Top Topham - Ascension Heights
Top Topham (lead guitar), John Marshall (drums), Colin Allen (drums on “Ridin’ The blinds”), Herbie Flowers, Eddie Tripp, Brian Odges (bass guitar), Rick Hayward (rhythm guitar), Pete Wingfield, Steve Gray (piano, organ), Duster Bennett (Harmonica), Top Topham, Mike Vernon (percussion), Greg Bowen, Nigel Carter, Terry Noonan, Butch Hudson (trumpets), Jack Thirlwell, Chris Pyne, Danny Elwood (trombones), Steve Gregory, Alan Skidmore, Don Honeywell, Danny Moss, Tony Coe (saxes), Lesley, Sue, Annette “Bones” (vocal group).
Written Top Topham (A2, A3, A4, B1, B4, B5), Bill Doggett (A5), Clifford Scott (A5), Julian Dash (B2), Buddy Feyne (B2), Erskine Hawkins (B2), William Johnson (B2)
1 LP, standard sleeve
Original analog Master tape : YES
Heavy Press : 180g
Record color : black
Speed : 33 RPM
Size : 12'’
Record Press : Pallas
Label : Pure Pleasure Records
Original Label : Blue Horizon
Recorded in 1970 at the CBS Studios in New Bond Street, London.
Re-mastering by Ray Staff at Air Mastering, Lyndhurst Hall, London
Originally released in 1970
Side A :
Side B :
"The object was to try and do a British Stax 'thing'. I think that "Funks Elegy" is heading in the direction I want to go - although (for me) the most satisfying track is our arrangement of 'Tuxedo Junction'." - Top Topham (in interview regarding Ascension Heights with Jerry Gilbert of Melody Maker)
"(he) liked Topham's phrasing, which is down to earth melody, over a funky beat - far away from the progressive trait (of the day). I hope this name remains at the fore, as this album is easy to get into and nice to live with. " - Jerry Gilbert, Melody Maker, 1970
"an ambitious and breathtakingly original project that 'married' blues, rock and jazz". - Mike Oldfield, 1992
"The sound is excellent late sixties stereo studio, which means instruments are heavily box placed left and right and phantomed dead center. Tophams electric guitar floats thick and holographically three dimensionally well in front of the other instruments. His acoustic is closely miked, ultra-vivid and rock solid. The horns sound great, the bass lines are deep and taut and that horse hoof will clop its way through your skull if you crank it up too high. " - Michael Fremer, www.musicangle.com, Music 8, Sound 9
"This LPs rarity value alone commands attention: Topham was the Yardbirds’ founder guitarist, who had to leave the band because he was only 15. By 1969, at the age of 22, he delivered this solo LP, a long-forgotten take on the blues, far removed from the Yardbirds. Despite its Blue Horizon pedigree, its not of the Brit Blues school per se and is a stylistic mish-mash, more akin to Andrew Loog Oldhams covers of the Stones canon, but its worth to Yardbirds hard-core is unparalleled." - Ken Kessler, Hi-Fi News, Sound Quality Rating: 70%
At the pimply age of 15, Surrey-born Anthony "Top" Topham stepped onto stage in May 1963 at the Eel Pie Island Club in Twickenham with his new blues-wailing band - THE YARDBIRDS. A few months later he was replaced with ERIC CLAPTON and after that a certain JEFF BECK and JIMMY PAGE also joined that volatile crew. When you consider what a staggering influence CREAM, BECK and LED ZEPPELIN have had on everything in rock then and now - it's a damn shame that Top Topham got musically lost in the mix somehow and has never been given the catalyst credit he so deserves.