Savoy Brown - Looking In & Lion's Share (CD)
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2 original recordings on 1 CD:
- Looking in (1970)
- Lion's Share ( 1973)
Re-issue Dorsey Records 2004
Kim Simmonds: guitar, piano
Lonesome Dave: vocals, guitar
Roger Earl: drums
Tone Stevens: bass
Released in 1972, on the heels of Street Corner Talkin' (containing the classic, Tell Mama, probably the band's best known song) and Hellbound Train, Lion's Share is by far my favorite Savoy Brown album. The line-up for this album was essentially the same as the two previous releases and included Dave Walker on vocals, Paul Raymonde on keyboards and rhythm guitar, Dave Bidwell on drums, the ubiquitous Andy Pyle on bass, and Simmonds on lead guitar and harmonica.
Lion's Share is quite possibly the most exuberant and vibrant of all the Savoy Brown albums. This version of the band had an undeniable chemistry and a knack for creating great, rockin' party music. The opening cut, Shot in the Head, is the highlight of the album; a straight-ahead rocker featuring some beautiful, stinging slide work by Simmonds. Although rarely mentioned in the lists of great rock guitarists, Simmonds is not only a first rate slide player, but has a fluid, melodic lead style that's instantly recognizable. I have to think that he would get a lot more credit for his chops if Savoy Brown had produced a couple of big hits. The man can flat out play!
Other standout tracks include the driving, Second Try, the slow, bluesy The Saddest Feeling, I Can't Find You, a rolling, rollicking tune driven by Paul Raymonde's tasty barrelhouse piano, and a raucous cover of Howlin' Wolf's Howlin' for My Darlin'.
Throughout the album, Dave Walker's clear, powerful voice stands out, alternating between joyous boisterousness and heart-rending despair. No mellow crooning here, Walker wears his emotions on his sleeve and holds nothing back (for another fine example of his singing, check out his all-out rendition of (I'm a) Road Runner on Fleetwood Mac's Penguin album).
Bottom line, if you like your rock bouncy and bluesy, Lion's Share is a must for your collection.