Robin Trower – Victims of the Fury (1980)

Trower_VictimsFury4 out of 5 Stars!

When it comes to Robin Trower’s many releases, in my opinion, there’s never been a better album than Bridge of Sighs. But many of Trower’s numerous releases come a very close second, therefore, if interrogated by another Trower fan, it’s always difficult for me to select another specific favorite since the answer usually changes from day to day, depending on which album I yearn to hear.

Recently, that album has been 1980’s Victims of the Fury, Trower’s seventh studio release, which also features long-standing collaborator, the exceptional singer/bassist James Dewar (RIP), and rock-steady drummer Bill Lordan, and of course, Trower’s outstanding guitar solos and riffs.

Again, the material on offer here is similar to the sound/style of the Bridge of Sighs masterpiece, with bluesy, often funky, and mesmerizing tracks such as “Mad House,” “Roads to Freedom,” “The Shout,” “Jack and Jill,” “Only Time,” and the title tune. In fact, all of the tracks as a whole seemed a step up from the more lackluster fare found on the previous release, Caravan to Midnight, which wasn’t a horrible album by any means, just somewhat mellower and less impactful.

So in my opinion, even though Victims of the Fury doesn’t quite hit that lofty “5-Star” benchmark set by Bridge of Sighs, it sure comes damned close.

Get The Album Now!

Robin Trower – Bridge of Sighs (1974)

Trower_BridgeSighs5 out of 5 Stars!

It’s a rare occurrence for an album to appear on the music scene that truly possesses a unique sound/style (despite some obvious influences). Certainly Robin Trower’s debut solo album from the previous year (Twice Removed From Yesterday) contained his own particular Hendrix-inspired sound/style, but it was 1974’s Bridge of Sighs album that—with its seemingly perfect collection of tracks, its songwriting adroitness, and its overall stellar musical performances and production qualities—not only solidified the group’s sound/style, but also popularized it to the Nth degree.

The album bursts forth with “Day of the Eagle,” a classic track in its own right, loaded with Trower’s “signature guitar sound,” a rollicking rhythm in its first section, then a bluesy laid-back second half, along with a note-perfect performance from James Dewar on vocals, just the sort of track that begs to be played at top volume…and often.

Next comes the hypnotic title track, which has the power to completely mesmerize the listener, making one feel as if they’re floating on a misty river where the water had been replaced by guitar-riff magic. Simply outstanding! The song’s final “chill wind” sound effects lead perfectly into the next track, the stripped-down and mellow “In This Place,” which features perhaps the album’s most beautiful and interesting vocal melody, as well as excellently placed drum fills by Reg Isidore and sparse bass notes by James Dewar, and stunning examples of Trower’s bluesy lead guitar insertions throughout.

The funky “The Fool and Me” and the slamming “Too Rolling Stoned” (both classic gems) are further examples of just what this talented trio of musicians could do with some catchy, upbeat material. Both tracks showcase Robin’s wicked guitar riffs, as the rhythm section energetically pumps away in the background, while Dewar delivers commendable vocal performances in his unique, highly recognizable manner.

As for the remaining tracks, “About To Begin” is another dreamy ballad, while “Lady Love” is a straight-forward and catchy rocker (with cowbell included) and the blues-heavy “Little Bit of Sympathy” offers more guitar brilliance, with Trower delivering that tremendously successful “signature” sound, never sounding so perfectly dissonant and (at times) so wonderfully evil.

Therefore, with not one filler track, this album is nothing short of a 5-Star masterpiece, an album that will forever be embedded in my memory as a true classic—a stunning nostalgic moment based on my initial hearing of the album—which also had major universal consequences (ie. it musically influenced scores of other bands in its wake). So Bridge of Sighs remains, to this day, a truly special and moving experience every single time I hear it, and each repeated listening is one I actually cherish, especially since it (somehow) magically whisks me back to the year 1974 and the feelings of youth. Absolutely brilliant!

Get The Album Now!