The Canterbury scene may not have been well-known in the United States, but European progressive rock fans would argue that one of the best bands to come from the area was none other than Hatfield and the North. The band was formed in the early 1970’s and released their first album in 1974 entitled Hatfield and the North. The album featured Phil Miller on guitar, Dave Stewart on keys, Richard Sinclair on bass, and Pip Pyle on drums. Pip Pyle was also known as the drummer in the legendary band Gong. Hatfield and The North were not as heavy as other Canterbury bands like Soft Machine or Colosseum, but they did have their moments. The band had a hippie style groove that at times ventured into space rock, easy jazz and psychedelia.
Hatfield and the North released their second album in 1975 with the same core four group of musicians. And for the most part that was it. There were a few live albums and compilations released over the years, but for the most part Hatfield and the North were defined by their two albums from 1974 and 1975.
While Hatfield and the North may have not left that large a legacy of music like other Canterbury bands like Soft Machine, Caravan, and Gong, their music played an important role in the story of progressive rock in the 1970’s. Here are ten of our favorite Hatfield and the North songs.
# 10 – Lets Eat
We open our Hatfield and the North Songs list with a great track from the band’s first album. The song “Lets Eat,’ was released on the CD reissue of thebands 1974 debut album, The song was not on the original vinyl release. This is just so smooth,oh yeah!
# 9 – Going Up To People And Tinkling
The track “Going Up To People And Tinkling,” was released on the Hatfield and the North debut album. The song appeared as the third song on the album. What a title for a song.
# 8 – Share It (Live Version)
The studio version of “Share it,” originally appeared on the Rotters Club album. We like the live version that was released on their 1990 CD entitled Hatfield and the North Live 1990. Listen to the great guitar solo at the vocal break.
# 7 – Licks for the Ladies
We just might nominate this one for the best song title of all time.
# 6 – Finesse Is For Fairies/Nan True’s Hole/Lything And Gracing (John Peel Session)
The great John Peels Sessions CD delivered some killer jams and great grooves from a band that went away too soon and came back very infrequently.
# 5 – Gigantic Land Crabs In Earth Takeover Bid
The guitar work on the great track “Gigantic Land Crabs In Earth Takeover Bid,” is to die for. This killer track appeared on the first album
# 4 – Mumps
The song title “Mumps,” represents a 20 minuet musical suite that appears on side two of the band’s second album The Rotters Club. The “Mumps,” suite consists of the tracks below
- “Your Majesty Is Like a Cream Donut” (Quiet)
- “Your Majesty Is Like a Cream Donut” (Loud)
# 3 – Calyx
The great Phil Miller song “Calyx” appeared on the band’s debut album. We just love the vocal harmonies juxtaposed against the backwards tape rolls. Brilliant stuff.
# 2 – Fitter Stoke Has A Bath
The song “Fitter Stoke Has A Bath,” was released on the band’s second album. It is one of the most popular Hatfield and the North songs.
# 1 – Son Of ‘There’s No Place Like Homerton’
Landing in the number one spot on our Top 10 Hatfield and the North songs list is the very original sounding track “Son Of ‘There’s No Place Like Homerton.’ The song was written by Dave Stewart. It was the longest running track on the band’s first album.