Monday 14 March 2011

Odds And Sods

The great guitar solo stand-off seems to have petered to the end, and I've mainly been watching transfixed from the sidelines. But here's a few guitar-based tracks that while not always featuring notable solos, nevertheless demonstrate great virtuosity in the playing.

Firstly, here's Bobby Womack, a soulman who really rocked, with the opening track from his best album, "Understanding". It's a terrific record, full of absolutely white-hot guitar work. Womack doesn't seem to indulge in long solos, but just lets out these wild trills, like nervous tics. He never made an album as good as this again, but I think it's really a classic.

Roger McGuinn doesn't seem to be everyone's favourite Byrd, but I'll take him over astral traveller Gene Clark and that disgraceful cad David Crosby. His debut solo album from 1973 is another stone classic, every bit as good as one of the late Byrds albums (say "Dr. Byrds and Mr. Hyde"). Here's his excellent (nay, definitive) version of David Wiffen's "Lost My Driving Wheel".

If Terry Reid is famous for anything, it must be for being the most talented British musician to nevertheless conspire to have a largely failed career. Prevented from recording by his management contract at the height of his career, we can only glimpse at his greatness from the small clutch of records he released from the mid-70's onwards.

I'm obviously non-orthodox when it comes to Television, as I prefer "Adventure" to "Marquee Moon", but then that's because it includes my favourite of their songs, "Foxhole". Uncharacteristically for this band, it almost verges on being exciting.

Which reminds me of "Heavy Load" by Free. I've compared them to post-punk before on this site, only to be met with blank looks and scratched heads, but the slow, patient build-up to orgasmic release on this song reminds me of nothing so much as "Marquee Moon".

Finally, everyone loves J.J. Cale don't they? The most exquisite guitar-lines ever recorded, and that's for sure.


David K Wayne said...

Good call on Womack - another brilliant soul guitarist is Curtis Mayfield. Check out 'Curtis Live' for raw proof.

Phil Knight said...

Ah yes. And I could have put "1990" by The Temptations in there, thinking about it....