Don Nix – Gone Too Long (1976)

FrontCover1.JPGDon Nix (born September 27, 1941, Memphis, Tennessee) is an American songwriter, composer, arranger, musician, and author. Although cited as being “obscure”[by whom?], he is a key figure in several genres of Southern rock and soul, R&B, and the blues. He was instrumental in the creation of the distinctive “Memphis soul” developed at Stax Records.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Nix came from a musical family (his brother, Larry Nix, became a mastering engineer for Stax and for the Ardent Recording Studios in Memphis). Don Nix began his career playing saxophone for the Mar-Keys, which also featured Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn and others. The hit instrumental single “Last Night” (composed by the band as a whole) was the first of many successful hits to Nix’s credit. Without Nix, the Mar-Keys evolved into Booker T. & the M.G.’s.

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The Mar-Keys in the studio, from left, Charlies “Packy” Axton, Wayne Jackson, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Don Nix, Terry Johnson, Steve Cropper and Jerry Lee “Smoochie” Smith. (Phillip Rauls photo)

As a producer, Nix worked with other artists and producers, such as Leon Russell of Shelter Records; Gary Lewis and the Playboys in Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars; George Harrison, of the Beatles; and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. One notable achievement was his collaboration with Harrison, Russell, and many others in the production of the “Concert for Bangladesh”, a star-studded benefit concert at Madison Square Garden in 1971.

DonNix01Throughout his career, Nix worked behind the scenes as producer, arranger, and musician and in other roles for artists including Lonnie Mack, Furry Lewis, Freddie King, Albert King, Delaney, Bonnie & Friends, Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Jeff Beck, Brian May, Eric Clapton, and many others. He wrote and produced albums for solo artists and for groups, such as Don Nix and the Alabama State Troupers, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, and Larry Raspberry and the Highsteppers.

The song “Going Down”, originally released by the band Moloch on their eponymous album in 1969, has become a rock-and-roll standard, having been covered by Freddie King, Jeff Beck, Deep Purple, JJ Cale, Marc Ford, Chicken Shack, Bryan Ferry, Pearl Jam, Gov’t Mule, Sam Kinison, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Satriani, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Sammy Hagar, Joe Bonamassa, Sturgill Simpson, and others. Nix released a version of the song as a single for Elektra Records in 1972. The song “Black Cat Moan” was covered on the 1973 album Beck, Bogert & Appice. The Rolling Stones performed “Goin’ Down” with John Mayer and Gary Clark, Jr. live on Pay-Per-View television on December 15, 2012, as part of the Stones’ 50th Anniversary Tour.

He did the first time performance in Japan, Tokyo and Kobe, in March 2013 with his friends Terry Wall and Joel Williams.

In 2014, “Alabama State Troupers Road Show” was released as a CD. A celebration event was held in Stax Museum in Memphis (by wikipedia)

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And here´s another solo album by Don Nix … a brilliant nix between Rock, Blues, Gospel and S misuc ..Soul music … he was one of the most underrated musicians in the history of this music !!!

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George Harrison & Don Nix

Personnel:
Don Nix (vocals, saxophone)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians (with spiritual guidance from George Harrison)

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Tracklist:
01. Goin’ Thru Another Change (Nix) 3.02
02. Feel A Whole Lot Better (Clark) 3.55
03. Gone Too Long (Nix) 3.16
04. Backstreet Girl (Jagger/Richards) 4.01
05. Rollin’ In My Dreams (Nix) 2.50
06. Yazoo City Jail (Nix) 3.37
07. Harpoon Arkansas Turnaround (Nix) 2.28
08. Forgotten Town (Nix) 3.14
09. A Demain (Until Tomorrow) (Denimal/Nix) 4.53

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Don Nix talks …

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Harry Chapin – On The Road To Kingdom Come (1976)

LPFrontCover1On the Road to Kingdom Come is the sixth studio album by the American singer-songwriter Harry Chapin, released in 1976. Longer versions of the songs “Corey’s Coming” and “If My Mary Were Here” appeared on Chapin’s 1979 live album Legends of the Lost and Found. “The Mayor Of Candor Lied” was later covered by Welsh singer-songwriter Martyn Joseph.(by wikipedia)

On the Road to Kingdom Come sounded more like a rock album than anything Harry Chapin had done to date. In the hands of sympathetic producer/arranger Stephen Chapin, Harry’s songs are infused with clever and often humorous bits of musical commentary — horns, electric guitars, keyboards, backing vocals, and various sound effects pop up at opportune times throughout — that makes much of the material instantly ingratiating.

