Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Crazy Horse - Loose (1972)

You won't miss me....

  

Released in January 1972

Running time 40.03

This was a strange album because the Crazy Horse of their strong, rocking eponymous debut album were not really this Crazy Horse. Guitarist/songwriter Danny Whitten had departed (soon to die of a drug overdose), as had keyboard player and producer Jack Nietzsche and guest guitarists Nils Lofgren and Ry Cooder. Only bassist Billy Talbot and drummer Ralph Molina remained. They were joined by singer/songwriter George Whitsell, keyboardist John Blanton and guitarist Greg Leroy. So, in many ways, the albums are the products of separate groups and you can tell. For sure, this is the inferior of its predecessor, and it is far more of an America/Flying Burrito Brothers-style country rock album. It is, to an extent, just another run-of-the-mill country rock album, of which there were many in 1972, but actually it is surprisingly good one, if listened to objectively and comparisons to the debut album are refrained from. There is also a bit of upbeat rocky material on there too. I quite like it, I have to say and feel that some of the criticism the album has received over the years has been a tad unfair.

TRACK LISTING

1. Hit And Run
2. Try
3. One Thing I Love
4. Move
5. All Alone Now
6. All The Little Things
7. Fair Weather Friend
8. You Won't Miss Me
9. Going Home
10. I Don't Believe It
11. Kind Of Woman
12. One Sided Love
13. And She Won't Even Blow Smoke In My Direction    

Hit And Run is a melodious, appealing mid-pace laid-back rock song. It features some good guitar throughout. Try also has a slow dignity about it, with some country-style steel guitar interjecting the harmonious vocals. Granted, the album's critics say that this is ordinary country rock, and there is a certain amount of truth in that but I find it pleasantly enjoyable, so that will do for me. In a very breezy, airy country vein is the tuneful strains of One Thing I Love. It is sort of America meets the early Eagles and the musicianship is excellent, as indeed it is throughout the album.


Move is the album's first comparatively heavier rock number with a nice big bassy thump to it. Again it sounds a bit like something from The Eagles' debut album. All Alone Now is an attractive-sounding, light and unthreatening country rock number. It is not unlike some of the material The Beach Boys were putting out during the same period. All The Little Things is vaguely Beatles-ish in its slow rock ballad sort of way. It morphs eventually into some absolutely killer guitar soloing that takes you by surprise, proof that this incarnation of Crazy Horse could rock out too.

Fair Weather Friend is very Crosby, Stills & Nash in its feel, particularly on the vocals. It also features some fetching electric violin. You Won't Miss Me is an upbeat steel guitar and solid drums-driven country romp. Going Home is a powerfully-backed slow number that doesn't quite cut the mustard for me, I feel the vocals are too overbearing. More like it is the lively, bluesy rock of I Don't Believe It, with its searing guitar parts.

Kind Of Woman is a piano and vocal dominated slow number while One Sided Love up the chunkiness considerably on a muscular, heavy riff-driven song. The oddly-titled And She Won't Even Blow Smoke In My Direction is a very brief instrumental.

Look, this certainly is no match for its forerunner and this line-up of Crazy Horse is vastly different from the previous one, but taken as a stand alone album it is not as bad as many have said it is.

C+