THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD
683) Alex Harvey — “Midnight Moses”
Here is another magical selection from Alex Harvey’s ’69 solo LP Roman Wall Blues (see #440). Harvey redid the song with the Sensational Alex Harvey Band in ’72 and its hard rock core became apparent. Eric Kamau in Classic Rock History names the song the 6th best SAHB songs:
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 [debut ’72] album entitled Framed. . . . 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 its finest.https://www.classicrockhistory.com/top-10-the-sensational-alex-harvey-band-songs/
The song became a heavy metal cover favorite. Listen to the versions by Britny Fox and the Dead Daisies.
Anyway, in the age of COVID, I am reevaluating the song. Consider — “I had an afternoon fever when I flew off to Geneva.” Just a lazy rhyme? Or a premonition of pandemic? Maybe the song was more about a “Midnight (Typhoid) Mary” than a “Midnight Moses.”
“Midnight Moses” ties together Harvey’s solo album and SAHB in another respect. When asked by Klemen Breznikar “how did the Sensational Alex Harvey Band come about?”, lead guitarist Zal Cleminson recalls that:
Our respective managers organised a meeting and rehearsal with Alex in Glasgow. Alex played us the riff to ‘Midnight Moses’ and asked if we could play it. We instantly beat the shit out of it and he obviously liked what he heard.https://www.psychedelicbabymag.com/2022/05/zal-cleminson-interview-tear-gas-and-the-sensational-alex-harvey-band.html
Oh, for those who don’t know Alex, William Ruhlmann says:
Alex Harvey was a British journeyman rocker who enjoyed a brief period of widespread popularity in the mid-’70s after decades of struggle. Growing up in [Glasgow,] Scotland, he turned to music in his late teens . . . . In 1969, he released Roman Wall Blues, his first solo effort in five years. Up to this point, none of his musical efforts had attracted much attention. But in the early ’70s, he recruited the Scottish band Tear Gas . . . christening the resulting quintet the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.https://www.allmusic.com/artist/alex-harvey-mn0000617929/biography
And the rest is history.
Here is SAHB’s version:
Here is SAHB live in ’74:
Here is Britny Fox:
And here are the Dead Daisies:
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