While the record failed to capture commercial interest (singer/songwriters were out, disco was in), song for song this is one of his strongest efforts. As a musical storyteller, Chapin has few peers; HarryChapin1976_1both the potent tale of a duplicitous potentate on “The Mayor of Candor Lied” and the heartwarming “Corey’s Coming” are masterfully conceived. Harry’s humorous side, which somehow got stifled in the studio, here comes out of the closet for the title track and “Laugh Man,” though both have their barbs. The album also included two of his prettiest songs, “Caroline” (co-written with wife Sandy Chapin) and “If My Mary Were Here.”

A track dedicated to the recently fallen Phil Ochs, “The Parade’s Still Passing By,” is also featured. Compared to some of his earlier work, which was often dry and dour, these songs are vigorous and saturated in sound.

Some might charge that the record’s resemblance to Elton John’s contemporary work renders it lightweight, but Chapin’s wit was sharpening with age and his romantic visions remained keen. For the faithful, getting On the Road to Kingdom Come is a good idea. (by Dave Connolly)

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Personnel:
Harry Chapin (guitar, vocals)
Stephen Chapin (keyboards, vocals)
Ron Evanuik (cello)
Howie Fields (drums, percussion)
Doug Walker (guitar, vocals)
John Wallace (bass, vocals)
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Buzz Brauner (recorder)
Bobbye Hall (percussion)
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background vocals:
Carolyn Dennis – Donna Fein – Muffy Hendrix – Sharon Hendrix

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Tracklist:
01. On The Road To Kingdom Come 5.26
02. The Parade’s Still Passing By 3.26
03. The Mayor Of Candor Lied 8.27
04. Laugh Man (Chapin) 3.36
05. Corey’s Coming 5.41
06. If My Mary Were Here 3.32
07. Fall In Love With Him 3.54
08. Caroline 3.41
09. Roll Down The River 4.28

All songs was written by Hary Chapin, except “Caroline” wich was written by Harry Chapin + Sandra Chapin

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More Harry Chapin:

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Clannad – Dulaman (1976)

LPFrontCover1It doesn’t matter whether you’re an American or from the British Isles. This music brings simple Irish music to the ears of Americans. Dulaman- The title track, fun to listen to.
Cumha Eoghain Rua Ui Neil- Lovely harp instrumental track, very poignant also.
The Two Sisters- A humorous story about a sibling rivaly. I like it better than Loreena McKennitt’s version because this version sounds more traditional and Irish. It also, like the other tracks, has very lovely whistle and flute music.

Eirigh Suas A Stoirin- The beginning is a little out of tune, but the rest of the song is very moving and touching. Another very poignant version is found on Maire’s album “Mysty Eyed Adventures”.
The Galtee Hunt- I love this lovely track. The cheerful beat and soothing whistle music expresses the Irish pride and dignity.

Rise and Dress Yourself(long Gaelic title)- Much of this song is instrumental, but the Gaelic words tell a love story, just like many of the other songs. It’s very energetic with a good use of harp, guitar, mandolin, and flute.

Siuil A Run- The most touching song of all, this song expresses the woe of having a loved one out at war, while desiring to have your love by your side. Most of the song is in English, but the Gaelic verse speaks for itself. I highly recomend checking out another version on the Chieftains album “Tears of Stone”, performed by singer Sissel.
Mo Mhaire- This song often reminds me of Maire!

