Cozy Powell

Last updated

Cozy Powell
Cozypowell2.jpg
Cozy Powell in 1990 as a member of Black Sabbath
Background information
Birth nameColin Trevor Powell
Born(1947-12-29)29 December 1947
Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England
Died5 April 1998(1998-04-05) (aged 50)
Bristol, England
Genres Hard rock, blues rock, progressive rock, instrumental rock, heavy metal, jazz fusion
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, producer
InstrumentsDrums, percussion
Years active1968–1998
Labels Polydor
Associated acts
Website www.cozypowell.com

Cozy Powell (Born Colin Trevor Flooks) (29 December 1947 – 5 April 1998) was an English rock drummer, who made his name with many major rock bands and artists like The Jeff Beck Group, Rainbow, Gary Moore, Robert Plant, Brian May, Whitesnake, Emerson, Lake & Powell, and Black Sabbath. [1]

The Jeff Beck Group English blues rock band

The Jeff Beck Group was an English rock band formed in London in January 1967 by former Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck. Their innovative approach to heavy-sounding blues and rhythm and blues was a major influence on popular music.

Rainbow (rock band) English rock band

Rainbow are a British rock band led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, active from 1975 until 1984, 1993 until 1997, and 2015 until present. They were originally established with Ronnie James Dio's American rock band Elf, but after their first album, Blackmore fired the backing members and continued with Dio until 1979. Three British musicians joined in 1979—singer Graham Bonnet, keyboardist Don Airey and then-former Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover—and this line-up gave the band their commercial breakthrough with the single "Since You Been Gone". Over the years Rainbow went through many personnel changes, with each studio album recorded with a different lineup, and leaving Blackmore as the band's only constant member. The singers Joe Lynn Turner and Doogie White followed Bonnet, and numerous backing musicians have come and gone. In addition to Blackmore, Rainbow's current lineup includes Ronnie Romero on vocals, Jens Johansson on keyboards, Bob Nouveau on bass and David Keith on drums.

Gary Moore Northern Ireland guitarist, songwriter and record producer

Robert William Gary Moore was a Northern Irish guitarist and singer-songwriter. His music was in genres including blues, heavy metal and hard rock. He is often described as a virtuoso on the guitar.

Contents

Powell had appeared on at least 66 albums, with contributions on many other recordings. Many rock drummers have cited him as a major influence. [2] [3]

Early life

Colin Flooks (Cozy Powell) was born in Cirencester, Gloucestershire and was adopted. He never met his birth parents. [4] He started playing drums aged twelve in the school orchestra, thereafter playing along in his spare time to popular singles of the day. The first band Powell was in, called the Corals, played each week at the youth club in Cirencester. During this time the band broke the world record for non-stop playing. [5] At the age of fifteen, Cozy had already worked out an impressive drum solo. The stage name "Cozy" was borrowed from the jazz drummer Cozy Cole.

Cirencester market town in east Gloucestershire, England

Cirencester ) is a market town in Gloucestershire, England, 80 miles (130 km) northwest of London. Cirencester lies on the River Churn, a tributary of the River Thames, and is the largest town in the Cotswolds. It is the home of the Royal Agricultural University, the oldest agricultural college in the English-speaking world, founded in 1840. The town's Corinium Museum has an extensive Roman collection. The Roman name for the town was Corinium, which is thought to have been associated with the ancient British tribe of the Dobunni, having the same root word as the River Churn. The earliest known reference to the town was by Ptolemy in AD 150.

Cozy Cole American musician

William Randolph "Cozy" Cole was an American jazz drummer who had hits with the songs "Topsy I" and "Topsy II". "Topsy II" peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and at No. 1 on the R&B chart. It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc. The track peaked at No. 29 in the UK Singles Chart in 1958. The recording contained a long drum solo and was one of the few drum solo recordings to make the charts at Billboard magazine. The single was issued by Love Records, a small record label in Brooklyn, New York. Cole's song "Turvy II" reached No. 36 in 1959.

Career

The semi-professional circuit was next, with semi-pro outfit The Sorcerers, a vocal harmony pop band. The late nights and usual on-the-road exploits began to affect his education, and Powell left to take an office job to finance the purchase of his first set of Premier drums. The Sorcerers performed in the German club scene of the 1960s.

Premier Percussion trademark

Premier Music International Limited is an English manufacturer of drum kits and percussion instruments.

