One of the most buzzworthy music events of 2010 undoubtedly was Mick Taylor reuniting on disc with The Rolling Stones to contribute new guitar parts to their expanded Exile on Main Street. Even years after leaving the Stones, Taylor remains beloved for his contributions to such classic albums as Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and of course, Exile. Iconoclassic Records has announced a project sure to excite fans of the incendiary axeman with the July 26 reissue of his solo 1979 album, Mick Taylor. But that’s not all. On the same date, the label will reissue Robin Trower Live, a document of another blues-rock guitar god in his prime. (Iconoclassic’s third July release is Mark, Don and Mel 1969-1971, which compiles the early hits of Grand Funk Railroad.)
Mick Taylor first rose to prominence on a number of recordings by John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, so when the Rolling Stones emerged from their dabbling in psychedelia and were reconnecting with their blues roots, it was Taylor whom they called. Taylor’s contributions to the Stones catalogue are appreciable; just play Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out or watch Gimme Shelter to experience how electrifying he could be. Taylor has even claimed to have co-written songs including “Moonlight Mile” and “Sway,” although the Glimmer Twins ceded no credit to him. So in 1975, Mick stunned the music world by announcing his departure from the band. After a brief stint in the Jack Bruce Band and a number of guest appearances, Taylor began his solo career, proper, with the release of 1979’s Mick Taylor. As Iconoclassic so accurately describes, “Mix Stonesy rock and blues with Jeff Beck’s Blow by Blow and the resulting stew will sound something like Mick Taylor’s eponymous debut.” Though his fluid, vibrant playing takes center stage on the album, he was supported by a number of fine musicians in the best 1970s supergroup style. These include Lowell George (Little Feat), Pierre Moerlen (Gong) and keyboardist Jean Roussell (Cat Stevens). Taylor also wrote every track on the album solo, excepting one co-write with Colin Allen. Taylor retreated from the studio after this album, however, and didn’t emerge until 1990 with a new blues collection including a take on “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” Iconoclassic returns Mick Taylor to print on CD in an edition remastered by Vic Anesini. Kris Needs contributes new liner notes, and the promo-only single version of “Leather Jacket” (with different guitar parts) has been added to the line-up as a bonus track.
For all the news on Robin Trower Live! plus track listings and discographical information for both titles, just hit the jump!
Robin Trower is a contemporary of Taylor’s, just three years older than the former Stone. As a member of Procol Harum, Trower also rose to prominence in the fertile environment of Swingin’ London circa the mid-1960s. Trower appeared on such well-remembered LPs as 1967’s Procol Harum, 1968’s Shine on Brightly, 1969’s A Salty Dog, 1970’s Home and 1971’s Broken Barricades. But like Taylor, Trower felt there were other avenues to pursue and departed Procol Harum’s ranks. 1973’s solo debut Twice Removed From Yesterday was artistically solid but only hinted at the commercial success to come. 1974’s Bridge of Sighs went Top Ten in America and engendered positive comparisons to none other than Jimi Hendrix thanks to Trower’s blazing style. Bridge of Sighs elevated Trower to the status of an arena superstar, and Trower’s first live album was recorded in Sweden in 1975 during that first blast of fame on a tour supporting Bridge’s follow-up, For Earth Below. Robin Trower Live drew from the band’s first three albums and features an extended version of “Daydream” as well as “Too Rolling Stoned”. James Dewar provided the full-bodied vocals. With Bill Lordan on drums, “Little Bit of Sympathy” recalled Hendrix and Mitch Mitchell at their most attuned to each other. Iconoclassic’s remaster features the original seven-track LP. The booklet contains a new essay by Trower himself reflecting on this heady period.
Both titles are due in stores from Iconoclassic on July 26. You’ll find pre-order links below!
Mick Taylor, Mick Taylor (Columbia JC 35076, 1979 – reissued Iconoclassic, 2011)
- Leather Jacket
- Slow Blues
- Baby, I Want You
- Broken Hands
- Giddy Up
- S.W. 5
- Spanish/A Minor
- Leather Jacket (Promo single mix from Columbia 1-11065, 1979)
Robin Trower, Robin Trower Live! (Chrysalis CHR 1089, 1975 – reissued Iconoclassic, 2011)
- Too Rolling Stoned
- Rock Me Baby
- Lady Love
- I Can’t Wait Much Longer
- Little Bit of Sympathy