Britain's Climax Blues Band certainly were a fixture of the late '60s, '70s, and '80s album, radio, and concert scene. From their humble beginnings as a sizzling Chicago styled blues-rock band, to their later re-invention into a powerhouse rock/pop/funk act, Climax Blues Band released a plethora of albums and had two major singles in "Couldn't Get It Right" and "I Love You" among a host of other strong songs that made it onto FM radio. Real to Reel is their 1979 release, now being reissued by the folks at Repertoire Records, and it contains all the elements that have made them such an intriguing band for so many years.
With Peter Haycock (guitar/vocals), Derek Holt (bass), Colin Cooper (vocals/saxophone), Peter Filleul (keyboards), and John Cuffley (drums), the band at this stage were a tight little unit with a big sound. This album contained some of their bluesy, funky, soul inflected pop tunes ("Summer Rain", "Children of the Nightmare"), a few scorching blues-rock numbers ("Long Distance Love", and "Lovin' Wheel" ), bluesy ballads ("Fallen in Love (For the Very Last Time)" ) and even two rousing hard rockers ("Money In Your Pocket" and "Fat City"), all of which provide for a wealth of musical entertainment. Though it all, Haycock more than proves his status as one of rock's unsung guitar heroes, delivering emotional blues lines, scorching slide solos, meaty rock riffs, and tender lead harmonies. He shares lead vocals with Cooper throughout the album, who also drops in some saxophone from time to time. All the tunes here are catchy, addictive, groove laden, and contain some rocking moments.
Though Real to Reel didn't contain any hits it still showed that Climax Blues Band were still capable of churning out stellar, sophisticated music. Repertoire have done a great job on this fantastic sounding & looking reissue, housed in a charming digipack complete with a full-color booklet containing a detailed essay on the album and band. Well done!
1) Summer Rain
2) Money in Your Pocket
3) Children of the Nightmare
4) Long Distance Love
5) Lovin' Wheel
6) Fallen in Love (For the Very Last Time)
7) Fat City
8) Crazy World