mardi 30 octobre 2012

Hydra - Hydra (1974 US Southern Rock with Great Vocals & Guitars - Wave)

Hydra was one of those 70´s Southern rock bands that didn´t quite reach the commercial success they deserved. Hydra released three excellent albums between 1974 and 1977 before becoming frustrated with the growth of their success along with some management issues. They broke up in 1977 and have since only played handful of live shows in few different occasions.
Hydra was started in Atlanta, Georgia around 1968 by Steve Pace (drums) and Spencer Kirkpatrick (guitar) and Wayne Bruce (vocals/guitar) under the name Noah Mayflower. They briefly changed their name to Osmosis before taking the name Hydra in 1971 and added Orville Davis to bass.
After building a reputation as killer live band by supporting various major bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band and ZZ Top, Phil Walden signed them to his Capricorn Record label in 1973. Hydra´s self-titled debut album came out in 1974.
After year of touring and writing new songs  on the road, their sophomore effort, Land Of Money, was released in 1975 and bassist Orville Davis left the band soon after to launch his own career as a country singer.
In 1976 Hydra signed a deal with Polydor Records and Rock the World came out in 1977 featuring three piece band with Wayne Bruce moving from guitar to bass, but by the end of 1977 Hydra broke up only to make a brief come back in 1997 with handful of live shows.
In 2005 Hydra played two more live dates, which were recorded into a live album called Hydra: Live After All These Years. The band haven´t  completely shut out the option of recording new music under Hydra name in the future.

01- Glitter Queen - 4:04
02- Keep You Around - 5:20
03- It's So Hard - 4:49
04- Going Down - 3:06
05- Feel A Pain - 6:25
06- Good Time Man - 3:23
07- Let Me Down Easy - 4:23
08- Warp 16 - 4:22
09- If You Care To Survive - 2:59
10- Miriam - 7:42

Spencer Kirkpatrick - Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar
Wayne Bruce - Vocals, Guitar 
Steve Pace - Drums
Orville Davis - Bass Guitar

Randall Bramlett - Alto Saxophone
Oscar Jackson - Tenor Saxophone
Earl Ford - Trombone
Todd Logan - Trumpet


Bob Seger - Seven (1974 Great US Classic Rock - Wave)

On 'Seven', released in 1974, Bob Seger introduces his Silver Bullet Band (consisting of Drew Abbott on lead guitar, Chris Campbell on bass, Rick Manasa on keyboards, and Charlie Martin on drums), which would soon carry him to fame and fortune with his subsequent albums 'Beautiful Loser' and 'Live Bullet'. 'Seven' is, obviously, Seger's seventh album, but the dice on the cover, which add up to seven, suggest Seger was also hoping for a bit of luck as he rolled out this release. 'Seven' was following Bob's best album (IMHO), 'Back In '72', which only aspired to number 188 on Billboard's album charts, and the artist simply had to be wondering just how good he would have to be in order to achieve steady, national recognition. 'Seven', unfortunately, would not crack the Top 200. No surprise then that Bob began penning songs such as 'Beautiful Loser'. 
But 'Seven' is far from being a loser. Unlike many musicians, who put out a lot of dubious work before gaining widespread acclaim, Seger had been putting out quality albums and singles since the mid-1960's. He was signed by a major label and toured extensively, so his inability to bask in the limelight is a mystery. Ironically, several of the songs on 'Seven' mark the transition in Seger's musical style that would finally turn popular attention his way. 
'Seven' is a short disc, tallying just 30:24 over nine tracks. There were three singles released from the disc, the adrenalin-laced rockers 'Get Out of Denver' and 'Need Ya', and the bit more restrained, upwardly mobile 'U.M.C. (Upper Middle Class)'. Each song received significant airplay but failed to crack the Top 40. Nevertheless, each of these songs found a place in Seger's setlists in his more fertile years. 
The first five tracks represented the opening side of the original vinyl version of 'Seven', and it was rock and roll heaven. Every song is infused with high levels of energy and emotion, especially 'Get Out Of Denver' ("...'cause you look just like a commie and you just might be a member...") and 'Need Ya'. Seger seems to be offering a history lesson on William Jennings Bryan with 'Cross Of Gold' ("you can crucify the world on a cross of gold") and a lesson on long-distance lust on 'School Teacher'. 
Side two on the original vinyl opened with the mid-tempo rocker 'U.M.C.', featuring a nice wah-pedal guitar from Abbott, which unfortunately was becoming passe in the mid-1970's. 'Seen a Lot of Floors' is a barroom stomper, and probably the weakest track offered. On '20 Years From Now', a piano ballad, Seger heralds in the sound that would evolve into solid hits such as 'Like a Rock'. The closer, 'All Your Love', is a country rock number with a catchy melody and chorus suitable for Texas line-dancing. The last two songs make it apparent that Seger is branching out into unexplored territory, genres beyond the traditional garage-rock fare that had fueled so many of his previous discs. 
As Seger moved beyond 'Seven' he left me behind. I may be a bit unusual in that I find much of Bob's earliest work to be his best. Tracks like 'Ramblin' Gamblin' Man', '2 + 2 = ?', 'Heavy Music', 'Ivory', and 'Rosalie' represent the Seger sound I love. Unfortunately, Bob has divorced himself from his early releases, so great albums such as 'Back In '72' and 'Seven' will cost you an arm and a leg to purchase in the CD format. I used a cassette to make this review, but Seger could give those fans who loved his music when others ignored it a real gift by re-issuing the CD versions. Doesn't sound like a bad way to make a buck, does it Bob? By Running Man (Chesterfield Twp., MI)

