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Ten Years After – A Space in Time (1971)

With the news of Alvin Lee’s passing I had to find a way to pay tribute. Normally we save classic album reviews for tuesdays but I just couldn’t wait. So here I present you with only the second ever “CAW” or “Classic Album Wednesday”. The album in question is renowned blues/rock band Ten Years After’s A Space in Time. Aside from being the band’s most popular album, A Space in Time was the group’s most diversely creative record. Ten Years After expanded upon their punchy blues sound with more acoustic numbers and more folk-oriented songs.

A Space in Time is best known for the hit single “I’d Love to Change the World”, a song you’ve probably heard on the radio or in trailers to Michael Moore movies. The song was a big leap conceptually for a group often seen as just a bluesy jam band. Lee, already established as a gifted ax-man, proves his worth as a songwriter through thought provoking lyrics and a sneaky delivery. Add a splash of psychedelia and A Space in Time makes for an exciting counterculture time capsule.

Brooding acoustic numbers aside, Ten Years After doesn’t ignore their blues/rock roots. “One of these Days” and “Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock ‘N’ Roll You” are Ten Day’s After doing what they do best. “Uncle Jam” is an unexpected showcase of the band showing off their abilities in the realm of jazz. Keyboardist Chick Churchill especially wows on that track with his demon-like speed. Not to count out the intensity of the group’s rhythm section in bassist Leo Lyons and drummer Ric Lee. Though everyone brings so much, it’s hard to deny that A Space in Time is Alvin Lee’s show. Though he’ll always be best remembered for his shredding, most notably during Ten Years After’s performance of “I’m Going Home” at Woodstock, A Space in Time reveals a man of many talents. Rest in Peace Alvin Lee, you’ve finally gone home.

Favorite Tracks: “Hard Monkeys”, “Here They Come”, “I’d Love to Change the World”

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