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Derringer, Rick - 1979 Guitars And Women

ARTIST: Derringer, Rick
ALBUM: Guitars And Women
LABEL: Blue Sky
SERIAL: JZ 36092
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 1998, Razor & Tie, 82170-2


LINEUP: Rick Derringer - lead and backing vocals, guitars, bass

Additional Musicians: Todd Rundgren - production, backing vocals * Neil Giraldo - guitar, piano * Benjy King - keyboards, backing vocals * Roger Powell - sound effects, synthesizer, synthesizer strings * Kasim Sulton, Donnie Kisselbach - bass, backing vocals * Kenny Aaronson - bass * Jimmy Wilcox - drums, backing vocals * Myron Grombacher - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Something Warm * 02 Guitars And Women * 03 Everything * 04 Man In The Middle * 05 It Must Be Love * 06 Desires Of The Heart * 07 Timeless * 08 Hopeless Romantic * 09 Need A Little Girl (Just Like You) * 10 Don't Ever Say Goodbye


A much overlooked LP from 1979 comes from early 70's legend Rick Derringer. 'Guitars And Women' to my ears, has a slightly different feel than past Derringer albums, due to the heavy influence of Todd Rundgren and members of his band Utopia. In fact, you could say that GAW is a long lost Utopia record, and in that regard, this LP comes recommended. I first heard the track 'Need A Little Girl (Just Like You)' on the 1980 CBS compilation 'Killer Watts' and recall being highly impressed by it at the time. The line-up includes a who's who of the New York session scene (refer list above). Rick also had the seperate Derringer project which released three albums between 1976 and 1978. Some of the personnel from that band appear here too.

The Songs
As mentioned, the Rundgren co-production is quite telling. GAW fuses Derringer's pop/rock style with Rundgren's own, the result is pretty good. The backing vocals are straight out of the Utopia text book, even if the music is slightly more straight forward. However, in saying that, there is good variation throughout, which makes this worth a decent listen under a set of headphones. The opening duo of 'Something Warm' and 'Guitars And Women' poke their way through the burgeoning US power pop sub-genre. 'Man In The Middle' is also in this vein. One of my highlights is the rowdy 'It Must Be Love'. Check out that guitarwork, maybe the boys in Ozz and Y&T (Hungry For Rock') stole the riff? lol! 'Desires of The Heart' throws a hint of bubblegum pop in there, something Derringer is well versed in. 'Timeless' has Rundgren's delible hand all over it, while 'Need A Little Girl (Just Like You)' as mentioned is another LP highlight, while the rebadged 'Don't Ever Say Goodbye' is very likeable from my perspective. I love the mild nature and soaring vocals, especially the chorus. This track was previously recorded on Rick's 1975 LP 'Spring Fever'.

In Summary
Overall, a fairly useful album, though not very successful by the looks of it. Still, Rick Derringer through the 70's era was a very active musician, and there is much of his discography to check out, including this one. The Utopia connection is a bonus. [word count 372]

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