ON THIS DATE (38 YEARS AGO)
APRIL 22, 1974 – Robin Trower: Bridge of Sighs is released.
# ALL THINGS MUSIC PLUS+ 5/5
# allmusic 4.5/5
# Rolling Stone (see original review below)
Bridge of Sighs is the second solo album by Robin Trower, released in April, 1974. It reached #7 in the United States during a chart stay of 31 weeks. It was certified Gold on 10 September 1974.
Robin Trower’s watershed sophomore solo disc remains his most stunning, representative, and consistent collection of tunes. When Robin Trower left Procul Harum in 1971, he opted for a slightly less velvet-draped sound, basing his new songs on bluesy riffs and gritty vocals. This second solo album is arguably his best, and definitely his most popular, going gold and providing charting hits like the intense title ballad and the churning, funky “Too Rolling Stoned.”
Songs from this album, such as “Bridge of Sighs”, “Too Rolling Stoned”, “Day of the Eagle”, and “Little Bit of Sympathy”, have become live concert staples for Trower . The album was produced by organist Matthew Fisher, formerly Trower’s bandmate in Procol Harum. Acclaimed Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick was this album’s sound engineer.
The album was named after the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Italy.
Different printings of the original album cover had the front image inverted.
The 2007 reissue contains eight new tracks–classic John Peel live sessions from 1975 that capture Trower’s trio at the smoking height.
ORIGINAL ROLLING STONE REVIEW
Guitarist Robin Trower admits to drawing his inspiration from Jimi Hendrix, and has the arsenal of licks, tricks and tunes to prove it. He has also assembled a balanced band to accompany his solo flights: Bassist James Dewar is a proficient soul-styled singer capable of admirably filling vocal chores without detracting from the guitarist’s show.
Trower’s own tone is meaty, his hand sure: In coherence and flash, his solos bear comparison with his mentor’s. But while his present group plays with commendable restraint, and despite Trower’s instrumental prowess, Bridge Of Sighs, like its predecessor, Twice Removed from Yesterday, lacks that creative spark which separates derivative finesse from more personal stylistic elaboration. The very polished assurance of Trower’s lines misses the pathos animating Hendrix’s last recordings. Evidently Trower will have to cast off Hendrix’s ghost before he finds his own voice. In the meantime, his current band plays with a concise potency that fills a contemporary void.
~ Jim Miller (June 6, 1974)
All tracks composed by Robin Trower; except where indicated
“Day of the Eagle” – 4:59
“Bridge of Sighs” – 5:05
“In This Place” – 4:28
“The Fool and Me” (Trower, James Dewar) – 3:57
“Too Rolling Stoned” – 7:29
“About to Begin” – 3:43
“Lady Love” (Trower, James Dewar) – 3:21
“Little Bit of Sympathy” – 4:20
The album was remastered and remixed in 1999 with bonus tracks recorded for KMET radio on 29 May 1974 at The Record Plant in Los Angeles, California:
“Day of the Eagle (Live)”
“Bridge of Sighs (Live)”
“Too Rolling Stoned (Live)”
“Lady Love (Live)”
“Little Bit of Sympathy (Live)”
The album was remastered and released in 2007 with eight bonus tracks from BBC Radio 1’s “John Peel Sessions”:
“Bridge of Sighs (recorded 5/3/74)”
“In This Place (recorded 5/3/74)”
“Alethea (recorded 5/3/74)”
“Little Bit of Sympathy (recorded 5/3/74)”
“Fine Day (recorded 28/1/75)”
“Confessin’ Midnight (recorded 28/1/75)”
“Its Only Money (recorded 28/1/75)”
“Gonna Be More Suspicious (recorded 28/1/75)”