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Bakerloo - Bakerloo CD (album) cover





3.67 | 57 ratings

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4 stars Progressive Blues!

Progressive Blues is something whose existance I've been defending for a while now. And while this isn't the place to rant on about, I just have to praise the fact that some of the who fit that "genre" are slowly being added, even if it's just as "Proto-Prog".

Such is the case with Bakerloo and their homonymous album. A one-shot wonder, this combo of three very talented sessions musicians managed to put out in 1969 this fantastic blues-rock masterpiece, which was a natural progression from acts like John Mayall, Cream and Fleetwood Mac, and a percursor of Zeppelin's and some of Jethro Tull's hard-blues approach.

First track, Big Bear Ffolly, along with the third track Drivin' Bachwards are a couple of almost free jazz improvisations, with hints of Django in the first track and an obvious nod to Bach's Bouree (as it's title indicates), harpsicord included, in the third.Gang Bang also begins in that vein, providing some great guitar riffing from Clempson before giving way to some fine drum soloing, ending with the initial riff. All these tracks are instrumental.

Bring It On Home and This Worried Feeling sound a bit more like typical Mississipi Delta Blues with an harder edge, with very basic riffing, with the greatest show of virtuosism in the first coming from the harmonica, while the blues vocals and guiter dominate the second.

Last Blues and Son of Moonshine are the two most progressive tracks in the album. The first starts of with a nice vocal performance from Terry Poole, very gently accompanied by guitar and bass, but then fades into a fast-paced hard- rock section with great soloing from Clempson. This song has some fantastic production for the time, like the use of echo. The hard-rock section fades out into the beggining of the song as quickly as it first appeared. Son of Moonshine, clocking at almost 15 minutes, is generaly considered the highlight of the album. Starts off with guitar soloing before the entrance of some realy heavy druming.The song is basicaly a long jam-session, with vocals at the beggining that 3 minutes into the song give way to some fantastic guitar work by Dave Clempson leading a strict blues rhythm provided by the drum n' bass, even if at points enriched with overlays. At it's eight minutes, the songs begins to fade out before re-emerging as it begun, introducing some more heavy jamming and great guitar work, with all instruments gathering pace until its almost cacophonic near-end. After another fade-out, the song restarts with some gentle guitar, before bursting out again to complete a series of odd variations.

Bonus tracks on the 2000 re-release are the b-side Once Upon A Time and an alternate take of This Worried Feeling. The first is a nice addition, a gentle rock piece with less emphasis on blues but still featuring great guitar soloing with multi vocals chorus. The alternate take of This Worried Feeling is basicaly a shorter version of the original with slightly diferent guitar parts.

One of the rare but highly apretiated attempts at aproaching Blues-Rock with a Progressive twist, this album is satisfaction guarenteed from the first listen on. If you like Led Zeppelin, but especialy Ten Years After, Cream, early Fleetwood Mac and the lesser-known Pink Floyd takes on blues, then you will definitly love this.

Kotro | 4/5 |


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