In recent times I’ve given Trapeze some overdue attention, here’s another one.
Written by: gdmonline
LABEL: Warner Bros
SERIAL: K56165 (UK), BZ 2287 (USA)
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Mel Galley – lead vocals, guitars * Rob Kendrick – guitars * Pete Wright – bass * Dave Holland – drums
Additional Musicians: Glenn Hughes – lead vocals (#3, 10)
TRACK LISTING: 01 Star Breaker * 02 It’s Alright * 03 Chances * 04 The Raid * 05 Sunny Side Of The Street * 06 Gimme Good Love * 07 Monkey * 08 I Need You * 09 Soul Stealer * 10 Nothin’ For Nothing
In recent times I’ve given Trapeze some overdue attention, given that we’ve written about their ‘Live In Texas’ album a few weeks back, though we did have some other articles written about them previously. The other reason for the catch up is that Rock Candy Records have reissued this album along with ‘Hot Wire’ back in 2015, so that in itself was a good enough reason to revisit them.
My inattention to Trapeze was three-fold. Firstly, their albums were hard to come by down in New Zealand. I never saw one of their albums in the LP racks ever! Believe me, this album and ‘Hot Wire’ had very fetching artwork. I would’ve snapped them up in an instant had I seen them. Secondly, by 1978 Whitesnake had snuck into my consciousness and their albums were readily available. And thirdly, Trapeze were off the radar and inactive during the 1976-1977 time frame.
There’s only the 10 songs here with Glenn Hughes (now singing with the MKII version of Deep Purple) guesting on two tracks. The comparison to Bad Company is still apparent though in a more organic and earthy manner. There is a bluesy element without the funkiness which is surprising given the timeframe this was recorded.
That Bad Company sound is easy to pick out on ‘Star Breaker’ with the vocal of Mel Galley infused with a Paul Rodgers tone. Even the mellowness if ‘It’s Alright’ could be BC in ballad mode. ‘Chances’ is another ballad with Glenn Hughes doing the honours. It’s laced with an electric piano which unfortunately does not save it.
‘The Raid’ sees Trapeze lift their energy levels, though the drum work is mostly high-hat from Dave Holland. I didn’t find this one particularly interesting. ‘Sunny Side Of The Street’ is an attempt at fusing pub rock with British boogie, not really my bag. Much better is ‘Gimme Good Love’, which is probably the pick of the bunch here. ‘Monkey’ also has its moments, with strong guitar parts and equally strong vocals.
‘I Need You’ is a milder track, more radio friendly with a blues base within the context of British hard rock. ‘Soul Stealer’ is next, a strange track with ill-placed piano through the middle. Not sure what was going on there. The closer ‘Nothin’ For Nothing’ is the second track to feature Glenn Hughes and this time he sings with the guttural power he’s best known for.
Upon reflection, this album is definitely not the best effort Trapeze have ever produced, and from subsequent reviews I’ve seen around the Intereebs it seems that those opinions have held true over the years.
Trapeze would go into hiatus during the 1976-1977 period reconvening in 1978 with their LP ‘Running’, albeit signed to a new German label Shark Records. That record would be reissued a year later on London based label Aura Records, who also released the aforementioned 1981 ‘Live In Texas’ album.
Over the years, Mel Galley has dragged out Trapeze for the odd reunion gig with Glenn Hughes in tow, but everyone is now doing other things. In a side note, drummer Dave Holland passed away in Spain during early 2018 just three months shy of his 70th birthday.
Gimme Good Love