Archive for the ‘Paul Rodgers’ Category

Robin Trower

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

RobinManUK, Robin Trower, Chrysalis

RobinManUSA, Robin Trower, Chrysalis

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.

RobinFastTrain, Robin Trower

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.


Friday, January 16th, 2009

Kung Fu / Sharks

Listen: Kung Fu / Sharks Sharks.mp3

Being an avid fan of British bands during the 60’s and 70’s meant I’d find a way to hear just about everything. Working at college stations and record shops helped immensely. I’d give anything a chance, and having wide tastes allowed me to get excited about a whole slew of things that never got traction, many times despite deserving it. Sharks were a mini super group to us hardened Anglofiles. Andy Fraser from Free seemed at their core – and followers of Free know he was a key member, despite ‘only’ being the bassist. He wrote songs and his playing style was specific. Sharks benefitted from this recognizable strut. Add in Snips, a vocalist with a dash of both Jim Morrison and Paul Rodgers, plus Chris Spedding, a much accomplished guitarist who’d played with all the right people – and you’ve got something of a recipe. The NME and Sounds both anticipated their debut, and so did I. The two albums they made were patchy and there was little fanfare about the live shows. Missed them when they played The US – in fact don’t really recall it, but their bio says otherwise. Nonetheless, this single was a favorite and still is. The lyrics are a touch simple, but that never put me off. Don’t care much about lyrics unless they are particularly quotable. Block them out and just listen to the music – not a problem. The Asian slant was always pretty fun I thought, especially that piano line.