Al Staehely & 10K Hours – Al Staehely & 10K Hours

January 01, 1970


He may be one of the more obscure names that’s ever managed
to intersect a famous trajectory, but Al Staehely’s contributions to the band
Spirit after their early peak kept the band on life support long enough to
regroup and claim further glories later on. While the Spirit album that he and
his brother John contributed to, curiously called Feedback, was a clear letdown after the critical kudos accorded The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, it
made the Staehely brothers enough of a marquee name to garner their follow-up, Sta.Hay.Lee, some initial interest,
albeit momentarily.


By and large, Staehely’s story might have ended there. Aside
from some songwriting contributions – among other credits, he placed a song,
“Crazy Like A Fox,” on Keith Moon’s otherwise unimpressive solo album, Two Sides of the Moon — he more or less
drifted off into obscurity. His only solo album, Stahaley’s Comet, received a limited release in Europe
in the early ‘80s and with it, his final hurrah.


SteadyBoy’s decision to re-release it as a belated
postscript is an admirable attempt to give the guy his due, but in actual fact,
Al Staehely & 10K Hours is more a
curio than a necessity. Although he executes the material with clear
competence, and his earnest workmanlike attitude is admirable, he shies away
from pushing any parameters. Songs such as “Don’t Go Lookin’ For Love,” “Trust
Me” and “Lovin’ Tuff” boast a bluesy hue within a basic rock ‘n’ roll template,
and the added elements of rockabilly (“Mr. X-Terminator”) and reggae (“Ice on
Fire”) veer only modestly from that simple palette. Consequently, Al Staehely & 10K Hours is good but
hardly great, an album with a lifespan that will inevitably become far more
abbreviated than the timeframe promised in the title.


Threshold For Pleasure,” “Longshot” LEE ZIMMERMAN


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