By 1968 the band had returned to England, basing themselves around Birmingham. Powell struck up friendships with fellow musicians like Robert Plant and John Bonham (both at the time unknowns in Listen), future Slade vocalist Noddy Holder, bassist Dave Pegg and a young Tony Iommi. The Sorcerers now became Youngblood, and a series of singles were released in late 1968–69. The group then linked up with The Move's bassist/singer Ace Kefford to form The Ace Kefford Stand. Five recorded tracks are available on the Ace Kefford album 'Ace The Face' released by Sanctuary Records in 2003. Powell also began session work. Powell with fellow Sorcerers Dave and Denny Ball formed Big Bertha.

Birmingham Major city in the English Midlands, 2nd highest population of UK cities

Birmingham is a major city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England. Birmingham is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom and the most populous city in the English Midlands. It is also the most populous metropolitan district in the United Kingdom, with an estimated 1,137,123 inhabitants, and is considered the social, cultural, financial, and commercial centre of the Midlands. It is situated within the larger West Midlands conurbation, which is the third most populated urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population of 2,897,303 in 2017. The wider Birmingham metropolitan area is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a population of over 3.8 million. It is frequently referred to as both England and the United Kingdom's "second city".

Robert Plant British singer-songwriter and producer

Robert Anthony Plant is an English singer, songwriter, and musician, best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band Led Zeppelin.

John Bonham English rock musician

John Henry Bonham was an English musician and songwriter, best known as the drummer for the British rock band Led Zeppelin. Esteemed for his speed, power, fast bass drumming, distinctive sound, and feel for the groove, he is regarded by many as the greatest and most influential rock drummer in history. In 2016, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him No. 1 in its list of the "100 Greatest Drummers of All Time".

Isle of Wight 1970 and Jeff Beck

Powell also played with swamp rocker Tony Joe White at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970. Powell then landed the then highly prestigious drumming job with Jeff Beck's group in April 1970. Their first project was to record an album of Motown covers in the USA. This was never finished and remains unreleased. During the sessions, photographs show Cozy Powell and Jeff Beck present at the recording of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition", on which Jeff Beck appears. Cozy has stated in interviews he plays on the record but this remains to be confirmed. After the recording of two albums, Rough and Ready (October 1971) and Jeff Beck Group (July 1972), the band fell apart.

Swamp pop is a music genre indigenous to the Acadiana region of south Louisiana and an adjoining section of Southeast Texas. Created in the 1950s and early 1960s by teenage Cajuns, it combines New Orleans-style rhythm and blues, country and western, and traditional French Louisiana musical influences. Although a fairly obscure genre, swamp pop maintains a large audience in its south Louisiana and southeast Texas homeland, and it has acquired a small but passionate cult following in the United Kingdom, northern Europe, and Japan.

Tony Joe White American singer-songwriter and guitarist

Tony Joe White, nicknamed the Swamp Fox, was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known for his 1969 hit "Polk Salad Annie" and for "Rainy Night in Georgia", which he wrote but was first made popular by Brook Benton in 1970. He also wrote "Steamy Windows" and "Undercover Agent for the Blues", both hits for Tina Turner in 1989; those two songs came by way of Turner's producer at the time, Mark Knopfler, who was a friend of White. "Polk Salad Annie" was also recorded by Joe Dassin, Elvis Presley, and Tom Jones.

Isle of Wight Festival 1970 UK music festival

The Isle of Wight Festival 1970 was held between 26 and 31 August 1970 at Afton Down, an area on the western side of the Isle of Wight. It was the last of three consecutive music festivals to take place on the island between 1968 and 1970 and widely acknowledged as the largest musical event of its time, greater than the attendance of Woodstock. Although estimates vary, the Guinness World Records estimated 600,000, possibly 700,000 people attended. It was organised and promoted by local brothers, Ron and Ray Foulk through their company Fiery Creations Ltd and their brother Bill Foulk. Ron Smith was site manager and Rikki Farr acted as compere.

