Rainman Records continues to celebrate the life and career of Alvin Lee by releasing remastered versions of three classic albums from the British guitarist, who passed away in 2013. This third batch of reissued classics consists of 1981’s RX5, 1992’s Zoom, and 1994’s I Hear You Rockin. All three of these titles are available physically as well as digitally.
RX5 found Alvin Lee adopting a more radio-friendly musical approach, with an assist from guitarist Steve Gould. A Billboard Magazine review stated “less than 10 years after Ten Years After, Alvin Lee is still proving he knows how to rock and roll. The guitar playing…is outstanding.” Zoom is one of Lee’s finest statements, boasting an all-star cast including Beatle George Harrison and legendary saxophonist Clarence Clemons from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Harrison appears again on I Hear You Rockin, which also includes Alvin’s cover of The Beatles’ classic “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”.
Born in Nottingham England, Alvin Lee began playing guitar age 13 and formed the core of the band Ten Years After by age 15. The advent of rock and roll sparked his interest and creativity, and Ten Years After’s self titled debut album was enthusiastically embraced by listeners. Audiences were immediately taken with Lee’s distinctive, soulful, rapid fire guitar playing and the band’s innovative mix of blues, jazz and rock, and an American love affair began. TYA would ultimately tour the USA 28 times in 7 years, more than any other U.K. band. Lee’s virtuoso performance at the famed Woodstock Festival set a standard for many other guitarists. Captured on film in the documentary of the festival, his inspired playing catapulted him into superstardom, and the band played arenas and stadiums around the globe before splitting up in 1974. Lee’s solo recording and touring career continued into the 21st century, with more than 20 albums released until his 2013 passing.