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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Moonrider - Moonrider (1973-75 uk, ravishing guitar rock with country shades, 2011 remaster and expanded)

Singer/songwriter Keith West is most known for his work in the fine cult 1960s British psychedelic band Tomorrow, as well as for the big U.K. hit single he scored as a solo artist while in the group, "Excerpt from a Teenage Opera." He did continue to record for quite a while after Tomorrow broke up, however, both as a solo artist and, in the mid-'70s, as part of Moonrider. He was the main songwriter on Moonrider's self-titled album, though it also had some material by ex-Family/Animals guitarist John Weider; the group also included bassist Bruce Thomas, who would soon join Elvis Costello's backup band, the Attractions. 

Despite the relative wealth of well-known names for such an obscure group, however, Moonrider's album is somewhat unexpectedly ordinary mid-'70s mainstream rock. Although West and Weider were in notable psychedelic/progressive rock acts, the feel is surprisingly American-influenced; indeed, on "Having Someone," America (without the "n") influenced so much of it that the track recalls America (the band). It's a bit of a jolt to hear a British group bearing such prominent traces of mid-'70s California country rock and soft rock, with some similarities to the Eagles and Crosby, Stills & Nash in both the songs and harmonies. 

The songs are pleasant and jovial spins on these styles, but lack bite and originality, occasionally toughening things up mildly with bluesy or funky licks. [There's no faulting the packaging on the 2011 CD reissue on RPM, however, which adds lengthy historical liner notes with plenty of quotes from West. It also has five bonus tracks, including a previously unreleased West demo of a song that didn't make the album, "Baby Blue," and both sides of two solo singles West did for Deram in 1973 and 1974, the A-sides of which ("Riding for a Fall" and "Havin' Someone") would be re-recorded on the Moonrider album. The B-side of the 1973 single, "Days About to Rain," is notable as one of the most dead-on early-'70s Neil Young soundalikes ever cut.
by Richie Unterberger

1. Riding For A Fall - 3:40
2. Days About To Rain - 4:08
3. Havin' Someone - 3:23
4. Know There's No Livin' Without You - 3:34
5. Angel Of Mercy - 4:48
6. Having Someone - 4:31
7. Our Day's Gonna Come - 4:17
8. Good Things (John Weider) - 3:30
9. Living On The Main Street - 2:36
10.Too Early In he Morning - 3:37
11.Gold Digger - 3:39
12.Danger In The Night - 3:44
13.Riding For A Fall - 4:02
14.As Long As It Takes (John Weider) - 3:58
15.I Found Love (John Weider) - 3:20
16.Baby Blue - 3:49
All songs by Keith West except where indicated

The Moonrider
*Chico Greenwood - Drums
*Bruce Thomas - Bass
*John Weider - Guitar, Vocals
*Keith West - Guitar, Vocals

Related Acts
1968  Tomorrow - Tomorow
1966-68  Eric Burdon And The Animals - Roadrunners! Rare Live And Studio Recordings
1967  Eric Burdon And The Animals - Winds of Change (2013 japan SHM double disc remaster)
1968  Eric Burdon And The Animals - The Twain Shall Meet (2013 japan SHM remaster)
1969-73  Family - In Their Own Time (two disc set)
1970  Family - Anyway (bonus tracks edition)
1970  Family - A Song For Me (2004 japan remaster and expanded)
1971  Trifle - First Meeting (2010 remaster)
1971  Jodo - Guts
1971  Quiver - Quiver
1971-79  Sutherland Brothers And Quiver - The Very Best Of
1972  Roger Morris - First Album (korean remaster with extra tracks)

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  1. Good music on this album.Never heard it before.Thank you so much"MARIOS"...

  2. Muito bom...Parabéns pelo Blog....que acompanho a muito tempo...pelas excelentes historias de bandas e pelo resgate....