Boxer


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1975-77)

- Keith Ellis - keyboards 

- Ollie Halsall (RIP 1992) - lead guitar 

- Tony Newman - drums, percussion 

- Mike Patto (RIP 1979) --  vocals 

 

  line up 2 (1977)

NEW - Tim Bogert -- bass 

- Ollie Halsall (RIP 1992) - lead guitar 

- Mike Patto (RIP 1979) --  vocals 

NEW - Chris Stainton -- keyboards (replaced Keith Ellis (1977)

NEW - Eddie Tuduri -- drums, percussion (replaced Tony Newman) 

 

  line up 3 (1977)

- Tim Bogert -- bass 

NEW - Adrian Fisher -- lead guitar (replaced Ollie Hassall)

- Tony Newman - drums, percussion 

- Mike Patto (RIP 1979) --  vocals 

- Chris Stainton -- keyboards (replaced Keith Ellis (1977)

- Eddie Tuduri -- drums, percussion (replaced  Tony Newman) 

 

 

 

 on drums (Sounds Inc., Jeff Beck Group, Kevin Ayers, et al.).  

- Beck, Bogert & Appice (Tim Bogert)

- Tim Bogert (solo efforts)

- Cactus (Tim Bogert)

- The Grease Band (Chris Stainton)

- Juicy Lucy (Keith Ellis)

- The Mad Dogs (Chris Stainton)

- Patto (Mike Patto)

- Sparks (Adrien Fisher)

- Spooky Tooth (Keiith Ellis)

- Timebox (Ollie Halsall and Mike Patto)

- Toby (Adrian Fishert)

- Van der Graff Generation (Keith Ellis and Mike Patto)

- Vanilla Fudge (Tim Bogert)

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Absolutely

Company: Epic

Catalog: JE-34812

Year: 1977

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear on cover; timing strip on back cover

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4862

Price: $10.00

 

 

By the time 1977's "Absolutely" was released, the only holdover from the original Boxer line up was singer/front man Mike Patto.   To his credit, Patto managed to cobble together an impressive list of players for what was essentially Boxer MK II - former Cactus bassist Tim Bogert, ex-Sparks lead guitarist Adrien Fisher, keyboardist Chris Stainton, and drummer Eddie Tuduri.  

 

back cover photo left to right:

Stainton - Bogert - Fisher - Patto - Tudiri

 

Recorded in LA with producer Jeff Glixman, the album marked a substantial change in direction for Patto and company.  Propelled by Patto's instantly recognizable voice, the band's basic sound remained R&B influenced rock, but this time around the feel was slicker with material such as the lead off boogie rocker 'Fool In Love', 'Red Light Flyer' and 'Big Lucy' having a distinctive AOR sheen.  That shift in direction was certainly in keeping with then popular norms (producer Glixman had scored millions in sales for his work with the likes of Kansas).  The downside was that it robbed the band of what little originality they once had.  That situation was made even worse by guitarist Ollie Halsall's departure.  Having been a member of Sparks, Fisher was certainly an accomplished guitarist, but for the most part his contributions were buried under Bogert's hyperactive bass and Stainton's keyboards. Certainly not unique to this album, but while there wasn't anything terribly wrong with the songs or the performances, there simply wasn't anything terribly right.  Among the isolated highlights, 'Rich Man's Daughter' which was actually recorded during the sessions for the earlier shelved "Bloodletting" album. 'Can't Stand What You Do' and 'Everybody's a Star (So What's In a Name)' (the later released as a British single) were actually quite commercial, but undistinguished.  Anyhow, wish I could be more positive, but the overarching feel was of anonymous professionalism - 1970s background music.    Not sure why, but in the States Epic's marketing group elected to ditch the original English release artwork for something equally bland.

 

UK press Epic catalog number EPC 82151

 

 

"Absolutely" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Fool In Love   (Tim Bogert - Mike Patto) - 4:08

Kicked along by Bogert's hyperactive bass playing (why play one when you could jam a dozen in the space), 'Fool In Love' was a surprisingly boogie-ish number ...   not bad, but by the same token, nothing that was going to change your world drastically.   rating: *** stars

2.) Red Light Flyer   (Mike Patto) - 3:54

'Red Light Flyer' found the band trotting out their version of '70s AOR moves.  With a cool, jittery melody that showcased Stainton's keyboards, and some nice group harmonies, the results certainly weren't bad, but again were kind of faceless.  This could have been Charlie, or any one of dozens of competitors,  rating: *** stars

3.) Big Lucy   (Tim Bogert - Chris Stainton - Mike Patto) -  3:58

Back to boogie rock, though this time around Patto and company seemed to pick up a bit of energy, while Bogert seemingly cut back a bit on the bass overload.   rating: **** stars

4.) No Reply   (Chris Stainton - Mike Patto) - 5:20

One of the album's odder offerings, the ballad 'No Reply' found the band seemingly trying to find a sweet spot between hard rock and progressive modes.   Pretty enough and it had some nice harpsichord moves.  rating: *** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) Can't Stand What You Do   (Tim Bogert - Chris Stainton - Mike Patto - Andre Fisher - Eddie Tuduri) -  3:58

More boogie rock, but this time out it wasn't half bad.  rating: *** stars

2.) As God's My Judge   (Chris Stainton - Mike Patto) - 3:10

Almost Gospel-ish, 'As God's My Judge' was completely unlike anything else on the album.  Quite striking.   rating: **** stars

3.) Rich Man's Daughter   (Mike Patto) -  4:04

Geez, Bogert's bass could be annoying ...   that was certainly the case of the jumpy 'Rich Man's Daughter'.  Shame he didn't tone it down just a little bit.  rating: *** stars

4.) Everybody's a Star (So What's In a Name)   (Chris Stainton - Mike Patto) -  2:32

A fairly conventional blues number, 'Everybody's a Star (So What's In a Name)' wasn't bad, just not particularly original, or engaging.   Not sure why, but Epic released it as a German single.   rating: ** stars

5.) Hand On Your Heart   (Tim Bogert - Chris Stainton - Mike Patto - Andre Fisher - Eddie Tuduri) -  4:41

Decent enough AOR effort, but like most of the album, nothing here to really distinguish it from the rest of the pack.   rating: *** stars

 

As mentioned, the album saw a German single released:

 

 

 

- 1977's 'Everybody's a Star (So What's in a Name)' b/w 'Can't Stand What You Do' (Epic catalog number EPC 5540)

 

 As part of an effort to break the band in the States, Epic sent the group on a 27 stop US tour along with Crawler and Moon.  The combination of touring pressures, personality conflicts and the usual drugs and booze proved disastrous for the band and shortly after the end of the tour they called it quits.  Patto died of  lymphatic cancer in 1979.  Only 43, in May 1992 Halsall died of a drug related heart attack.

 

 

 

 

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