Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1974-75)

- Brian "Chico" Greenwood -- drums, percussion

- Bruce Thomas -- bass

- Keith West (aka Keith Hopkins) -- vocals, rhythm guitar, 

  acoustic guitar

- John Weider -- vocals, lead guitar





Ace (Chico Greenwood)

- The Animals (John Weider)

- Bitter Sweet (Bruce Thomas)

- Bodast (Bruce Thomas)

- Eric Burdon & the New Animals (John Weider)

- Elvis Costello and the Attractions (Bruce Thomas)

- Family (John Weider)

- Four + One (Keith West)

- Gulliver (John Weider)

- Keith Hopkins (solo efforts)

- The In Crowd (Keith West)

- Jasper (Chico Greenwood)

- Jodo (Chico Greenwood)

- Johnny Kidd & the Pirates (John Weider)

- The Laurie Jay Combo (John Weider)

- Mainhorse (Chico Greenwood)

- Phil May & the Fallen Angels (Chico Greenwood)

- The Tony Meehan Combo (John Weider)

- The Moments (John Weider)

- The Mood-Mosaic (Keith West)

- Quiver (Bruce Thomas)
- Rockestra (Bruce Thomas)

- Ro Ro  John Weider)

- The Small Brothers (Chico Greenwood)

- Stud (John Weider)

- Sutherland Brothers and Quiver (Bruce Thomas)

- Tomorrow (Keith West)

- Trifle (Chico Greenwood)

- Village (Bruce Thomas)

- John Weider (solo efforts)

- Keith West (solo efforts)

- The Wilde Flowers (Bruce Thomas)

- Jimmy Winston and His Reflections (John Weider)

- Mark Wirtz (Keith West)






Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Moonrider

Company: Anchor

Catalog:  ANCL 2010

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): NM/NM

Comments: sealed

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $20.00



If you were ever looking for a example of a "journeymen" 1970s rock band, you need look no further than the short-lived Moonrider.  Formed in 1974, the band featured drummer Brian Greenwood, bassist Bruce Thomas, singer/rhythm guitarist Keith West and lead guitarist John Weider.  Individually their recording catalogs are impressive, including stints with everyone from Family (Weider), Tomorrow (West) to Elvis Costello and the Attractions (Thomas).  By my incomplete count, the four band members have recorded with at least thirty-five different outfits (including some solo sides).  Equally impressive, as of 2023, all four are still alive and active in music.



Moonrider's roots derived from Keith West's 1974 solo album "Wherever My Love Goes" (Kuckkuck catalog number 2375 001) which happened to include support from Weider.  The pair seemingly discovered a shared interest in country-rock and what became known as "pub rock".  Deciding to form a band, they subsequently recruiting Greenwood and Thomas as their rhythm section.  Signed by the small Ace label, the quartet's 1975 debut "Moonrider" was produced by West, who was also responsible for the majority of the ten original compositions and handled all but one of the lead vocals.  Weider handled vocals on 'Good Times'.  I'll readily admit to being a big pub rock band.  I own a lot of music by bands like Ace (who were also signed to Anchor), Bees Make Honey, Ducks Deluxe, The Kursaal Flyers, etc.  As a result this album probably has more appeal to my ears than to many other folks.  Admittedly there's nothing spectacular, or life changing in these grooves.  West has a pleasant, if slightly flat and nasally delivery.  His songs were tuneful and commercial with performances like the closing ballad 'As Long as It Takes', the unexpectedly funky 'Too Early In the Morning' and the rocker 'Golddigger' having plenty of mid-'70s radio potential.  Elsewhere 'Having Someone' and 'Riding for a Fall' were remakes of earlier West solo 45s.   Not meant as a criticism, but the description that repeatedly comes to mind was pleasant.  It's music I could play while making dinner, folding my clothes or walking on the treadmill.  And like those activities, a couple of hours later you'll be hard pressed to remember most of the details.



"Moonrider" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Angel of Mercy (Keith West) - rating: **** stars

Opening up with a scratchy little Weider guitar riff, 'Angel of Mercy' initially sounded like the band might be dipping their toes into dance music.  Instead this turned into a nice slice of pub rock that recalled something Ace might have recorded.  Showcasing West's slightly nasally voice, the tune was very top-40 oriented, sporting three great Weider solos and some nice group harmonies.  This is the track I would have released as a single.

2.) Having Someone (Keith West) - rating: **** stars

With a sweet country-rock melody and some tasty Weider guitar and mandolin solos, 'Having Someone' exhibited even more of a mid-'70s pub rock feel.  Imagine The Flying Burrito Brothers hanging out with Brinsley Schwarz, or Paul Carrack and Ace.  Nothing on the song exhibited a fragment of originality, but the performances were still stellar.  West had previously recorded and released the track as a 1973 solo single.  Anchor released the song as a UK single.





- 1975's 'Having Someone' b/w 'Living on Main Street' (Anchor catalog number ANC 1009)







3.) Our Day's Gonna Come (Keith West - John Weider) - rating: ** stars

The first disppointment, 'Our Day's Gonna Come' was a pretty ballad, but other than a nice Weider guitar solo, a little to MOR-ish for the band's own good.  Kind of a Pablo Cruise yacht rock flavor.

4.) Good Things (John Weider) rating: *** stars

One of two Weider solo compositions, opening up with some pedal steel guitar, I wasn't sure what to make of 'Good Thing'.  Another country-rocker, it wasn't horrid, but again lacked much in the way of originality.  The song's most interest facet was the fact it featured Weider handling lead vocals.  To be honest, his voice wasn't bad.  Not nearly as good as his guitar work, but not an embarrassment.

5.) Livin' On a Main Street (Keith West) - rating: *** stars

An up-tempo boogie tune, hearing 'Livin' On a Main Street' I've always found myself wondering how a bunch of English guys could sound so American?  With Weider's jazzy leads, it wasn't a stretch to imagine The Marshall Tucker Band covering this one.


(side 2)

1.) Too Early In the Morning (Keith West) - rating: **** stars

Having warmed up to the band's country-rock moves, powered by Thomas's rollicking bass line, side two opened up with a surprisingly funky 'Too Early In the Morning'.  Ah, the joys of touring ...

2.) Golddigger (Keith West) - rating: **** stars

Showcasing Weider's melodic lead guitar, the rocker 'Golddigger' was an awesome groupie tribute.  It was also the album's most FM radio friendly performance.    

3.) Danger In the Night (Keith West - John Weider) - rating: **** stars

One of two West-Weider writing collaborations, 'Danger In the Night' was another standout performance with West's vocal and the harmonies baring a remarkable resemblance to the initial America line-up (Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek).

4.) Ridin' for a Fall (Keith West) - rating: *** stars

Another remake of an earlier West solo single, 'Riding for a Fall' was a prime country-rock/pub rocker.  The catchy refrain provided the song's highlight.

5.) As Long as It Takes  (John Weider) - rating: ** stars

The melody was pedestrian and the lyrics weren't going to win any prizes.  In other words, it was the perfect song for folks who thought Air Supply were wonderful.  Judging by his drumming Greenwood didn't seem to think much of the song - I've always wondered if he was simply trying to bury the song.





While the album sold poorly, Anchor released a non-LP follow-on single; the Roger McGuinn and the Byrd-ish jangle rocker:


- 1975's 'I Found Love' b/w 'Too Early In the Morning' (Anchor catalog number ANCL 1023)


The band toured a little bit in support of the album, including opening some dates for John Mayall, but called it quits by the end of the year.









I've never tracked down a copy by in 2022 a West biography was published - Ian Clay's "Thinking About Tomorrow - Excerpts from the Life of Keith West".