Before the disco! Check out these awesome rockin’ tracks from Sylvester And The Hot Band! Two Albums: 1973’s SYLVESTER AND THE HOT BAND & BAZAAR…

WIKIPEDIA: Returning to San Francisco, Sylvester was offered the opportunity to record a demo album by Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner. Financed by A&M Records, the album featured a cover of Bonnie Bramlett and Leon Russell’s song “Superstar,” which had been a recent hit single for The Carpenters; nevertheless, A&M felt that the work was not commercially viable and declined to release the album. For the album, Sylvester and his manager Dennis Lopez had assembled a group of heterosexual white males—Bobby Blood on trumpet, Chris Mostert on saxophone, James Q. Smith on guitar, Travis Fullerton on drums, and Kerry Hatch on bass—whom he named The Hot Band. After A&M’s initial rejection, the band provided two songs for Lights Out San Francisco, an album compiled by San Francisco’s KSAN radio and released on the Blue Thumb label. Gaining a number of local gigs, they were eventually asked to open for English glam rock star David Bowie at the Winterland Ballroom; the gig did not sell particularly well, and Bowie later commented that San Francisco did not need him, because “They’ve got Sylvester,” referring to their shared preference for androgyny.

In early 1973, Sylvester and The Hot Band were signed by Bob Krasnow to Blue Thumb. On this label, they produced their first album, in which they switched their sound from blues to the more commercially viable rock, while the Pointer Sisters were employed as backing singers. Sylvester named this first album Scratch My Flower due to a gardenia-shaped scratch-and-sniff sticker adhered to the cover, although it was instead released under the title of Sylvester and his Hot Band. The album consisted primarily of covers of songs by artists such as James Taylor, Ray Charles, Neil Young, and Leiber and Stoller. Described by one of Sylvester’s biographers as lacking in “the fire and focus of the live shows”,it sold poorly on release.

Sylvester and his Hot Band toured the United States, receiving threats of violence in several Southern states, where widespread conservative and racist attitudes led to antagonism between the band and locals. In late 1973, the band recorded their second album, Bazaar, which included both cover songs and original compositions by bassist Kerry Hatch. Hatch later commented that the Hot Band found the album more satisfactory than its predecessor, but nevertheless it again sold poorly.The music journalist Peter Shapiro believed that on these Blue Thumb albums, Sylvester’s “cottony falsetto was an uncomfortable match with guitars” and that they both had “an unpleasantly astringent quality”. Finding Sylvester difficult to work with, and frustrated by his lack of commercial success, the Hot Band left Sylvester in late 1974, after which Krasnow cancelled his recording contract. At the same time, Sylvester’s relationship with Lyons ended, with Lyons himself moving to Hawaii.

In 1973, the National Association of Progressive Radio Announcers, Inc. put out an album of anti-hard drug public service announcements called “Get Off!”. This track from that record features Sylvester and the Hot Band.

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