01. Get Out of Denver  
02. Long Song Comin'  
03. Need Ya  
04. School Teacher  
05. Cross of Gold  
06. U.M.C. (Upper Middle Class)  
07. Seen a Lot of Floors  
08. 20 Years from Now  
09. All Your Love  

Bob Seger - guitar, vocals 
Drew Abbott - lead guitar 
Tom Cartmell - saxophone (Later known as Alto Reed) 
David Briggs - piano 
Kenneth A. Buttrey - drums 
Chris Campbell - bass 
Tommy Cogbill - bass 
Dave Doran - lead guitar on Long Song 
John Harris - organ 
Rick Manasa - organ, piano 
Charlie Allen Martin - drums 
Jim McCarty - lead guitar on Denver & Floors ,slide on Need Ya 
Charlie McCoy - guitar, rhythm guitar 
Bill Meuller - guitar 
Randy Meyers - drums 
Bill Mueller - lead guitar on School Teacher 
Alto Reed - horn 


Bob Seger - Back In 72 (1973 Great US Classic Rock - Wave)

Released on vinyl in January of 1973, 'Back In '72' cues up Bob and his band (including JJ Cale and the Muscle Shoals Band) on what has always been my favorite Seger recording. It has several strikes against it (it reached only #188 on the Billboard album charts, did not spawn any Top 40 hits, and even Bob has refused to release it on CD due to dismay over the mix and his own vocal performance... which sounds great to me), but it also includes several of my favorite Seger tracks. And my favorites aren't even the ones Bob or his fan base seem most infatuated with. 
'Back In '72' picks up right where Bob left off on his previous album, a collection of covers titled 'Smokin' O.P.'s', with a superb cover of The Allman Brother's 'Midnight Rider'. Bob beefs up the chorus with the soulful sound of Motown backing singers as he lays into "...not gonna let 'em catch the midnight... RIDER!". There's plenty of solid rock and roll where that came from in the form of 'Stealer', a ragged, gritty, love gangster number, and my two favorite Seger tracks, 'Rosalie' and 'Back In '72'. 'Rosalie' roasts one Rosalie Trembley, then program director for one of the most powerful AM radio stations in the world, 50,000 watt CKLW, located in Windsor, Canada, just across the river from Seger's Detroit. At the time, getting your song on Rosalie's playlist all but insured a hit, so Seger's chorus chimes "she's got the power, she's got the tower, Rosalie". It's a churning rock number with a great rhythm guitar riff. The title track opened side two on the original vinyl, and features a solid beat, quality guitar riffs, and fine sax solos. The lyrics trumpet some key national and local political events from 1972, such as "Sherriff Gribbs (elected as the last white mayor of Detroit in 1969), and his grim ad libs, cryin' 'bout the crime in the streets", and "Tricky Dick, he played it slick, something I was afraid he'd do, back in '72". It's first rate from start to finish.
Many Seger fans, however, cherish this disc for the side one closer, 'Turn the Page', which to this day remains one of Seger's favorites, and has become a staple of his concert setlists. This five minute-plus, slow tempo blues track laments the rock and roll road life with lyrics such as "there I go, playing star again". There are two romantic ballads that harken as precursors to Seger's 'Night Moves' sound, 'So I Wrote You a Song', and the nearly six minute 'I've Got Time', which may be too sluggish to serve as an album closer. The remaining two tracks aren't slouches, however. 'Neon Sky' is a pulsing rock number, again lamenting the never-ending money chase, and a cover of Van Morrison's 'I've Been Workin', honoring the blue-collar work ethic of Segers hometown, and featuring a sweet lead guitar solo. 
All in all, it's hard to understand why this particular Seger album failed to gain national acclaim. It did grow up in an era, however, where people had become accustomed to albums that featured absolutely no filler, ranging from The Stone's 'Sticky Fingers' to Carole King's 'Tapestry'. Unfortunately, the fans who loved Seger during lean times, certainly among his most dedicated fans, are the ones from whom Bob is holding 'Back In '72' hostage, regardless of whatever warts he may feel it has. Although Bob has kept open the possibility of re-recording some of these tracks, these songs will never be recorded again with the same vitality and sincerity as Bob and his band delivered them back in '72. Let's just hope that Bob rewards his loyal fan base with a remastered disc, perhaps embellished with out-takes or alternate versions of these great tracks. What do you say, Bob? (By Running Man (Chesterfield Twp., MI)

