Spencer Davis

Band members                             Related acts

- Spencer Davis -- vocals, guitar


  supporting musicians (1984)

- Kim Bullard -- vocals, keyboards 

- Steve Chapman -- drums 

- Donna DeLory -- vocals

- Eddie -- vocals

- Flo -- vocals 

- Charlie Harrison -- vocals, guitar, bass 

- Peter Jameson -- guitar

- Davey Johnstone -- guitar 

- Booker T. Jones -- keyboards

- Carol Kelly -- percussion 

- Phil Kenzie -- sax 

- Bian Molouf -- keyboards 

- Rocky Mantia -- vocals

- Chris McDougall -- guitar

- Shannon O'Neill -- vocals 

- Dusty Springfield -- vocals  

- Edward Tree -- vocals, guitar 




- Class Rock All Stars

- Spencer Davis Group

- Davis, York, Hardin and Fenwick

- The World Classic Rockers





Genre: rock

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Crossfire

Company: Allegiance

Catalog: AV-422

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): NM /NM

Comments: still in shrink

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5473

Price: $10.00


Having spent much of the previous decade working as an A&R man and producer, 1984's "Crossfire" marked somewhat of a comeback for singer/guitarist Spencer Davis.  That said, co-produced with Allan McDougall the album was actually better than you might have expected.  At least to my ears, one of the bigger surprises came in the form of Davis' vocals. Admittedly Davis was not the most talented singer you've ever heard.  Exemplified by material like the title track and 'Blood Runs Hot', he was occasionally flat and just didn't have much in the way of dynamics or range.  Still, on tracks like 'No Other Baby' and the bouncy 'It Must be Love' he made the most of his talents.   Musically the set was a stew, taking stabs at a number of genres including blues-rock ('Blood Runs Hot'), AOR ('Don't Want You No More'), and conventional pop ballads ('Love Is On a Roll').  The set was seldom less than pleasant, though the hideous duet with Dusty Springfield ('Private Number') and a synthesizer propelled remake of  'I'm a Man' were unnecessary.  I actually docked the LP a star for those two travesties.  With the exception of 'It Must Be Love' (which would have made a good choice for a single), the package seldom really caught fire. It also suffered from a dated mid-1980s production feel.    


"Crossfire" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Blood Runs Hot   (S. Samsel) - 3:55   rating: ** stars

'Blood Runs Hot' was a ormulaic blues-rocker than had all the soul and inspiration of a car commercial.  

2.) Don't Want You No More   (Spencer Davis - Eddie Harding) - 4:00   rating: ** stars

'Don't Want You No More' was a remake of a Spencer Davis Group tune.  Few people have heard that earlier version since it was recorded after Stevie and Muff Winwood had left the group.  The original Spencer Davis Group track was a slinky blues vibe, featuring Phil Sawyer on lead vocals and guitar.  The remake was pleasant, but forgettable.  No idea when it was filmed (early '80s judging by the clothes), but YouTube has a performance filmed at Florida's Little Darlin's Rock 'n' Roll Palace with Davis on lead vocals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5OCNI8cXPk 

3.) Love Is On a Roll   (Roger Cook - K. Prince) - 3:44   rating: ** stars

Another remake ...  toughened up and make largely anonymous.

4.) Crossfire   (J. Carega - R. Holler) - 4:05   rating: ** stars

The title track was not the place to start exploring this album.  A bland, mid-tempo ballad the tune showcased the album's worst characteristics including some painfully flat and uninspired vocals.

5.) Private Number   (Booker T. Jones - William Bell) - 4:17   rating: ** stars



Until I stumbled across 'Private Number' I was under the impression Dusty Springfield could do no wrong.  Well, this dreadful performance proved me wrong.  Davis and Springfield displayed absolutely zero chemistry, made even worse by a song that was built out of a bland and completely forgettable '80s song structure.  The song was tapped as a promotional single in the States:


- 1984's 'Private Number' b/w 'Don't want You No More' (Allegiance catalog number 3917)





(side 2)
1.) I'm a Man   (Spencer Davis - Steve Winwood - J. Miller) - 3:42
   rating: ** stars

Shame, shame, shame ...  Why would you even dream of messin' with a classic tune like this one?  Train wreck.

2.) No Other Baby   (B. Watson - D. Bishop) - 3:21   rating: *** stars

After the horrific 'I'm a Man' remake, virtually anything was going to sound decent and that was the case for this otherwise bland country-tinged rocker.

3.) Mistakes   (R.G. Feldman) - 3:19   rating: *** stars

'Mistakes' featured an easy-going Americana vibe.  Maybe because it sounded like Davis and company were having fun, this one stood out in the crowd.  Always liked the mandolin solo.

4.) It Must Be Love   (B. McDill) - 3:44   rating: **** stars

Perhaps my favorite performance, 'It Must Be Love' had a bouncy, commercially feasible country-rock tune with a catchy, radio-friendly refrain.  probably should have been the choice for a single.

5.) Such a Good Woman (Proud In the Street)   (Roger Cook - J. Cymbal) - 3:14   rating: ** stars

The synthesizer drenched rocker 'Such a Good Woman (Proud In the Street)' suffered from bland '80s production standards.