The James Gang


Band members                         Related acts

  line up 1 (1966-69)

- Jimmy Fox - drums, percussion, backing vocals, keyboards
- Tom Kriss - bass, vocals 
- Glenn Schwartz - guitar 

  line up 2 (1969-70)
- Jimmy Fox - drums, percussion, backing vocals, keyboards, 

   vibraphone
- Tom Kriss - bass, vocals 
NEW - Joe Walsh - vocals, guitar (replaced Glenn Schwartz)

 

  line up 3 (1970-71)

- Jimmy Fox - drums, percussion, backing vocals, keyboards
NEW - Dale Peters - bass, backing vocals (replaced Tom Kriss)

- Joe Walsh - vocals, guitar

 
  line up 4 (1971-73)

- Jimmy Fox - drums, percussion, backing vocals, keyboards
NEW - Roy Kenner - vocals (replaced Joe Walsh) 
- Dale Peters - bass, backing vocals

NEW - Domenic Troiano (RIP) - guitar, background vocals

  (replaced  Joe Walsh)

 

  supporting musicians:

- David Briggs -- keyboards

- Charlie McCoy -- harmonica

- Weldon Myrick -- pedal steel guitar

- William Smith -- keyboards

 

  line up 5 (1973-74)

NEW - Tommy Bolin (RIP 1976) - vocals, guitar, keyboards 

  (replaced  Domenic Troiano)
- Jimmy Fox - drums, percussion, backing vocals, keyboards
- Roy Kenner - vocals 
- Dale Peters - bass, backing vocals

 

  supporting musicians:

- Albhy Galuten -- synthesizers

 

  line up 6 (1975-76)

- Jimmy Fox - drums, percussion, backing vocals, keyboards

NEW - Bubba Keith - vocals, guitar (replaced Tommy Bolin)
- Roy Kenner - vocals 
- Dale Peters - bass, backing vocals

NEW -- Richard Shack - guitar (replaced Tommy Bolin)

 

 

 

 

- All Saved Freak Band (Glenn Schwartz)

- Barnstorm (Joe Walsh)
- Tommy Bolin (solo efforts)

- Bush (Roy Kenner and Domenic Troiano)
- Deep Purple (Tommy Bolin)
- The Eagles (Joe Walsh)

- Energy (Tommy Bolin)
- The Guess Who (Domenic Troiano)

- LAPD
- The Measles (Joe Walsh)

- The Outsiders (Jimmy Fox)
- Pacific Gas & Electric (Glenn Schwartz)

- Point Blank (Bubba Keith)
- Domenic Troiano (solo efforts)
- Joe Walsh (solo efforts) 
- Zephyr (Tommy Bolin)

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Yer' Album

Company: ABC

Catalog: ABCS 688

Country/State: Cleveland, Ohio

Year: 1970

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve; initial on cover

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 4998

Price: $9.00

 

Largely remembered as a vehicle for guitarist Joe Walsh, few people realize that the James Gang was formed by drummer Jimmy Fox and that Walsh was only a second generation recruit. 

Interested in earning some extra money, in 1966 drummer Fox convinced bassist Tom Kriss and guitarist Glenn Schwartz to join him in a cover band. Versatile musicians, the trio began playing local school dances and talent contests, before eventually moving on to local Cleveland area clubs. In early 1969, prior to being signed by ABC's Bluesway subsidiary, Schwartz left to join Pacific Gas and Electric (see separate entry). After auditioning a number of replacements, former Measles guitarist Joe Walsh was added to the lineup, generating widespread acclaim with his unique voice and heavily phased lead guitar. 

Widespread publicity, including serving as an opening act for Jimi Hendrix (many fans though Walsh blew Hendrix away), led to a contract with Bluesway and the band's 1969 debut "Yer' Album". Produced by Bill Szymcyyk, the debut album featured a surprisingly tuneful collection of guitar powered hard rock. A mix of popular covers (an extended nine minute remake of the Yardbirds' "Lost Woman" and the Buffalo Springfield's "Bluebird") and originals ("I Don't Have the Time" and "Funk #48"), the album showcased Walsh's interesting nasal vocals (it frequently sounded like they were being electronically treated) and Walsh's stinging guitar runs. Propelled by an opening slot on The Who's 1969 American tour, the album proved a surprising success, eventually reaching #83. Following the collapse of Bluesway, ABC reissued the collection. (The album was originally released with a gatefold sleeve - gee, what's that plant Walsh's holding on the back cover?) 

