1981's Lucky For Some saw veteran British act Climax Blues Band fully enjoying their US successes, recording the album in Los Angeles' Sound City Studios and living the lives of full fledged rock stars. Once again leaving their blues roots far behind them, Lucky For Some is a slick, upbeat affair, packed with tight rock songs, catchy pop, and groove laden funk. Nicely remastered by the folks at Repertoire Records, Lucky For Some can once again be enjoyed on CD as the melodic, fun album it is.
By no means were the CBB reinventing the wheel here, nor is Lucky For Some going to be remembered as one of their strongest efforts, but there are still a host of strong songs here that shows the bands ability to craft some highly enjoyable songs. Included on the album are more harder rocking tunes than we've seen in the past, including "Victim", "Cuttin' Up Rough", and the slide guitar & sax rave-up "Shake It Lucy", which features some blistering playing from Pete Haycock & Colin Cooper. "Oceans Apart", written by Haycock, is a lush pop ballad with some tasty guitar work, and sounds almost like a long lost Toto or Ambrosia track, while the hook laden "Breakdown" also has a catchy chorus which again reminds of Toto, featuring stellar vocals from bassist/keyboard player Derek Holt and a stinging Haycock guitar solo. "Darlin' ", another tune written by Holt and released as a single, was clearly targeted for hit radio but falls rather flat, drenched in piano & strings and more akin to what we'd expect from latter day Chicago. Also failing is the reggae induced "This Time You're the Singer", though the slow, bluesy "Last Chance Saloon" sees the band getting back on track. Led by a smoky vocal from Cooper as well as his sultry sax lines, this is a return to more bluesier fare and it works, capped off by a scorching Haycock guitar solo towards the finale. The album ends with another bland ballad from Holt, the limp "They'd Never Believe Us".
Overall, half of Lucky For Some is pretty damn good, the other half lackluster, showing that perhaps Climax Blues Band were starting to slip a little, but they had another few releases left in them before the cracks really started to open up. Repertoire have done another solid job on this one, featuring great remastered sound and a nice digipack presentation.
2) Cuttin' Up Rough
3) Shake It Lucy
4) Oceans Apart
7) This Time You're The Singer
8) Last Chance Saloon
9) They'd Never Believe Us
10) Darlin' (bonus-single version)