The following reviews were published in cashbox Magazine October 23, 1971. I have kept the reviews as they were originally published.
Melanie has a brand new label to go with her “Brand New Key.” The tale of the intrepid roller skater, which also happens to be the artist’s new chart single is only one part of the lovingly designed quilt of songs which is this album. Like the last Rod Stewart album, this album has its little one minute type surprises, “Tell Me Why” and “Ring Around The Moon,” which pop up unexpectedly and the tunes which Melanie has wrapped around them. Particularly the assertive “Steppin,’” the wistful “Little Bit Of Me,” and the spirited “Ring The Living Bell” are among her very best works. Many will want to gather this album.
Pink Floyd is the type of music that sort of creeps up on you, starting softly, slowly innocently, until all at once you’re enmeshed in the most sensuous kind of rock music. It’s basically instrumental and rightly so, as all four members are master musicians. When vocals are used, as on ”A Pillow Of Winds,” they become striking counterpoint to the music. Standouts: “One of These Days,” and all 23 ½ minutes of “Echoes,” both of which allow plenty of space for David Gilmour’s superb guitar and Rick Wright’s electronic organ. A real treat.
T. Rex, alias Marc Bolan and Micky Finn, have really done something here. They’ve always been one of those groups that knowledgeable critics cited when running a list of the bands that would be incredible if only….. All doubts are dispelled with the release of this packet of terrifyingly beautiful rock and roll. Listen to “Jeepster,” “Cosmic Dancer,” and the raucous and reeling “Rip-Off” and if you aren’t on your feet and dancing, see a doctor. The boys haven’t forgotten to include “Get It On,” (known on this side of the Atlantic as “Bang A Gong.”) Don’t be surprised if this album turns into a monster.
‘Frisco Mabel Joy
Mention either of his two previous albums to the right people, and you’ve made a friend for life. His Electra debut is bound to turn a cult into a mass movement. Perhaps the most deftly-arranged soft-rock album released this year, everyone who’s everyone in Music City join in as the Nashphilharmonic . They back one of the finest voices around, one that also happens to be connected to one of the best composing minds anywhere. Here is country-folk’s answer to Rod Stewart, and if that sounds like a bit much to swallow, listen to “How can I Love Them Old Songs” to see what we mean.
Rough And Ready
Jeff Beck Group
Following the career of Jeff Beck is a little like crossing against the light at Columbus Circ’e. He seems to be heading somewhere but there is so much cross traffic he has to keep detouring for that its hard to say for sure. Rough And Ready has to be considered a step off the traffic island on which Beck has been reposing for the past couple of years. Unfortunately, it a rather small and fairly safe step since the guitarist relies mainly on flash, often at the expense of substance. Still, its good to have Beck back on the scene and Bob Tench shows himself to be a vocalist of strength and imagination.
Honesty and feeling aren’t often married to musical worth but when they are, as in the albums of Van Morrison, these is little a reviewer can do except point to the record and say, “Yeah, that’s it!” The record is called “Tupelo Honey” and after you have listened to cuts like “Straight To Your Heart (Like A Cannonball),” “I Wanna Roo You,” and “Tupelo Honey,” you’re gonna wonder how you managed to get over without them. “Wild Night” and five others round out this joyful album. “Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison. Yeah, that’s it!
Quincy Jones is one of those artists who successfully bridges whatever gaps may still exist among rock, jazz, rhythm & blues, pop, and even MOR. His latest lesson in how it’s done takes its cue from the Carol King penned title track and just keeps moving right along, through “Cast Your Fate To The Wind,” “Ironside” (from the TV show), “What’s Going On,” and four others. Album has already appeared on the chart and should do nicely.
Find The Sun
This is Crowfoot’s second album and first for ABC. Like The James Gang, and only a few other groups, they have succeeded nobly in putting together a three-man rock sound – no simple task when you stop and think about it. “Travel In Time” has a fine jackhammer sound perfect for the singles market, while “Got To Fly” and the title track make for some good stomping listening too. Watch this LP carefully, it could break wide open.