It should never be forgotten or underestimated the valuable and massive contribution Graham Bond made towards the 60's/70's blues/jazz scene.One of my most precious possessions on vinyl is still the 1971 release of the ' Bond in America ' album and of which those album tracks appear on the re-released ' Mighty Graham Bond ' and ' Love is the Law '.Trying to put aside Bonds interests in the occult and his tragic addiction, for me some of his best work and some real lost gems are contained on his totally underrated solo albums.Of course the no frills production sounds pretty raw but that should not in the least diminish some of the quality of his immensley soulful voice, musicianship and songwriting.Anyone who has the remotest interest in 60/70's blues needs to add Graham Bonds solo work to their collection. I can assure you that you won't be disappointed.The excellent and informative sleeve notes are worth the price of the cd alone along with the quite outstanding opening and title track.Please also check out Freaky Beaks on the Mighty cd.
Originally released in 1969 on the Pulsar label when Bond was living in the States, as well as singing Graham plays keyboards, sax and bass, with help from Diane Stewart on back-up vocals and Hal Blaine on drums. I remember hearing the single of "Love Is The Law" at the time and not being very impressed, the general impression was that Graham had lost it. However, this record isn't as bad as I thought it would be - gone is the rawness and toughness of his Organisation recordings but his Hammond organ and sax playing are as good as ever. His voice is OK, if a bit rough in places, but it is the lyrics and songs themselves which aren't really up to standard. "I Couldn`t Stand It Anymore" is the same song as "I can't stand it" from "Solid Bond" but without John Hiseman's wonderful drumming this is a pretty weedy version.
This record saw Bond in transition from his jazz and R&B roots to more 'sophisticated sounds', with hippy influences - for me it's a mixture that doesn't quite work BUT if Graham had lived and carried on I'm sure he would have worked it out and possibly graduated into prog rock. "Love Is The Law", "Moving Towards The Light" and "Our Love Will Come Shining Through" all represent this more sophisticated approach but I feel that something is missing, possibly other musicians of a similar calibre to bounce off. Many of the tracks are surprisingly short by today's standards and my favourite track the instrumental "The Naz" is the longest track on the CD and features Graham streching out a bit with some great sax and organ playing. "Bad News Blues" is typical Bond blues that could have been on either of his first two LPs but again at 2:49 it seems ridiculously short with Bond just getting into his stride when the song ends.
This record was better than I expected and is interesting in that it gives clear indications of the direction Graham would have taken if he'd lived and so it is probably worth getting for Bond completeists. For more general listening a good Bond Best of is needed combining the Organisation LPs, some of the singles and some of these later songs.