Robin Trower


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1973-75)

- James Dewar -- vocals, bass (RIP 2002)
- Reg Isadore -- drums, percussion (RIP 2009)
- Robin Trower -- lead guitar, vocals 

 

  line up 2 (1975-77)

- James Dewar -- vocals, bass (RIP 2002)
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 (replaced Rusty Allen)

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

 

  line up 5 (1986)

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

NEW - Davey Pattison -- vocals 

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

 

 

  line up x (2022)

- Chris Taggart -- drums, percussion
- Robin Trower -- lead guitar, bass, vocals 

- Richard Watts -- vocals

 

  supporting musicians (2022)

- Livingstone Brown -- bass

- Paddy Milner -- organ

 

 


 

 

- BLT 
- Gamma (Davey Pattison)
- Gypsy (Bruce Lordan)
- Hummingbird (Reg Isadore)

- Lulu and the Luwers (James Dewar)
- Procol Harum (Robin Trower)
- Sly and the Family Stone (Bill Lordan and Rusty Allen)

- The Stoic (James Dewar)
- 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: $10.00

 

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: $10.00

 

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, vocalist/bass player James Dewar and drummer Bill Lordan proved surprisingly adept at recreating their studio sound. Besides, how may artists record live albums in Sweden? One of my 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:  Caravan To Midnight

Company: Chrysalis

Catalog: CHR-1189

Year: 1978

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring, corner and edge wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $15.00

 

Six years and seven albums into his solo career, most folks should know what to expect when buying a Robin Trower album.  Accordingly 1978's "Caravan To Midnight" should not have been a major surprise to listeners. It certainly wasn't a surprise to my ears.  Produced y Don Davis, iIn terms of personnel the collection saw Jimmy Dewar drop his bass duties in order to focus on vocals.  Former Sly and the Family Stone member Rustee Allen took over bass chores.  And while it didn't draftsically alter Trower's patented sound, it was the album where I recall thinking the formula was beginning to turn a little stale.  That's not to say the album was crap.  It may have been overtly commercial, but 'My Love (Burning Love)' was a great Bad Company-styled blues-rocker that should have charted when released as a single.  It was unexpected and different, but the funky 'I'm Out To Get You' found Trower and company mining Boz Scaggs silk suit territory. The title track instrumental was slightly trippy with a strong melody.   Elsewhere the set wasn't bad, but tracks like 'Fool' and the single 'It's for You' failed to hit the same levels as earlier studio offerings.  Okay - I'll admit 'Birthday Boy' was crap.  My favorite Trower album?  No, but it's better than most reviews would have you believe.

"Caravan To Midnight" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) My Love (Burning Love)   (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 3:17   rating: **** stars

'My Love (Burning Love)' introduced some awesome wah-wah effects and a hook that was hard to shake out of your head.  Still, the Trower sound remained instantly recognizable - particularly James Dewar's amazing voice.  One of Trower's most commercial and accessible rockers, the tune's always reminded me of a strong Bad Company performance.  Released as an American single the tune should have been a massive hit, but vanished amidst a sea of indifference.

 

 

 

 

 

- 1978's 'My Love' b/w 'Sail On' (Chrysalis catalog number CHS 2238)

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.) Caravan To Midnight (instrumental)   (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 5:01   rating: *** stars

Complete with helicopter rotor sounds (or maybe it was suppose to be a UFO), the first minute or so sounded like you'd stumbled into a Tangerine Dream album.  Trower's guitar abruptly kicked in and the song brriefly reminded me of hippy-era Steve Miller.  From there on 'Caravan To Midnight' was a pretty, relaxing, slightly lysergic-tinged instrumental.  One of those tunes where you remember what a melodic player Trower can be.

3.) I'm Out To Get You   (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 5:24    rating: **** stars

I remember hearing 'I'm' Out To Get You' and thinking Trower had lost his mind.  It opened up sounded like something from Jade Warrior  before shifting into a slinky, adult contemporary soul melody that reminded me of something Boz Scaggs might have recorded when he decided to leave the blues and focus on Gucci suited success.  Admittedly Dewars' vocals were impressive and ultimately Trower kicked in a blazing solo that saved the performance.  Hard to image I'm saving this about a Trower performance, but the tune really was funky ...  Extra star for being so atypical.

