. "A Song for Jenny"
2. "The Light"
3. "Big George"
4. "Strange Days"
5. "Red Neck Jump"

Watch a 1971 live performance of "Rollin' Stone"

1972 - 'Smokin'

Humble Pie - Smokin'
A&M Records

Things finally clicked with the band's fifth studio album, Smokin'. It became the band's best-selling album, with chart peaks of #6 in the US and #28 in the UK. The album contained "30 Days in the Hole" which became one the band's best known songs. The album marked Marriot's emergence as the band's primary creative force, including being the album's producer.

Original LP Track List
Side 1
1. "Hot 'n' Nasty"
2. "The Fixer"
3. "You're So Good for Me"
4. "C'mon Everybody"
5. "Old Time Feelin'"

Side 2
1. "30 Days in the Hole"
2. "(I'm A) Road Runner"/"Road Runner's 'G' Jam"
3. "I Wonder"
4. "Sweet Peace and Time"
Watch a live performance of "C'mon Everybody" in 1974

1973 - 'Eat it'

Humble Pie - Eat It
Lemon Records UK

Eat It could, in a sense, be typed as a concept album, at least to the extent that each of the four sides (it was a double-LP release) had a distinct theme. Side 1 was a showcase of rock by Marriott. Side 2 consisted of covers of R&B standards. Side 3 was unplugged, all acoustic. Side 4 was a selection of live performances. The concept worked. The album hit #34 on the Billboard 200 and reached #13 in the UK.

Original LP Track List
Side 1
1. "Get Down To It"
2. "Good Booze and Bad Women"
3. "Is It for Love?"
4. "Drugstore Cowboy"

Side 2
1. "Black Coffee"
2. "I Believe to My Soul"
3. "Shut up and Don't Interrupt Me"
4. "That's How Strong My Love Is"

Side 3
1. "Say No More"
2. "Oh, Bella"
3. "Summer Song"
4. "Beckton Dumps"

Side 4
1. "Up Our Sleeve"
2. "Honky Tonk Women"
3. "(I'm A) Road Runner"
Humble Pie cover The Rolling Stones in this 1972 performance of "Honky Tonk Women"

1974 - 'Thunderbox'

Humble Pie - Thunderbox
Lemon Records UK

Humble Pie once again turned to covers, which made up more than half of their seventh studio album. In addition to the preponderance of covers, the five original songs (written, as usual, by band members) were somewhat less than inspired. The chart performance is a good indicator of how the album buying public responded: #52 peak in the US, did not chart in the UK.

Original LP Track List
Side 1
1. "Thunderbox"
2. "Groovin' with Jesus"
3. "I Can't Stand the Rain"
4. "Anna (Go to Him)"
5. "No Way"
6. "Rally with Ali"

Side 2
1. "Don't Worry, Be Happy"
2. "Ninety-Nine Pounds"
3. "Every Single Day"
4. "No Money Down"
5. "Drift Away"
6. "Oh La-De-Da"
Listen to the title track, "Thunderbox"

1975 - 'Street Rats'

Humble Pie - Street Rats
A&M Records

The back story on Street Rats illustrates why many artists over the years have railed against the realities of the music business. The band wasn't in the mood to do another album, and after four grueling years on the road, they were particularly not keen on touring. Their manager convinced them to go back on the road, but everyone involved knew it would be pointless to tour without a new album. Not willing to wait for the band to come around, the label (A&M) appropriated recordings that were being made for a Marriott solo album, brought someone in to remix them, added a title, and released the album, much to Humble Pie's collective dismay. "It was terrible," summarized Greg Ridley. The tour became a farewell tour, and the group split up as soon as it was over.

Original LP Track List
1. "Street Rat"
2. "Rock and Roll Music"
3. "We Can Work It Out"
4. "Scored Out"
5. "Road Hog"
6. "Rain"

Side 2
1. "There 'Tis"
2. "Let Me Be Your Lovemaker"
3. "Countryman Stomp"
4. "Drive My Car"
5. "Queens and Nuns"
Listen to "Street Rat"

1980 - 'On To Victory'

Humble Pie - On To Victory

Four years after they disbanded, Marriott and Shirley reunited, added a new guitarist-vocalist -- Bobby Tench (ex-Jeff Beck Group) -- and a new bass guitarist -- "Sooty" Jones, who had worked with Shirley during the hiatus. In 1980 they released On To Victory, the ninth Humble Pie studio album. It was moderately successful, reaching #60 on the Billboard chart, with a moderately successful single, "Fool For a Pretty Face" making it to #58 on the singles chart.

Original LP Track List
Side 1
1. "Fool for a Pretty Face"
2. "You Soppy Prat"
3. "Infatuation"
4. "Take It from Here"
5. "Savin' It"

Side 2
1. "Baby Don't You Do It"
2. "Get It in the End"
3. "My Lover's Prayer"
4. "Further Down the Road"
5. "Over You"
Listen to "Fool for a Pretty Face"

1981 - 'Go For the Throat'

Humble Pie - Go For The Throat

The band followed up quickly the next year with Go For The Throat, which brought back the R&B flavor of their early albums. Covers included Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" and Marriott's "Tin Soldier" which was first recorded by Small Faces. They undertook another tour after the album was released, but it was cut short when Marriott injured a wrist, then developed an ulcer. Shortly after the tour fell apart, so did the band, again.

Original LP Track List
Side 1
1. "All Shook Up"
2. "Teenage Anxiety"
3. "Tin Soldier"
4. "Keep It on the Island"
5. "Driver"

Side 2
1. "Restless Blood"
2. "Go for the Throat"
3. "Lottie and the Charcoal Queen"
4. "Chip Away the Stone"
Listen to Humble Pie's cover of "Tin Soldier"

2002 - 'Back On Track'

Humble Pie - Back on Track
Sanctuary Records

Another 20 years passed before Jerry Shirley and Greg Ridley decided to take another stab at reviving Humble Pie. They enlisted Bobby Tench from the last lineup, and rhythm guitarist-songwriter "Bucket" Colwell, formerly with Bad Company. In 2002, they released Back On Track, written mostly by Colwell, but sounding more like the old Humble Pie, with two original members and a longtime member making up the majority of the lineup. The album might have been more successful than it was, but once again the promotional tour following its release was cut short, this time when Ridley became ill. After that, the group disbanded once and for all. 

Original CD Track List
1. "Dignified"
2. "Real Thing"
3. "Trouble"
4. "Ain't No Big Thing"
5. "Stay One More Night"
6. "Still Got a Story to Tell"
7. "All I Ever Needed"
8. "This Time"
9. "Flat Busted"
10. "Between Old Teddy and Your Mum"

Beyond the end

Of the four original members of Humble Pie, two (Frampton and Shirley) are still alive and still performing. Steve Marriott died in 1991 in a fire at his home, at age 44. Greg Ridley died of pneumonia in 2003 at age 56. In addition to their original albums, 13 compilation albums have been released, the most recent one in 2006. A box set containing an expanded (from two shows to four) version of the 1971 live album, Performance: Rockin' the Fillmore was released in 2013.
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