Boy, am I glad that I checked out this two-disc, CD set of more
treasures from the BBC vaults! Contained within “Robin Trower:
At the BBC 1973-1975,” are all of the recordings Trower made
for the BBC during those years. These songs were released
in his first three albums as a solo artist, including “Twice
Removed From Yesterday,” “Bridge of Sighs,” and “For Earth
With James Dewar on bass and vocals, and Reg Isidore
(1973-1974) or Bill Lordan (1975) on drums, he had a formidable
trio during this most successful period. Trower himself said that
the sound from these studio sessions could be “…rather dead…but
they came out okay.” ‘Ya think? It is true that these sessions did
leave something to be desired in terms of the audio quality, and
the bass could be a bit “thumpy,” but what playing!
Some of the songs were premiered during these sessions, predating
their release on the actual albums. Disc One contains March 26,
1973 and March 5, 1974 sessions with John Peel, along with two
Bob Harris sessions from September 26, 1973 and February 20, 1974.
Disc Two begins with a session from January 28, 1975, and the
audio quality is better than the 1973 and 1974 sessions on Disc One.
Like the sessions on Disc One, Disc Two also features four songs.
There is a total of five sessions on this two-disc set, including
Trower’s well-known hits, such as “Bridge of Sighs,” and “Too
Rolling Stoned.” There are also two different takes of “Alethea”
As a real treat, tracks five through 14 on Disc Two is a “live,”
recorded concert, given at the Paris Theatre in London on
January 29, 1975.
There’s something about this band and their way of making
music that just turns me on and moves me, like few other bands
can. Of course, there’s Trower’s powerful and soulful
guitar playing, and he DOES acknowledge the influence
of Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) in his music. There is also the
wonderful voice of James Dewar which reminds me of Paul
Rodgers. But I believe that what makes this band really
“click” is the strong, deep, “in the pocket” rhythm. Without it,
Trower’s awesome playing wouldn’t be nearly as effective.
For me, this type of music is an example of 1970’s Rock,
at it’s best. It’s been so long since I’ve heard it played like
that, and I was literally crying thankful tears of joy, while
listening to these discs. Putting the technical deficiencies aside,
it doesn’t get any better than this for me. This set is a generous
two hours and 13 minutes long, too! Need I say more?