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River Original recording remastered, Import

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River + Seed Of Memory + Super Lungs: The Complete Studio Recordings 1966-1969
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Product details

  • Audio CD (7 Mar 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: Water Records
  • ASIN: B00006LSMD
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,345 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Dean
2. Avenue
3. Things To Try
4. Live Life
5. River
6. Dream
7. Milestones

Product Description

BBC Review

Much is made of the failures of Terry Reid's career. The man who turned down the vocalist slot in Led Zeppelin (and recommended Robert Plant to Jimmy Page); the man who as a teenage prodigy had his early albums irreparably mangled by manager/producer Mickie Most; in short a man who many name-drop as the artist who fate dealt a bad hand. Yet, few people actually mention his triumphs. For, following a seemingly endless search for a sound and working methodology to suit his incredible voice, Reid did strike creative gold by the early 70s and River was to be his masterpiece.

High profile tours in the US throughout the late 60s supporting the likes of Cream and the Rolling Stones (Terry was at Altamont on that fateful night) honed his craft into something almost totally new at the time. On his journey he'd befriended legendary multi-instrumentalist David Lindley of psychedelic world music pioneers, Kaleidoscope (coincidentally one of Jimmy Page's favourite bands), whose slide work graces River. An incendiary live turn was captured on film during the 1971 Glastonbury festival and it showed how Terry's funky folk blues was evolving into a similar abstraction that Van Morrison had stumbled over with Astral Weeks.

It's this jazzy abstraction that makes River such a treasure. With Lindley in tow, Reid made his first attempt to capture his muse in London with Yes's engineer Eddie Offord, but too much 'looseness' made the results somewhat frustrating. Only the freeform acoustic tracks, ''Dream'' and ''Milestones'', survive from these sessions and, while the meandering scat style is hard to grasp at first, the whole ambience is insidious, just as the theme of the river and its journey pervades the whole album.

Moving to America and working with Atlantic Recordsüber-producer Tom Dowd, the album became a yin-yang experience, with its first side a bluesy electric trip through just three prolonged jams, and the second featuring the two aforementioned tracks plus two other acoustic beauties (''Live Life'' and the sublime ''River'').

Lindley's guitar work is as fluid as Reid's way with words. Phrases and lines become mere sounds in Terry's mouth. To call these tone poems 'rambling' is to misunderstand the deeply charged emotion and pioneering spirit that marked the turbulent recording process. The river theme is perfectly mirrored by song structures that flow, ebb and never, for one instant, remain static. Of course, the Reid jinx wasn't lifted by this wonderful album. One more classic (Seed Of Memory) was to follow in 1976 and then it seemed as if Terry and the world reconciled themselves to never being as huge as he undoubtedly deserved to be. His influence on subsequent artists was, however, significant. Just try listening to Robert Palmer's Sneaking Sally Through The Alley after this album! Reissued at last, now the world can finally catch up... --Chris Jones

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ben VINE VOICE on 27 Feb 2007
Format: Audio CD
I don't mean this to sound detrimental, but music journalists and Mojo magazine readers probably enjoy nothing more than pulling out examples of the 'nearly-men/women' in rock. These are the artists that never quite made it, but had the sufficient talent to make it an injustice that they didn't.

Even today, with his sporadic UK gigging and lack of new records, Terry Reid continues to tick that particular box. For real evidence of this you need look no further than his fantastic album "River".

In true vinyl tradition this is a record of two very distinct halves. The first four cuts gradually build in tempo - peaking with the wonderful "Live Life", which really stretches Reid's famous (and impressive) vocal chords. With its intricate percussion and frequent use of slide, the opening songs make this a very 'Southern Rock' sounding record. The playing is loose, but funky. From there the record gradually begins to wind itself down with "River", "Dreams" and "Milestones" all sounding increasingly ethereal and more folk-infused.

Throughout though the instrumentation is thick and heavily layered - so whilst the melodies are rich, they are buried deep in long, seemingly unstructured songs that appear intentionally to weave themselves in knots. It's a record that demands repeat listens to unpick what is going on, but overall it's all a beautiful noise. It's also quite a casually recorded album (you can hear Reid clearing his throat on a couple of occasions) which only adds more charm.

