Saturday, February 18, 2017

Savoy Brown - 1973 - Jack The Toad

Savoy Brown 
Jack The Toad

01. Coming Down Your Way 4:51
02. Ride On Babe 4:21
03. Hold Your Fire 4:16
04. If I Want To 3:56
05. Endless Sleep 5:30
06. Casting My Spell 4:09
07. Just Cos' You Got The Blues Don't Mean You Gotta Sing 5:45
08. Some People 6:03
09. Jack The Toad 6:40

Bass – Andy Pyle
Drums – Dave Bidwell (tracks: A1, A2, A5, B2, B4), Ron Berg (tracks: A3, A4, B1, B3)
Guitar – Paul Raymond (2) (tracks: A2)
Keyboards, Mellotron – Paul Raymond (2)
Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Harp – Kim Simmonds
Percussion – Barry Murray, Frank Ricotti, Ron Berg
Soprano Saxophone – Stan Saltzman
Vocals – Jackie Lynton, Kim Simmonds (tracks: A2)

Wow, how do you give this classic album a bad review? Yes, the amazing Dave Walker had just left the band after Lion's Share, and Kim hit the road with yet another line up. But oh my, the classics. With Jack(ie) Lynton leading vocals, Paul Raymond on drums, Dave Bidwell on drums and Andy Pyle holding down the basslines, Savoy turned out a haunting concept album of sorts.

"Coming Down Your Way" starts off the album with a good Jackie Lynton. Kim takes the vocal lead on "Ride On Babe" and you feel like you're on the mechanical horse on the album cover. The next song is the real blues gem, "Hold Your Fire". It's one of my favorite Savoy Brown songs of all time.

Paul Raymond borrowed a mellotron from the Moody Blues. The boys covered "Endless Sleep" from Jody Reynolds and made it their own... Lynton's raspy British vocals were perfect. The second half of the short release (46 minutes) has more laidback blues & smooth vocals from Kim Simmonds, including "Just Cos' You Got the Blues Don't Mean You Gotta Sing", a nearly 6 minute jam worth the price of the album alone.

And of course, there's the title song, "Jack the Toad" that they should have combined with the Red Rider's "Panama Red" (and the Beatle's Rocky Raccoon) and made into a movie. It's as magical as David Anstey's gatefold album cover, which folds down to give a full length cosmic cowboy with futurist guns and a mechanical horse in the background. I had a local artist make me a poster of this, and had Kim sign it after a concert in Colorado Springs. Kim invited me backstage to meet the band, and I have the utmost respect for the guy.

The tour premiered in the US before selling out most of Europe (with ZZ Top and Status Quo along the way). Not long afterwards, Dave Bidwell lost his battle with the bottle, and Kim got bored and disbanded the band. Another era lost. Another one started.

Jack the Toad is an essential piece of the Kim Simmond's catalog. If you're lucky enough to be a fan of his music, go on ebay and find a copy of the original 1973 LP, on London's Parrot label. You'll love it!

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