Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Source: Japan SHM-CD Remaster
An excellent recording of a superb 1975 stadium show in Sweden, Robin Trower's Live album is a perfect snapshot of the guitar hero in his prime. The record also gives ample evidence of why the Robin Trower Band was one of the most successful live guitar rock acts of the '70s, highlighting not only Trower's virtuoso Stratocaster licks, but the soulful vocals of bassist James Dewar and the polyrhythmic drumming of Bill Lordan.
The song selection here is top-notch, the most obvious treat being the perennial Trower classic "Too Rolling Stoned," to which Lordon (who replaced Reg Isadore, drummer on the studio version of the song) contributes a somewhat funkier flavor. The same treatment is given to a blistering take on "Little Bit of Sympathy," which contains moments that recall the legendarily telepathic interplay between Jimi Hendrix and Mitch Mitchell.
It's a mystery why James Dewar isn't generally recognized as one of the finest blue-eyed soul singers of the '70s, as he is easily as talented and convincing as Paul Rogers or Joe Cocker. Here, he's in excellent form and his vocals on the slow-burning "I Can't Wait Much Longer" are spine-tingling. Although none of the performances stray too far from the songs' studio versions, that fact is part of what makes this album interesting. Live shows the Robin Trower Band to be a quintessential no-frills blues-rock band, capable of kicking serious ass no matter what the setting.
Robin Trower Live is a live album by Robin Trower. Recorded at the Stockholm Concert Hall in Sweden on 3 February 1975 for the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation, it was released on vinyl in 1976, and re-released on CD in 1990, 2000, and 2004. The album entered the US Album Top 10, and reached #23 on the US Chrysalis Album Top 40. In an interview with Guitar Player in May 2006, Trower explained that the band was not aware the show was being taped, thinking they were playing for a radio broadcast only. Hence, he says, "We were loose and uninhibited, and we played one of our best shows."
Throughout his long and winding solo career, guitarist Robin Trower has had to endure countless comparisons to Jimi Hendrix, due to his uncanny ability to channel Hendrix's bluesy/psychedelic, Fender Strat-fueled playing style. Born on March 9, 1945, in Catford, England, Trower spent the early '60s playing guitar in various London based outfits; the most successful one being the R&B group the Paramounts, who specialized mostly in covers, but managed to issue several singles between 1963 and 1965. It wasn't until 1967 that Trower received his big break however, when he joined Procol Harum. The group had just scored a worldwide smash hit with "A Whiter Shade of Pale," but the only problem was that the band's leader, singer/pianist Gary Brooker, didn't have a proper band to back him. Brooker was previously a bandmate of Trower's in the Paramounts, and offered the guitar slot in his new fast-rising project to his old friend. As a result, Trower appeared on such Procol Harum classics as 1967's Procol Harum, 1968's Shine on Brightly, 1969's A Salty Dog, 1970's Home (which spawned the popular Trower tune "Whiskey Train"), and 1971's Broken Barricades.
Although Bridge of Sighs was to be his most popular solo release, Trower's stock continued to rise throughout the mid-'70s, as he became an arena headliner on the strength of such hit albums as 1975's For Earth Below, 1976's Robin Trower Live!, and Long Misty Days, plus 1977's In City Dreams. Further releases followed, yet by the dawn of the '80s, it became quite obvious that Trower's star was rapidly fading, as each album sold less than its predecessor. A brief union with ex-Cream bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce spawned a pair of releases, 1981's B.L.T. and 1982's Truce, before Trower returned back to his solo career.
The '80s saw Trower try and expand his audience with several releases that attempted to update his blues-rock style (such as 1987's slick produced Passion), but none returned the guitarist back to the top of the charts. During the early '90s, Trower returned back to Procol Harum for a brief reunion (1991's Prodigal Stranger), before backing ex-Roxy Music singer Bryan Ferry on a few releases (1993's Taxi and 1994's Mamouna, the latter of which Trower earned a co-producer credit for). Trower continued to issue solo albums in the 21st century (2000's Go My Way), while a steady stream of live sets and compilations appeared. Trower returned to work with Ferry once more on 2002's Frantic, again earning a production credit. Reassembling most of his late-'80s band, Trower released Living Out of Time in 2004 and returned with Another Days Blues in late 2005. What Lies Beneath appeared in 2009 from V-12 Records.
* Robin Trower – guitar
* James Dewar – bass, vocals
* Bill Lordan – drums
01. "Too Rolling Stoned" 06:50
02. "Daydream" 08:02
03. "Rock Me Baby" 06:01
04. "Lady Love" 03:15
05. "I Can't Wait Much Longer" 07:07
06. "Alethea" 04:11
07. "Little Bit of Sympathy" 05:55