The Seattle Post-Intelligencer recommends the album and calls it ‘thoroughly enjoyable.’ Hitting the nail on the head, they say that you are ‘drawn into it’s warm, rootsy embrace.’
The remastered CD contains two bonus tracks – the single b-side Sloeback and an alternative version of Downside Upside Down – along with extensive liner notes by Simon Robinson.
The project was Ashton’s and Lord’s brainchild and continuation of their working relationship after Ashton Gardner & Dyke helped out on Jon Lord’s soundtrack album The Last Rebel.
Stylistically, First of the Big Bands was the precursor to Paice Ashton Lord‘s Malice in Wonderland. Lots of brass, piano and female backing vocalist. Lots of excellent musicianship.
First of the Big Bands resulted in just two live performances, one of which was for the BBC. This was later issued on a now unavailable live album, First of the Big Bands Live in Concert 1974.
If you don’t know the album, check out Downside Upside Down (from the original unremastered edition):