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4.4 out of 5 stars
Where There's A Will There's A Way: The ABC-Dunhill Recordings
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£23.80+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 26 June 2013
Calling. Calling. This is Vitalina calling all fans of Derek and the Dominos.

Buy this beautiful record. Actually, two records in one: Bobby Whitlock and Raw Velvet, both from the early 70s. God only knows why they've taken so long to get them out on CD. Astonishing: 21 songs - from a gifted artist/session man - locked away in a vault somewhere for 40 years! It's ridiculous. Someone's been playing silly buggers.

A few basic things, though. First, the albums were fine recordings right from the start. Second, the re-mastering process has subtly tweaked them sonically. (Very simply, the music coming through my speakers sounds just great.) Third, the songs range from good to outstanding. Fourth, the songs are superbly performed. (The list of supporting musicians reads like a Who's Who of the era.) Fifth, Bobby's singing is fantabulous. Sixth, he's very handsome, and still is. (Okay, the last point's shallow, but true anyway. I just had to get it in.)

Two personal highlights (on a par with Thorn Tree in the Garden): The Dreams of a Hobo, You Came Along. (Tracks worth the price of the CD alone.)

No messing, these little-known originals really do deserve wider appreciation.

Where There's a Will There's a Way is a sort of offshoot of Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. This time it's a man doing his thing, his way. And what a way it was.

Genuinely, truly, on my life - highly recommended. (Thank you ABC-Dunhill Recordings and FDR. Better late than never.)

Message over.
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These two albums used to fill out the racks of used record stores and just sit there. And even though the self-titled debut contained heavy hitters - like George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann (of "Revolver" fame), Delaney & Bonnie Bramlett, Chris Wood of Traffic, Rick Vito (Bonnie Raitt's band, Bob Seger's band and Fleetwood Mac) and even The Edwin Hawkins Singers - both were largely ignored by the buying public. Now at last top US reissue label Light In The Attic (using their Future Days Recordings imprint) has given them a newfound respect with a world-class CD reissue.

Released June 2013 - "Where’s There’s A Will There’s A Way: The ABC-Dunhill Recordings" by BOBBY WHITLOCK on Light In The Attic/Future Days Recordings FDR 602 (Barcode 82626853060226) offers 2LPs Remastered onto 1CD and breaks down as follows (70:29 minutes):

1. Where There’s A Will
2. Song For Paula
3. A Game Called Life
4. Country Life
5. A Day Without Jesus
6. Back In My Life Again
7. The Scenery Has Slowly Changed
8. I’d Rather Live The Straight Life
9. The Dreams Of A Hobo
10. Back Home In England
Tracks 1 to 10 is his debut album "Bobby Whitlock" issued March 1972 in the USA on ABC-Dunhill DSX 50121 and on CBS Records S 65109 in the UK.

11. Tell The Truth
12. Bustin’ My Ass
13. Write You A Letter
14. Ease Your Pain
15. If You Ever
16. Hello L.A., Bye Bye Birmingham
17. You Came Along
18. Think About It
19. Satisfied
20. Dearest I Wonder
21. Start All Over
Tracks 11 to 21 is his 2nd album "Raw Velvet" issued November 1972 in the USA on ABC-Dunhill DSX-50131 and in the UK in early 1973 on CBS Records S

Once you open the card digipak (safety tuck away the Obi on the spine first) - the booklet is a fantastically chunky 48-page affair festooned with period photos from Whitlock’s own archives and indepth liner notes by MARC ROBERTY. Produced by PAT THOMAS, MATT SULLIVAN and JOSH WRIGHT – this lovingly prepared CD Reissue even has BW’s own reminiscences on each album with track-by-track liner notes in the final pages as well as cover and label artwork. But oddly enough for such an effort – there are no mastering credits – stunning Audio though.

Originally Produced by Andy Johns and Bobby Whitlock - the debut was recorded in London's Olympic Studios and featured an impressive array of British based Rock musicians. George Harrison and Eric Clapton (guitars) join Bobby Keys on Saxophone (practically an honorary member of The Rolling Stones), Klaus Voormann on Bass with Jim Price on Trumpet and Trombone and Jim Gordon on Drums. That amazing line-up grace three - "Where There's A Will", "A Day Without Jesus" and "Back In My Life Again" while Clapton also plays beautiful solo guitar on the lovely ballad "The Scenery Has Slowly Changed". In fact the softer songs are far better than the rather frantic rushed tunes that are just trying too hard and getting nowhere. Chris Wood of Traffic adds flute to the lovely acoustic "A Game Called Life" - for me a nugget on this rather patchy album (lyrics from it title this review).

The second album ups the amps on Side 1 in an attempt to capture the `rawk' market. It opens with "Tell The Truth" - a co-write with Eric Clapton. The countrified cover of Hoyt Axton's "Ease Your Pain" and the almost gospel-rock of "Bustin' My Ass" feature The Edwin Hawkins Singers to great effect. "Hello L.A. Bye Bye Birmingham" features a co-write with Mac Davis and mean slide guitar from Clapton. Things mellow out with Side 2 where he often only employs acoustic guitars, a piano and the Los Angeles Symphony on strings. "You Came Along" is undeniably lovely and Rick Vito's lead playing on "Satisfied" is superb. It ends sounding like "Sun King" from The Beatles "Abbey Road" album with "Start All Over" - all swirling and prettily ethereal.

The remaster is properly great - incredible clarity and presence - even when the raucous ensemble threatens to engulf everything. And the exceptional 48-page booklet entitled "The Bobby Whitlock Story" is done with complete co-operation from the singer himself - photos from his private archives, publicity material, repros of the album labels, detailed track-by-track annotation including his own reminiscences on each song. A lot of work and passion went into this and it shows...

To sum up - neither album is undiscovered genius by any stretch of the imagination - but there's plenty of here worthy of reappraisal. And like Rodriguez, Jim Sullivan and Michael Chapman - once again Light In The Attic has given a voice to an artist who deserved better and should be re-heard.

Check this one out...
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I brought this CD unheard on the basis of the reputation it has. It has most of Derek & The Dominos playing on 1/2 of the album and people like George Harrison, members of Traffic etc. With people like this involved and the fact it was recorded in the early 1970s when music was going through a very creative period made it easy for me to decide to buy this.
Now for the music, after just 1 play I am instantly impressed with the music and the very soulful sound that Bobby Whitlock is known for. The songs are all very strong with some great vocals from Bobby and on a few tracks Eric Claptons wailing guitar.
There is a vast range of influences here, blues, soul, rock, country music and folk. This is a collection of great songs that have a happy vibe and feel. I am very glad I took the plunge to get this CD.
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on 13 September 2013
i don't know what i expected from this album i suppose with his cv of artist from clapton to allman i bought this record if i had heard it first probably would not have but if buy it and judge for yourself
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on 27 September 2013
Bobby Whitlock usually a sideman to the good and the great finally gets to step out of the shadows and show his talents. A first rate collection covering his earliest solo works . Well worth a listen
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on 26 December 2014
A stunning cd comprising two 70s albums.What makes it even better is that a lot of rock royalty play on it,ie, Delaney and Bonnie,Harrison and Clapton plus the rest of Derek and the Dominoes
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on 11 September 2013
An excellent "lost" recording. High calibre musicians, good playing. Classic 70s rock and roll and soul. High class throughout. Recommended.
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on 28 January 2015
I had been waiting for the release of these two albums on cd for years. Well worth the wait, a brilliant cd and excellent value. Every track is a joy to listen to.
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on 8 January 2014
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on 30 September 2014
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