The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - No Complaints Department unreleased 7" (1977)

First re-up of a series of SAHB singles. Maybe the most important since it was shelved before it was released and because the song was also removed from the album (Rock Drill) although it featured on the first German and Nederland pressings (by chance I got one since I was a SAHB fan buying the fist one that was issued in the town I lived then). The song was intended to be the A-side of their new single but the line about his brother Leslie is said to have been potentially too shocking for his parents. Not really sure this is the reason why the single was not issued. On the B-side, the song that was supposed to be was "Anthem" but I preferred to put another one from the album, since "Anthem" was rather a weird choice since it was from an ancient LP. "No Complaints Department" is surely the most autobiographical, personal and moving song of all the Alex Harvey repertoire. The fact it was only released accidentally on CD (see a visitor's comment) is really unexplainable. So here is my rip version, a little bit improved compared to the first post (6 years ago). Not sure it is really better than the 2 you can hear on YouTube so I include below these 2 videos and you can make your mind. There are YouTube downloading free softwares you can use to get one of them if you think it is better than mine. Someone in the comments says the picture of the band I added in the first post was not the band in 1977. Honestly I can't say so I prefer to remove it for this updated version and add an Alex Harvey portrait. Catch this rarity and incredibly moving song here.

Yes, I know I already posted this song before. But it seems, looking at the download rate, that many did not understand that The Real Rock Drill meant that "Mrs Blackhouse" had been removed and the initial real closer song, "No Complaints Department" (sorry, I mispelled it on the DIY cover of the 7", omitting the "s" of "complaints", but once again, it was too time consuming doing it again), a legendary rarely heard song, included as it was in the first vinyl version of the album, the one I bought at the time it was released. Maybe to find it, one must write the title song as keywords in the research engines they use, so the best is to create a fake single with this song as main title (actually fake A-side) and therefore the problem is solved. I won't say much here about this masterpiece, everything was explained there. On the (fake B-side), I chose a Rock Drill song with a similar melancholic atmosphere, "The Dolphins", making of this unreal single one of the most real moving ones in music history. The charm of the blogs is to allow everyone to create our own vinyl alchemy. Once again, I inform that "No Complaint Department" has never been released on CD, that I never found it on blogs or on the net, and that this is a rip from my own vinyl. Enjoy it  and a tender hello to Alex wherever he is.

Below, the 2 songs for streaming with their lyrics.Note that the version is the low-quality one and that in the file you'll have a better one.

No Complaints Department. I've seen stars disappear in a hurry overdoses of satin and silk, some others who can't feed their children 'cause they don't have the money for milk. Saw my best friend die in a plane crash, my brother was killed on the stage, so don't be upset if I'm angry, and seem in some kind of a rage. There is no complaints department, it's only up to you, no complaints department, no complaints department blues. I've got friends who are armed with magnums, they don't get their money from me, 'cause it never is no kind of pleasure, to see somebody suffer you see.There is no complaints department, it's only up to you, no complaints department, no complaints department blues. They took my old pal to the madhouse, in horror, in fear and in pain, with surgery done in a hurry, to do a transplant in his brain. There are some folks got nothing to live for, some folks got nothing to lose, so don't ask me for pity, no complaints department blues. There is no complaints department, it's only up to you, no complaints department, no complaints department blues.

The Dolphins. We watched the dolphins swimming down the fractured avenue Drilling through the rock bed Making hell of the morning dew Making hell of the morning dew Prayin' just ain't no way of saying To the monarchs sitting silly In the excrement from there own cigars This is no truce; This is the truth from hillbilly guitars! You wana play tricks on the hicks, And all we wanna do is be rock and roll stars! Ha! Hypnos was a Greek He could take the wild and the weak He could take your brain And hang it on the end of an iron chain The master showed his slave that a man ain't nothin' but a man! But before I'm gonna let that dumbbell beat me down, I'm gonna die with that hammer in my hand! ...That hammer in my hand! We watched the dolphins swimming down the fractured avenue, Drilling through the rock bed Making hell of the morning dew Making hell of the morning dew We watched the dolphins swimming down the fractured avenue, Drilling through the rock bed And making hell of the morning dew Making hell of the morning dew Making hell of the morning dew Where were you little man, When I laid down the foundations of your universe? I constructed the perimeter of your thoughts! I constructed where and what your flesh and bones would realize! Making hell of the morning dew...



portlandbill said...

I have had the greatest of pleasure to read about The Sensational Alex Harvey Band in your blogs and learnt something new each time I have visited.I have always wondered how much more the band could have achieved had they stuck together and Alex and Hugh hadnt suffered illnesses.I just cant get enough of that longhaired music....Anyway more to the point I would like to thank you for all your sensational work and promoting and putting SAHB into peoples minds.I have taken everything you have had to offer and I hope there are some of these to come too.Pre SAHB I know...
I Just Wanna Make Love To You/Let The Good Times Roll* (Polydor NH 52264) 1964
I Ain't Worried Baby/Got My Mojo Working* (Polydor NH 52907) 1964
Ain't That Just Too Bad/My Kind Of Love* (Polydor 56017) 1965
Agent 00 Soul/Go Away Baby (Fontana TF 610) 1965
Work Song/I Can Do Without Your Love (Fontana TF 764) 1966
The Sunday Song/Horizons (Decca F 12640) 1967
Maybe Some Day/Curtains For My Baby (Decca F 12660) 1967
Midnight Moses/Roman Wall Blues (Fontana TF 1063) 1969
*"Soul Band" releases. Others any of these.
Faith Healer/St. Anthony (Vertigo 6059 098) 1973
Giddy Up A Ding Dong/Buff's Bar Blues (Vertigo 6059 091) FRNCE 1972, GER 1974
Jungle Jenny/Buff's Bar Blues (Vertigo 6059 075) 1973
Gamblin' Bar Room Blues/Shake That Thing (PS) (Vertigo ALEX 2) 1975
Pick It Up And Kick It/Smouldering [SAHB without Alex] (Mountain TOP 24) 1977
Anthem/River of Love ....
Just one final thanks for sharing your superb collection and without sounding ungrateful is there any chance of doing your SAHB in lossless aswell.Cheers PB.

Didier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dk said...

Thanks a lot for the nice comment. I don't feel the need to post singles with tracks featuring on easy-to-find and to buy LPs. That's the reason I won't post some of the ones you cite. But I will post some more although the most important of the rare material has been posted here I think.

SgtFury said...

Hi there - only just found your site - great to see this and the other Alex stuff you've posted - just to let you know you can get this on CD - the 1987 CD compilation 'Portrait' ('Start' label STFCD) lists Mrs Blackhouse but the track on the CD is actually No Complaints Department! - error? sweet irony? someone's wicked sense of humour? Who knows!

dkelvin said...

OMG, that's a revelation. I'll get it as soon as now and post it with a CD rip version. Thx infinitely.

Tony Poolan said...


I am very keen to hear this but the link doesn't appear to work - is it still up?


dkelvin said...

Yes, the link is working. But I'll upload it on mf tonight cos' rs is really too trouble making.

Tonto said...

Thanks dk.

vidal said...

Many thanks for this one, I've been looking for this song for a long time, the album is not the same without it... and since you're also a SAHB fan let me just say: Hail Vibrania!

Pekka Ranta said...

I'm quite certain that that isn't Tommy Eyre in the picture. It's also from an erlier era (Ted McKenna's hair is much longer than in 1976/77). The man on the left looks a bit familiar, maybe he is the one who subbed for Hugh McKenna in one of those early BBC In Concert's?