I’ve taken all I can from the skies up above
I don’t believe in God but I do believe in love
Don’t tell me how to do it ‘cos I don’t need that shit
I’ve found something new and I’m fuckin’ lovin’ it!

You have to admire a good ‘it/shit’ rhyming scheme, eh readers? well, okay so being stuck permanently in a state of adolescence might be something of a prerequisite too. Forget that, we’re here to lavish praise on the Almighty.

Video has one of my very favourite hard rock things ever, an acoustic on a stand used for the intro that can then be whisked away by a roadie when shit gets serious. Seen plenty of them live.

My very favourite Brit rock band of the 90’s, the Almighty loomed out of the northern bad lands with all the cool, the tunes and the pure metallic heft that none of their contemporaries had. For a while they were everybody’s support band* and then they struck out alone. Their debut LP Blood, Fire & Love was just a sweaty wad of leathery genius, but that’s for another time.

Back in the day I bought The Power Pack and the Wild & Wonderful picture disc**; the former because there never was a gimmick devised by a record company that I could resist and the latter because it had two tracks I’d heard them play a lot live as B-sides. You can see the band signing a copy of The Power Pack in the video for Wild & Wonderful, I like the linkage.

Wild & Wonderful is the gem here. many lesser rockers have 35 year careers and never write anything as potent as this. A brilliantly constructed tune, just clever enough, just daft enough, just tuneful enough, just frayed enough to hit all the buttons. An ace acoustic intro and a wonderful break-down section in the middle^ with some (fnarr, fnarr) great organ work. It was always the highlight of their live set. Plus they get unlimited 1537 bonus points for tasteful swearing.

Equally great live was ‘Thunderbird’, often given the live intro along the lines of ‘this next track is about a fast car, a fast woman, anything that gives you a fuckin’ thrill’ (from memory that). The studio iteration here chucks a stronger strain of Motorhead into the band’s cauldron of sound and it works perfectly. The ending of the track is still an absolute ripper.

‘Wild Angel’ is another good rocker, albeit not quite as well worked out as the others, it has a good punky energy and some very of-their-time sexist lyrics. Yowza!

The excellent acoustic blues ‘Good God Almighty’ returns to Ricky Warwick’s favourite lyrical theme. God = Bad. Seriously, the man is obsessed. My brother and I used to laugh about it all the time^*, almost every single song gets a dig in about Him Upstairs. My personal theory is that Ol’ Jahweh must have sued the Almighty over their name when they first started out, what with him being omniscient and everything, thus leading to lasting enmity and bad blood between both parties^^; either that or it was a legacy of Warwick’s early upbringing in Northern Ireland.

If you want a slice of great, raw Brit rock from this era Wild & Wonderful is a must have. Nice looking picture disc too.

The Power Pack is a more iffy affair. Not that there is anything at all wrong with the track ‘Power’ which is a great (opening line, feud fans: ‘I’m chained in by the arms of God …’), or the mean live version here, it’s the ‘Killer Watt Mix’ and the ‘Dub Version’ that I’m calling out. The former being one of those awful 80’s 12″ mixes that we used to have to endure where the producer would shoehorn in 2 minutes of distracting extras into a perfectly good track, let us just say the latter would not give Lee Scratch Perry any fear for his crown.

‘Power’ is damn fine though, sounding rather like AC/DC during their Electric period, but with more of a feel for the real sleaze, grit and nastiness of it all.

The Power Pack is far from essential but not a bad relic at all of a time, a place and a certain amount of parking for me. Not that the Almighty would have given a shit about my opinion, they’d have been too busy shagging, drinking, rocking and writing yet another mean dig at, umm, the almighty. So it goes.

963 Down.

PS: The post title is from a half-remembered slogan on one of the band’s T-shirts. I bought one of the non-sweary ones. Why?

*I saw them 5 times, only once under their own steam.

**I also bought the 7″ version that came in a round tin but that rusted egregiously for reasons I’m not sure of and I binned it to avoid tetanus. My Little Angels She’s A Little Angel 7″ in a tin bought on the same day is totally rust free to this very day, proof that only the non-shite die young.

^truncated in the single version, home to extended singalongs of the ‘you drive me fucking crazy’ chorus live.

^*I think we actually collaborated on the lyrics to an imagined Almighty song, ‘God Has Smelly Pants, But I Don’t’. Sadly, lost in the mists of time now.

^^not to be resolved until He joined them onstage one night in Milton Keynes in 1994 as a special guest star, for a pleasing encore rendition of ‘Resurrection Mutha’. True story.

35 thoughts on “All High, All Wild, All Fuckin’ Mighty

    1. Ahh, it was ‘loud’ I couldn’t remember!

      The Soul Destruction tour with Junkyard supporting was just incredible – the band starting up with ‘Crucify’.

      The fact they’d throw away tracks like Thunderbird as B-sides too …

  1. Was never quite sold on these guys. Saw then once (as support!) but they had kinda started going grunge. I remember having a tape of a Donington set that was pretty good but I dont have any of their stuff anymore.

    1. Whut! Did I ken you reet? They were pure fab when they first came out. Come on, they’ve got a song about themselves called ‘Full Force Loving Machine’! What more do you need?

  2. I think you’re the only person I know that still talks about The Almighty. Obviously they are one of the best metal bands of ever given they hail from Scotlandshire.

    Anyhoo, I’m only familiar with the two albums – Crank and Just Add life. I think I like some stuff from them.

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