Although relegated to almost a footnote in the annals of British Rock, I feel Strider deserve more recognition. They released two albums in the early 70’s and promptly disappeared from view, but not without providing Rod Stewart with his long-serving guitarist (Gary Grainger) and pub-rock/soulsters the Q-Tips, with their keyboard player (Ian Kewley) who went on to work with Paul Young on ‘No Parlez’ and beyond. Honing their skills supporting The Faces, they released their debut album ‘Exposed’ in 1973.
It is a testament to the quality of the music scene back then that Strider were just one of many bands that were excellent but never quite had that breakthrough hit. Kewley’s rasping vocals, and Grainger’s wonderful Gibson SG guitar are writ large all over this album, and curiously, it is on the two cover versions that they really shine. Jackie Wilson’s ‘Higher and higher’ is attacked with glee, and just soars – you can tell they’re having a blast doing it. But their version of The Temptations ‘Get Ready’ is to the original what Vanilla Fudge’s ‘House of the Rising Sun’ is to The Animals. It just takes it to another place. An added bonus is the wonderful backing vocals from Babe Ruth’s Jennie Haan. Here’s ‘Get Ready’:
“Exposed” and “Misunderstood” were both re-issued on CD in 2007