Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Savoy Brown

  • Hellbound Train [Parrot, 1972] B-
  • The Best of Savoy Brown [London, 1977] B-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Hellbound Train [Parrot, 1972]
Creedence Clearwater survival. B-

The Best of Savoy Brown [London, 1977]
More even than John Mayall, this band was the great mean--that is, the mean--of the purist (as opposed to heavy) wing of what we in America once called British blues, and these eight tracks, none recorded after 1972, say it all. "Train to Nowhere" is a minor classic, "A Hard Way to Go" and maybe one or two others mildly memorable, and that's it for twelve albums. I mean, who wants to hear (third but not last vocalist) Dave Walker sing "Wang Dang Doodle" when it's on The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions? And who but an annotator would describe an empty-headed Kim Simmonds guitar solo (over a rhythm section that's simultaneously stolid and shaky) as "piercing and blistering"? B-

Further Notes:

Everything Rocks and Nothing Ever Dies [1990s]