"Yer' Album" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Introduction   (Jim Fox - Bert DeCoteaux - Bill Szymczyk) - 0:39
2.) Take a Look Around   (Joe Walsh) - 6:20
3.) Funk #48   (Joe Walsh - Jim Fox - Tom Kriss) - 2:47
4.) Bluebird    (Stephen Stills) - 6:01

(side 2)

1.) Lost Woman   (Chris Dreja - Jeff Beck - Keith Relf - James McCarthy - Paul Samwell-Smith) - 9:06
2.) Stone Rap   (Joe Walsh - Jim Fox - Tom Kriss - Bill Szymczyk) - 0:59
3.) Collage   (Maraxas) - 4:03
4.) I Don't Have the Time   (Joe Walsh - Jim Fox) - 2:50
5.) Wrapcity In English   (Joe Walsh) - 0:57
6.) Fred   (James Walsh) - 4:11

 

 


11.) Stop (Jerry Ragavoy - Mort Schuman) - 12:00


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Thirds

Company: ABC

Catalog: ABCX741

Country/State: Cleveland, Ohio

Year: 1970

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: original inner sleeve

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 1446

Price: $10.00

 

So, I'll readily admit 1971's "Thirds" wasn't nearly as good as the first two albums.   Still, in a just world  the album would have built on earlier glories and made The James Gang mega stars.  Co-produced by Bill Szymczyk and the band, the album had more than its share of successes, but song-for-song simply lacked the cohesion and sense of enthusiasm found on the earlier studio releases.  While Joe Walsh remained the band's primary writer turning in four of the nine tracks, drummer Jim Fox and bassist Dale Peters each contributed two songs, the three members collaborated on the throwaway instrumental 'Ya Dig?'.  Through it all you couldn't help but notice Walsh no longer seemed as engaged as before. Yeah, the single 'Walk Away' was tremendous and provided the band with their biggest radio hit and 'It's All the Same' grew on you after awhile, but ultimately you were left to wonder if perhaps Walsh was stockpiling material for a solo career. As good as Walsh was, the album's biggest surprise came in the form of Fox and Peters' contributions.  Both turned in strong tunes with Fox's 'Things I Could Be' standing as a taunt, highly commercial rocker, while 'Live My Life Again' was the album's prettiest ballad.   Peters 'Dreamin In the Country' was a forgettable country tune, but 'White Man, Black Man' was a nice stab at social relevance.  Perhaps a bit dated now, but still enjoyable.   While the set proved a decent seller, hitting # 27 on the US album charts, it proved a case of too little, too late and shortly after the album was released the band  fractured with mainstay Walsh heading off to Colorado and into other musical pastures.  

"Thirds" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Walk Away   (Joe Walsh) - 3:32

Not much to say about this one other than it was a classic slice of '70s rock.   ABC quickly tapped is as a single:

 

- 1971's 'Walk Way' b/w Ya Dig?'' (ABC catalog number ABC-11301) # 51 pop charts

YouTube has an entertaining  clip of the band performing the song on an unknown Dutch ? television program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_4iQDYDVNo     rating: **** stars

2.) Yadig? (instrumental)   (Jim Fox - Dale Peters - Joe Walsh) - 2:32

The album's only band collaboration, 'Yadig?' was a major change in direction; the trio taking a stab at sophisticated Ramsey Lewis-styled cocktail soul-jazz.  The funny thing is the vibraphone-powered tune was actually quite funky  rating: *** stars

3.) Things I Could Be    (Jim Fox) - 4:18

Everyone praises Walsh as the band's creative mainstay and while he was certainly responsible for the bulk of the band's material, the rollicking 'Things I Could Be' aptly demonstrated Jim Fox was equally capable of turning in a classic tune.   Built on an irritatingly catchy guitar riff, this rocker was one of the overlooked album highlights.  I think that was Fox handling lead vocals ...  rating: **** stars

4.) Dreamin' In the Country   (Dale Peters) - 2:59

One of two Dale Peters tunes, 'Dreamin' In the Country' was a straightforward country tune.  Pleasant, but not exactly my taste in music.   rating: *** stars

5.)  It's All the Same   (Joe Walsh) - 4:13

Walsh forays into ballad territory have always been hit, or miss.  While 'It's All the Same' boasted one of his prettier melodies, the elaborate, Baroque horns were certainly strange and unexpected. .   rating: *** stars   

 

(side 2)

