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Jim Pembroke: Hot Thumbs O’Riley – Wicked Ivory LP
[Svart Records]
20.00EUR

Orange vinyl, limited to 200 copies. Gatefold jacket, 4 page insert.

In the fall of 1971 when Jim Pembroke suggested to Atte Blom of Love Records that he would be interested in recording a solo album, he had already been a part of three Wigwam releases as a vocalist and pianist (Hard n’ Horny 1969 / Tombstone Valentine 1970/ Fairyport 1971). Solo albums among rock artists were rare back then, and in fact only Jukka Tolonen, from Wigwam’s rival Tasavallan Presidentti, was just recording his own this year.

Jim decided to use his opportunity by hiding behind the alias Silas ”Hot Thumbs” O’Riley. The reason behind the name was Jim’s peculiar self-taught way to play the piano. As a continuation to this the name of the record is a reference to the (mean) ivory keys of a piano.

The alias made it possible to work freely without the expectations associated with Wigwam. The end product is described well by Mats Huldén’s comment: ”The record is a loose so-called concept album. The redneck sounding, clueless mc introduces fictional vocalists who are accompanied by ”Hot Thumbs” O’Riley’s obscure nightclub trio. The lyrics are mostly filled with Jim’s surrealistic humor. Jim’s penchant for 50s English radio sketches can be heard in the speeches and characters on the album, but within one can hear worry about the state of the world, which is why the album ends in chaos with a combat aircraft flying over.”

The alias made it possible to work freely without the expectations associated with Wigwam. The end product is described well by Mats Huldén’s comment: ”The record is a loose so-called concept album. The redneck sounding, clueless mc introduces fictional vocalists who are accompanied by ”Hot Thumbs” O’Riley’s obscure nightclub trio. The lyrics are mostly filled with Jim’s surrealistic humor. Jim’s penchant for 50s English radio sketches can be heard in the speeches and characters on the album, but within one can hear worry about the state of the world, which is why the album ends in chaos with a combat aircraft flying over.”

The album didn’t become a commercial hit, but it was critically acclaimed and even in The UK John Peel praised it. Jim had been to England to offer his album in advance to a few record labels. Later Charisma would buy the rights for the album for all outside of Scandinavia releases and released it as a British pressing in 1973.

This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 08 February, 2018.
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