CHR-1148 In City Dreams
Produced by Don Davis
Released on September 1977
UK CHART POSITION #58 . . . US CHART POSITION #25
Find it at GEMM
CHR-1148 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

E xcuse me, but we’re remodeling the guitar hall of heroes today. Be with you in just a minute. (“Yup, right there, next to Jeff Beck. Can you make it a little higher? Thanks.”) If you’re in the market for a used guitar hero, you could do a lot worse than Robin Trower. People say he sounds like Jimi Hendrix, and maybe he does, but not on In City Dreams. Instead, I kept thinking of what Cream would have sounded like in 1977 if Steve Miller had replaced Eric Clapton. Like most great rock guitarists from the late ‘60s, Robin Trower took a blues foundation and transported it into a psychedelic rock setting. (That’s my one-sentence biography on Trower, thanks for coming.) Among his contemporaries, Trower may have been the most proficient at filtering his guitar through layered effects: sort of a perpetual purple and orange haze. In fact, each song on here is sort of an individual showcase for the different kinds of sounds that Trower blends together (“In City Dreams” is the winner). Would’ve made for a great instrumental rock album, but it isn’t. Instead, this is presented as an album of songs: ballads, blues rock explosions, mellow rock tracks for the beer & a bong set. Personally, I find the four-minute song format kind of confining for Trower’s genius. I’m not knocking James Dewar; he’s got a great voice. But he and the rest of the band don’t add much to Trower’s tracks (I find I want to focus on the guitar to the exclusion of everything else). So after a dozen listens, I’m moving Trower into the main hall, with a little note that says “In City Dreams: great guitarist, good album.” Every track on here is tantalizing (“Falling Star,” “Little Girl”), but somehow the album never adds up to the sum of its parts.

TRACK LISTING

  1. SOMEBODY CALLING    4:56
  2. SWEET WINE OF LOVE    2:57
  3. BLUEBIRD    5:32
  4. FALLING STAR    2:45
  5. FARTHER UP THE ROAD    (Don Robey/Joe Medwick Veasey)    2:33
  6. SMILE    4:45
  7. LITTLE GIRL    4:51
  8. LOVE'S GONNA BRING YOU ROUND    4:36
  9. IN CITY DREAMS    5:14

    All songs written by Robin Trower and James Dewar unless noted

CREDITS

ROBIN TROWER -- guitar, remix engineer
RUSTEE ALLEN -- bass
JOHN DEWAR -- vocals
BILL LORDAN -- drums
Don Gehman -- engineer, remix engineer
Alex Sadkin -- engineer, remix engineer
Don Davis -- remix engineer
Funky Paul Olsen -- cover design

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/US/CAN September 1977 Chrysalis LP/8T CHR/8CH-1148  
GER 1977 Chrysalis LP 6307 610  
JPN 1977 Chrysalis LP WWS-80915  
US May 27, 1997 BGO CDX   repackaged w. LONG MISTY DAYS

 

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