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dTigeas A Damhsa- A very short, but simple a capella.
Cucandy/The Jug of Brown Ale- Two jigs that give a final great expression of Irish spirit.
This early Clannad album may sound different from their albums nowadays, but it does well in expressing the Irish voice and spirit. I hope they continue performing traditional songs that show what Ireland’s music is all about. (by Callieon)

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Personnel:
Máire Ní Bhraonáin (harp, vocals)
Ciarán O Braonáin (bassm guitar, mandolin, piano)
Pól Ó Braonáin (flute, whistle, guitar, percussion, vocals)
Noel Ó Dúgain (guitar, vocals)
Pádraig Ó Dúgain (mandola, guitar, vocals)
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Nicky Ryan (vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Dúlamán 4.34
02. Cumha Eoghain Rua Ví Néill 4.09
03 Two Sisters 4.13
04 Éirigh Suas A Stóirín 5.14
05 The Galtee Hunt 3.09
06 Éirigh Is Cuir Ort Do Chuid Éadaigh Cóiríu 4.12
07 Siúil A Rún 5.50
08 Mo Mháire 2.43
09 DTigeas A Damhsa 1.26
10. Cucanandy / The Jug Of Brown Ale 3.13

Written-By – Traditional

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Gordon Lightfoot – Summertime Dream (1976)

FrontCover1Summertime Dream is Canadian singer Gordon Lightfoot’s twelfth original album, released on the Reprise Records label in 1976. It peaked at #1 on the Canadian RPM national album chart, and #12 on the US Billboard pop chart.[1]Summertime Dream is Canadian singer Gordon Lightfoot’s twelfth original album, released on the Reprise Records label in 1976. It peaked at #1 on the Canadian RPM national album chart, and #12 on the US Billboard pop chart.

The album marked Lightfoot’s commercial zenith in a remarkable period of popularity which began with the 1970 hit, “If You Could Read My Mind”. He would never again achieve the same level of commercial success.

The album shot to popularity on the back of the haunting ballad, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”, which told the story of the final hours of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald which had sunk on Lake Superior in November 1975. The song remains popular to this day and has been credited with making the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald the most famous maritime incident in the history of the Great Lakes.
“The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” reached #1 in Canada on November 20, 1976. In the US, it peaked at #2 on the pop chart and #50 on the country chart while “Race Among the Ruins” peaked at #65 on the pop chart. (by wikipedia)

Gordon Lightfoot

With Summertime Dream, Gordon Lightfoot produced one of his finest albums, and wrapped up a six-year period of popularity that he would not recapture. Propelled by his second biggest hit, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” Summertime Dream summed up the sound that had served Lightfoot so well in his post-“If You Could Read My Mind” days. This distinctive sound featured Lightfoot’s strummed six- or 12-string guitar complemented by Terry Clements’ electric guitar lines and Pee Wee Charles’ pedal steel guitar accents. The material here is excellent, and the singer’s voice is at its strongest. Mixing upbeat songs like “Race Among the Ruins,” “I’d Do It Again,” and the title track with beautiful ballads such as “I’m Not Supposed to Care” and “Spanish Moss,” Lightfoot and his band deliver a tasty smorgasbord of intelligent, grown-up music. As for “Edmund Fitzgerald,” its continued popularity more than 20 years after its release attests to the power of a well-told tale and a tasty guitar lick. (by Jim Newsome)

In other words: What a great singer/songwriter !

