Genre: Rock and Roll
Record Label: Cargo Records
Release Date: 8th September
Spike – Vocals
Ronnie Wood – Guitar
Andy Fraser – Bass
Simon Kirke – Drums
Guests : Bonnie Tyler, Ian Hunter, Luke Morley, Guy Griffin, Keith Weir, Paul Guerin, Tyla, Chris Corney, Mark Stanway, Mick Roobotham, Matt Goom, Pat Mcmanus, Lorraine Crosby, Stuart Emerson, Cherry Lee Mewis, Simon Hanson and Jimi The Piper
I’m Losing You
Other Side Of Town
Cold, Cold Nights
Did You Ever Wanna Go Home
Keepin’ It All For You
Bottle Of Whiskey
Just take a look at that line-up! With names like that involved you just know this album will be a tremendous success and that quality is already assured before you start to listen. Thankfully the music contained in the twelve tracks here lives up to the expectations I’ve now given you! Recorded as a celebration of the music of Frankie Miller and featuring these previously unheard tracks that have been recorded by the star names that were all fans or friends of Miller’s and wanted to bring these “lost” songs to life.
One of the highlights for me is “Brooklyn Bridge”, which is just a superb blues track, there’s no other word for it. Starting with only Spike’s voice and Simon Kirke’s cymbal counting time and gradually adding instruments, building the sound up until the whole band, including backing singers, are present. There are some wonderful fills and touches in the background adding to the atmosphere of the song and just take it to another level. Every time you play it, it gets better, as you hear something new, some extra nuance that you didn’t notice last time.
“Cocaine” is another standout song and features some great slide guitar from Ronnie Wood giving it a great bluesy, smoke-filled club kind of atmosphere. The subtle piano and effective backing vocals really add to that atmosphere too.
“Cheap Hotel” sounds like it should have been recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis and is just a great fun song, both to listen to and by the sounds of it, to play. If this doesn’t get your foot tapping at the least then all help for you is lost, I’m afraid. I bet it would be incredible live too.
This album contains songs for every mood you can imagine from the heart-breaking ballads like “I’m Losing You” and “Keepin’ It All For You” to uptempo blues based songs like “Brooklyn Bridge”, the old school rock and roll of “Cheap Hotel” and country-tinged songs like “Cold, Cold Nights”. The one thing that ties them together apart from Spike’s voice is the quality of the song writing, regardless of the genre they may fit into and the collected group of “names” just help to bring them fully to life.
If there are any fans of Spike or Frankie Miller who are on the fence regarding whether to get this album or not, then I would say to definitely buy it. The same goes for anyone with an open mind and an interest in quality songs played by some of the best in the business. Despite being a bit of a departure from my usual riff-filled listening, I thoroughly enjoyed this album, although, for me personally, I would have preferred a bit less of the country influence on some songs but that’s just me. If you appreciate that style of music then I imagine your rating would be even higher.
Written by Duncan Everson