Ten Years After: his 10 best songs, according to Futuro

With a mix of raw, in-your-face blues and haunting sounds drenched in psychedelia, this list of Ten Years After’s Top 10 Songs showcases one of rock’n’roll’s most interesting, but also most overlooked bands.

Formed in 1966 and led by the late guitarist Alvin Lee, the band they finally got people to notice them after their incendiary performance at the original Woodstock festival. From there, Lee, along with Ric Lee (no relation) on drums, Leo Lyons on bass and Chick Churchill on organ, pushed the boundaries of the blues-rock format and in the process made a series of classic albums. .

Of those, on rock radio we have chosen what we hope is a proper tribute to Alvin Lee, who passed away in March 2013. Here are the 10 best songs from Ten Years After, on the day he would have turned 78.

I’d Love to Change the World

Ten Years After’s only Billboard Top 40 entry was this beautiful song. The ’60s were over, the hippie dream gone with them, and Alvin Lee joined others in trying to come to terms with a new decade and a new reality. “I’d Love to Change the World” examines that landscape and, unsurprisingly, comes up without a concrete answer. The song oozes a certain sadness, and yet it’s achingly beautiful throughout. Lee also creates one of his best and most emotional leads here. For many, “I’d Love to Change the World” is the soundtrack to that post-Woodstock mood, and it remains a staple on classic rock radio decades later.

Hear Me Calling

An upbeat cut, “Hear Me Calling” employs the bouncing blues beat always favored by the great Status Quo. This is top-notch rock and roll, with a boogie beat, and just one of the many high points of Ten Years After’s third LP. The rhythm is relentless, leaving plenty of room for Alvin Lee to wander around guitar in hand, dishing out another wild solo. “Hear Me Calling” was memorably covered a couple of years later by Slade.

Let the Sky Fall

A strong, catchy riff is something Alvin Lee never seemed to be without. “Let the Sky Fall” offers another instantly catchy example to draw the listener in. With a subtle yet effective voice, she rocks and sways beautifully. Take a look at the pretty backwards guitar lines and how they blend seamlessly with the more in-your-face lead work.

She Lies in the Morning Sun

Brimming with a very pure pop style not usually associated with Ten Years After, “She Lies With the Morning Sun” comes together in a way that (almost) combines the melodic sweetness of Paul McCartney or Badfinger, before becoming this interlude of jazz that totally changes the mood. Still, it works. The jazz subsides and the band speeds back up, heading for about eight miles up. Once again, they land in jazz-filled waters, never returning to the shore of pure pop from which this ship was launched. It’s like three songs in one.


The peak of this LP, “Religion,” finds Alvin Lee and company questioning more than just the tangible world. The slow beat slips by as Lee sings “I never really understood religion, except that it seems like a good excuse to kill.” At that time, religions, spirituality, and self-discovery were everywhere. In fact, Jesus was the subject of many hit records at the time. Lee, however, has a different take on things, and whether he agrees or disagrees with his views, the man could play a pretty good guitar. The result is one of the top 10 Ten Years After songs of all time.

I’m Going Home (live Woodstock)

Although Ten Years After had been making the rounds on the UK scene for a few years, it wasn’t until their appearance at Woodstock in the summer of 1969 that American rock fans took notice. Even more attention came to it after the release of the Woodstock film and soundtrack in 1970. By this time, Alvin Lee and the band were turning heads everywhere. Credit moments like “I’m Going Home,” a live staple on the band’s set for a couple of years that was even released as a three-minute edited single. This sprawling version of Woodstock is definitive.

A Sad Song

Moody and brilliant, “A Sad Song” is one of the most haunting songs on Ten Years After. Alvin Lee sounds on the brink of utter despair as he recounts this story of pain. As he sings, “the tears in my eyes are all you’ll find, the scars on my face only deepen my mind,” you feel his pain, and the brutally sparse arrangement leaves room for his blues to shine through. No wild solos, no studio tricks, no flash, just pure blues. This is as good as this style gets.

love like a man

With a hypnotic riff driving things forward, this roaring groove shines brightly throughout its eight minutes of glory. Ten Years After picks up the intensity as they go along, something they were quite adept at, and once things get going it’s guitar heaven. There’s stellar interplay between Alvin Lee and organist Chick Churchill, and the band’s ebb and flow throughout. “Love Like a Man” was released in edited form as a single and became their only UK hit, reaching the Top 10 in the summer of 1970.

Working on the road

Killer rock and roll from Ten Years After’s fifth album, “Working on the Road,” is another take on the standard travelers tale, packed with a pulsating urgency that’s irresistible. Highlighted by a chorus that is both so simple and so perfect, “Working on the Road” is topped by a fiery solo in which Ten Years After cook together with such force that they risk going off the rails before finally regaining their composure. at the end of the song.

stoned woman

Like many of their contemporaries, Ten Years After began life as a straightforward blues combo. One of the highlights of the band’s fourth album, Ssssh, “Stoned Woman” tells the story of a woman who intends to keep her man “high all the time.” The band kicks up a racket here with a suitably raunchy lead from Lee, some wonderful organ work from Chick Churchill, and the ever-on rhythm section of bassist Leo Lyons and drummer Ric Lee. Like Cream or Fleetwood Mac, Ten Years After proved they could dish out unadulterated blues with the best of them.

Ten Years After: his 10 best songs, according to Futuro