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Personnel:
Pee Wee Charles (pedal steel guitar)
Terry Clements (guitar)
Rick Haynes (bass)
Barry Keane (drums, percussion)
Gordon Lightfoot – vocals, guitar, piano)
Gene Martynec (synthesizer)
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Jim Gordon (drums on “The House You Live In”

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Tracklist:
01. Race Among The Ruins 3.18
02. The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald 6.29
03. I’m Not Supposed To Care 3.29
04. I’d Do It Again 3.12
05. Never Too Close 3.02
06. Protocol 4.01
07. The House You Live In 2.52
08. Summertime Dream 2.28
09. Spanish Moss 3.49
10. Too Many Clues In This Room 4.49

All songs written by Gordon Lightfoot
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Gordon Lightfoot

Back Street Crawler – Second Street (1976)

LPFrontCover12nd Street is a 1976 album by Back Street Crawler and was released on the Atco Records label. It was released after Paul Kossoff’s death in March 1976, ans is dedicated to him. The album is regarded as a considerable advance on their 1975 debut The Band Plays On, but Kossoff’s involvement in it is limited to lead guitar lines over the completed tracks. (by wikipedia)

This is simply one of the great-underrated rock albums of the 1970’s and the last album to feature Paul Kossoff on guitar. He actually died before the album was released due to a heroin addiction. It almost seems as if Koss knew this was to be his last effort and his playing is of an unusually melancholic and lilting quality on tracks like, “Blue Soul”, “Some Kind Of Happy” and particularly the end portion of “Leaves in the Wind.”

Blending beautifully with Koss’ guitar is the keyboard work of John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick. He has a haunting and equally reflective style that embraces aspects of melancholy and longing. His unique style brought a similar layer of sophistication to Free’s final album “Heartbreaker.” In more recent years, he has been the regular touring keyboard player with The Who.

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Paul Kossoff + Terry Wilson-Slesser, 1975

Of equal importance are the powerful, soulful and curiously unaffected vocals of Terry Wilson Slesser. His voice is just perfect for these well-crafted songs that vary between the funky “Stop Doing What Your Doing”, the acoustic driven “Raging River” and the pleading “Some Kind Of Happy.” The latter song also features some nice blending of his voice with some impassioned female back-up singers. His voice never falls into any overwrought bellowing or bluster and always provides what the song needs without drawing special attention to his voice. A perfect example of this is on the song “Just for you” which many other singers of the era would have delivered in an overdone bluesy growl. Here Slesser sings like a man truly pining for a woman he has recently lost. No bravado just a wish unfulfilled.

Two real highlights are the last two songs, “On Your Life” and “Leaves in the Wind.” “On Your Life” is a perfect example of this band working as one with no showboating. The keyboards blend perfectly with the vocals, and the drumming of Tony Braunagel is tight but never intrusive. It’s a sad remembrance captured in song. “Leaves In The Wind” starts out as a nice funky groove with some tasty bass from Terry Wilson (like this band in general, an underrated bass player) before moving into its reflective second half where, appropriately, Paul Kossoff shows off his lilting guitar playing in all its glory.

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This is simply one of the great-underrated rock albums of the 1970’s and the last album to feature Paul Kossoff on guitar. He actually died before the album was released due to a heroin addiction. It almost seems as if Koss knew this was to be his last effort and his playing is of an unusually melancholic and lilting quality on tracks like, “Blue Soul”, “Some Kind Of Happy” and particularly the end portion of “Leaves in the Wind.”

Blending beautifully with Koss’ guitar is the keyboard work of John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick. He has a haunting and equally reflective style that embraces aspects of melancholy and longing. His unique style brought a similar layer of sophistication to Free’s final album “Heartbreaker.” In more recent years, he has been the regular touring keyboard player with The Who.

Of equal importance are the powerful, soulful and curiously unaffected vocals of Terry Wilson Slesser. His voice is just perfect for these well-crafted songs that vary between the fune use…Leaves in the wind” with Kossoff’s sad guitar weeping along it’s true magic and a perfectly fitting end to a very brief life, of not only Paul Kossoff, but a band with great promise. Of course, the band would carry on under the shortened moniker Crawler, with a new guitarist, but the rare magic captured here was never quite matched again. The only negative about this album is that it is too short! (source: unknown)

