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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Snail - 1979 Flow
Snail - 1979 Flow

LABEL: Cream Records
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 2009, Renaissance Records (2 on 1 with 'Snail')


LINEUP: Bob O'Neil - rhythm guitars, vocals * Ken Kraft - lead and slide guitar * Brett Bloomfield - bass, vocals * Donnie Baldwin - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 I've Got A Lady * 02 Here With You * 03 Love Should Flow * 04 Threw It Away * 05 Lettin' Go * 06 Tonight * 07 Rollin' In Your Love * 08 Forever * 09 And Your Bird Can Sing * 10 Broke Up, Broke Down

Eric wrote a bit about Snail on his debut album article (link below). So I'll just add a few bits and pieces to round out their second and final album 'Flow', which was released a year later in 1979. Snail's history goes way back into time. 1968 to be exact, their personnel relatively stable over 5 incarnations of the band from 1968 right through to 1996. Bob O'Neill is the catalyst here, but during the late 70's, he and Ken Kraft were the two mainstays. For 'Flow', the duo were joined by future Jefferson Starship/Starship alumni Brett Bloomfield (also Le Mans) and Donnie Baldwin replacing Jack Register and Jim Norris respectively.

The Songs
I'd agree with Eric's prior assessment of the band. FM radio fodder for the times, with a hint of The Doobie Brothers, Couchois and Orleans all tossed into a jumbo cooking pot. 'Here With You' is pretty good actually, radio rock for sure, 'Love Should Flow' features duelling guitars, mild vocals and a Couchois approach to song structure, though the keyboard introduction on the second verse is a bit intrusive. 'Threw It Away' to my ears is more about midwest pop/rock rather than anything Californian. 'Lettin' Go' is a bit sparse musically and played in a slower tempo initially, though Snail do pick the pace up toward the end. 'Tonight' is a lovely and bright tune, for me one of the picks on the album. Another surprising tune is the Lennon McCartney co-write 'And Your Bird Can Sing', this too is pretty good, with choice vocal melodies all round. The final track 'Broke Up, Broke Down' is a confusing listen, but things get really rockin n rollin' by the end, so much so that Snail go out in a blaze of glory! Well done!

In Summary
Snail died on the vine unfortunately, though O'Neill and Kraft would move on to many other projects over the years. The band did make a belated reunion attempt during 1996, but left it at that. Both Snail albums were reissued in 2009 by Renaissance Records, but from all accounts, the end result is a poor recording. Not surprising considering Renaissance past attempts at mediocrity. You would best keep with the original vinyl rather than waste your money on an inferior CD. Not the worst band from the era, you'll find one or two gems from the 20 or songs they recorded over two albums.

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#1 | Eric on July 06 2013 12:51:19
'Threw it Away' was released as a single and I remember hearing it on the radio although not enough to keep 'Flow' out of cut-out bins for years to come.
#2 | super80boy on July 13 2013 19:53:32
I can see 'Threw It Away' being a single, as it's pretty good to my ears. Good rhythm changes, guitar licks and a catchy chorus. 'Here With You' would be another pick for a single. FLOW is a more structured and polished affair than their debut.
#3 | reyno-roxx on June 26 2016 22:12:59
Was Brett Bloomfield related to the late Mike Bloomfield (KBC etc)?
#4 | gdazegod on June 27 2016 04:04:05
I don't believe so. Well not directly in any case. Mike had a brother (Allen), who could be related. Mike died of a drug overdose in 1981, was married at one point in the 60's, but I don't think he had any children with his ex-wife. Man, Mike Bloomfield's life was full of tragedy, you wouldn't read about it..
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