4.) Lost In Love   (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 4:27    rating: *** stars

The Jimi Hendrix comparisons quickly get old, but the sultry ballad 'Lost In Love' is a performance where I can hear the comparison.  Pretty, but I always though Dewar sounded uncomfortable singing in this higher register.

5.) Fool   (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 3:45     rating: *** stars

Not to be confused with the earlier 'The Fool and Me', the mid-tempo rocker 'Fool' sounded like it was written with a hope of commercial potential.  Nice opening guitar, catchy chorus, but otherwise it wasn't particularly memorable.


(side 2)

1.) It's For You   (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 4:38     rating: *** stars

Slowing it down, 'It's For You' injected a bluesy flavor into the mix.   A pleasant and relaxing ballad it was a nice change of pace to hear Trower and company stepping back their patented rock edge.  The track was released as a single in the States and the UK:

   US pressing:

- 1978's 'It's For You' b/w 'Birthday Boy' (Chrysalis catalog number CHS-2272)

   UK pressing (red vinyl):

- 1978's 'It's For You' and 'My Love (Burning Love)' b/w 'In City Dreams' (Chrysalis catalog number CHS-2247)

2.) Birthday Boy   (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 3:51   rating: ** stars

Returning to his fragile upper register, Dewar again sounded uncomfortable on the ballad 'Birthday Boy.'   The song actually seemed to be about a young child's birthay.

3.) King Of The Dance   (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 3:10   rating: *** stars

Well the song title gave me pause.  The lyric also made me wonder - dancing your way out of poverty !!!  Not sure this one would have fit into their live set, but Dewar managed to make it listenable.  Okay, the refrain was actually enjoyable.

4.) Sail On  (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 4:02    rating: *** stars

The closing ballad was an example where Dewar seemed comfortable singing in a higher range.  It was also an example where the band stepped back from their typical frenetic performance and just kind of drifted along with one of their prettier melodies. Perhaps a touch dull?  True.

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 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: $15.00

 

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 Robin Trower and bassist/lead singer James Dewar again 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, Hendrix-flavored rockers such as the opener 'Same Rain Falls' and 'S.M.O.'   Interestingly the first couple of times I played it, I can remember thinking there were places where Trower's patented formula began to sound a bit stale.  The sound remained instantly recognizable and I still enjoyed it, but I had the feeling I'd heard some of these moves before. Still, anything with the late James Dewar on lead vocals was worth hearing and that was seldom as true as on the roaring 'Caledonia', 'S.M.O.' and the funky (yes, I said funky), 'Pride' and 'Messin' the Blues.'  Three classics on one album !  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.

 

Postscript - Playing the album for the first time in five years, I have to admit I was overly critical when I wrote my initial comments.  There's even more to like on this one with James Dewar seldom sounding as good.

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

1.) Same Rain Falls   (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 3:14  rating: *** stars

Lots of artists find a niche and burrow in - certainly the case for Trower and company.  Powered by Dewar's awesome voice, 'Same Rain Falls' sounded like a lot of his earlier work.  Two shakes of Hendrix; a touch of blue-eyed soul ...  Not a bad recipe, but not something you want to have every day.
2.) Long Misty Days   (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 5:43  
rating: **** stars

Powered by one of Dewar's most impressive performances, the pretty, fuzz drenched title track reminds me of one of those cold, foggy days that are simultaneously fascinating and depressing.  I can actually remember running cross country in a Belgian woods outside of Brussels listening to this on a Sony cassette player.
3.) Hold Me   (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 3:36  
rating: **** stars

Always loved the title chorus - Dewar and company injecting a touch of pseudo-Gospel into their delivery.  Elsewhere Trower turned in one of his prettiest solos.
4,) Caledonia   (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 3:40  
rating: **** stars

The driving 'Caledonia' easily makes it into my Trower top-10 list.  Powered by another wonderful Dewar vocal, this one sounded like a V8 motor going into overdrive and then Trower's solo set off the afterburners ...  The only criticism was the song was simply too short.  Awesome choice as a single:

- 1976's 'Caledonia' b/w 'Messin' with the Blues' (Chrysalis catalog number CHS 2122)  
5.) Pride   (Robin Trower - James Dewar) - 3:07  
rating: **** stars

As mentioned, 'Pride' found Trower and company injecting a funky edge into their sound.  Yeah, it sounds strange, but Dewar had the perfect voice to pull it off.