Overall, a this is impressive stuff that's well worth investigating.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Mr. K. A. Bell on 4 Mar 2003
Format: Audio CD
I bought the album after seeing Terry Reid on "The Old Grey Whistle Test" New-Year's special. Terry bopped from foot to foot, grinning like a maniac whilst singing something totally undecipherable. The song was "Dean", the opening track from "River".
Possibly the greatest ever singer to emerge from the British Isles, the voice still sends shivers down the spine to this day. The original vinyl version of the album was split into two distinct halves: side one, a strange mixture of loose funk and slide guitar which became more and more frantic from the opening "Dean" to the closing "Live Life".
Side two opens with the beautiful acoustic shuffle of the title track and closes with the almost free-form, multi-layered voice trip that is "Milestones".
No-one should be without this record. A lost gem from the seventies. God bless the person who saw fit to re=release it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By DAVE HORN on 31 Aug 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Over two years in the making and originally released on the Atlantic label on vinyl in 1973, this is Terry Reid's best album and the starting point for getting into the vocalist/guitarist who turned down invitations to join the fledgling Led Zeppelin (recommending Robert Plant in his place) and Deep Purple and who wrote Arrival's 1969 hit "Friends". Here Reid has David Lindley (ex-Kaleidoscope (USA)) on guitar, Conrad Isidore on drums on tracks 1-4 of the originals and Lee Miles on bass. At least two tracks were rescued from a previous aborted session (supposedly resulting in 3 albums worth of largely unfinished material) hence "Dream" and "Milestones" being produced by Eddie Offord and the rest by Tom Dowd. Reid reckons that future-Yes man Alan White also remains (un-credited) on some percussion on the album, kept from the original Offord sessions.

All tunes are self-penned (thank goodness) and not one rates less than 5/5*. This beautifully-packaged special edition from Rhino in the replica gatefold album sleeve with two extra tracks and a very informative, excellent quality 25 page booklet has to be considered the only way to buy this album on CD (while it lasts as it stated to be a limited edition).

It's one of my favourite five albums of all time, perhaps even the number one. I bought the original vinyl after seeing Reid in May 1973 at Newcastle Upon Tyne Polytechnic, then the original Japan-only CD issue, the eventual GB CD issue and now this Rhino one. This was all money very well-spent.

Though it's difficult to choose, I consider the star numbers here to be the opening two "Dean" and "Avenue" and the title track "River". "Dean" and "Avenue" are more rock-orientated, though slow and mid-paced respectively.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. Burr on 9 Dec 2007
Format: Audio CD
Amazing. Like all the other people who have heard/reviewed his music, its incredible someone this good is so unheard of. I love finding these obscure albums (like David Crosby's 'If I could only remeber my name'). This album is Funky, Rocky, Soulful, Jazzy, Acoustic (how?!) its an amazing blend of styles and mood. Just beautiful.

Why can no one make music like this today?
I can't wait to hear all his other albums. Thank you Terry.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Juan Mobili on 12 Jun 2004
Format: Audio CD
Among the continuous reissuing of unbearably poor "lost tapes" and full discographies of "second row" bands, once in a while, a forgotten classic or, sometimes worse, an album which deserved much more praise than it ever got, eventually gets re-released.
"River" is one of those felicitous cases where you finally get to own a CD that either you have worn to dust in its vinyl form, or only read about for years and wondered if you'd ever get the chance to hear.
The first few songs, are particularly potent examples of vintage rock from the late Sixties' heyday, even though this album was recorded in the early Seventies, showcasing Reid's incredible voice backed by a band completely tuned in to his musical vision -specially, the legendary, and similarly under-appreciated, David Lindley providing his uncanny taste and skill.
For my taste, where the album goes from very good to truly amazing is on the three final cuts which, I understand, represented side B on the original LP. This is quite fitting, since these songs are eminently acoustic, and show Reid's as even more impressive in his capacity for melodic nuance and emotional range, made even more poignant by their spare -yet extremely tasteful- instrumentation.
As Folk goes, these three tunes can hold their own with any great music of that genre from that era -no coincidence, I guess, that Graham Nash produced another one of his albums- as much as they can teach a thing or two about intimacy and poetry to many current artists who may be even more popular and recognized than Reid has ever been.
All in all, this album is a gem. Whether you get it out of a sentimental impulse or on the exclusive advice of a prestigious review, you will congratulate yourself for spending your money.
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