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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Grill, Rob - 1979 Uprooted
Grill, Rob - 1979 Uprooted

ARTIST: Grill, Rob
ALBUM: Uprooted
LABEL: Mercury
SERIAL: SRM-1-3798
YEAR: 1979


LINEUP: Rob Grill - lead vocals

Additional Musicians: Robbie Buchanan, Dennis Provisor - keyboards * Steve Hunter, Lindsey Buckingham, Brian Naughton - guitars * Mark Leonard, John McVie - bass * Mike Huey, Mick Fleetwood - drums * Annie McCloone, Donnie Gerrard, Bill Champlin, Jay Gruska, Carl Graves, Kathy Collier - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Feel The Heat * 02 God Help The Man * 03 Have Mercy * 04 Rockin' On The Road Again * 05 Strangers * 06 Rock Sugar * 07 When Will It Be * 08 Open Your Heart * 09 Where Were You When I Needed You

Unlike so many vocalists who paid their dues during AM radio's golden age, The Grass Roots' Rob Grill came a little late to the solo album thing and I wonder if anyone really cared? The Roots were old news and in disarray by the time 1979 rolled in and I suppose this album can been seen as his attempt to rekindle the flame of fading stardom. Thinking back, I heard the album's single 'Rock Sugar' crackling over the airwaves maybe once, maybe twice and chart wise 'Uprooted' didn't exactly take the world by storm.

The Songs
So how does this album hold up three decades after the fact? Quite well actually and a little 'heavier' than the catchy folk/pop of Grill's former band. A big blues rock feel permeates the record with Grill sounding gritty and ready to get down to business. 'Feel The Heat' and 'God Help The Man' are good down n' dirty rockers with just enough gloss added to help us remember just who were listening to. 'Have Mercy' and 'Rockin' On The Road Again' are guilty of playing into the paint by numbers R&B game although much better and more to my tastes is 'Strangers'. Originally recorded by laid back glam rockers Smokie and created here with a likable and moody - west coast Roger Voudouris vibe, this is easily my favourite cut. 'Rock Sugar' is notable for the guest appearances of the Fleetwood Mac's male third and sounds very much like a big Mac track, which in hindsight might have hurt the song from getting air play since everyone from Kenny Loggins ('Whenever I Call You Friend') to John Stewart ('Gold') were vying for a slice of the Fleetwood sound at this time - to the point of over saturation. Counting down to the album's final tracks, 'When Will It Be' is a little Bob Seger-ish and 'Open Up Your Heart' is a nice little up-tempo AOR number which wouldn't have been out of place on The Grass Roots 'Powers Of The Night' classic, but the albums biggest and nicest surprise is Grill's remake of the Roots major hit 'Where Were You When I Needed You' which does a complete one eighty stylistically and is similar to the lush orchestrated pop balladry of Eric Carmen.

In Summary
Oddly enough, this would turn out to be Rob's only solo effort, seemingly more interested in keeping The Grass Roots name and legacy alive. Completely understandable and while 'Uprooted' isn't the greatest album with Grill's name attached, it's worth picking up cheaply and is sure as heck better than any of the rubbish Mark Lindsay (Paul Revere & The Raiders) or Jim Gold (Gallery) released during their solo careers.

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#1 | gdazegod on July 14 2011 08:47:44
R.I.P Rob Grill. You left a generations worth of good music.
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