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RED HOT
The Don Harrison Band

Features Stu Cook and Doug Clifford - Released 1976

SIDE ONE

1. Red Hot (Ready to Go)
2. Jaime
3. This 'ol Guitar
4. Rock 'n' Roll Lady
5. My Heart

SIDE TWO

1. In The Rain
2. Baby, Don't Change Your Mind
3. Love Came Down
4. Takin' My Time
5. Round and Round

Artist: The Don Harrison Band
Album: Red Hot
Label: Atlantic
Cat. No. SD18208 (also released in the U.K.)
Personnel:
Don Harrison: Singer, Rhythm Guitar
Russel DaShiell: Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Harmony Vocals
Doug Clifford: Drums, Percussion, Harmony Vocals
Stu Cook: Bass, Synthesizer, Harmony Vocals
Our Friend John Tanner on Keyboards.


REVIEW

by Gary Jakson - The UK

Before commenting on this album, it should be remembered that rock music in 1976 was with few exceptions as "soft" as it's ever been. Even the Rolling Stones while releasing Black and Blue didn't seem to know whether they wanted to be a R'n'R band, or disco divas. The straightforward approach by the Don Harrison Band is therefore to be commended.

SIDE ONE
RED HOT
The impressive opening of this song, like many on the album flatters to deceive. As a rocking opener to the album, once the opening chords have died away the song doesn't keep the attention, which automatically puts pressure on song no.2

JAIME
Like all the other songs on the album, there's nothing wrong with Jaime. It's a typical mid-tempo rock song of its era, with more acoustic guitars than would be found now, but its main downfall is that it is non-descript. Nothing sticks in the brain, and you don't think "I'll have to listen to that again, because I'm sure I didn't pick up on everything this time" - a good indication of a good song.

THIS OL' GUITAR
One of the best songs on the album, This Ol' Guitar starts with some striking (no pun intended) acoustic chords a la Supertramp, and this time the lyrics are sharp and clever - the song deals with a guitar player who's instrument is being played by another with his woman when he's away. As usual the arrangement and musical support is grade A. What makes this track stand out is that the vocals and lyrics match it.

ROCK N ROLL LADY
At last! The chunky chords at the start signify that for the first time on this album the band allows itself to cut loose. A strong song, although once again the lyrics and melody line are weak.

MY HEART
Ballads clocking in at over six minutes normally leave me cold, but there's enough going on here musically to keep the interest. Some excellent lad guitar work from Russell DaShiell here.

SIDE TWO
IN THE RAIN
Surprise here - a slowish song opening side two. Acoustic guitars open the song but again the arrangements rescue it.

BABY, DON'T CHANGE YOUR MIND
Nice rocky song with a funky edge. Don Harrison sounds more comfortable with the vocals, as he runs through a song reminiscent of Bob Seger, and the band sound like they're having fun for once.

LOVE CAME DOWN
Another ballad, expertly executed, but one too many for me.

TAKIN' MY TIME
The catchiest tune on the album, again Harrison sounds more confident on this. It's full of hooks and riffs to jog your memory banks, an it's naturally the most memorable song on the album. I don't know whether it was a single, but it must have been a contender.

ROUND AND ROUND
At 6'32", this "showstopping" ballad closes the album. It does all the right things musically, but lyrically you have to study the words to know what he's on about, and when you do, you wonder why you bothered in the first place. Bob Seger's "The Ring" without the personal touch, the voice, or the pertinence.

Overall, it's no surprise that this album didn't sell by the truck load. The rhythm section of Stu Cook and Doug Clifford do all that could have been expected, and Russell DaShiell performs some excellent lead guitar work. What's lacking is a voice and a songwriter like Bob Seger or................. someone else we all know. But that's a different ball game.

1976 for me was the worst year ever for music. Nearly everyone wanted to be disco or effeminate, or both and those that didn't went soft musically (Mick Jagger filmed in soft focus wearing make-up for Fool To Cry). It would therefore be wrong to pillory this album in the context of what else was going on at the time. It's a good job of work, but that doesn't make a hit record.

 

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