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Cozy Powell - Tilt CD (album) cover

TILT

Cozy Powell

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.89 | 16 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Safe and Cozy

Cozy Powell released his second solo album in 1981 following his departure from Rainbow and a brief stint working with ex-Rainbow man Graham Bonnet. Although many of the star guests who graced "Over the top" return to help out once more, others are brought in both to help with the song writing and the performances. As a result, "Tilt" has a somewhat different feel when compared to its predecessor. The most obvious difference is the addition of vocals to all of the tracks on the first side (but not the second) of the LP.

The tracks are effectively batched together according to who plays on them. The first three all feature the same basic line up, with vocals by Elmer Gantry (of Stretch), keyboards by John Cook, bass by Chris Glen and lead guitar on tracks two and three by Kirby (Gregory).

The opening "The right side" provides immediate evidence that this album will be by no means "Over the top". A quick burst of drums and a ubiquitous sax sound introduce a rather anonymous blues rock song written by Cook and Kirby. It is an enjoyable enough number, but perversely the tight arrangement is something of a disappointment when compared to what went before. "Jekyll and Hyde" is equally ordinary, Cook's keyboards supporting a nondescript funk rock song.

The third and last track here to feature the voice of the improbably named Elmer Gantry is "Sooner or later". This time, the song feels like a Rainbow reject, Gantry doing a passable impression of Graham Bonnet. The side closes with "Living a lie", where the line up is rather different to the first three songs. Here, Frank Aiello takes over on lead vocals, while Bernie Marsden supplies lead guitar and Neil Murray bass. John Cook remains on keyboards. The song is a slow blues number written by Cozy with Marsden and Don Airey. It is by far the best track on the side, Marsden's guitar solo being particularly memorable.

Side two sees Powell reverting to instrumentals, with two pieces written by Jan Hammer and two by Gary Moore (one with Don Airey). The first of the Jan hammer numbers, "Cat moves" is a funky jazz rock number featuring the synth playing of David Sancious (of Jack Bruce band). Jack Bruce plays bass while Jeff Beck pops by to add some fine lead guitar to the latter part of the track. The other Hammer composition is "Hot rock", another jazz rock piece featuring the guitar of Jeff Beck, which closes the album.

The first of the Gary Moore numbers, "Sunset", sees the line up reduced to a trio of Moore, Powell and Airey. The piece is one of Moore's fine slow lead guitar soliloquies, full of emotion and passion. Unfortunately, in my view the production does not capture the finesse of the guitar work fully, but this remains the highlight of the album. "The blister" retains the trio from "Sunset" but this time they opt for a "Race with the devil" type, heads down, all out burst of guitar rock. It may be unoriginal, but it is fun.

Perhaps the wonderfully pompous nature of "Over the top" led to us having too high expectations for Cozy's second album. For whatever reason, it seems he decided to play far safer this time and go for a more commercial solution. With the common denominator being the drummer though, this simply results in a rather eclectic mix of average rock numbers which have little to say collectively. Admittedly, the totally instrumental side two is noticeably better than the generally uninspired side one, but the mediocre production fails to ignite the album throughout.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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