(side 2)

1.) Sailing   (Gavin Sutherland) - 3:44   rating: **** stars

I'd actually head the Sutherland Brothers' original well before the Trower's cover, or Rod Stewart's sickening hit version.  While I love the original, Dewar's voice made the cover special.  Yes, I detest the Stewart version.
2.) S.M.O.   (Robin Trower - James Dewar - Bill Lordan) - 3:41
   rating: **** stars

There are some songs that just need to be cranked up to 11 ...  'S.M.O.' is one of them.  Classic Trower guitar riff and the man starts to go ballistic at the end of the tune which shamefully fades out way too early.  
3.) I Can't Live without You   (Robin Trower - James Dewar - Frankie Miller) - 4:22
   rating: **** stars

As a lifetime Frankie Miller fan, it was interesting to see he co-wrote the song with Trower and Dewar.  The result is one of the prettiest blues-ballads in the Trower catalog.  Slinky and perfect for a quiet evening with the wife, or a special person.
4.) Messin' the Blues   (Robin Trower - James Dewar - Bill Lordan) - 3:53
   rating: **** stars

Another track that begged for an extended studio version.  How did a Scotsman sound so funky?

 

 

 


 


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.

 

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

 

"Passion" track listing:
(side 1)

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

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.

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

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   

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

Nice power ballad that showcased Trower's guitar while recalling some of his earlier work. 

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

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

 

(side 2)

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

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.  

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

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 

3.) Night (instrumental)   (Robin Trower) - 3:57   rating: *** stars

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

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

Back to a more up tempo-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.     

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

Could've been a single; not to say it was any good. 

 

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  No More Worlds To Conquer

Company: Provogue

Catalog: PRO 76241

Year: 2022

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): NM/NM

Comments: sealed copy

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $50.00

 

Since leaving Procol Harum and going solo in 1971, guitarist Robin Trower has released close to forty albums.  Now in his late 70s, Trower's still actively performing - though COVID took him off the road in recent years.  In spite of occasional brushes with success, he's not exactly a mainstream act.  It still makes for a remarkable career and life.   And as the album title hints at, if you were expecting to hear something completely different - well "No More Worlds To Conquer" might not be an album you want to invest in.

 

Working separately with producers Livingstone Brown and Sam Winfield, the album findsTrower continuing his partnership with former Action Patrol drummer Chris Taggart, with ex-Retreat member Richard Watts stepping in to handle vocals.  The album actually had a rather lengthy and tortuous birth.  Trower had actually completed an album when COVID struck.  That collection was shelved and unable to tour, Trower had plenty time on his hands and continued to write new material.  Listening to the completed material he decided to replace five of the songs with four new efforts and to rerecord several other tracks. The final results find Trower seemingly taking stock of his life and the world around him.  Lyrically it's quite diverse with atypical 'Deadly Kiss' exhibiting what appears to be an anti-drug stance, while 'Cloud Across the Sun' and 'The Razor's Edge' offer up swipes at the political system and politicians in general. That's not to imply the album reflected any sort of newfound activist stance.  Tracks like the opener 'Ball of Fire', 'Waiting for the Rain To Fall' and the funky 'Losing You' made it clear Trower's focus remained on the blues and hard rock. 

 

The first couple of times I listened to the album I liked most of the songs, but I'll admit I found myself comparing it to earlier glories and in particular Watts' performances to those of the late James Dewar.  And then it struck me such comparison weren't particularly fair to anyone.  The fact of the matter is Watts was quite good.  In fact, on the title track, 'The Razor's Edge' and 'Wither On the Vine', his performances even reminded me a little of Dewar.  High praise.  Admittedly you are not going to discover anything "modern" here.  No collaborations with this month's remix "king."  No nod to rap, or reggaeton.  No auto-tune vocals.  No collaboration with a South Korean Boy Band ...   And while that might leave some folks on the sidelines, I found it to be a refreshing change of pace.  No offense to any of those earlier musical niches, but it just did my heart and ears good to hear a stripped down album were you were hearing someone who had mastered his musical niche.  And while it may not be the best album Trower's ever recorded, it's consistently enjoyable with at least a handful of songs that seem likely to stand up to repeated spins.  All told a nice addition to Trower's extensive recording catalog and one of the year's biggest surprises for me.

