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Jon Lord - Before I Forget CD (album) cover


Jon Lord


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2.49 | 52 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A step Bach-wards

After releasing the fine "Sarabade" album in 1976, Jon Lord became a third of the Paice, Ashton, Lord trio and put his solo career on hold. Ian Paice was of course a fellow member of Deep Purple, while Tony Ashton had been a guest singer on "Windows". Lord went on to join David Coverdale's Whitesnake, and during this time he recorded a further solo album ("Before I forget") and a commissioned soundtrack ("Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady", long since lost!).

Lord gathers together a fine group of rock musicians to help with this album, including bassists Neil Murray and Boz Burrell, drummers Simon Kirke and Ian Paice, guitarists Bernie Marsden and Mick Ralphs and vocalists Sam Brown, Vicky Brown and Elmer Gantry. The main omission on the other hand is an orchestra, making this his first solo release without one. To compensate for this, Lord simply uses a Polymoog and Moog string filler.

Anyone hoping for more of the same from Jon Lord will immediately realise from the first track "Chance on a feeling" that they are in for a disappointment. This rather prosaic rock song could have been recorded by any number of bands and artists, especially the likes of Styx or REO Speedwagon. Fortunately the following "Tender babies", while by no means reverting to a classical style, finds Jon front and centre on Hammond organ, playing a rip roaring instrumental. The only down side of the track is the inappropriate fade while still at full throttle.

As if making a conscious attempt to alternate good track / not so good track, "Hollywood rock and roll" is the poorest song recorded by Lord, possibly ever. The Stevie Wonder like keyboards, girlie backing vocal and trite lyrics combine to form an instantly forgettable piece of funk.

The first side of the LP closes with an 8 minute piece entitled "Bach on this", offering hope of something more in tune with "Windows" or "Sarabande". The opening bars of "Toccata" prolong the optimism but lead into something decidely un-Bach like. The piece is actually similar to the recordings Cozy Powell made a few years earlier; although he does play on this album, he is not on this track. Listen closely though and you will hear the keyboards break which featured on the title track of deep Purple's "Burn" (or something very close to it!).

The title track, which opens the second side of the album, is a haunting piano piece with synth and vocalised accompaniment. The mellow mood continues on "Say it's alright", a piano ballad with lead vocal by Vicky Brown. It is a million miles from Lord's previous works, but those with wider tastes should enjoy the soulful voice of Brown. "Burntwood" seems like a continuation of "Before I forget", the line up being pared back even further to just Lord and bassist Neil Murray. The album in its original LP version closes with "Where are you?" another duet, this time featuring Jon Lord and vocalist Elmer Gantry.

As will be clear by now, this album should be approached without any preconceptions of what to expect. On that basis, we find a mixed bag containing some fine keyboards pieces and melodic songs but also bearing some at best ordinary tracks, especially on side one. Those who approach seeking either the hard rock of Deep Purple or the group and orchestra adventures of Lord's previous albums are certainly in for a shock!

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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