Robin Trower


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1973-75)

- James Dewar -- vocals, bass (RIP)
- Reg Isadore -- drums, percussion (RIP 2009)
- Robin Trower -- lead guitar, vocals 

 

  line up 2 (1975-77)

- James Dewar -- vocals, bass (RIP)
NEW - Bill Lordan -- drums (replaced Reg Isadore) 
- Robin Trower -- lead guitar, vocals 

 

  line up 3 (1977-78)

NEW - Rusty Allen -- bass (replaced James Dewar)

NEW - Paulinho DaCosta -- percussion 
- Bill Lordan -- drums
- Robin Trower -- lead guitar, vocals 

 

  line up 4 (1983-85)

- Rusty Allen -- bass 

NEW - Bob Clouter -- drums (replaced Bill Lordan)

- Paulinho DaCosta -- percussion 
- Robin Trower -- lead guitar, vocals 

 

  line up 5 (1985)

NEW - David Bronze -- vocals, bass (repalced Rusty Allen)

NEW - Martin Clapson -- drums (replaced Bill Clouter)
- Robin Trower -- lead guitar, vocals 

 

  line up 5 (1986)

- David Bronze -- vocals, bass (repalced Rusty Allen)

NEW - Davey Pattison -- vocals 

NEW - Pete Thompson -- drums (replaced Martin Clapson)
- Robin Trower -- lead guitar, vocals 

 


 

 

- BLT 
- Gamma (Davey Pattison)
- Gypsy (Bruce Lordan)
- Hummingbird (Reg Isadore)
- Procol Harum (Robin Trower)
- Sly and the Family Stone (Bill Lordan and Rusty Allen)
- Stone the Crows (Jim Dewar)
- Robin Trower and Jack Bruce

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  For Earth Below

Company: Chrysalis

Catalog: CHR-1973

Year: 1975

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear; seam is rough

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5161

Price: $8.00

 

When I was in high school a close friend of mine (hi Mark), was a major Robin Trower fan. Mark even passed up his junior prom to go see Trower. He tried and tried to get me interested in Trower, but hearing what sounded like a Hendrix wannabe and convinced Peter Frampton and Roxy Music were where it was at, I wanted nothing to do with the man. Well, Mark I was wrong and you were right !!! Frampton can't sell a CD to save his life and Bryan Ferry is lifeless poseur. Meanwhile, Trower continues to record and tour with more energy than most acts half his age.

Robin Trower's musical apprenticeship began with The Paramounts, who by 1967 had somehow managed to transform themselves from a pedestrian rhythm and blues cover band into England's leading proponent of Baroque rock - Procol Harum (see separate entry). Although a capable musician and writer, within Procol Harum Trower quickly found himself relegated to a supporting role behind front man Gary Brooker and Brooker's non-performing writing partner Keith Ried.  Persevering through five albums, Trower went solo after the release of 1971's "Broken Barricades".

Continuing his collaboration with producer Fisher, 1975's "For Earth Below" was the first release to show signs of artistic fatigue. With former Sly and the Family Stones drummer Bill Lordan replacing Isadore, material such as "It's Only Money" and "Confessin' Midnight" found the trio content to refine their Hendrix-influenced efforts. Giving credit were due, Dewar's soul drenched vocals remained impressive (how can a white guy sing with such soul?), injecting Trower-originals such as "Alethea", "Fine Day" and "Shame the Devil" with considerable energy. Still, spread over an entire album, the material started to sound similar. Those criticisms aside, the album proved Trower's biggest chart success, peaking at #5.

"For Earth Below" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Shame the Devil (Robin Trower) - 3:34
2.) It's Only Money (Robin Trower) - 5:38
3.) Confessin' Midnight (Robin Trower) - 5:51
4.) Fine Day (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 3:36

(side 2)

1.) Aletha (Robin Trower) - 3:02
2.) A Tale Untold (Robin Trower) - 5:28
3.) Gonna Be More Suspicious (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 3:05
4.) For Earth Below (Robin Trower) - 6:05

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Robin Trower Live!

Company: Chrysalis

Catalog: CHR-1080

Year: 1975

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring, corner and edge wear

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 5162

Price: $6.00

 

In an era where every act under the sun seemed determined to release a double live set, 1975's "Robin Trower Live!" was a model of restraint and good taste. Featuring seven extended tracks drawn from the three earlier studio sets, the concert set provided an enjoyable, if abbreviated career retrospective. Sporting a nice mix of hits ("Too Rolling Stoned", "I Can't Wait Much Longer" and "Little Bit of Sympathy") and lesser known album tracks, the extended concert arrangements benefited virtually every song - check out the sustain Trower gets on his "Daydream" solos. Also to their credit, the band minimized the typical in-concert bombast (the one major exception being Lordan's drum solo on "Alethea"). That said it was interesting to note that Trower, Dewar and Lordan proved surprisingly adept at recreating their studio sound. Besides, how may artists record live albums in Sweden? One of our all-time favorite concert sets, fans seemed to agree, kicking the set to #10.

