The Sensational Alex Harvey Band “Live”

Today’s Cool Album of The Day (#769 in the Series) is The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Live.

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Live, (aka SAHB) was a Scottish band formed in 1972 during the glam/theatrical period that brought us the likes of David Bowie, Genesis, The New York Dolls, Alice Cooper and many more.

While not quite as theatrical as some of their peers, Alex Harvey always managed to weave some great storytelling into his songs. The guitarist, Zal Cleminson was known for always taking the stage wearing mime makeup. Alex was almost always seen in his black and white striped t-shirt and leather jacket.

Double live albums were de rigueur during this period but SAHB managed to squeeze a ton of great music into a single slab of vinyl on this 1975 recording. This disc captures all of the great storytelling and between song banter that Alex became famous for.

His cast of musicians came mainly from the prog rock band Tear Gas. SAHB had a progressive feel to it but leaned a bit more towards the rock and roll side. Highlights of this particular gem are “Man in the Jar,” “Vambo Rules” and “Faith Healer.” They also do a pretty cool version of Tom Jones “Delilah”!

Alex passed away in on Feb 4th 1982 from a massive heart attack. The band regrouped a couple of times since and is still around with many of the original members. Zal Cleminson has also played with Nazareth, while the Ted McKenna did some work with The Michael Schenker Group.

For those of you from the Midwest you might recall the great cover/original band Fayrewether performing some SAHB songs like “Man In The Jar” and “Faith Healer.”

— Terry Witmer

Track listings

  1. “Fanfare (Justly, Skillfully, Magnanimously)”
  2. “Faith Healer
  3. “Tomahawk Kid”
  4. “Vambo”
  5. “Give My Compliments To The Chef”
  6. “Delilah” (Les Reed, Barry Mason)
  7. “Framed” (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller)


  • Alex Harvey – Lead vocals, guitar
  • Zal Cleminson – Guitar
  • B.J. Cole – Pedal steel guitar
  • Chris Glen – Bass guitar
  • Hugh McKenna – Keyboards, synthesizer
  • Ted McKenna – Drums

Back to ‘Cool Album’ HOMEPAGE
To see other ‘Live’ Albums we’ve covered.

Below is some great SAHB vidoes + some cool bonuses. Including THE CURE doing Faith Healer.


Posted by Larry Carta


  1. e3 (31 Dec 2010, 23:12)

    Great Post, thanks for the memories

  2. Chris Headslice (07 Sep 2012, 14:26)

    SAHB was a one of a kind act, and… well… What more can we say? I love this band, I love Alex’s almost incomprehensible banter, and Zal remains one of the best guitarists I’ve ever heard.

  3. John McLeish (21 Sep 2012, 14:16)

    Incomprehensible banter..LOL. Saw the band several times in my youth in Glasgow, marvellous stage shows and jumping crowds. Sadly missed, but great memories.
    I am actually downloading? the LP via a usb deck to itunes as I write…spooky

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