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Personnel:
Tony Braunagel (drums, vocals)
John “Rabbit” Bundrick (keyboards, vocals)
Paul Kossoff (guitar)
Terry Wilson (bass, guitar)
Terry Wilson Slesser (vocals)
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Snuffy Walden (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Selfish Lover (Bundrick) 3.24
02. Blue Soul (Wilson) 3.43
03. Stop Doing What You’re Doing (Braunagel/Bundrick/Kossoff/Wilson/Wilson-Slesser) 3.25
04. Raging River (Wilson) 3.10
05. Some Kind Of Happy (Wilson) 4.55
06. Sweet Beauty (Wilson) 3.13
07. Just For You John (Bundrick/Rutherford) 6.21
08. On Your Life (Bundrick) 3.57
09. Leaves In The Wind (Bundrick/Rutherford) 5.08

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Rainbow – On Stage (1977)

OriginalFrontCover1Captured from various performances on the 1976 Rainbow world tour, ‘Rainbow On Stage’ showcases the power and improvisation displayed by Rainbow’s Mk.II line up. Not content with merely replicating the original recorded work, Blackmore would extend many numbers into lengthy guitar showcases lasting up to 20 minutes on some occasions.

The album was mixed and edited by Martin Birch, once again given sole duties at the production helm. The overall sound is impressive for a live show, although it later transpired that several performances had been edited together to create better versions of some songs. This was fairly standard practice for live albums, however, as it was unlikely that a single show would ever be good enough as a stand alone performance to be released as an album (e.g. Deep Purple’s ‘Made In Japan’ was compiled from three separate shows). Other well known sections of the Rainbow live set were cut altogether, such as Cozy Powell’s ‘1812 Overture’ drum solo and recent tracks off the ‘Rainbow Rising’ LP, namely ‘Do You Close Your Eyes’ and ‘Stargazer’. Some of these decisions were made in order to get the tracks to fit on a double LP, some because the performances weren’t quite good enough; ‘Stargazer’ was a tough one to replicate live without the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra filling out the sound as on the ‘Rising’ album…! The running order was also chopped around to fit across 4 sides of vinyl, and again, many purists felt disappointed at the final representation of a Rainbow gig.

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Taking that aside, the sound and individual performance of each song in its own right, is exemplary of the energy and quality of 1976 Rainbow at its peak.

‘Kill The King’ explodes as an opening track as the strains of the famous ‘Wizard Of Oz’ soundtrack introduction fade away. This song had been specifically written to open live shows and would not be committed to vinyl as an album track until 1978. Then a storming version of ‘Man On The Silver Mountain’, with much more power and vigour than the original studio cut, segueing into a familiar ‘Blues’ that Blackmore had introduced into Deep Purple Mk. III live shows 2 years earlier, a brief snippet of ‘Starstruck’ follows, which doesn’t quite seem to hit the mark or demonstrate the prowess displayed on ‘Rainbow Rising’, leading back into the closing finale of side 1 with Dio proclaiming “You’re all…the men…” and the closing ‘Man On The Silver Mountain’ riffs.

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Side 2 opens in a restrained manner with Blackmore displaying his classical prowess and performing a reasonable section of Bach’s ‘Das Wohltemperierte Klavier’ to introduce ‘Catch The Rainbow’. A storming vocal performance from Dio and sublime phased guitar from Blackmore with a lengthy solo to extend the track to a single side of vinyl.

The iconic Deep Purple ‘Mistreated’ number opens side 3 with a dynamic, echo-laden introduction. Dio seems to add an extra dimension to the vocal and again, Blackmore extends this into a personal showcase. Impressive.

Finally, onto side 4, and two more re-energised classics from the debut Rainbow album. Blackmore deftly intro’s with the original ‘Greensleeves’ tune before launching into a much more powerful and pacy version of ‘Sixteenth Century Greensleeves’. ‘Still I’m Sad’ is likewise, and with the stunning vocals from Dio again, one wonders why the now seemingly rather tame instrumental version was ever considered for the original album. An awesome display, but this track does seem disjointed where the drum solo has been edited out.