1972–1974

In 1972 Powell drummed for two tracks ("Hey Sandy" and "Martha") on Harvey Andrews' album Writer of Songs. By late 1972 he had joined up with the Ball brothers and singer Frank Aiello to form Bedlam, whose eponymous album was recorded for Chrysalis and released in August 1973. [1]

With Powell's session work at RAK and subsequent solo success (including "Dance with the Devil", which reached No. 3 in the UK singles chart during January 1974), Bedlam fell apart. "Dance With The Devil" was his only solo hit in the United States, peaking at No. 49. The track featured Suzi Quatro on bass. Powell's second hit during 1974 was with "The Man in Black", which reached a respectable No. 18. Arrows front man Alan Merrill, also a RAK records artist, played electric bass on '"The Man in Black'" and the b-side '"After Dark." Jeff Beck's studio producer was Mickie Most and Powell soon found himself drafted into sessions for artists signed to Most's RAK label, including Julie Felix, Hot Chocolate, Donovan and Suzi Quatro. To cash in on his chart success the drummer formed Cozy Powell's Hammer in April 1974. The line-up included Bernie Marsden (guitar), Clive Chaman (bass), Don Airey (keyboards) and Frank Aiello (Bedlam) on vocals. Clive Chaman was replaced on bass by Neil Murray in the band in early 1975 for the RAK Rocks Britain Tour. "Na Na Na" was a UK No. 10 hit, and another single "Le Souk" was recorded but never released. Sharing a love of the power-trio set up (Cream), Cozy Powell formed a band with guitarist Clem Clempson and bassist Greg Ridley (Humble Pie), but when this fell apart Cozy temporarily quit the music business to take up motorcycle racing.

1975–1980: Rainbow

In 1975 he joined Rainbow. Powell and Ritchie Blackmore were the only constants in the band's line-up over the next five years, as Blackmore evolved the sound of the band from a neo-classical hard rock-heavy metal to a more commercial AOR sound. Rainbow's 1979 Down to Earth LP (from which singles "Since You Been Gone" and "All Night Long" are taken) proved to be the band's most successful album thus far;[ when? ] however, Powell was concerned over the overtly commercial sound. Powell decided to leave Rainbow, although not before they headlined the first ever Monsters of Rock show at Castle Donington, England, on 16 August 1980. The festival was Powell's last show with the band.

1980–1988: Bonnet and Forcefield

After Powell left Rainbow he worked with vocalist Graham Bonnet (he too an ex-Rainbow member) on Bonnet's new project called Graham Bonnet & The Hooligans, their most notable single being the UK top 10 single "Night Games" (1981), also on Bonnet's solo Line Up album. For the rest of the 1980s, Powell assumed short-term journeyman roles with a number of major bands – Michael Schenker Group from 1980 to 1982, and Whitesnake from 1982 to 1985. In 1985 he started recording with Phenomena for their self-titled first album, which was released the same year, when he joined up with Keith Emerson and Greg Lake as a member of Emerson, Lake & Powell. He also worked briefly with another new supergroup named Forcefield along with Bonnet and later Tony Martin on vocals, former Ian Gillan Band member Ray Fenwick and former Focus member Jan Akkerman on the guitars, Neil Murray and later Laurence Cottle on bass. Cottle would eventually join as a session player for the recording of Black Sabbath's Headless Cross and again was replaced by Murray following that tour.

1988–1998: Sabbath and Solo

Powell worked with Gary Moore in 1988, followed by stints with Black Sabbath from 1988 to 1991, and again in 1994–1995. Between late 1992 and early 1993, Powell put together an occasional touring band using the old band name 'Cozy Powell's Hammer' featuring himself on drums, Neil Murray on bass, Mario Parga on guitar and Tony Martin on vocals and occasional rhythm guitar/synth module. The band performed throughout Europe and appeared on German television. Powell made headlines in 1991 when he appeared on the BBC children's programme Record Breakers , where he set a world record for the most drums (400) played in under one minute, live on television. [6]

Powell along with Neil Murray were members of Brian May's band, playing on the Back to the Light and Another World albums. He played with May opening for Guns N' Roses on the second American leg of their Use Your Illusion tour in 1993. The duo also served a spell with blues guitarist Peter Green in the mid-nineties. Powell briefly joined Yngwie Malmsteen for the album Facing the Animal in 1997. [7] Powell's last recording session was for Colin Blunstone's The Light Inside, alongside Don Airey, which was released shortly after Powell's death. The final solo album by Cozy Powell Especially for You was released in 1998 after his death, and featured American vocalist John West, Neil Murray, Lonnie Park, Michael Casswell and others.