1.) Midnight Man   (Joe Walsh) - 3:29

One of the overlooked gems in The James Gang's catalog - sweet melody powered by some of Walsh's trademarked lead guitar.   Only complaint I have centers on the needless female vocalist.   ABC tapped the song as the album's second single:

- 1970's 'Midnight Man' b/w 'White Man,Black Man' (ABC catalog number ABC-11312)   rating: **** stars

2.) Again   (Joe Walsh) - 4:04

If you didn't think Walsh was capable of penning a sweet, sentimental ballad you might want to check out 'Again'.   rating: *** stars

3.) White Man, Black Man   (Dale Peters) - 5:38

Lyrically the ballad 'White Man, Black Man' was a bit on the clunky side, but I guess you couldn't fault Peters for what were obviously some heartfelt sentiments.  With the Sweet Inspirations featured on backing vocals, urban legend has it Little Richard also played on the tune (his name appears on the liner notes).    By the way, around the four minute mark Walsh turned in a truly inspiring solo.   rating: *** stars

4.) Live My Life Again   (Jim Fox) - 5:25

Written by Fox, but featuring Walsh on lead vocals, 'Live My Life Again' was another pretty ballad, showcasing the band's seldom highlighted knack for tight harmony vocals.   In case anyone cared, the song also featured another round of Tim Baker horns.   rating: *** stars

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Straight Shooter

Company: ABC

Catalog: ABCX741

Country/State: Cleveland, Ohio

Year: 1971

Grade (cover/record): VG+/ VG+

Comments: --

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 1403

Price: $8.00

 

The fact Joe Walsh had gone on to the greener pastures of Barnstorm and a solo career  put the remaining James Gang members in a no-win situation.  To their credit, drummer Jimmy Fox and bassist Dale Peters were smart enough to realize Walsh would be a hard act to replace, eventually recruiting singer Roy Kenner and guitarist Domenic Troiano for what was essentially The James Gang MK II   As former members of the band Bush, both were accomplished musicians and capable writers, but those talents simply didn't make much impact on the band's fan base.   Shame since 1972's "Straight Shooter" was a half bad effort.  Certainly nowhere near as bad as those fans would have you think.  

 

With Kenner and Trojano responsible for the majority of the material, the self produced album found the band losing some of their unique earlier sound (much of it tied directly to Walsh's unique voice), in favor of a professional, if somewhat anonymous mixture of hard rock (the social commentary 'Madness' and 'My Door Is Open') and softer country-rock tinged ballads ('Get Her Back Again' and 'Let Me Come Home').  Technically Kenner was a far better singer than Walsh, but he lacked that certain umph factor that made Walsh such an interesting character.   Similarly, while Trojano wasn't nearly as flashy a guitarist as Walsh, technically he may have actually been the better guitarist.  

"Straight Shooter" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Madness   (Roy Kenner - Domenic Troiano) - 3:14

Okay Kenner's voice wasn't as instantly recognizable as Walsh's weird instrument, but he didn't sound half bad on the opening rocker.  Nice slice of bar band rock that showcased some surprisingly thoughtful lyrics and sweet backing vocals.   rating: *** stars

2.) Kick Back Man   (Roy Kenner - Domenic Troiano) - 4:56

Who would have thought The James Gang gets funky ...  seriously, just check out Dale Peter's nifty, slithering  bass lines.   More cowbell please.   The tune also appeared as the 'B' side to the 1972 single 'Had Enough' (ABC catalog number ABC 11336)   rating: **** stars

3.) Get Her Back Again   (Domenic Troiano) - 2:46

Pretty, if somewhat bland and forgettable acoustic country-rock ballad.   rating: *** stars

4.) Looking for My Lady   (Roy Kenner - Domenic Troiano) - 2:55

The album's hardest rocker, 'Looking for My Lady' was also the album's most commercial offering, explaining why ABC tapped it as a single:

 

  

- 1972's 'Looking for My Lady' b/w 'Hairy Hypochondriac' (ABC catalog number ABC 11325)   rating: *** stars

5.) Gettin' Old   (Domenic Troiano) - 3:48

With Trojano taking a rare shot at lead vocal (decent, but a but shaky compared to Kenner), 'Gettin Old' was another country-tinged acoustic ballad ...  pretty, but no more memorable than the earlier one.  rating: ** stars

(side 2)

1.) I'll Tell You Why   (Dale Peters - Domenic Troiano) - 3:55

'I'll Tell You Why' was one of the collection's nicest guitar rockers with some of Trojano's most melodic playing and a feel that recalled the Walsh-era band.    rating: *** stars

