Music Reviews

Tommy Bolin

From The Archives – Vol II

Zebra

Bolin was right on the brink of major guitar hero stardom when he died in 1976. To many, he was already there. Although he was well known among many players, he released only two albums during his short solo career. Teaser, his best and most cohesive work, and the follow-up, Private Eyes, were well known party favorites among many of the `Heads’ and fusion fans in the pre-Reagan era of cheap and plentiful herbal substances. Bolin filled the hole left in the James Gang after the departure of Joe Walsh on their Miami and Bang releases. He also did a brief stint in Deep Purple during the Come Taste the Band album and tour. His fluid playing and jazz-fusion sensibilities dramatically changed the complexion of both bands. Who knows how he would’ve turned out? A lot of people think he would’ve changed the face of Rock and Roll. However, at the time of his death, he seemed to have already tired of studio work, and was living to play and party. He would often forgo food in favor of alcohol, sometimes for long periods of time. Unfortunately, it all caught up with him one night after a concert, and as Lennon would’ve said, “He made a brilliant career move.”

This release is the second in a series of a “From the Archives” series that his family has put out. Volume 2 consists of a couple of previously unreleased live tracks, and several demos of cuts that later appeared in much more polished and overdubbed forms on the Teaser album. There are two demo versions of a cut called “Alexis” that he had covered with James Gang. This recording would be a must-have for any Bolin fans, especially since Teaser has never been issued on CD in the US. There is a very expensive import version of Teaser available if you can’t wait for the domestic version. http://www.tbolin.com


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