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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Quicksilver Messenger Service - Solid Silver (1975 us, classic west coast psych, last official album)

A rejuvenated Quicksilver reconvened in '75, after a well-received compilation album, 'Anthology', seemed to revive interest in the band. The line-up that cut 'Solid Silver' featured long-serving QMS alumni Gary Duncan (guitar, vocals), Dino Valenti (vocals, guitar), John Cipollina (guitar), David Freiberg (backing vocals, bass), and Greg Elmore (drums). Various keyboard assists from the likes of Nicky Hopkins and Michael Lewis helped flesh out the band's sound.

Although hopes were high that 'Solid Silver' might kick start the band's career, the reality was otherwise. Whilst the musicianship is excellent, the big problem with 'Solid Silver' is the lack of particularly inspired material. The songs struggle to reach a head of steam, and, although John Cipollina's distinctive lead guitar style is much in evidence, even he can't get overly worked up about it. 'Worryin' Shoes' is a blues shuffle by numbers, but its taken at quite a clip,which pushes the energy level up a few notches. 'Cowboy on the Run' isn't bad, a plaintive rock ballad with a heartfelt Valenti vocal. Other tracks such as 'The Letter' and 'They Don't Know' have their moments, but there's little of the old QMS frictional guitar sparks to lift the thing above the lightweight at best, or mundane at worst.

QMS toured to support the album, but neither the tour nor the album were a great success ('Solid Silver' made number eighty-nine on the Billboard album chart), and the band ground to a halt. Freiberg enjoyed rather more success as a member of Jefferson Starship. Cipollina died on 29th May 1989, from complications assocaiated with emphysema, aged forty-two. Dino Valenti sloughed off this mortal coil on November 16th 1994, aged fifty-seven.

Quicksilver Messenger Service remain a fondly-recalled, if ultimately underachieving acid-rock band. There's still a version of the QMS knocking about, featuring Gary Duncan on guitar, and of course, CD reissues of the band's albums have helped add lustre to their legend. 'Solid Silver' may not be the finest Quicksilver album, but it has its moments, and Cipollina was always a guitar player worth listening to. I hope you enjoy it.
by Alan Robinson

1. Gypsy Lights (Gary Duncan) - 3:40
2. Heebie Jeebies (John Cipollina) - 4:15
3. Cowboy on the Run (Dino Valenti) - 3:13
4. I Heard You Singing (David Freiberg, Robert Hunter) - 3:48
5. Worryin' Shoes (Valenti) - 3:25
6. The Letter (Valenti) - 4:06
7. They Don't Know (Duncan) - 3:54
8. Flames (Cipollina, Valenti) - 4:20
9. Witches Moon (Valenti) - 2:59
10.Bittersweet Love (Valenti, Duncan) - 4:23

Quicksilver Messenger Service

*Gary Duncan - Vocals, Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar
*John Cipollina - Vocals, Guitar, Hawaiian Steel Guitar
*David Freiberg - Vocals, Bass
*Greg Elmore - Drums
*Dino Valenti - Vocals, Guitar
Guest Musicians

*Nicky Hopkins - Piano
*Pete Sears - Piano
*Michael Lewis - Piano, Organ, Arp Synthesizer
*Skip Olson - Bass
*Mario Cipollina - Bass
*Kathi Mcdonald - Vocals

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  1. Never had the opportunity to lisyen to thid one. Many thanks...

  2. Thx a lot for this Marios. Gypsy Lights is another instant QMS anthem/classic a la Fresh Air and What About Me. Fair album overall with a couple of really great songs.

  3. Ειναι το μονο Quicksilver που δεν ειχα.Να εισαι καλα ευχαριστω.

  4. This is my rip from my store bought cd ,I'm the orig. uploader.
    I know you get a large majority of what you post from RUtracker torrent site.
    It was posted on their without my knowledge and credit was given to my blog partner Persevalk as we posted it on their blog as well.

    The LOG is exact,the cd scan has been altered. - Galaxy Rove aka Eric

  5. Hi Eric,
    I didn't know that was your rip, i have no acces to your blog, next time I see (Galaxy Rover or Eric) I won't post the album.
    Thank you.

    PS I have seen many of my rips round there (web) and most of them didn't bother to give a little tiny "Thanks".
    Anyway, Thank you.

  6. No problem Marios,It happens.
    I just figured I'd mention it.

    Sorry for the prev. duplicate posts.
    I had to edit my post.

    You passed by our blog in the past I recall,if you desired a pw again just drop a line in the just ask section and Val will take care of it.

  7. @Marios: You should definitely follow hemels - Val & Eric do a really great job there (good music in flac, friendly people + lots of joking around). Time very well spent imo - cheers to all!

  8. Jamie (tacobueno),
    I know it's a great blog, one of Internet's top, the guys are doing a great job, (I know Eric he posted some good stuff on PHROCK Blog in the past), also -as I see- Hemels is very nicely designed.

  9. No me descargo este disco porque lo tengo, pero si quiero decir que este disco está ya alejado de sus primeros discos, menos de lo que algunos piensan, pero me parece una obra menor. Aunque demostraron que podía alejarse todavía más con ese disco tan horrible llamado Peace by Piece que sacaron en 1986. Thank you very much for sharing.

  10. @ tacobueno & Marios- Thanks for the compliments guys.
    We appreciate it.

    @ Marios, yep we go back awhile now, a few yrs. already.
    Time flies, in this case in a good way :D

  11. Please Marios, could you re-upload this album, the link is not working.

  12. .........solid silver is up.......

  13. Thanks Marios to update the link.