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The Blessing

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This 60s-flavoured UK rock band from south west London, England, combined the gusto of late period Rolling Stones and the production of bands such as INXS with mild reggae sounds and instrumentation. The band comprised William Topley (vocals), Kevin Hime-Knowles (bass), Luke Brighty (guitar), Simon Hanson (drums) and Mike Westergaard (keyboards). However, after four years toiling in London clubs under the name Just William, their inability to find a record label in the UK led them to MCA Records for a lucrative contract. Criticized in some circles for the melodrama and scale of both their lyrics and music, the Blessing nevertheless carried off their epic narratives with something approaching panache. Their moment of glory came with the excellent single ‘Highway 5’, although much of their debut album was highly credible fully charged production rock. Much of this professionalism was the guest appearances of Nicky Hopkins (keyboards), Jeff Porcaro (drums) and Bruce Hornsby (piano). Topley went on to record several roots-influenced solo albums.

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