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Terry Reid

A minor but interesting late-'60s British rock singer, Terry Reid could have been a lot more famous if he had been able to accept the slot of lead singer for the New Yardbirds in 1968. That slot, of course, went to Robert Plant, and the New Yardbirds became Led Zeppelin. Unlike Plant, Reid was also a guitarist, and the opportunity to head his own group no doubt played a part in his decision to gun for a solo career. Leading a guitar-organ-drums power trio, he recorded a couple of respectable, though erratic, hard rock albums while still a teenager in the late '60s. Some bad breaks and creative stagnation combined to virtually bring his career to a halt, and he never cashed in on the momentum of his promising start.

A teen prodigy of sorts, Reid had turned professional at the age of 15 to join Peter Jay & the Jaywalkers. His first couple of singles as a headliner found him singing in a sort of poppy blue-eyed soul vein. But by the time of his 1968 debut Bang, Bang You're Terry Reid, produced by Mickie Most, he'd switched to more of a hard rock approach. Most was also handling Donovan and the Jeff Beck Group at the time, and similarities to both of those acts can be heard in Terry Reid's first two albums -- proto-hard rock on the louder tunes, sweeter folk-rock on the mellow ones (Reid in fact covered a couple of Donovan compositions, although he wrote most of his own material). Reid's high voice was reminiscent of Robert Plant's, though not nearly as shrill, and his folky numbers especially are reminiscent of Led Zeppelin's most acoustic early cuts.

Reid, oddly, was considerably more well-known in the U.S. than the U.K. His first album, very oddly, was not even issued in Britain, although it made the American Top 200. It's been reported that he at least in part declined Jimmy Page's offer to join Led Zeppelin owing to his contractual commitments to record for Mickie Most as a solo artist, and to perform as an opening solo artist on the Rolling Stones' late-'60s U.S. tour. He did influence Led Zeppelin's history in a big way by recommending Plant and drummer John Bonham as suitable candidates for the group's lineup, after Plant and Bonham's pre-Led Zep outfit (the Band of Joy) played support at one of Reid's early gigs. Reid felt confident enough in his solo prospects to also turn down an offer to join Deep Purple (Ian Gillan was recruited instead).

An opening spot on the Rolling Stones' famous 1969 tour of America seemed to augur even brighter prospects for the future, but this is precisely where Reid's career stalled, at the age of 20. First he became embroiled in litigation with Mickey Most, which curtailed his studio activities in the early '70s. After a couple of personnel changes, he disbanded his original trio, leading a group for a while that included David Lindley and ex-King Crimson drummer Michael Giles (this quartet, however, didn't release any records). He moved to California in 1971 and signed to Atlantic, but his long-delayed third album didn't appear until 1973. Reid would release albums for other labels in 1976 and 1979, but none of his '70s recordings were well-received, critically or commercially (though 1976's Seed of Memory did briefly chart). He's barely recorded since, though he did play some sessions, and The Driver appeared in 1991. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

nik_dangr
Interesting. I'm trying to fit Reid's vocals into Led Zeppelin in my head. Not as farfetched as I thought.
fisherstiger s
Love it...Seed of Memory is awesome...be great to have the lyrics. Just to be treated right...anot h e r fave. Jesus Saves!* Angela*
Awesome..kil l e r songs this man makes..
Wow can you imagine Reid in Zeppelin! Maybe in parallel universe.
This song plucks my soul always has since I was 14 and heard it at the end of devil's rejects. til I got the cd I'd fast forward the movie to the end just to hear it
smstudio3
If Seed of Memory was released today it would be huge. It can bring you to tears. Such soul and feeling. Terry Reid is unique and marvelous. He has a huge cult following and no wonder.
Great stuff
pgastell
Minor but Interesting. . . . Calling Terry Reid Minor at anything other than commercial success is simply wrong. Terry is one of best Brit Soul Singers ever, in my opinion the very best. Almost all the folks who parade across talent shows or front current bands would kill for his talent. Never off my play list. His music is part of my joy in being alive.
Man ..terry reid one of the greatest ..he would of made led zepp..bad a** but he's better on his own..seed of memory is one of the greatest songs of all time..remind s me devils rejects..
riverman172
Billy t I'm jealous. That sounds like a fun trip.
billy-t
Picked-up Bang bang in 68 and liked it so much I traveled to the Miami Pop Festival just to see him and Janis. Three days of two stage music and no policed camping at the Seminal Indian campground made this my all time favorite Pop-Festival .
riverman172
I always wonder how zep woulda sounded with terry. That would haunt me every day of my life. Bet he wishes he had that one back. Peace terry!
Ok, hazy memories time. In a dreary boys only boarding school run by Monks in deepest Somerset. Sneak out of the dormitory at night with two pals. Hitch hike to the 2nd Glastonbury Festival. Fell asleep on the grass, woke to see naked women dancing and hear Terry Reid. Thought I had died and gone to heaven. Bought his album as soon as I could.
Saw him open for Cream and the Stones - still one of my favorites
Grandy Ballroom 1969 Detroit,
stevo08106
Awesome sound, one of the best.
Terry Reid has been overlooked and under rated for along time. A talented singer, songwriter held his own throughout a roller coaster career and always came out with great works just ignored by the mainstream.. . . their loss. Seed of Memory and River are great albums! Listen and enjoy!
Terry Reid was great live. I saw him open for Cream at Chaistain Park in Atlanta in October of 1968. I went to both the afternoon and evening shows. He did a lot from Band Bang You're Terry Reid which is a great album that I still have. I remember thinking at the time he was even better than Cream. He was that good then and I would love to see him now.
Terry Reid is supremely talented and it is not obvious why his music was not well recieved both critically and commercially . i do remember being a kid in the '70s and hearing a couple songs from Seed of Memory on local Detroit rock radio stations and at friends homes. He is a sparkling diamond in the rough and highly recommended to anyone who likes the acoustic side of Led Zeppelin or Allman Brothers or Neil Young or CSN+Y.
gidazemo
Seed of memory is my fav!! Its soo touching!!
sousak
Beautiful song.
Terry Reid is without question my favorite singer of all time. His voice, his passion and his love of music explodes from his every note.
Seed of Memory is cool. I play it quite a bit
heard him interviewed on wfmu radio 91.1fm dug it dig him
jjmorgan83
Great Acoustic guitar sound
Always loved his voice.
grounded909
I guess some people just miss the point.
I was lucky enough to see Terry Reid perform live in a small club last year. I had no idea what to expect and when he came onto the stage at first I was worried that the evening would be a disaster. He was cheerfully but obviously drunk and his attention wandered between his guitar and bantering with the audience. But when he played!!!!! Man, you could see why he was regarded as a genius. Great guitar, great vocals. He lives and breathes rock!
terrys a good friend i see him often at the caboose lounge
Terry....hi my brother..mis s you we need to hook up somehow....l i f e is too short....Rus s e l l da muscle Short
he's one of the greatest artists of the era, but didn't get the recognition he should have.

yeah!
Diamond in the???i've listened to TR found&lost him since "68" still have orignal LP. Damn what a voice!
I LIKE HIM

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