Terry Reid’s extremely impressive “River”… I don’t mean this to sound detrimental, but music journalists and Mojo magazine readers probably enjoy nothing more than pulling out examples of the ‘nearly-men/women’ in rock. These are the artists that never quite made it, but had the sufficient talent to make it an injustice that they didn’t.Even today, with his sporadic UK gigging and lack of new records, Terry Reid continues to tick that particular box. For real evidence of this you need look no further than his fantastic album “River”.In true vinyl tradition this is a record of two very distinct halves. The first four cuts gradually build in tempo – peaking with the wonderful “Live Life”, which really stretches Reid’s famous (and impressive) vocal chords. With its intricate percussion and frequent use of slide, the opening songs make this a very ‘Southern Rock’ sounding record. The playing is loose, but funky. From there the record gradually begins to wind itself down with “River”, “Dreams” and “Milestones” all sounding increasingly ethereal and more folk-infused.Throughout though the instrumentation is thick and heavily layered – so whilst the melodies are rich, they are buried deep in long, seemingly unstructured songs that appear intentionally to weave themselves in knots. It’s a record that demands repeat listens to unpick what is going on, but overall it’s all a beautiful noise. It’s also quite a casually recorded album (you can hear Reid clearing his throat on a couple of occasions) which only adds more charm.Overall, a this is impressive stuff that’s well worth investigating.
“I’d have a thousand dreams that would turn blue anyway….. I bought the album after seeing Terry Reid on “The Old Grey Whistle Test” New-Year’s special. Terry bopped from foot to foot, grinning like a maniac whilst singing something totally undecipherable. The song was “Dean”, the opening track from “River”.
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