Death

Powell died on 5 April 1998 following a car crash while driving his Saab 9000 at 104 mph (167 km/h) in bad weather on the M4 motorway near Bristol. He had been dating a married woman who was having troubles with her husband. [8] Upset, she phoned him and asked him to come quickly to her house which was approximately 35 miles away. As he was driving to her house she phoned him again and asked "Where are you?" He informed her he was on his way and then she heard him say "Oh shit!" followed by a loud bang. [8]

Powell was ejected through the windscreen and died at the scene. [8] According to the BBC report, at the time of the crash Powell's blood-alcohol reading was over the legal limit, and he was not wearing a seat belt, in addition to talking with his girlfriend on his mobile phone. The official investigation also found evidence of a slow puncture in a rear tyre that, it was suggested, could well have caused a sudden collapse of the tyre with a consequent loss of control of the car. [9]

He was living at Lambourn in Berkshire at the time and had returned to the studio shortly before his death to record with Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green. At the time of death Powell had recently had to pull out of tour rehearsals with Yngwie Malmsteen, having suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident. One of his last phone calls, to Joe Geesin (his fan club editor), was to express distress about this, to describe the physio treatment he was undergoing, and to voice his enthusiasm for the then-forthcoming Brian May tour.

A memorial plaque in Cirencester was unveiled on 7 January 2016, in a ceremony led by Brian May, with Suzi Quatro, Bernie Marsden, Neil Murray, Don Airey and Tony Iommi also in attendance. [10] [11]

Posthumous releases

In October 2005 Powell made a "new" appearance on an album. Former Black Sabbath vocalist Tony Martin released a studio album ( Scream ), and on it is a track named "Raising Hell". This was a track Powell had recorded the drum track for when he and Tony were in Hammer in 1992, and gave to Tony for "future use". [12] There are apparently as many as 19 additional drum tracks also recorded that could turn up in the future. Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton has also released material recorded during the 1997 Baptizm of Fire sessions; this 2006 collection, entitled Edge of the World , was released under the moniker of Tipton, Entwistle & Powell in memory of John Entwistle and Powell.

Band timeline (not including session work)

Text in bold indicates solo work

Discography

Motor racing and TV appearances

Powell had a fascination with fast cars and motorbikes, and raced for Hitachi on the UK saloon car circuit for a few months in the mid-seventies. [13] He was quoted as saying in an interview, "I drive like I drum – madly". [13]

See also

Related Research Articles

Black Sabbath British heavy metal band

Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler and singer Ozzy Osbourne. Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970), and Master of Reality (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history.

<i>Headless Cross</i> (album) 1989 studio album by Black Sabbath

Headless Cross is the 14th studio album by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath. Released on 24 April 1989, it was the group's second album to feature singer Tony Martin and the first of three to feature drummer Cozy Powell, along with Tyr and Forbidden.

<i>Dehumanizer</i> 1992 studio album by Black Sabbath

Dehumanizer is the 16th studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in June 1992.

Blue Murder were an English hard rock band, founded by ex-Whitesnake, Tygers of Pan Tang and Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes.

William Thomas Ward is an English musician and visual artist, best known as the original drummer of the British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He also performed lead vocals on two Black Sabbath songs: "It's Alright" from the album Technical Ecstasy and "Swinging the Chain" from the album Never Say Die!.

<i>Tyr</i> (album) 1990 studio album by Black Sabbath

Tyr is the 15th studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in August 1990 by I.R.S. Records.

<i>Rough and Ready</i> (album) 1971 studio album by The Jeff Beck Group

Rough and Ready is the third album by The Jeff Beck Group and the first of two by the second Jeff Beck Group. Released in 1971, it featured more of a jazz, soul and R&B edge to counter Beck's lead guitar. As a songwriter, Beck contributed more pieces to Rough and Ready than he had before, or ever would again. Beck enlisted Bobby Tench as vocalist and it is also the first time keyboardist Max Middleton is heard. Other members of this line up are drummer Cozy Powell and bassist Clive Chaman.

<i>Cross Purposes</i> 1994 studio album by Black Sabbath

Cross Purposes is the 17th studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in January 1994.

Philip Neil Murray is a Scottish bass player, best known for his work in Whitesnake, The Brian May Band, Black Sabbath and with Gary Moore.

<i>The Eternal Idol</i> 1987 studio album by Black Sabbath

The Eternal Idol is the 13th studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released on November 23, 1987. It is the first Black Sabbath album to feature vocalist Tony Martin. It spent six weeks on the Billboard 200 chart, peaking at 168. It was also the last full album of new material by Black Sabbath to be released by Warner Bros. Records, and the final album through their original label Vertigo Records until the release of 13 in 2013.