2.) Hairy Hypochondriac   (Dale Peters - Roy Kenner - Domenic Troiano) - 2:58

Mildly funny country-rocker that's always reminded me a bit of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show ...  well after one spin it really wasn't that funny.   rating: ** stars

3.) Let Me Come Home   (Dale Peters - Domenic Troiano) - 5:05

Another mournful country-tinged ballad saved from oblivion by some of Trojano's prettiest playing and the angelic backing vocals.   rating: *** stars

4.) My Door Is Open   (Roy Kenner - Domenic Troiano) - 6:01

The hard rocker 'My Door Is Open' caught the band at their best - energetic Kenner vocal; great backing vocals, catchy melody showcasing Peter's melodic bass, and some wonderful Trojano lead guitar - the only tune where he actually seemed interested in showcasing some flashy moves.  Shame they didn't include more of this kind of stuff on the album.   rating: **** stars

 

In spite of lukewarm reviews, the album sold respectably, peaking at # 58 on the US charts.

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Passin' Thru

Company: ABC

Catalog: ABCX790

Country/State: Cleveland, Ohio

Year: 1972

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 6340

Price: $8.00

 

 

With Joe Walsh having decided to pursue a solo career, 1972's "Passin' Thru" was the second studio set by the Jim Fox, Roy Kenner, Dale Peters, and Domenic Troiano James Gang line-up.  Co-produced by the band and Keith Olsen, if you were looking for something on a par with the band's first three classic releases, this was probably going to be a disappointment.  That said, if you could accept the album as a James Gang, MK II product, it certainly had moments that were enjoyable.   This time out Kenner and Troiano were responsible for all nine tracks (Kenner and Troiano both penned two songs on their own and collaborated on the remaining seven selections).  The results offered up an okay mix of early-1970s AOR (check out 'One Way Street' and 'Up To Yourself'') and country-tinged numbers ('Run, Run, Run').  I'll admit that the revamped line-up lacked some of the Walsh-era group's originality, but about half of the LP was enjoyable (side one was better than side two).   Kenner displaying some nice vocal chops throughout the set, but at least to my ears the biggest surprise came in the form of Troiano's contributions.  He certainly wasn't Joe Walsh (though the voice box effects on 'Everybody needs a Hero' were a nice nod to Walsh), but so what ?   Troiano was a more than capable lead guitarist and whatever he may have lacked in flash, he made up for with versatility.   

 

 
"Yer' Album" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Ain't Seen Nothing Yet   (Roy Kenner) - 2:59

With a bouncy, good-timey vibe the rocker 'Ain't Seen Nothing Yet' was actually one of the weaker selections.  This one just didn't have anything going for it and actually sounded like it had been stitched together from existing songs.   rating: ** stars

2.) One Way Street  (Domenic Troiano) - 4:26

Opening up with some surprisingly funky Troiano lead guitar (be sure to check out Peters' bass line), 'One Way Street' morphed into a nice blues-rocker that served to showcase Troiano's fluid and versatile leads.  Having a slinky hook that crawled into your head certainly didn't hurt the song.   rating: *** stars

3.) Had Enough   (Roy Kenner) -3:00

'Had Enough' started out with some Joe Walsh-styled guitar moves, but then opened up into one of the album's most commercial numbers.  With a strong melody, some nice Jim Fox stabbing keyboards, and another nice Kenner vocal, this was one I find myself humming from time to time.   rating: **** stars

4.) Up To Yourself  (Domenic Troiano) - 2:43

Even more commercial rocker, 'Up To Yourself' had an instantly catchy title refrain that would have made a nice choice as a single.     rating: *** stars

5.) Everybody Needs a Hero  (Roy Kenner - Domenic Troiano) - 6:06
'Everybody Needs a Hero' was an out-and-out pop number with a funky edge that featuring some excellent Powers bass and Troiano throwing out some Walsh-styled voice-box effects.     rating: *** star

 

(side 2)

1.) Run, Run, Run  (Roy Kenner - Domenic Troiano) - 3:44

A stark country-tinged ballad complete with Weldon Myrick pedal steel guitar and Charlie McCoy harmonica,, 'Run, Run, Run' was pretty enough, but just too country for my tastes.     rating: ** star

