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Jack Bruce - Out of the Storm (LP)

Jack Bruce - Out of the Storm (LP)

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Genre: rock
Rating: 4 stars ****
Title:  Out of the Storm
Company: RSO
Catalog: SD 4805
Year: 1974
Country/State: Lanarkshire, Scotland
Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+
Comments: minor ring wear
Available: 1
Catalog ID: 6269
Price: $10.00

When West, Bruce and Laing collapse in 1971 bassist Jack Bruce went into what was essentially three years of hibernation. 1974's "Out of the Storm" marked his return to active recording. Co-produced by Bruce and Andy John, this one's going to come as somewhat of a shock for the unprepared. Anyone expecting to hear Cream, or West, Bruce and Laing styled rockers is liable to have a hard time making the switch over to Bruce's affection for less focused and occasionally jazz-oriented material. Surrounding himself with some first-rate L.A. sessions players, I'm not talking Coltrane, or Davis-styled jazz, but tracks like Pieces of Mind' and 'Running Through Our Hands' were filled with quirky melodies, oddball timings, and (as usual) Pete Brown's eclectic lyrics. The first dozen times I listened to the collection I just couldn't get into much of the album ... As always I liked Bruce's instantly recognizable voice and tracks like 'Keep on Wondering' and 'Keep It Down' were quite commercial, but a significant portion of the collection was just too discordant for my ears. That said, this is one of those album's that rewards persistence. Some of the compositions I didn't particularly like have grown on me and have found their way onto my iPhone (to say nothing of my stereo).
- 'Pieces of Mind' opened the album was a pastoral, harmonium-powered segment, before exploding into a quirky rocker. Structurally the song was very herky-jerky which made it hard to get your ears around, but it was also a track that burned its way into your head if given an opportunity. Imagine Bruce fronting King Crimson and you'll have a feel for the song. rating: **** stars
- Co-written with then-wife Janet Godfrey, 'Golden Days' was easily the album's prettiest number. A beautiful, keyboard powered ballad, the song showcased Bruce's multi-tracked voice over a melody that should have provided him with a radio hit. rating: **** stars
- An atmospheric, mid-tempo rocker, 'Running Through Our Hands' suffered from a rather lackadaisical melody and some of Brown's most enigmatic lyrics (I know, fans will tell you this was poetry set to music) - anyone got a clue what the song's about ? The passage of time ? I've listed to the song dozens of times and read and re-read the lyrics without a clue "Seasons kiss, collide and miss ...". rating: *** stars
- Built on a rollicking Bruce bass line, 'Keep on Wondering' was probably the first side's most conventional rocker. In fact, with a percolating rhythm, this was almost a funk song. Yeah, the extended Bruce harmonica solo wasn't necessary, but the rest of the song more than compensated. rating: *** stars
- 'Keep It Down' featured the album's most conventional rock structure which probably explains why it was tapped as the single. Along with some nice lead guitar from Steve Hunter (of Lou Reed fame), it's probably my pick for standout performance. rating: **** stars
- The autobiographical (?) 'Into the Storm' was probably the album's most interesting composition with Bruce employing a surprising lower range vocal over another surprisingly attractive melody (helped by another tasty Hunter solo). Ah, the power of positive thinking ... rating: **** stars
- 'One' started out as a stark, slightly loungy sounding ballad before exploding into a catchy mid-tempo rocker. rating: *** stars
- In case anyone forgot Bruce's roots as a bass player, 'Timeslip' served as a subtle reminder of just how good a player he was. Powered by a snaky bass pattern and a cool, atmospheric melody, just when you were starting to mellow out, the song exploded into a headlong rock jam. This was another one of those songs that snuck up on you when you were least expecting it. rating: **** stars

As mentioned above, the album was tapped for an instantly obscure single:

UK issue
- 1974's 'Keep It Down' b/w 'Golden Days' (RSO catalog number 2090 141)
US promo issue
- 1974's 'Keep It Down' (mono) b/w 'Keep It Down' (stereo) (RSO catalog number 2090 141 SO 507)

This has grown to become one of my favorite Bruce solo releases and you can still find cheap copies.

The album managed to peak at # 160 on the US charts.

"Out of the Storm" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Pieces of Mind (Jack Bruce - Pete Brown) - 5:39
2.) Golden Days (Jack Bruce - Janet Godfrey) - 5:14
3.) Running Through Our Hands (Jack Bruce - Pete Brown) - 4:14
4.) Keep on Wondering (Jack Bruce - Pete Brown) - 3:10
(side 2)
1.) Keep It Down (Jack Bruce - Pete Brown) - 3:46
2.) Into the Storm (Jack Bruce - Pete Brown) - 4:45
3.) One (Jack Bruce - Pete Brown) - 5:03
4.) Timeslip (Jack Bruce - Pete Brown) - 6:33

In 2003 Polydor re-issued the collection on CD, including a number of bonus tracks:

1.) Keep It Down (original mix)
2.) Keep On Wondering (original mix)
3.) Into The Storm (original mix)
4.) Peaces Of Mind (original mix)
5.) One (original mix)
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