<i>Forbidden</i> (Black Sabbath album) 1995 studio album by Black Sabbath

Forbidden is the 18th studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in June 1995. This recording saw the reunion of Black Sabbath's Tyr-era line-up from 1990, with the return of Neil Murray and Cozy Powell. It was the last album to feature Tony Martin on vocals, Geoff Nicholls on keyboards, and the last by the band until 2013 when Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler returned for the album 13. The album sold 21,000 copies in the U.S in its first week and as of 2013, Forbidden has sold 191,000 copies in the US.

Tony Martin (British singer) English heavy metal musician

Anthony Philip Harford, better known by his stage name Tony Martin, is a heavy metal vocalist, best known for his time fronting Black Sabbath, initially from 1987 to 1991 and again from 1993 to 1996. Martin was the band's second longest serving vocalist after Ozzy Osbourne. He has since been involved in many other projects.

<i>The Sabbath Stones</i> 1996 compilation album by Black Sabbath

The Sabbath Stones (1996) is a compilation album of Black Sabbath songs taken from albums ranging from 1983's Born Again to 1995's Forbidden. It was never formally released in the US or Canada, and was the last album to be released by Black Sabbath with I.R.S. Records.

Max Middleton British musician

David Maxwell "Max" Middleton is an English composer and keyboardist and was originally a docker on the London docks. Middleton is known for his work on the Fender Rhodes Electric piano, the Minimoog synthesiser and his percussive playing style of the Hohner Clavinet. He started on his professional music career by playing keyboards for Jeff Beck and is best known for his work on Beck's Blow by Blow.

Heaven & Hell (band) American band

Heaven & Hell were an English-American heavy metal band active from 2006 to 2010. The band was a collaboration featuring Black Sabbath founding members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler along with former Black Sabbath and Dio members Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice.

Russell Gilbrook British musician

Russell Gilbrook is the latest drummer for the British rock band, Uriah Heep.

Dance with the Devil (instrumental) single by Cozy Powell

"Dance with the Devil" is a solo drum instrumental by Cozy Powell based on the song "Third Stone from the Sun" by Jimi Hendrix. It reached No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart in January 1974. It was recorded as Cozy Powell's session work for RAK was taking off, and as his band Bedlam was finishing. The bass player on the track is Suzi Quatro.

"Stargazer" is the fifth track from British rock band Rainbow's 1976 album Rising. An epic song narrating the story of a wizard whose attempt to fly by constructing a tower to the stars led to the enslavement of vast numbers of people, it is notable for its musical qualities as well, with the guitar and drum solos cited as important examples of the qualities of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, singer Ronnie James Dio, and drummer Cozy Powell.

The Brian May Band was an English-American rock band formed by Queen guitarist Brian May. The band was originally formed in October 1991 for May's performance at Guitar Legends guitar festival in Seville, Spain. They toured with May to promote some of his studio albums.

References

  1. 1 2 McDonald, Steven. "Allmusic bio & performance credits". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  2. "Modern Drummer Magazine/Article on Silvertide drummer Kevin Franks cites Powell as influence". Moderndrummer.com. Retrieved 24 October 2011.[ permanent dead link ]
  3. "Modern Drummer Magazine/Article on Gene Hoglan cites Powell as influence". Moderndrummer.com. Archived from the original on 15 February 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2011.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. Nick Talevski. "Rock Obituaries - Knocking On Heaven's Door". Books.google.co.uk. p. 514. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  5. "The Corals just played on and on - to new world record". Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard. 7 January 1966.
  6. "Cozy Powell on Record Breakers". YouTube. 2 May 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  7. Archived 26 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  8. 1 2 3 Iommi, Tony (2011). Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath. Da Capo Press. ISBN   978-0306819551.
  9. "BBC report of the crash". BBC News. 25 August 1998. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  10. "Brian May unveils blue plaque for Cozy Powell". Cirencester.co.uk. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  11. "Rock legends including Black Sabbath lead guitarist Tony Iommi brought together for Cozy Powell plaque unveiling (From Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard)". Wiltsglosstandard.co.uk. 24 December 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  12. Siegler, Joe (8 August 2006). "Site Revamp". The Official Cozy Powell Site. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  13. 1 2 "Girlfriend hears rock star die". bbc.co.uk. 25 August 1998. Retrieved 19 March 2015.