"Robin Trower Live!" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Too Rolling Stoned (Robin Trower) - 6:49
2.) Daydream (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 8:04
3.) Rock Me Baby (King - Josea) - 6:24

(side 2)

1.) Lady Love (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 3:23
2.) I Can't Wait Much Longer (Robin Trower - Frankie Miller) - 7:08
3.) Aletha (Robin Trower) - 4:13
4.) Little Bit of Sympathy (Robin Trower) - 5:30


 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Long Misty Days

Company: Chrysalis

Catalog: CHR 1107

Year: 1976

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: cut out hole top left; creases on top left and lower right corners

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5163

Price: $6.00

 

Robin Trower's fourth studio effort, 1976's "Long Misty Days" found long-time engineer Geoff Emerick replacing Matthew Fisher behind the boards. In spite of the production change, with Trower and Dewar co-writing the majority of the album, the set wasn't exactly a major change in direction. Hardcore fans were certainly happy with pile driver rockers such as "Some Rain Falls" and "S.M.O.", though to be honest, for the first time the formula began to sound a little bit stale. The roaring "Caledonia", "Messin' the Blues" and the funky (yes, we said funky), "Pride" provided the standout tracks. Probably due to the fact they provided a change of pace with Trower and company pursuing a slower, denser, atmospheric (almost hazy) sound, the title track, "Hold Me" and a cover of The Sutherland Brothers' "Sailing" were also worth hearing. On the heels of several top-10 entries, commercially the set proved a mild disappointment, only reaching # 24.

"Long Misty Days" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Some Rain Falls (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 3:14
2.) Long Misty Days (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 5:43
3.) Hold Me (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 3:36
4,) Caledonia (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 3:40
5.) Pride (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 3:07

(side 2)

1.) Sailing (Gavin Sutherland) - 3:44
2.) S.M.O. (Robin Trower - James Dewar - Bill Lordan) - 3:41
3.) I Can't Live without You (Robin Trower - James Dewar - Frankie Miller) - 4:22
4.) Messin' the Blues (Robin Trower - James Dewar - Bill Lordan) - 3:53

 


 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Passion

Company: GNP Crescendo

Catalog: GNPS 2187

Year: 1987

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 5164

Price: $10.00

 

 

Ignoring the mindless teenage boy wet dream cover and the equally lame back cover picture, 1987's Neil Norman produced "Passion" wasn't half bad.  With Trower and bassist Dave Bronze responsible for writing most of the nine tracks, Trower and company seemed to be looking for a balance between hard rock moves and a more commercial AOR sound.  With his likeable voice, former Gamma lead singer Davy Pattison injected songs like the title track, 'Caroline' and 'No Time' with a certain commercial sheen that had been missing from Trower's recent catalog.  At the same time, the move towards an AOR song threatened to reduce Trower to another faceless AOR act.  Material like 'Secret Doors' and 'No Time' could have easily been mistaken for David Coverdale and Whitesnake.  Far better and in keeping with Trower's signature blend of rock and soul was the cruncher 'Bad Time'.  Too bad there weren't more like it.  Still, never less than enjoyable, the only real disappointment was that with the exception of the instrumental 'Night' Trower was largely relegated to sideman; memorable solos standing far and few between.  Certainly not the worst thing he ever recorded, but not one of the album's I would gravitate to if I were looking to explore his catalog.

 

"Passion" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Caroline   (Robin Trower - Dave Bronze - Webb) - 4:00

Okay, it had a distinctive '80s AOR feel, but in spite of the bleating female backing singers, 'Caroline' had such a strong melody you could overlook most of those other shortcomings.   rating: *** stars

2.) Secret Doors   (Robin Trower - Webb) - 4:18

Faceless AOR metal ... hard to distinguish it from any of the dozens of hair bands that were dominating mid-'80s radio.   zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz    The video and sound quality are poor, but YouTube has a 1986 performance of the tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4MfQf1jr8o  rating: ** stars

3.) If Forever   (Robin Trower - Dave Bronze) - 3:36

Nice power ballad that showcased Trower's guiatr while recalling some of his earlier work.  rating: *** stars 

4.) Won't Even Think About It   (Robin Trower - Dave Bronze) - 4:40

'Won't Even Think About It' sounded like it had been penned to garner AOR play.  Nice refrain, but otherwise fairly anonymous.   rating: *** stars

 

 

(side 2)

1.) Passion   (Robin Trower - Dave Bronze) - 3:56

To my ears the title track was a perfect example of my mixed feelings about this set.   Powered by Dave Pattison's voice, it was one of the most pop-oriented tunes Trower ever recorded.   On the other hand, the fact it could have been mistaken for a Whitesnake song wasn't a strength.   rating: *** stars

2.) No Time   (Robin Trower - Dave Bronze - Webb) - 4:20

Decent bluesy-rocker, with one of Trower's nicer solos, but musically there wasn't anything original across these 4 minutes.   Another YouTube clip from a 1986 Toronto performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGF8o5ZO8Ac  rating: *** stars

3.) Night (instrumental)   (Robin Trower) - 3:57

Pretty instrumental, though for some reason the tune has always reminded me a bit of The Stylistics 'You Make Me Feel Brand New'.  rating: *** stars

4.) Bad Time   (Robin Trower - Dave Bronze) - 3:26

Back to a more uptempo-styled Trower rocker that would have been better had Pattison refrained from trying to sound funky.  At least Trower got to cut loose for a moment.    rating:: *** stars

5.) One More Word   (Robin Trower - Dave Bronze) - 3:45

Could've been a single; not to say it was any good.   rating: ** stars

 

 

Released with little support the album proved somewhat of a commercial surprise peaking at # 100 on the US charts

 

 

 

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