Listen: Man Of The World (Mono) / Robin Trower RobinTrowerMan.mp3
I don’t really care how dated some folks accuse this era of music to be – or how derivative it all seems now. I agree, you can see how it planted the seeds for mainstream rock radio to go down a wrong way street, yet some of these early bands were very exciting during their beginning days. Robin Trower had just left Procol Harum, he’d had enough of their ‘never have a good day’ music. Nonetheless, camaraderie prevailed and Procol Harum bandmate Matthew Fisher obliged as producer.
I think what set Robin Trower’s band apart was lead singer James Dewar. What a voice. He had a darkness vocally that is reserved for very few: Jim Morrison, Paul Rodgers and John Doe come to mind.
This single preceded the debut album TWICE REMOVED FROM YESTERDAY by seemingly a few months, but I don’t know for sure. I worked for a record distributor at the time, while still in college. All the product was organized by label, and every week about 10-15 copies of this one would move. Slowly but surely, it creeped forward piece count wise – so that by the time it’s followup hit (BRIDGE OF SIGHS), the band were on fire.
Needless to say, the single got no Top 40 play, but like most 7′s back then, their main objective was to focus the album rock dj’s toward something a bit more commercial, and this US white label is from the very tail end of when promos were pressed to include both mono/stereo mixes. For fun, here’s the mono version – not an easy one to find.
Listen: Take A Fast Train / Robin Trower RobinFastTrain.mp3
Both of those two initial albums still have a spot with me. Dark, maybe minor key and full of great songs, they don’t get a hint of the praise they each deserve.
The B side to ‘Man Of The World’, the non-LP ‘Take A Fast Train’ is very typical: not quite good enough for the album but a ‘must’ for the die hards. I have no idea if the track ever made it’s way onto one of those scrape the bottom of the tape library barrel anthologies, but if not – here you go.