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Cozy Powell - The Drums Are Back CD (album) cover

THE DRUMS ARE BACK

Cozy Powell

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.00 | 4 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Powell power and classical gas

Following the 1983 release of Powell's third solo album "Octopus", it took another 9 years for him to come up with his fourth and final release prior to his untimely death. This album was recorded between Powell's two stints with Black Sabbath, and following its release he took a band on the road under the name Cozy Powell's Hammer. Once again, he calls upon a who's who of musicians to support him, although the line ups here are somewhat different to those which appeared on his first two albums.

By and large, Powell reverts to the ambitious jazz rock numbers which were a feature of the "Over the top" debut, the emphasis being mainly on heavy drum laden instrumentals. There are a couple of songs, Gerry Lane being the vocalist on both. Of these, "I wanna hear you shout" is the low point of the album, being a lightweight, undistinguished rock number. Lane composes both the songs which bear his voice, the second, "Cryin'", is a slower ballad and noticeably the better of the two.

On the other hand, highlights of the album include the guitar laden two part piece "Light in the sky/Return of the 7", a pleasing jazz rock workout also featuring the keyboards of Don Airey. On "Battle hymn", which closes the first side, Steve Lukather provides some fine Gary Moore like lead guitar while Don Airey's symphonic keyboards orchestration add some welcome colour too.

The second side of the album is arguably the more melodic, featuring the guitar pieces "Legend of the glass mountain" and Mason Williams' superb "Classical gas". Steve Lukather once again plays lead on the former, accompanied by Jon Lord on keyboards. This version of the oft covered "Classical gas" is largely faithful to the original, the guitars and keyboards being provided by Ray Fenwick. It is of course one of those pieces it is always great to hear. "Somewhere in time" is of interest as it features Brian May and John Deacon of Queen, the piece being a slow, atmospheric blues guitar number. The melody would actually have sounded great over the closing titles of the film of that name (starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour).

In all, a decent album by Powell, who did actual record one further solo album before his death, although it was released posthumously in 1999. While there are a number of worthy tracks here, none stands out as being the album's "Over the top". Those who enjoy that debut album by Cozy though should find this to their liking too.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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