He is among the most revered British sidemen – session cats ever. Every record Alan anchored is worthy of exploration. Among his most noted recorded works include Jesus Christ Superstar (1970), Joe Cocker! (1969), Leon Russell (1970), Paul Kossoff Back Street Crawler (1973), Alvin Lee In Flight (1974), and Roxy Music Avalon (1982). You’ve heard him on stage and on record with Joe Cocker’s Grease Band, Roxy Music, Jim Capaldi, Paul Kossoff, Spooky Tooth, Alvin Lee, Kokomo David Coverdale, Bryan Ferry, Peter Frampton, Donovan, Steve Winwood, Ted Nugent, and Leon Russell, among many, many others…
If it were only for his incomparable bass passages on Jesus Christ Superstar (1970), Alan Spenner is legend. Spenner spins lines that exuded a soulful, rhythm & blues disposition akin to Motown masters James Jamerson and Bob Babbitt. Alan’s first professional gigs were with the blues/jazz outfit Wynder K. Frog which featured an impressive line-up of keyboardist Mick “Blue” Weaver (Mott the Hoople, Keef Hartley, David Gilmour), guitarist Neil Hubbard (Bluesology), drummer Bruce Rowland (Ronnie Lane, Fairport Convention, Joe Cocker), percussionist Reebop Kwaku Baah (Traffic), and saxophonist Chris Mercer (Bryan Ferry, Chris Farlowe, John Mayall). All these musicians intersected on many of the record dates that Spenner helmed. Sadly, Alan passed at a young age (43) from a sudden heart-attack.
Among Alan’s primary weapons of choice are Fender Precision – fretted and fretless. In his later years Alan switched to Wal basses.
Alan Spenner Sound & Vision:
Roxy Music “Same Old Scene” https://youtu.be/vXOgQN1a7bE
Roxy Music live “Avalon,” “Love is the Drug” https://youtu.be/co9TRT4Dar0
From Jesus Christ Superstar: “What’s The Buzz” https://youtu.be/c3LM2iQ8p7A
Tom Jones & Joe Cocker: “Delta Lady” https://youtu.be/V1gxVOcLZcI
Tony Senatore’s renditions of Alan’s passages from Jesus Christ Superstar
“Herod’s Song” https://youtu.be/jBVVKbmwQu8
“Heaven On Their Minds” https://youtu.be/ttnashv77K4
Alan with Joe Cocker at Woodstock: “Something’s Going On” https://youtu.be/kGbK5y94LOE