01 - Midnight Rider
02 - So I Wrote You a Song
03 - Stealer
04 - Rosalie
05 - Turn the Page
06 - Back in 72
07 - Neon Sky
08 - I've Been Working
09 - I've Got Time
10 - Persecution Smith (Bonus)
11 - Chain Smokin' (Bonus)
12 - Lookin' Back (Bonus)
13 - Heavy Music - Part 2 (Bonus)

Bob Seger - guitar, vocals 
Jack Ashford - maracas, marimba, tambourine 
Barry Beckett - organ, piano, electric piano 
Philip Bliss - steel guitar, vocals 
Eddie "Bongo" Brown - conga 
J.J. Cale - guitar 
Pete Carr - guitar 
Tom Cartmell - flute, saxophone (Later known as Alto Reed) 
Roger Hawkins - drums 
David Hood - bass 
Jimmy Johnson - rhythm guitar 
Marcy Levy - background vocals 
Bill Mueller - guitar 
Jamie Oldaker - drums 
Sergio Pastora - conga, tambourine, timbales 
Scherrie Payne - background vocals 
Dick Sims - organ, piano, keyboard, clavinet, pedal bass 
Luke Smith - background vocals


Detroit With Mitch Ryder (1971 US Great Heavy Rock With Outstanding Vocals - Wave)

Detroit was a latter-day incarnation of Mitch Ryder's Detroit Wheels; formed in 1970 after the singer returned to the Motor City following a stint in Memphis recording with Booker T. and the MGs, the new group reunited Ryder with his former Wheels drummer John Badanjek, and also featured guitarists Steve Hunter and Brett Tuggle, bassist W.R. Cooke and organist Harry Phillips. An energetic, R&B-influenced outfit firmly in the tradition of Ryder's past projects, Detroit issued their lone self-titled LP on Paramount in 1971, scoring a major radio hit with a gritty rendition of Lou Reed's "Rock and Roll" which so pleased its writer that he later recruited guitarist Hunter to join his own backing band. As throat problems began plaguing Ryder more and more, he was forced to quit singing in 1972, and his relocation to the Denver area a year later dashed any hopes of a second Detroit album; local singer Rusty Day (Amboy Dukes & Cactus) then assumed control of the group, guiding the unit until its 1974 break-up.(By Jason Ankeny From All Music)  

01. Long Neck Goose  
02. Is It You (Or Is It Me)  
03. Box of Old Roses  
04. It Ain't Easy  
05. Rock & Roll  
06. Let It Rock  
07. Drink  
08. Gimme Shelter  
09. I Found a Love 

Mitch Ryder - Vocals
John "Johnny B" Badanjek - Drums, Vocals
Steve Hunter - Guitar  
W.R. Cooke - Bass, Vocals 
Mark Manko - Guitar  
Harry Phillips - Keyboards
John Sauter - Bass 
Brett Tuggle - Guitar 
Dirty Ed - Congas & Tambourine