Out of the Storm is the fourth studio album by Scottish musician Jack Bruce. It was Bruce’s first solo effort in over three years and was recorded and released in 1974, following the dissolution of the power trio West, Bruce and Laing. Originally Bruce had wanted to title the album Into The Storm but, according to Bruce, “we couldn’t find any stormy weather. We gave up and instead we found a little wood”.
The album was largely recorded in Los Angeles and San Francisco at the suggestion of engineer Andy Johns, who felt, according to Bruce, that the problem with Bruce’s previous work was that he “work(ed) with too many British guys and you need to work with some great American session players and you could make an album in ten days”.
Bruce recorded the album while still addicted to heroin (which contributed to the dissolution of West, Bruce and Laing). According to Bruce’s songwriting partner Pete Brown, the band ingested PCP during one session and “they were all holding onto each other walking across the floor–Bobby Keys, Jim Keltner, Andy Johns and Jack. Someone said, ‘Don’t let go of me or I’ll float off into space'”. The continued and heavy drug use periodically interfered with completion of the album and engineer Dennis Weinreich was brought in to remix specific tracks so as to complete the album in a timely fashion and because the label wasn’t pleased with Johns’s mix of the album.
The album peaked at No. 160 on the Billboard album chart in December 1974. Critically well received, including a glowing review by Melody Maker’s Allan Jones, who stated that Bruce was “one of the most important individuals currently working in rock”, the album sold poorly.
Out of the Storm was the last Jack Bruce album distributed in the United States by Atlantic Records, as Bruce’s company RSO Records, which was affiliated in the rest of the world with Polydor/Polygram Records, would shift U.S. distribution to Polydor beginning in 1976.
Bruce and a photographer traveled throughout the countryside looking for a storm to photograph for the original title Into The Storm. They were unable to find one so Bruce changed the title and elected to take a photo in the woods using whatever he found, which included an old, rusty bike. Bruce is visible in the background sitting partially in the dark with the landscape and the bike more prominent than Bruce himself is in the photo. Author Harry Shapiro in his book on Bruce suggested that the photo represented Bruce’s state of mind at the time, wanting to disappear into the background and avoid all of the difficulties he was then facing. (by wikipedia)
Out Of The Storm is Jack Bruce yet again taking a different path. No one can accuse this man of being redundant as he leaves behind the hard rock of Whatever Turns You On from his 1973 work with West, Bruce & Laing and takes on Steely Dan with a track like “Keep On Wondering.” The problem with West, Bruce & Laing is that they should have been the back-up band providing Jack Bruce the vehicle to express his artistry. “Keep It Down” would have been a tremendous track for WBL, and Lou Reed/Alice Cooper guitarist Steve Hunter provides the tasteful licks which Leslie West would’ve used a sledgehammer to find. The title track is real introspection with more “I” references than found on a page in a Marie Osmond autobiography. Bruce uses the rock format to sing the poetry that he and long time collaborator Peter Brown have crafted here.
When played next to his other albums, from Things We Like to Monkjack, as well as the aforementioned Leslie West collaborations, the indellible voice of Jack Bruce is found to belong, not to a chameleon, but to a true changeling. In an industry that resists change, his music evolves in relentless fashion, switching formats as efficiently and quickly as he switches record labels. While Eric Clapton achieves the acclaim, it is Jack Bruce who delivers a novel and totally original title like “One” with a vocal that moves from cabaret to blues to soul. The man has one of the most powerful and identifiable rock & roll voices, and his body of work is overpowering. “One” has the drums of Jim Gordon and another venture into the Procul Harum sound Bruce has toyed with over various albums in different ways. Out Of The Storm is another excellent chapter with Steve Hunter showing proficiency and remarkable restraint. Robin Trower, Mick Taylor, Leslie West, Eric Clapton and so many other guitar greats have put their sound next to Jack Bruce’s voice, and this is Steve Hunter aiding and abetting, but not getting in the way of Bruce’s creative pop/jazz. (by Joe Viglione)
This is another excellent Jack Bruce album with a brilliant guitar played by Steve Hunter ! Listen for example to “Keep It Down ” or to the into of “Timeslip”.
Jack Bruce (bass, vocals, , keyboards, clavinet, harmonium, harmonica)
Jim Gordon (drums on 01., 07. -09., 13.)
Steve Hunter (guitar)
Jim Keltner (drums on 02. – 06, 10. – 12.)
01. Pieces Of Mind (Bruce/Brown) 5.35
02. Golden Days (Bruce/Brown) 5.09
03. Running Through Our Hands (Bruce/Brown/Godfrey) 4.10
04. Keep On Wondering (Bruce/Brown) 3.12
05. Keep It Down (Bruce/Brown) 3.45
06. Into The Storm (Bruce/Brown) 4.43
07. One (Bruce/Brown) 5.00
08. Timeslip (Bruce/Brown) 6.35
09. Keep It Down (First Mix) (Bruce/Brown) 3.38
10. Keep On Wondering (First Mix) (Bruce/Brown) 3..20
11. Into The Storm (First Mix) (Bruce/Brown) 4.30
12. Pieces Of Mind (First Mix) (Bruce/Brown) 5.48
13. One (First Mix) (Bruce/Brown) 4.58
Jack Bruce (14 May 1943 – 25 October 2014)