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According to the excellent book ‘Rainbow Rising’ by Roy Davies, his lengthy research has worked out where the tracks were used from each show:

Kill The King – opening first minute or so from Tokyo (evening show 16th December 1976) and the rest of the song from Munich (29th September 1976)

Man On The Silver Mountain section – from the afternoon and evening shows in Tokyo (16th December 1976)

Catch The Rainbow – mostly unedited from Hiroshima show (14th December 1976)

Mistreated – edited version from Cologne (25th September 1976)

Sixteenth Century Greensleeves – unedited version from Tokyo (evening show 16th December 1976)

Still I’m Sad – edited version from Munich (29th September 1976)

Blackmore had become frustrated at the lack of improvisational ability of Tony Carey during the tour, claiming he just played the same stuff over and over again, so Carey would become the next casualty of the Rainbow personnel changes, along with Jimmy Bain who Blackmore stated “couldn’t handle the complicated stuff…” (ritchieblackmoresrainbow.wordpress.com)

In other words: One of the finest hard & heavy live albums all time !

Recorded: September – December 1976, Germany, Tokyo

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Personnel:
Jimmy Bain (bass)
Ritchie Blackmore (guitar)
Tony Carey (keyboards)
Ronnie James Dio (vocals)
Cozy Powell (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Intro: Over The Rainbow (Arlen/Harburg)/Kill The King (Blackmore/Dio/Powell) 5.32
02. Man On The Silver Mountain (Blackmore/Dio)/Blues (Blackmore)/Starstruck (Blackmore/Dio) 11.13
03. Catch The Rainbow (Blackmore/Dio) 15.36
04. Mistreated (Blackmore/Coverdale) 13.03
05. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves (Traditional/Blackmore/Dio)
06. Still I’m Sad (McCarthy/Smith) 11.01

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Alquin – Best Kept Secret (1976)

FrontCover1This is the last Alquin studio album from the Seventies … and even it´s not so best Alquin  album … it´s a damn good album …

This fourth album is the logical follower of Nobody but that also means that it out of the scope of this site as this is rather poor in Prog contents : I would diagnose less than 5% which means that you will never overdose of it but will likely get bored before reaching the fatal level. Don’t get me wrong , this is correct FM rock along the lines of Foreigner (actually, they spring to mind quite often when I hear Alquin) . Even the longer tracks divided into subsection are relatively uninteresting for the proghead. Another comparison would be their great fellow Dutchmen Golden Earring (not any proggier but one hell of more adventure and inspiration , though). In another site , i might have given this a third star. (by Sean Trane)

And I can´ agree with this review … this is another pretty good album by Alquin … one of the best dutch groups from the Seventies …

Listen and enjoy … to songs like “L.A. Rendez-Vous”, “Fool In The Mirror” or “One More Night” and you´ll know what I mean …

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Personnel:
Ferdinand Bakker (guitar, violin, background vocals)
Michel van Dijk (vocals)
Dick Franssen (keyboards)
Ron Ottenhof  (saxophone, flute)
Job Tarenskeen (drums, percussion, background vocals)
Jan Visser (bass, background vocals, percussion)
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horns on 01.:
Buddy Beadle – Geoff Wright – Martin Droner – Steve Gregory
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The Deadcenter Boys (on 05.)

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Tracklist:
01. Fool In The Mirror:
01.1. Sham Fight (Bakker/v. Dijk)
01.2. Stars End (Franssen/Visser/Ottenhoff) 3.01
02. Central Station Hustle (Bakker/Tarenskeen/v.Dijk) 5.58
03. L.A. Rendez-Vous (Bakker/Tarenskeen) 4.39
04. High Rockin’ (Bakker/Ottenhoff) 5.29
05. One More Night:
05.1. Bootleg Ballet (Franssen/Visser/Ottenhoff)
05.2. Laserlights (Bakker/Tarenskeen/v.Dijk)
05.3. Back At The Losing End (Bakker/Tarenskeen/v.Dijk) 9.02
06 Amy (Bakker/v. Dijk) 4.21
07. Take Any Road (Bakker/v. Dijk) 5.50

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More Alquin albums:

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