Music Album No.20

First Water – Sharks 1973

Sharks are a British rock band, formed in September 1972, by the ex-Free bass player, Andy Fraser, upon his departure from Free.They were signed to Island Records and were highly rated by critics, especially for Chris Spedding’s tasteful guitar work.The initial line-up consisted of Fraser (bass, piano), Snips (real name, Steve Parsons) (vocals), Spedding (guitar) and a Canadian, Marty Simon (drums).

This debut by the band Sharks resembles, lead vocalist Snips sounding like he gargled with Kim Carnes and Paul Rodgers’ mouthwash, that gravel voice Rod Stewart made the most of accompanied here by guitar great Chris Spedding, drummer Marty Simon, and bassist Andy Fraser.

Andy Fraser had originally contacted Chris Spedding, in July 1971, to discuss playing in his first post-Free band, Toby. When Fraser formed Sharks a year later, he contacted Spedding again and, this time, they agreed to work together. Fraser had already recruited his friend, Marty Simon, so auditions were held for a singer, to complete the line-up. Robert Palmer and Leo Sayer were turned down in favour of an unknown 21-year-old from Yorkshire, Steve Parsons, also known as Snips, originally spotted by Island A&R man, Muff Winwood. Snips had previously fronted a Hull-based band called Nothingeverhappens. Parsons “played one song of his, “Snakes and Swallowtails” and he was in”, Spedding later told Melody Maker.

Sharks First Water

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