2.) Things I Want To Say To You  (Roy Kenner - Domenic Troiano) - 3:41

A harpsichord opening would normally have instantly won me over, but 'Things I Want To Say To You' simply never kicked into gear.  Complete with elaborate string arrangement (courtesy of Craig Sapphins), the song was simply too precious for its own good, though Kenner sounded quite good on the song.   rating: ** stars

3.) Out of Control  (Roy Kenner - Domenic Troiano) - 3:39

A breezy, west coast sounding pop-rock song with a strange pseudo-reggae chorus, 'Out of Control' sounded like something a band like Pablo Cruise might have recorded.  Pleasant, but ultimately kind of anonymous.   rating: ** stars

4.) Drifting Girl  (Roy Kenner - Domenic Troiano) - 5:09

The acoustic guitar opening chords of 'Drifting Girl' have always reminded me of something off one of Jan Akkerman's solo albums.  The rest of the song was a forgettable country-rock tinged ballad that sounded like a throwaway Dan Fogelberg number.  It would have made a nice soundtrack for a life insurance commercial.  Yech.   rating: ** stars

 

Nowhere near a classic James Gang LP and certainly not the place for a neophyte to start, but once you've explored the Walsh and Tommy Bolin-era line-ups it might be worth a quick spin (plus you can still find copies on the cheap). 

 

In spite of lukewarm reviews and the absence of a hit single (ABC didn't even bother releasing a 45),  the collection proved a decent seller, hitting # 72 on the US album charts.

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Miami

Company: ATCO

Catalog: SD 36-102

Country/State: Cleveland, Ohio

Year: 1974

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear; original inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6339

Price: $9.00

 

Co-produced by Tom Dowd and The James Gang, by any measure 1975's "Miami" came up short in most categories.  With two blatant exceptions ('Sleepwalker' sounding like a dead ringer for Joe Walsh-era James Gang) most of the songs here weren't particularly original, or memorable and while the performances were never less than  professional, they were seldom awe-inspiring.  That said, having singer/guitarist Tommy Bolin firmly onboard went a long way to helping the band regain some of their creative and commercial footings.  While Roy Kenner handled most of the lead vocal, the spotlight was clearly on Bolin.  This time out he co-wrote all nine tracks, handled lead guitar, and even took lead vocals on 'Spanish Lover (my choice for the album's other standout performance)'.  That said, exemplified by tracks like 'Cruisin' Down the Highway', 'Wildfire' and 'Red Skies' the bulk of the album found the band trying their hand at being a conventional boogie rock.   Mind you there was nothing wrong with such a goal, unless you were a band as talented as these guys were.   

 

 

"Miami" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Cruisin' Down the Highway   (Tommy Bolin - Dale Peters) - 3:16

'Cruisin' Down the Highway' had the album's most commercial feel' kind of a feel-good summertime rocker vibe with a catchy Bolin rhythm guitar and some equally nice slide guitar.  (Which explains why it was tapped as a single.)  The only thing I didn't like was the Jerry Lee/ Lewis-styled keyboard bursts and the fact the song faded out just as Bolin was really starting to jam.   rating: *** stars

2.) Do It   (Tommy Bolin - Roy Kenner) - 3:38

A conventional slice of bar boogie, 'Do It' could have been a Foghat outtake ...  Nice beer drinking tune and a nice Bolin solo, but hardly the most original thing they'd ever done.   rating: ** stars

3.) Wildfire   (Tommy Bolin - John Tesar) - 3:30

Showcasing Roy Kenner's thick, if somewhat flat voice, to my ears 'Wildfire' sounded a bit like a good Bachman Turner Overdrive tune.  Like a good BTO track, this had one of those sledgehammer rhythms that just sort of beat its way into your skull and wouldn't leave.  Elsewhere, Bolin turned in some tasty lead slide guitar.   rating: **** stars  

4.) Sleepwalker   (Tommy Bolin - John Tesar) - 4:01

Maybe its just my old and beat ears, but 'Sleepwalker' has always reminded me of a Joe Walsh performance.  The production effects on Kenner's voice coupled Dale Peters' fuzz bass, and Bolin's thick, sustained chords gave the song a distinctive Walsh-like vibe.   Very nice and one of the album highlights.   rating: **** stars

5.) Miami Two-Step (instrumental)   (Tommy Bolin - Dale Peters - Jimmy Fox) - 1:32  

A short blues-shuffle instrumental, 'Miami Two-Step' showcased Bolin's finger-picking and slide guitar moves.  Nothing special.   rating: ** stars

 

(side 2)

