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Slick Band - 1976 Slick Band



ARTIST: Slick Band
ALBUM: Slick Band
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: ST-11493
YEAR: 1976

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Earl Slick - lead guitar * Jimmie Mack - lead & backing vocals, guitar * Gene Leppik - bass, backing vocals * Bryan Madey - drums, percussion

Additional Players: Jay Ferguson - keyboards * Michael Kamen - acoustic piano * Claude Pepper - percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Star Of The Street * 02 Heaven Couldn't Find * 03 Sho' Nuff * 04 Burnt Love * 05 P.J Proby * 06 Very Blue * 07 Lady Luck * 08 Do It * 09 The Way Down


Background
Facing the difficult task of replacing Mick Ronson in David Bowie's band, guitarist Earl Slick lasted a tour and a couple albums before getting his pink slip from the thin white duke's management, but it didn't set him back too much forming Slick Band and turning out two albums of standard hard rock, one of which we'll get to in a moment. Clearly Earl was riding high as a guitarist in demand throughout the 1970s and early '80s appearing on a never ending list of session work including John Lennon's final albums 'Double Fantasy' and the posthumous 'Milk and Honey', but among GD readers it's Silver Condor's magnificent debut that Slick will be fondly remembered for as part of one of the finest AOR albums of its time. Following up with Phantom, Rocker & Slick and Dirty White Boy as well as a return to the David Bowie camp in more recent years, Slick never really achieved the same status as other more familiar names of the guitar world, but there's no discounting his talent as one of the best in the business.


The Songs
The first of two Slick Band albums released in 1976, the group was comprised of vocalist Jimmie Mack, Slick's long time cohort going back to his New York bar band days as well as several solo albums to his credit, former Stories drummer Bryan Madey, bassist Gene Leppick and of course Earl on guitar. I wish I could say this is one of the best albums Slick was involved with, but its not. In fact, it's poorly executed cantankerous, blues based hard rock with zero identity bringing me back to all those lackluster Mark Farner and Alvin Lee solo albums I purged from my collection years ago. Opener 'Star of the Street' did receive some airplay way back when, but with Peter Frampton coming alive and Boston's monumental debut just a few months down the road, there was just no way to compete with the sub par Nazareth and Foghat ham-fisted riffola found on this record. Jimmie Mack comes across like Paul Rodgers on 'Burnt Love', one of the albums more fetching tracks but his talent (and Slick's) is hardly noticed due to the ball-less production and I don't even want to mention the drum sound which is almost non-existent.


In Summary
Hard to believe Capitol didn't cut these guys loose after such a poor showing, but 'Razor Sharp' followed later in the year with a metallic foil cover and a similar sound yielding no hits and less than impressive sales. Needless to say, there wasn't a third Slick Band album.


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