CD Reviews

The Reggie Knighton Band Hot

Added by James Gaden     May 05, 2010    
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Reissue of the classic quirky seventies rock album.

Among the lesser known classics that Derek Oliver’s Rock Candy label have remastered and re-issued so far there are a fair smattering of records that were, in hindsight, perhaps a little too left-field and original to ever gain mainstream recognition. The one and only album by US singer/songwriter/guitarist Reggie Knighton and his band (following an earlier solo album that hinted at what was to come) can comfortably sit alongside albums by Face Dancer, Storm and the recently released first Trillion record in the ‘too clever for their own good’ section.
Reggie had a quirky and eccentric pop side to him that when added to the blues-rock of the time created something that was wonderfully addictive and melodic, even if you did sometimes wonder where the mans head was at. For instance the shuffle beat of ‘The King And I’ is highly contagious but the chorus is guaranteed to offend any devout Elvis fan, and I doubt ‘Highway Patrol’ would be essential listening down at LAPD either… or maybe it would? Reggie’s light vocal delivery and melodic guitar playing, in tandem with guitarist Brian Ray, provides many hooks throughout off-the-wall ditties like the cool blues of ‘Clone In Love’ and the subtle dynamics of ‘Lear Jet’, each one underpinned by the monstrous drums of Glenn Symmonds, whose power was captured beautifully by legendary producer Roy Thomas-Baker.
Personal favourites would include the laid-back opener ‘Breakin’ Up Inside’ and the quirky ‘Ooh Girl’- which should really have sold millions to fans of 10cc and ELO, but it’s ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Alien’, ‘UFO’ (can you see a theme here?) and ‘Behind A Rock ’N’ Roll Band’ that take top honours for me. If Face Dancer had been more blues oriented then this is what ‘This World’ would have sounded like.
The remastering is, as always, superb, and the sleeve-notes by Dave Reynolds have his usual high degree of detail, so it’s interesting to know that Reggie is still around and recorded something for fun recently with RKB guitarist Brian Ray (now long-time lead guitarist for Paul McCartney no less!). However, it’s my guess that thirty-three years later The Reggie Knighton Band album will still be a bit of a Marmite sandwich. Me, I love it! (that’s RKB, not Marmite!)
Phil Ashcroft
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