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The Missing Link,
This review is from: Rollin' With The 69 Crew: The Lost Masters (Audio CD)
This album is the culmination of a search, lasting over ten years, to find missing tapes of a series of recording sessions undertaken by Steve Ellis after he departed from chart toppers, Love Affair. The idea was to release a Steve Ellis solo album in 1970, which would establish him as a performer in his own right. What did appear at that time, was the soundtrack to the film "Loot", which has had a cult following in the ensuing years and then albums by the band, Ellis. This collection of songs got left behind and gathered dust in the CBS vaults. Listening to this now, one can see how Steve made the musical transition from the sound of Love Affair to the sound of the Ellis band.
The first CD features ten songs that utilize the musicians and backing that was present on the Love Affair hit singles, including orchestral arrangements by Keith Mansfield. This is the closest thing to a second Love Affair album, with a selection of well chosen covers and even includes a song written by Philip Goodhand-Tait, the man responsible for most of Love Affair's hit singles, to keep hardcore fans of the band happy. It also includes one of the first covers of Rainy Night in Georgia, which latterly became something of a standard, but Steve got in there first with his version and a mighty fine one it is too.
The second CD features the band, Hookfoot, along with various guest musicians and presents Steve in a Rock setting. Steve contributes four songs to the the ten featured here, which includes a very early cover of a Elton John and Bernie Taupin song, "Take Me To The Pilot". The overall sound of this collection of songs is somewhat reminiscent of The Band, which very much lends an air of maturity to the whole proceedings.
What you get from this double CD release is proof that Steve can handle a wide variety of musical styles with aplomb and it leaves you in no doubt that he is amongst the best singers this country has produced. Overall, this is a very worthy release and a very worthwhile addition to your record (ok, ok, CD ) collection. Steve still treads the boards on a regular basis and if you want to hear that soaring three and a half octave voice in action, check out the gig listing online, you will not be disappointed.Rollin' With The 69 Crew: The Lost Masters