It Takes One to Know One was the second and final studio album from Swan Song Records supergroup Detective, released in 1977 and since reissued on CD by Wounded Bird Records. Once again, comparisons to Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, and The Faces flow throughout this sophomore release much like they did on their self titled debut, though things rock out a bit more here perhaps where the debut had a wider variety of styles.
Opener "Help Me Up" is an upbeat rocker with driving riffs from Michael Monarch and Tony Kaye's always wonderful Hammond organ, but it's the sultry vocals of Michael Des Barres that steals the show, as his Rod Stewart-ish vocals give this raucous piece a heavy Faces flavor. Why this song wasn't a hit on FM radio back in 1977 is beyond me. For "Competition" Jon Hyde brings out his stellar drum technique (which is not unlike John Bonham's) as he rips out some killer, heavy rhythms alongside the popping bass grooves from Bobby Pickett. With Monarch's weaving guitar riffs and Des Barres' commanding pipes, this one has a funky feel but brings plenty of hard rock thunder. Definitely something fans of the mighty Led Zeppelin would want to hear. Gritty heavy rock follows on "Are You Talkin' To Me?", and the groove laden, somewhat blues-metal flavored "Dynamite" sounds eerily like latter period Humble Pie, right down to Des Barres' vocals which uncanningly sounds like the late, great Steve Marriott. Tony Kaye's gorgeous piano melodies and Michael Monarch's tasty guitar licks provide the framework for De Barres' soaring vocals on the ballad "Something Beautiful", another tune that should have had hit potential, and the same can be said for the catchy pop-rocker "Warm Love", a tune that should appeal to fans of The Raspberries.
It Takes One to Know One closes out with three uptempo rockers; "Betcha Won't Dance" features tight riffs and piano, "Fever" is a dark heavy rock piece again reminding of classic Zeppelin, and "Tear Jerker" is another hard rock/funk tune with killer rhythms from the team of Hyde & Pickett, as the band grooves and rumbles like vintage Trapeze. Des Barres' swagger and attitude just drips all over these aggressive numbers, proving his mettle as a singer to be reckoned with who sadly became more notable for his acting credits and marriage to Miss Pamela than his potent vocal skills.
Though every bit as impressive as their debut, It Takes One to Know One rocks a little harder and is more consistent throughout, yet I think the debut has a few stronger tracks overall. No matter how you look at it, Detective were a band that had all the tools and should have became the 'supergroup' they were billed to be. Sadly, it never really happened for them, but at least the music lives on.
1. Help Me Up
3. Are You Talkin To Me
5. Something Beautiful
6. Warm Love
7. Betcha Wont Dance
9. Tear Jerker