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Articles Home » 1977 Articles » Torrance, Richard - 1977 Bareback
Torrance, Richard - 1977 Bareback

ARTIST: Torrance, Richard
ALBUM: Bareback
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: SW-11610
YEAR: 1977


LINEUP: Richard Torrance - lead & background vocals, guitars * Fred Tackett - guitars * Wilton Felder, David Hungate - bass * Harvey Mason, Jeff Porcaro - drums * Billy Payne - keyboards, grand piano * Sam Clayton - percussion * Bob Findlay, Ernie Watts, Pete Christlieb, George Bohanan, Buddy Collette - horns * Venetta Fields, Julia Tillman, Thomas Righter Snow, Maxine Waters - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Moonlight Trippin' * 02 Stay Young * 03 Lovin' Good * 04 Tender Memory * 05 Circle Of Confusion * 06 Rio De Janeiro Blue * 07 So Sad * 08 Leave My Love Behind * 09 Under Your Spell * 10 Alley Cat Jack


Reminiscent of the iconic 1976 Barbra Streisand/Kris Kristofferson 'A Star Is Born' sleeve; Richard Torrance's photo on his third album 'Bareback' with wife Robyn created a share of controversy with some stores refusing to display the LP. This probably didn't help sales, or maybe it did. Either way as horny and coke-addled as the music biz was in the 1970s, most of America was still deeply conservative and showing a little boobie was still a naughty no-no. The pride and joy of Bismarck, North Dakota; Richard Torrance followed his rock 'n roll dreams and moved to California after graduating high school. His band Eureka toured up and down the west coast and signing with Leon Russell's Shelter label, Torrance released two albums as Richard Torrance & Eureka before moving to Capitol for a five year solo deal that was cut short after 'Bareback', 1978's 'Double Take'and the follow-up 1979's 'Anything's Possible' failed to give the label a substantial hit.

The Songs
In 1977 a Billboard Magazine concert review described Torrance's opening act slot for the Ozark Mountain Daredevils as 'solid hard rock styled after party bands like Grand Funk and Thin Lizzy'. Trust me when I say you won't hear any of that on this platter. What you will tune into is lightweight, at times bland California rock tapping into the same blue-jeaned vein as Sanford Townsend Band, Dalton & Dubarri and funky Little Feat. The boogie-woogie of 'Moonlight Trippin' and sweet acoustic balladry of 'Stay Young' probably enticed a few haggard radio programmers of the day but now sound hopelessly dated and instantly forgettable. Digging deeper and dipping into the laid-back jazzy pop of Michael Franks on 'Tender Memory' and the smooth 'Rio De Janeiro Blue' which was a big hit for the late and much-missed Nicolette Larson, elevates 'Bareback' just a tad above the usual west coast fare while the early Doobie Brothers hippie-blues of 'Leave My Love Behind' and 'Under Your Spell' inch the LP just barely from fair to mildly good, it's still not enough to recommend the record beyond a once in a lifetime listen.

In Summary
These days Torrance is back in his native Bismarck, working with local talent, gigging throughout North Dakota and Minnesota as well as the occasional foray in Las Vegas. Looking over the biography on his web site, Richard had a lot going for him way back when; major contracts, top-notch session players on his albums and touring with some of the biggest names of the day. It's too bad that alleged on-stage energy mentioned in the Billboard piece didn't translate into his studio work.

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