Our top 10 The Sensational Alex Harvey Band songs list introduces us to one of the most popular rock bands formed in Scotland. Established in 1972, the band was critically acclaimed in the United Kingdom, with its popularity spanning over Europe and Australia. The band was formed and centered around its founder and front man, Alex Harvey. Other members of the band included bassist Chris Glen, guitarist Zal Cleminson, keyboardist Hugh McKenna and drummer Ted McKenna. Alex Harvey had an easy time organizing the band with all the other members previously associated with the progressive rock band Tear Gas.
The band’s career is best described as a short but impactful one, producing highly regarded albums in the 1970s. Its influence is best notable on the Australian songwriter and singer Nick Cave and his band The Boys Next Door. While The Sensational Alex Harvey Band might not have been very successful in the US, the band enjoys quite a massive following in cities such as Cleveland. After releasing their 1978 album Rock Drill, the band would disband with few reunions later in the 1990s and 2000s. However, with the death of Alex Harvey in 1982 due to heart failure, the reunions have struggled to regain foot in the competitive rock genre. Here are the best The Sensational Alex Harvey Band songs from the band’s short but commendable music career.
#10 – Isobel Goudie
Ushering us to the top 10 The Sensational Alex Harvey Band songs list is the hit “Isobel Goudie” from the 1972 album Framed. Written by Alex Harvey, the song shows his strong romanticism with his Scottish culture. Harvey must have been an avid reader or enthusiastic historian to have come up with an idea to write a song about Isobel Goudie, a woman who was tried for witchcraft back in 1662. “Isobel Goudie” is one of the many songs that have been composed in commemoration of Goudie and her magic works.
#9 – Last of The Teenage Idols
Featured as the final track on the band’s 1973 album Next…, “Last of The Teenage Idols” is one of the best autobiographical hits from the 1970s. The song is a short history of music that had sustained him throughout his career. “Last of The Teenage Idols” takes us back to 1957, where Alex Harvey won a competition by Daily Record to find Scotland’s answer to Tommy Steele trailing about 600 contestants. The over seven-minute-long hit brought the best of Alex Harvey, Hugh McKenna, and Zal Cleminson’s songwriting skills.
#8 – Anthem
“Anthem” is an exhilarating song beautifully written by Alex Harvey, Hugh McKenna, and David Batchelor. Thanks to the breathtaking lyrical process of the trio and alluring instrumentation, the song became one of their live shows’ favorite performances. Featured on the band’s third album, The Impossible Dream, “Anthem” was the last single released by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band in the United States. The song featured additional musicians, including Vicky Silva as guest vocals and the London-Scottish TA Regiment on the drums and pipes. “Anthem” brings The Impossible Dream album to a thunderous climax adding to the reasons the album peaked at number 16 on the UK Album Charts.
#7 – Next
Featured on their 1973 album Next…, this album-titled song is one of the best covers by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. The song was originally written and released by Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel, famed for his fearless artistic work that spawned covers while inspiring many artists. “Next” is the English version of Jacques’ original version, “Au Suivant.” Scott Walker recorded the first English version of “Au Suivant.” However, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band’s version of the song proved to be more definitive, helping the band make a name for themselves in Europe.
#6 – Midnight Moses
In the number six spot on our top 10 Sensational Alex Harvey Band songs list is the smoking cut Midnight Moses. The song was released on the Sensational Alex Harvey Band album entuted Framed. The Album was released in 1972. This was the band’s debut album. The sound of the hit hats trigger those legendary guitar licks as the listener knows there is in for something special in the opening seconds. This is like a cross between Foghat, Montrose and AC/DC. This is 1970s classic rock at it’s finest. Hey hey!
#5 – Sergeant Fury
Featured on the band’s album The Impossible Dream, “Sergeant Fury” is a hit that takes us to one of the Marvel Comics characters going by the song’s title. Sergeant Fury might not be as popular as other Marvel heroes, such as the X-Men and Spiderman. However, people from the 1970s remember Sergeant Fury, a character who sprang from the pens of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. The rhythmic song had its lyrics crafted by Alex Harvey, Hugh McKenna, and David Batchelor.
#4 – Gamblin’ Bar Room Blues
While The Sensational Alex Harvey Band had most of their previous releases predominantly of original compositions, their fifth studio album was quite different. The Penthouse Tapes majorly consisted of covers, including our number four song on the top 10 The Sensational Alex Harvey Band songs list. “Gamblin’ Bar Room Blues” was an original song by Jimmie Rodgers, who co-wrote the song alongside Shelley Lee Alley. Other notable covers of the song include John Mellencamp’s version, which he featured on his 2018 album Other People’s Stuff.
#3 – Boston Tea Party
Number three on our best The Sensational Alex Harvey Band songs is “Boston Tea Party,” a hit composed by Alex Harvey and Hugh McKenna. Featured on the album SAHB Stories, “Boston Tea Party” is among the few songs that appeared on the charts, peaking at number 13 on the UK Singles Chart. The pulsating song is inspired by the Boston Tea Party, one of the significant incidents in American history. Boston Tea Party was a minor rebellion act against regressive taxation, which the colonists cited as a violation of rights. Some have joked that this is probably the reason why many Americans take so much coffee to date!
#2 – Delilah
The Sensational Alex Harvey Band had one of the best moments in their music history with the cover of Tom Jones’ hit song “Delilah,” a song about a crime of passion. The song was initially written by Barry Mason and the music by Les Reed, awarding them the 1968 Ivor Novello Award for the Best Song Musically and Lyrically. Thanks to the song’s composition quality that saw Tom Jones’ version peak at number two on the UK Singles Chart. The Sensational Alex Harvey Band electrifying performance on the song saw their version peaked at number seven on the UK Singles Chart.
#1 – The Faith Healer
“The Faith Healer” is a remarkable piece of rock theatre featured on the band’s 1973 album Next… The seven-minute-long song remains the best The Sensational Alex Harvey Band song having it covered by notable names such as Recoil, The Church, and Helloween. The song’s powerful and ferocious guitar riffs make “The Faith Healer” a rock ballad to reckon. Thanks to Alex Harvey and Hugh McKenna for the terrific lyrics to the song, which contributed to the song’s greatness.
Feature Photo by Dominik Scythe
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