1.) a. Praylude  (instrumental)  (Tommy Bolin) - 

'Praylude' opened up side two with a brief, keyboard-propelled instrumental that sounded almost like a piece of new age music.  It then morphed into a segment that showcased some amazing jazz-tinged guitar from Bolin.  I don't even like jazz, but found Bolin's performance mesmerizing.  rating: *** stars

     b. Red Skies   (Tommy Bolin) - 5:59

'Red Skies' was a heavy boogie number with another first-rate lead from Bolin.  rating: ** stars

3.) Spanish Lover   (Tommy Bolin - Jeff Cook) - 3:43

Bolin apparently co-wrote 'Spanish Lover' with Jeff Cook while the pair were in his pre-James Gang project( energy.  A beautiful ballad, the song served to showcase Bolin's wonderful voice and his arsenal of guitar effects.  Probably the album's one must-hear tune.   rating; **** stars

4.) Summer Breezes   (Tommy Bolin) - 2:40

'Summer Breezes' was a great song that showcased Bolin's classic slide guitar moves, but suffered from a weak Kenner lead vocal.   You literally sat there wondering whether Kenner was going to make it through the song without blowing a vocal chord or suffering an aneurysm.   Should have let Bolin handle the lead vocal.   rating: ** stars

5.) Head Above the Water   (Tommy Bolin - Dale Peters) - 4:18

After Bolin's 'Spanish Lover', 'Head Above the Water' was the set's most interesting performance.  A mid-tempo rocker sporting one of Kenner's best lead vocals and another arsenal of Bolin guitar chops, there wasn't a wasted over the entire four plus minutes.   rating: **** stars

 

ATCO didn't put a lot of promotional effort into the collection.  One single was spun off and it did little commercially:

 

 - 1974's 'Crusin' down the Highway' b/w 'Miami Two Step' (ATCO catalog number 7006)

 

Even with all of the above reservations, I have to admit I really like this album.  In fact I like it more than the individual song ratings would have you believe.  I'm not sure why, but I suspect it has something to do with Bolin's reluctance to get to showy on the set.  Like Duane Allman, Bolin seemed to understand the concept of less-is-more.   Well worth checking out, especially since you can still find cheap copies.

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Newborn

Company: ATCO

Catalog: SD 36-312

Country/State: Cleveland, Ohio

Year: 1975

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: promo sticker on cover; original lyric inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4999

Price: $5.00

 

Post Tommy Bolin James Gang is routinely slagged by the critics and fans alike.  While many of those criticisms had some merit, to my ears 1975's "Newborn" wasn't nearly as bad as many reviews would have you believe.  With singer Bubba Keith and guitarist Richard Shack brought in to replace Bolin, the band actually sounded somewhat reinvigorated.  Assuming the majority of songwriting duties Keith and Shack turned in a decent set of AOR.  With the possible exception of the pretty acoustic ballad 'All I Have' and the odd cover of 'Heartbreak Hotel' nothing here was particularly original, but there was plenty of tasteful lead guitar and Keith had a surprisingly attractive voice.  He's actually better than former vocalisy Roy Kenner.   In fact the only real misstep was the side two opener 'Driftin' Dreamer'.  Light reggae clearly wasn't their bag ...  

 

Elsewhere ATCO tapped  'Merry Go Round' b/w 'Red Satin Lover' (ATCO catalog number 45-7021) as a quickly forgotten single.

 

"Newborn" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Merry Go Round   (Richard Shack - Bubba Keith) - 3:05

2.) Gonna Get By   (Richard Shark - Mark Smith) - 3:59

3.) Earthshaker   (Bubba Keith) - 3:48

4.) All I Have   (Richard Shack - Bubba Keith) - 2:17

5.) Watch It   (Bubba Keith) - 3:32

(side 2)

1.) Driftin' Dreamer   (Richard Shack - Bubba Keith) - 3:31

2.) Should'a Seen Your Face   (Richard Shack - Bubba Keith) - 3:46

3.) Come with Me   (Richard Shack - Bubba Keith) - 2:30

4.) Heartbreak Hotel   (Mae Boren Axton - Tommy Durden - Elvis Presley) - 2:15

5.) Red Satin Lover   (Richard Shack - Bubba Keith) - 2:17

6.) Cold Wind   (Richard Shack - Bubba Keith) - 2:31

 

 

BACK TO BADCAT FRONT PAGE

BACK TO BADCAT CATALOG PAGE

BACK TO BADCAT PAYMENT INFORMATION