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Climax Blues Band: Shine On (remastered)

Britain's Climax Blues Band continued their climb to the top of the charts with their 1978 release Shine On. After starting out their career as a strict blues act that specialized in Chicago & delta blues, they slowly started to incorporate rock, jazz, funk, and pop elements into their music, and really hit it big with Gold Plated in 1976. The mix of all these styles really seemed to strike a chord with listeners, especially in the US, where hit singles, sold out tours, and top selling albums became the norm for them for a number of years. Repertoire Records have been busy reissuing & remastered much of the bands later catalog (with Esoteric Recordings tackling the earlier releases), and have done another fine job on this one.

Shine On stylistically isn't that much different than Gold Plated, Rich Man, Sense of Direction, or Stamp Album, as it features a nice mix of breezy pop tunes, upbeat funk, a little blues, and a smattering of rock & jazz. Radio friendly tracks like "Makin' Love", "Mistress Moonshine", and especially "When Talking Is Too Much Trouble" showcase the bands penchant for writing catchy songs injected with tight instrumentation. Guitarist Pete Haycock & sax player Colin Cooper shared most of the vocal duties, and both do a fine job while also showcasing their superior talents on their instruments. Also on board for Shine On were Derek Holt (bass, keyboards, vocals), John Cuffley (drums), and Peter Filleul (keyboards). This band could deliver some serious jazzy funk, as heard on the lively "Whatcha Feel", in addition to the emotional ballad ("Teardrops"), but it was the bluesy, rocking, and quite funky material, such as "Like a Movie" (sort of like the sibling to "Couldn't Get it Right") that they seemed to excel at during this period. Haycock's lead guitar work as always is stellar here, proving once again that he was one of the '70s unsung guitar heroes. Look no further than the hard rocking "Champagne & Rock n Roll", the raging closing number that is like a cross between the Doobie Brothers and Foghat, complete with blistering guitar work, scorching slide, honky tonk piano, and strong vocals.

Repertoire has done a great job on the remastered sound here, and included a colorful booklet complete with photos and a nice career retrospective essay on the band, all housed in a charming digipack. Classy album, classy presentation, and while perhaps not one of the best Climax Blues Band albums it's more than solid and a nice addition to their late '70s repertoire.

Track Listing
1) Makin' Love
2) Mistress Moonshine
3) When Talking is Too Much Trouble
4) The Gospel Singer
5) Whatcha Feel
6) Teardrops
7) Like a Movie
8) Chapagne & Rock n Roll
9) Makin' Love (bonus-single edit)

Added: March 12th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2141
Language: english

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