May 05, 2008
Chrysalis Records
Pop/Rock, Blues-Rock, Hard Rock, Album Rock

Album Review

Day of the Eagle: The Best of Robin Trower goes a long way toward providing a definitive best-of culled from his early and most definitive works as a solo artist. This 17-cut selection is compiled from the eight albums that documented his greatest commercial success, beginning with 1973's Twice Removed from Yesterday and ending with 1980's Victims of the Fury, all of them recorded for Chrysalis Records. This is not to suggest that Trower's work lessened in quality; not at all. It's simply that his visibility and his place in the spotlight were greatest during these years. Compilation producer Tim Chacksfield did an excellent job organizing and sequencing these tracks according to aesthetics rather than chronology -- after all, if that's what a punter wants, he/she can program the CD player, right? The set blasts out of the gate with one of the quintessential examples of Trower's pure blazing rock power with "Day of the Eagle" from the flawless Bridge of Sighs recording. It's followed by the silvery blues that is "Caledonia" (not the rhythm & blues standard but an original written by the guitarist along with the late bassist/lead vocalist James Dewar) from 1976's Long Misty Days. The blues ratchets up to overdriven rock with the sinister "Confessin' Midnight" off 1975's For Earth Below. The minor complaint here is that selections from the 1976 Robin Trower Live! album were substituted for the original versions. This is minor, but still, it would have been nice to hear the full-on solid squall version of "Too Rolling Stoned" rather than the raved-up, muddy-sounding live one. Some of the nice touches are the inclusion of Long Misty Days' title cut, one of the finest ballads to come from a power trio ever (other excellent ballads here are "About to Begin" and "Daydream"). Also included is the scorching B-side "Take a Fast Train from 1973 that backed Twice Removed from Yesterday's title track. It needs to be mentioned that the title cut from 1977's In City Dreams marked beautiful new terrain for the trio that had replaced drummer Reg Isidore with Bill Lordan and let Dewar simply front the band as lead vocalist when they acquired the talent of Sly & the Family Stone bassist Rusty Allen. In sum, this set is solid from top to bottom, with a good liner essay by Phil Sutcliffe that may be a bit much on hyperbole, but nonetheless provides a well-researched professional biography in a small amount of space.
Thom Jurek, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Day of the Eagle
  2. Caledonia
  3. Confessin' Midnight
  4. Too Rolling Stoned [Live]
  5. Bridge of Sighs
  6. Man of the World
  7. Take a Fast Train
  8. Daydream
  9. Gonna Be More Suspicious
  10. About to Begin
  11. Long Misty Days
  12. Alethea [Live]
  13. In City Dreams
  14. Victims of the Fury
  15. Rock Me Baby [Live]
  16. The Ring
  17. Caravan to Midnight
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