After the first two albums the Pie signed onto A&M Records who basically reorganized them, got rid of the whole democratic super-group thing, and had them become a big “bloozy” hard rock band. Except they didn’t do that right away. They made this album, which split the difference between the old band and what the new band would become, with an artsy photo of a topless chick on it which I’m sure pleased a lot of executives back then! Consequently, it did not chart. Getting back to this album, it’s pretty good. I like it because it’s fairly similar to Town and Country, the sad thing is, it feels shorter. Although run-time wise, it’s five minutes longer than the previous album. The thing is, now that they were being asked to be this big, heavy rock act, they of course stretch out the material so less tracks can fit on an LP! In many cases, it works, though. There are eight tracks here and I like more than half of them – five to be exact. The opening “Live with Me” – credited to the whole band – is a swirling tour-de-force which is brought home by a killer vocal from Marriott. Definitely a key Humble Pie track. Frampton’s “Earth and Water Song” is great, not only because it provides contrast to the grit and determination of the rest of the band, but like “Every Mother’s Son” from the last record, there is something here that is fiercely unique, setting it apart from many other artists, but do not ask me to describe what that something is! Ridley’s “Sucking on the Sweet Vine” ends the record on sort of a folky, soulful vibe. In another band, this guy could have been a lead singer, I tell ya! Marriott’s “Red Light Mamma, Red Hot” is a theme he would soon revisit far too often in the coming years – dalliances with questionable women and hard drugs mixed with bruising boogie rock – but here the formula is still a new thing to behold. “Theme from Skint” is an entertaining tale about the group’s foibles with record companies. Sadly, Marriott and the band would learn this lesson the hard way many times over in the future as well. Maybe the only song here I truly have some misgivings about is their cover of “I’m Ready”, which is dealt with in a rather boorish manner, compared to how the band had treated covers thus far. Overall, though, some transition – this is up there with the group’s best.