 

Can anyone explain the cover art?  Trower was credited with the artwork and even though I've stared at it for quite some time, I'm at a loss with respect to what I'm looking at.  Is there a connection to the album title?

 

"No More Worlds To Conquer" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Ball of Fire   (Robin Trower) - 3:51   rating: **** stars

For better or worse, it's hard for me to listen to a Trower song and not immediately compare it to his James Dewar-era catalog.  The good news, is the opener 'Ball of Fire' was as tuneful as anything from that earlier timeframe.  Trower's fuzz-powered, chunky guitar chords remained instantly recognizable; his delivery tasteful and economical.  And while vocalist Richard Watts will never replace Dewar in my affections, I have to admit that  he was damn good.  One of those tracks that you have to crank up for maximum enjoyment.  It sounds great in my 2002 Jeep Cherokee.  Shame FM radio ignored this one.  Trower released a video in support of the track: Robin Trower - Ball of Fire [Official] - YouTube

2.) No More Worlds To Conquer   (Robin Trower) - 3:54    rating: **** stars

Inspired by his readings on Alexander the Great, the title track makes it easy to see why Trower deserves the label "Strat God" ...  Perhaps just wishful thinking on my part, but on this one Watt's performance actually reminded me of James Dewar.  

3.) Deadly Kiss   (Robin Trower) - 6:14   rating: *** stars

Built on a nifty little guitar riff and what sounded like an anti-drug message, 'Deadly Kiss' was intriguing.  Admittedly Watts' sounded a little uncomfortable signing in the higher ranges.  Still, the Marvin Gaye-esque soul vibe was kind of cool.

4.) Birdsong   (Robin Trower) - 4:11   rating: *** stars

'Birdsong' found Trower and company trotting out their patented bluesy-ballad sound.  Admittedly it reminded me of more than a couple of earlier Trower compositions ('Long Misty Days' readily came to mind), but it was also a nice opportunity to hear the man's amazing guitar tones.   

5.) Losing You   (Robin Trower) - 2:51    rating: **** stars

"Funky" might be a stretch, but 'Losing You' was definitely one of those tracks where it was hard not to tap your toes.  How in the world does Trower get that warm sustained sound?

6.) Waiting for the Rain To Fall   (Robin Trower) - 3:46    rating: **** stars

Perhaps the album's most melodic offering, the ballad 'Waiting for the Rain To Fall' offered up a great example of Trower's tasteful and economical plying style.  Not a single extra note ...  this was the perfect late evening "relax" track.  In an interview I read, Trower indicated the song had been influenced by Tamla-Motown and yes, I can kin do hear it.

 

(side 2)

1.) Wither On the Vine   (Robin Trower) - 4:11  rating: *** stars

If the album had a throwback to classic '70s Trower, the ballad 'Wither On the Vine' would be the performance.  Awesome, measured Trower solo.

2.) Cloud Across the Sun   (Robin Trower) - 3:14  rating: *** stars

Seemingly a not-too-subtle swipe at politicians, 'Cloud Across the Sun' was another track that came close to capturing Trower's famed 'Bridge of Sighs' sound.  Perhaps not the album's most original composition, but it certainly rocked out.

3.) Fire To Ashes   (Robin Trower) - 3:44  rating: *** stars

I've always liked Trower's blues-oriented tunes and 'Fire To Ashes' was a nice addition to the catalog.  Paddy Milner's organ added a nice edge to the song.  It was also one of Watts' stand-out performances.

4.) The Razor's Edge   (Robin Trower) - 3:02    rating: **** stars

My pick for the album's standout performance, lyrically 'The Razor's Edge' offered up some blistering political commentary (vote the lying bastards out !!!), which was only matched by Trower's patented Strat-through-a-Marshall-amp sound.  Another one that you have to listen to with your speakers cranked up to eleven.. 

5.) I Will Always Be Your Shelter   (Robin Trower) - 4:17    rating: **** stars

'I Will Always Be Your Shelter' closed the album with a beautiful ballad. Lyrically it wasn't any great shakes, but the song  sported some of the album's sweetest solos.  

 

 

 

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