Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of “Reaffirmation”, a comprehensive anthology by the unsung heroes of British early 70s rock, HELP YOURSELF.
Help Yourself was formed in London in 1970, originally as a backing band for singer-songwriter MALCOLM MORLEY and took their influences from American West Coast Country and Acid Rock. After Morley signed to the Famepushers management stable, his manager John Eichler suggested Morley form a new band and HELP YOURSELF was born. Featuring Malcolm Morley (guitars, keyboards, vocals), former Sam Apple Pie member Dave Charles (drums, percussion, vocals), Richard Treece (guitars, vocals, harmonica) and Ken Whaley (bass), the band signed to United Artists in 1970 and their eponymous debut album was issued in 1971.
Following a tour with label mates Brinsley Schwarz and Ernie Graham (also Famepushers artists), Ken Whaley departed the band. An expanded line-up including Ernie Graham and Jonathan Glemser began work on the album “Strange Affair” in 1972, but Graham and Glemser’s departure half-way through the recording saw roadie Paul Burton join the band to complete the album, (which would include the excellent extended track ‘The All Electric Fur Trapper’). The band embarked on a tour of Switzerland with Welsh rock legends Man and a bond formed between the two groups. The band’s “Beware the Shadow” was an even stronger effort, featuring the Help’s twelve-minute anthem, ‘Reaffirmation’, a track that displayed the instrumental excellence of the group. Prior to a tour to promote their most recent album Malcolm Morley fell ill with depression and Deke Leonard, recently dismissed from Man, took his place. When Morley recovered, Leonard remained with the band, appearing with them on the “Christmas at the Patti” concert in December 1972. In early 1973 Deke Leonard departed the band to pursue a solo career and the band began work on the album “Happy Days”, a record that also featured The Flying Aces and Vivian “Spiv’ Morris. Paul Burton’s departure during these sessions saw Ken Whaley return to the band. Work then commenced on another album, “the Return of Ken Whaley”. Both albums were released as a package by United Artists later that year. Although critically acclaimed, commercial success continued to elude the band and in August 1973 Help Yourself disbanded, with Malcolm Morley and Ken Whaley joining Man in 1974 for their album “Winos, Rhinos and Lunatics”.
Forty years on, HELP YOURSELF is now regarded as one of the great, unsung British bands of their era. This anthology gathers together the essential tracks from all of their albums released by United Artists, newly re-mastered from the original master tapes. It features a booklet with essay by Michael Heatley and is a tribute to their genius.