Psychedelic Rock

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Idle Race
United Kingdom

Years: 1966 - 1972
Styles: Psychedelic Rock


Jeff Lynne - Lead guitar, Vocals (in band: 1966 - 1970)
Greg Masters - Bass Guitar, Cello, Vocals (in band: 1966 - 1972)
Roger Spencer - Drums, Percussion, Vocals (in band: 1966 - 1972)
Dave Pritchard - Flute, Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1966 - 1972)


Mick Hopkins - Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1970 - 1972)
Dave Walker - Harmonica, Piano, Vocals (in band: 1970 - 1972)
Dave Carroll - Guitar (in band: 1972)
Bob Wilson - Guitar (in band: 1972)
Bob Lamb - Drums (in band: 1972)
Steve Gibbons - Vocals (in band: 1972)
Bob Griffin - Bass Guitar (in band: 1972)
Trevor Burton - Bass Guitar (in band: 1972)

Biography Picture   The Idle Race were a British rock group  from Birmingham in the late 1960s and early 1970s who had a cult following but never enjoyed mass commercial success. In addition to being the springboard for Jeff Lynne, the band holds a place of significance in British Midlands' pop-rock history as a link between The Move, the Electric Light OrchestraSteve Gibbons Band and Mike Sheridan and The Nightriders.[1]

     The group were well received by the music press for their melodies, whimsical lyrics, and inventive production. They often appeared on the same bill with such bands as The Spencer Davis GroupThe WhoThe Small FacesPink Floyd, The Moody BluesStatus QuoTyrannosaurus RexYesFree, and The Move.[1]

     For the first U.K. Idle Race single, two Jeff Lynne compositions "Impostors Of Life's Magazine" backed with "Sitting In My Tree", were selected for release in October of 1967. Despite airplay, the single did not chart but attracted much interest in the music press and won many admirers. The second single "The Skeleton And The Roundabout / Knocking Nails Into My House", also both written by Lynne, was released early in 1968 to promote the forthcoming Idle Race album. Although this single is probably their best known, it also missed out on a chart placing.[2]

     Despite lack of success in the charts, the Idle Race gained a considerable 'underground' following including the support of many prominent musicians and radio personalities. This is reflected on the inside cover artwork of their first album "The Birthday Party" where invited 'guests' are displayed in a photo collage and include such figures as The BeatlesThe Move, Brian Jones, Hughie Green and many of the Radio One DJs.[2]

     A music press article on the Idle Race in 1969 quoted Jeff Lynne as being disillusioned about the bands' lack of chart success and this was further reinforced by the poor sales of the Idle Race's second self-titled album released in November on which Lynne himself had handled the production. For Jeff Lynne, fate played into his hands when The Move's front-man Carl Wayne quit the group in January 1970. Roy Wood again asked if Lynne would join the Move and this time the offer was accepted.[2]

     After a final Idle Race album released in 1971, further personnel changes took place starting with the departure of Dave Pritchard who joined up with various Birmingham bands including the Poorboys. Dave Walker was next to leave and joined some well-known bands which included Savoy BrownChicken Shack, and Fleetwood Mac. Roger Spencer moved into TV production and became the comedian "Ollie" Mike Hopkins joined the group Quartz.[2]

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The Birthday Party (Oct, 1968)
Idle Race (1969)
Time Is (May, 1971)

Singles & EPs

(Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree (1967)
Impostors Of Life's Magazine (Oct, 1967)
The Skeleton And The Roundabout (Mar, 1968)
The End Of The Road (Jan, 1968)
Days Of The Broken Arrows (Apr, 1969)
Come With Me (Jul, 1969)
Dancing Flow (Jun, 1971)

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