The Work Is Thru'
Outer Limits was the group Jeff Christie was in
before he formed Christie. The first single they released was a
"Charity RAG" record, which they shared with another group
called The 5-Man Cargo.
Charity weeks are held in many countries around the
world, during which university students take part in various events
to raise money for charity.
For the local Leeds charity week - termed RAG for "Raise
and Give" - Jeff and his fellow students recorded a soulful,
lively tune (written by Godfrey Claff) which incorporates tight
harmonies and a brassy horn backing.
But even though it was someone else's song,
Jeff was as meticulous as ever, arranging the song to sound as he
One More Chance
This song was the first serious composition of
Jeff's to be released, after the band secured a deal with Deram
Records. A slow-paced love song with a hook that grows on the listener,
it has been labelled by archivists as a "blue-eyed soul gem".
It nudged the UK Top 50 when released in 1967 and became a club
classic in the late 70s on the northern soul scene.
It reached the top of the charts in Berlin, of all
places, and was covered by several artists indeed, it was
the first song of Jeff's to be covered by another performer (I
Dalton). Although it didn't chart in the US, it was given glowing
instrumental version by The Patrick Bradley was also successful
and today is a highly sought-after record.
Help Me Please
The flipside is a heavy, bluesy number that would
not be out of place if played by today's grunge bands. According
to Jeff, this was his take at imitating Spencer Davis, complete
with gruff voice. Some reviewers have described the piece as reminiscent
of the "garage sound" of the psychedelic
Just One More Chance single was
reissued in 2005 as part of a box set of classic Decca singles
by the UK company Acme.
The box set describes the single as a
"dance floor filler; bucking the trend, both sides of
this seven-inch are monsters blue-eyed soul on the
"A" and psych-edged Brit beater on the "B".
By the next single, Jeff was clearly moving towards
the tuneful creations that would characterise his Christie repertoire.
This song is a commercial offering that would have not been out
of place in the Christie stable, given a Vic Elmes twang and a more
Clearly signalling the development of Jeff's melodic
songwriting skills, the song is, as the title suggests, all about
a train robbery. All stops were pulled out for this one the
arrangement, by former Shadow Tony Meehan, incorporates lavish orchestral
backgrounds and lovely harmonies, and is not unlike some Bee Gees
offerings of the time. The record itself was produced by Andrew
Loog Oldham, renowned for hids work with the Rolling Stones and
the Beatles, among others.
There are two versions of this song: the demo version
has a longer musical introduction and additional sound effects (guns
firing) at the end of the song. See here
for more information.
The flipside is not as melodious as the A-side,
but again does show the growing talents of Jeff as a songwriter.
The harmonies and arrangement are reminiscent of some Beatles songs,
and Jeff's voice is Lennon-esque in parts. It was a popular part
of the Outer Limits' live sets.
See here for other Outer Limits songs
Just One More Chance:
Shimmering organ-flecked sound blends with pounding beat and
appealing vocal. Good tune too. Maintains the high Deram standard.
- Melody Maker
Great Train Robbery:
Not our Great Train Robbery, but one that took place in 1899
which makes a romantic tale given full orchestral accompaniment
and a catchy hook phrase: "Do you remember the Great
Train Robbery?" Trouble is, having aroused memories of
the incident, the singers, who sound as though they were trying
to forget the Great Train Robbery, then fail to add any further
statements. I expected them to say "Well, we done it,
- New Musical Express
Help Me Please:
Well, well, well, looks like the shaker is buried on the
B-side this time. Help Me Please gets cookin' right away with
a Mitch Ryder-like groove. Pour in some jerky guitar, swirling
organ, swingin' tambourine and roughhouse vocals and you got
it, jack. The beat never wavers, only briefly for the pleas
of "Help me, help me" but then it gets right back
in gear and stays hot for the rest of the song. You aspiring
mod DJs out there might want to get ahold of this one for
your next shindig because it's a definite mover that ought
to lead a few people out onto the multi-colored dance floor,
if you know what I mean.
- Brian Marshall, blogster