Maggie Bell (born 12 January 1945, Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland) is a Scottish rock and blues-rock singer, regarded by some as Britain’s answer to Janis Joplin.
From a musical family, she sang from her teenage years, leaving school at the age of fifteen, to work as a window dresser by day and singer at night. Bell was introduced to Leslie Harvey, by his older brother Alex, after getting up on stage to sing with the latter. Leslie Harvey was, at that time, a guitarist with the Kinning Park Ramblers. Bell joined the group as one of the vocalists. After the band split up, Bell moved to the Mecca Band at the Sauchiehall Street Locarno, and later to the Dennistoun Palais Band.
She then rejoined Harvey, forming a group, initially known as The Power of Music which became The Power Then Maggie Bell and The Power regular booking at The Easterhouse Project run by Archie Hind and Graeme Noble , eventually travelling to Germany to sing on United States Air Force bases in the mid 1960s. Peter Grant, who was managing The Yardbirds at the time, spotted Power playing at one of these bases, and agreed to produce and manage them, impressed by the vocal ability of Bell and the guitar playing of Harvey. Power was renamed as Stone the Crows, an expression used by Grant upon hearing this band.
First solo album
This group lasted until 1973, after finding that Harvey’s death from accidental electrocution, on 2 May 1972, took too much out of the group for them to continue. The live chemistry between Bell and Harvey was missing. Peter Grant remained as Bell’s manager after the split, and organised her first solo album, Queen of the Night, which was recorded in New York with record producer, Jerry Wexler.
Swan Song and Midnight Flyer
With the establishment of Swan Song Records in 1974, Bell along with Bad Company and The Pretty Things, were some of the first signings to the label. Jimmy Page contributed to her second album, Suicide Sal. Bell then tried to capture past blues rock glories by fronting Midnight Flyer, a phenomenal live act but their sole eponymous album (1981) was not a commercial success.
Solo again and B. A. Robertson
Returning to a solo career, she had her biggest hit in the UK in 1981, duetting with B. A. Robertson on a cover version of "Hold Me", reaching #11 in the UK Singles Chart. Bell also performed at many charity gigs during this period.
Television and beyond
Bell sang the end credits theme for the late 1970s ITV detective drama Hazell, with lyrics written by Judy Forrest and music by Andy Mackay. Her song "No Mean City", written by Mike Moran, was the theme music to the TV crime drama Taggart. She also appeared in a single episode of Taggart called "Evil Eye" in 1990, playing a gypsy fortune teller named Effie Lambie who is murdered early in the episode.
In 2009 she provided the singing voice of rock singer Esme Ford (played by Joanna Lumley) in the episode "Counter Culture Blues" of the ITV series Lewis.
Netherlands and The British Blues Quintet
After living in the Netherlands for twenty years, Bell returned to the UK in early 2006 and joined The British Blues Quintet, sharing lead vocals with Zoot Money. Also featuring former Stone The Crows drummer Colin Allen and bassist Colin Hodgkinson, the band quickly became established on the UK and European live blues circuit. Their debut album, Live in Glasgow, was recorded at one of their first gigs, on Glasgow’s Renfrew Ferry in 2006 and released during 2007. In addition, Bell toured with Chris Farlowe in the autumn of 2006 and The Manfreds during 2006 and 2008.
Text and discograph fro Wikipedia
With Stone The Crows (1968-1973)
Stone The Crows (1970)
Ode To John Law (1970)
Teenage Licks (1971)
Ontinuous Performance (1972)
BBC Radio 1 1971/72 (1998)
Coming On Strong (2004, also solo recordings)
Two singles with Bobby Kerr as Frankie and Johnny (1966)
Queen of the Night (1974)
Suicide Sal (1975)
Great Rock Sensation (1977, compilation)
Crimes of the Heart (1988)
Live at the Rainbow, 1974 (2002)
Live at Boston, USA, 1975 (2002)
Coming On Strong (2004, also with Stone The Crows)
The River Sessions, Live in Glasgow 1993 (2004) with Ronnie Caryl
Sound & Vision – Best of Maggie Bell (2008, compilation)
With Midnight Flyer
Midnight Flyer (1981, re-release: Angel Air SJPCD 198, 2005)
Live at Montreux 1981 (2007, CD/DVD)
With The British Blues Quintet
Live at the Ferry (2007)