Saturday, February 28, 2015


Digitized from the original vinyl, released in 1975 on A&M Records 
BIT RATE: 320 kbps 
Produced By: Kenny Kerner & Richie Wise
Recorded at: The Record Plant, Los Angeles, California, Summer 1975
Engineered By:Warren Dewey, with Bob Merritt and Doug Rider
Mastered By: Bernie Grundman at A&M Studios, Hollywood, California
Art Direction: Roland Young
Hand Lettering: Stan Evenson
Photography: Chris Micoine
Design: Junie Osaki 
Where Do We Go From Here (Rich Man's Woman)
Take Cover
Jigsaw Baby
Roll Me Over
He's A Rebel
One Step On The Ladder
Rock 'N' Roll Circus
Try A Little Love
Steve Burgh - Guitars
Bruce Foster - Keyboards
David Kemper - Drums
Dennis Kovarik - Bass
Additional Help By:
Ben Benay - Guitars
Max Bennett - Bass
Mike Boddicker - Synthesizer
Alan & Gene Estes - Percussion
John Gurein - Drums
David Paich - Keyboards
Nina Tempa - Saxophone
Backing Vocals: Elkie Brooks, Stan Farber, Venetta Fields, Gerry Garrett, Ron Hicklin, Clydie King, Gene Morford, Verlene Rogers, Jerry Whitman 
Melody maker - November 1975 
For more years than it would be polite to recall, Elkie Brooks has been too much of an underground heroine among students of lady rock singers. Now, at long last, she has delivered the album which can shoot her to international acclaim, and establish her, finally, as perhaps the finest rock singer Britain has produced.
Long before Vinegar Joe, itself a fine band, Elkie paid her dues as a jazz singer in various bands, and now the years of experience, together with her unique  power, reaches fruition with a simply stunning album.
But power, so often the only asset of lady rockers, is not played up by Elkie to the detriment of her intrinsic bluesy feeling. She has always displayed taste, even as a bawdy rocker, and taste is the hallmark of this immaculately-produced album.
To make it, Elkie went to Los Angeles and received  accompaniment from some inspired musicians, and some immensely careful production by Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise, who have been closely connected    with Gladys Knight's records. The result: nine tracks without one duff moment.
The opener, "Where Do We Go From Here (Rich Man's Woman)", is one of five written by Elkie - another aspect of her progression - and gets the album off to a startling momentum. It's a rock track with fine control, and never goes over the top, which could easily have happened; it also has a fine hook-line.
"Roll Me Over" is an example of Elkie's  jazz leanings, and "One Step On The Ladder" is a bright commentary on what is happening to her at this moment. "Try A Little Loving" shows her tender songwriting capabilities, as well as her imaginative sense of delivery.
But "Jigsaw Baby" is the absolute high spot on this album. The aforementioned Brooks-written songs come nowhere near this gem - a richly-experienced  piece, again autobiographical, with a delightful melody line. Her singing is superb here, and contains the sort of inflections that could only come from an artist grounded in jazz, because the pace of the song is so hard to control.
Leo Sayer's "Tomorrow" gets a vital new treatment, and she has a stab at "He's A Rebel" - an unfortunate choice, but we'll let that one pass. The vocal backings are excellent, and include Clydie King and Venetta Fields plus Jim Gilstrap.
 The track record of female rock singers through the years has been fairly bleak, but this goes a long way to redress the balance. It will stand as one of the finest albums of the year. Patriotism, I know, is the last refuge of the scoundrel, but this time, go and buy British.
 At least it was made in the States. Seriously - an exceptional album.
-Ray Coleman 
READ THIS for more information on this album


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