Sunday, 2 January 2011

“Street Corner Talking/Hellbound Train” by SAVOY BROWN (September 2006 Beat Goes On Reissue - 2LPs Remastered Onto 1CD) - A Review by Mark Barry...

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"…I'm Going Down The Road…You Won't See Me Again…"

UK released September 2006 - "Street Corner Talking/Hellbound Train" by SAVOY BROWN on Beat Goes On BGOCD 717 (Barcode 5017261207173) gives you two rare Decca/Parrot Records LPs Remastered onto one CD - "Street Corner Talking" from 1971 and "Hellbound Train" from 1972. And its hairy-assed bottom-wiggling boogie breaks down as follows (76:38 minutes):

1. Tell Mama
2. Let It Rock
3. I Can’t Get Next To You
4. Time Does Tell
5. Street Corner Talking [Side 2]
6. All I Can Do
7. Wang Dang Doodle
Tracks 1 to 7 are the album "Street Corner Talking" issued on Decca TXS 104 in the UK and on Parrot PAS 71047 in the USA in September 1971

8. Doin’ Fine
9. Lost And Lonely Child
10. I’ll Make Everything Alright
11. Troubled By These Days And Times
12. If I Could See An End [Side 2]
13. It’ll Make You Happy
14. Hellbound Train
Tracks 8 to 14 are the album "Hellbound Train" issued on Decca TXS 107 in the UK and on Parrot XPAS 71052 in the USA in February 1972

The cartoon on the outer gatefold sleeve of "Street Corner Talking" is partially reproduced in the 12-page booklet - as are the band photos on the inner gatefold - and the black and white "Hellbound Train" cartoon on the inner gatefold of the LP is fully reproduced as a 2-page spread on the center pages also. There's very good liner notes by JOHN O'REGAN on the band history and the making of the two albums (they charted in the USA at 75 and 34 respectively on the back of the Blues boom).

The sound quality is great - really clear and ballsy (it doesn't say who did what). But the remaster of “Street Corner Talking” gives full reign to the Lead Guitar of Kim Simmonds on tracks like "Tell Mama" where the band sounds not unlike Juicy Lucy meets Ten Years After meets The Allman Brothers...a combination that will appeal to many who like their boogie with a slice of Blues in it. The covers of The Temptations "I Can't Get Next To You" and Koko Taylor's "Wang Dang Doodle" (written by Willie Dixon) are very well done too - suitably funk-rocked up. Tracks like “Tell Mama”, “Time Does Tell” and “Street Corner Talking” are all Kim Simmonds originals whilst “Let It Rock” and “All I Can Do” are co-written by Simmonds with Paul Raymond.

Produced by the legendary NEIL SLAVEN and Engineered by ROY THOMAS BAKER - 1972’s “Hellbound Train” (despite its title) gets a bit more contemplative and even soulful on tracks like "Lost And Lonely Child" and "Troubled By These Days And Times". I particularly like the organ-driven funk of "It'll Make You Happy" and the nine minutes of "Hellbound Train" (lyrics above) which sounds almost like an American Gypsy or Atlanta Rhythm Section tune - with Dave Bidwell's drumming and Paul Raymond's keyboards slinking through the entire number - it's very good indeed. And once again Simmonds dominates in the writing – “Lost And Lonely Child”, “I’ll Make Everything Alright” and “It’ll Make You Happy” being his own whilst the others are co-writes with Keyboard Player Paul Raymond and Bassist Andy Silvester. Singer Dave walker also has a great set of lungs on him…

The original vinyl versions of these albums in the UK are extremely hard to find now and expensive as well - so this is a welcome CD reissue. 

Never quite as commercially winning as say Ten Years After nor as visible as Wishbone Ash or as hip as Chicken Shack – Savoy Brown have nonetheless always been a cult amongst Blues-Rock fans. And on the strength of this rather cool little CD reissue – you can easily hear why…

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