OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: It sold, but it’s not played now.
LINEUP: Robin Trower, James Dewar, Bill Lordan
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Trower plays it safe with his third album, basically a stylistic repeat of his breakthrough.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I suppose that there’s nothing wrong with an artist making an album in the same mode as their previous work, but the former Procol Harum guitarist made Bridge of Sighs 2 with this release.
Not to say that this is a bad record. There’s definitely some cuts here to thrill the rock-and-rollers and the guitar fiends. James Dewar’s vocals fit the blues motif of the songs pretty well, and Trower adds some spacey rock guitar all over the place. That’s fine, but it’s becoming formulaic.
This sold a lot of records, hence the chart activity, but it’s hard to listen to now unless a satellite radio station programs a cut somehow. That’s a shame, because even Trower repeating himself is worth a listen or ten.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: In case you were wondering, he’s a Startocaster maven/
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE B: It’s perfectly okey-doke, but it’s not a revelation as his other solo albums were. It’s just workmanlike rock-and-roll.
ARTIST: Robin Trower TITLE: Bridge of Sighs YEAR RELEASED: 1974 CHART ACTION: #7 SINGLES: Too Rolling Stoned OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Day of the Eagle LINEUP: Robin Trower, James Dewar, Reg Isidore WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second solo album from ex-Procol Harum axeman improves on the debut with better songwriting, tighter arrangements, and great band interplay.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: One wonders why classic rock radio has basically forgotten a Top 10 guitar based album artist from the 70’s, but here you are. Trower’s second solo release has some downright classics, such as “Day of the Eagle” with its great starting and verse intro riffs, and the title track which slows things down and allows Trower to demonstrate another side to his playing.
He and the band work together well with great feeling and interplay. The production, sound and arrangements are spot on for the era and sound great today. His various guitar tones fit very well with each song, and he doesn’t try to overplay or doctor his sound with ill-fitting effects.
You wonder why he isn’t more well known, and this record isn’t played on the radio. Somehow, this went to the Top 10 and he was a big concert draw. It’s not like this isn’t commercial. It is, however, excellent.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The engineer was Geoff Emerick, who engineered so many great Beatles’ sessions.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, with live cuts and Peel sessions.
GRADE: A: Excellent record for guitar enthusiast, 70’s rock enthusiasts. OK, enthusiasts. I really like this record.
ARTIST: Robin Trower TITLE: Twice Removed from Yesterday YEAR RELEASED: 1973 CHART ACTION: #106 SINGLES: Man of the World OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Alas, none. LINEUP: Robin Trower, James Dewar, Reg Isidore WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Ex Procol-Harum guitarist goes solo and releases a solid album full of tasty guitar.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: No doubt Trower was chomping on the bit during his time in Procol Harum, as his talents were underused in that band. He contributed the great “Whisky Train” to the band in 1970, and two tracks in 1971 that were more blues rock and not proggy at all. So when he finally split from Procol Harum, Trower went all in to become a guitar hero much like Hendrix, Clapton and Rory Gallagher.
This record is a good start for him. While his songwriting isn’t quite polished, and a few tracks drag a bit, it’s an excellent start. His tone and playing are pretty unique and his backing musicians complement him well.
The slow, spacy “Daydream” is a highlight along with “Can’t Wait Much Longer”. All of this is good, and he’d get better.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Between Procol Harum and this solo album, he tried to create a new band called Jude with ex-members of Stone the Crows, Jethro Tull and singer Frankie Miller.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a B-side has been appended.
GRADE: B+: Great for guitar rock lovers. Trower is sadly underrated and forgotten.