Friday, January 20, 2017

Pilot - 1971 - Pilot


01. Stop And Think 3:24
02. Miss Sandy 3:43
03. Rendezvous 3:49
04. Fillmore Shuffle 7:50
05. Love Is That Way 4:02
06. Penny Alone 4:05
07. With Me Tonight 4:02
08. Rider

Bruce Stephens (vocals, keyboards, guitar)
Leigh Stephens (electric guitar)
Martin Quittenton (acoustic guitar)
Neville Whitehead (bass)
Mick Waller (drums)

Pedal Steel Guitar, Resonator Guitar [Dobro] – Gordon Huntley
Percussion – Ray Cooper
Saxophone – Chris Hughes
Synthesizer [Arp] – David Hentschel
Vocals [Background] – Casey Synge, Dari Lalou, Jacki Hardin, Karen Friedman

Formed in 1971. While Micky Waller was on a trip to California, he met and played with Bruce Stephens, who had just completed playing with Blue Cheer, as Lead Guitarist/Vocalist. Micky, returned to England and met with Martin Quittenton. They formed the Band, Pilot with Bruce Stephens, Leigh Stephens and Neville Whitehead.

They stayed together until 1973. During that time they completed two albums and one single

Pilot was an Anglo-American hard rock "supergroup" formed by Leigh Stephens (ex-Blue Cheer) and Mick Waller (ex-John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and Jeff Beck Group) who had already played together on Stephens' solo album and in Silver Metre.

The line-up also included Bruce Stephens (of no relation to Leigh but did replace him in Blue Cheer for a while, ex-Blue Cheer and Mint Tattoo) plus Martin Quittenton from Steamhammer.
I was always interested in some of the Blue Cheer offshoots -Randy Holden, Mint Tattoo, Leigh Stephens, Kak, Silver Metre - but never inclined enough to pay the high prices their albums command. So I had high hopes noticing Pilot's lineup  including Leigh Stephens (original guitarist), Bruce Stephens (Blue Cheer Mark II guitarist), Jeff Beck drummer Mick Waller & Rod Stewart guitarist Mark Quittenton. Sounded like a combustible crew to reckon with.
Forget it! The only possible Blue Cheer similarity - at least to my ears -is Bruce Stephens vocals which sounds close to Cheer's de facto leader bassist Dickie Peterson. Unfortunately Peterson wasn't that great a vocalist either. Basically this is a Bruce Stephens solo effort with accompaniment. This is a 1971 release  with a probable attempt in cashing in commercially using below average material. Some brassy songs with Gospel sounding female backup, tepid bland ballads ("Fillmore Shuffle" which isn't even a shuffle but a slow ballad with lotsa wailing sax soloing), nothing that rocks out. There are barely any guitar solos.  the  exception the last cut "Rider" which starts out sounding Gospel & unexpectedly becoming a decent mid tempo song including a stray slide guitar solo.

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