Thursday, October 13, 2016

Boxer - Bloodletting (1976 uk, tremendous hard classic rock, 2012 remaster)



"Bloodletting" was recorded in 1976, but for some reason was not released to the general public until 1979.  Strange, because it is a great album, despite the fact that half of the album's songs are cover versions and Ollie has no writing credits.  Every track is strong, and the band has a fuller sounding production than on the "Below The Belt" debut.

All of the original compositions are credited solely to Mike, and the "The Blizzard", "Rich Man's Daughter", and "Big City Fever" are perhaps some of the catchiest tunes he wrote on his own.  He redid "Rich Man's Daughter" for the 1977 Boxer album, "Absolutely".  

"Bloodletting" includes four great cover tunes.  "Hey Bulldog" rocks hard and includes some great guitar.  "Dinah-Low" is a fantastic version of the Terry Stamp/Jim Avery song from Terry's 1975 "Fatsticks" album, which both Ollie and Tony Newman played on.  Perhaps the star track on the album, though, is the live version of Leonard Cohen's "Teachers".  It is a smoking performance by the band, which features a bit of Ollie jamming alone towards the end.  

Unlike the first album, other musicians guested on "Bloodletting".  Chris Stainton was acknowledged in large print on the album cover for his keyboards.  Boz Burrell (King Crimson, Alexis Korner, Bad Company et al.), Bobby Tench (Jeff Beck Group et al.), and Tim Hinkley (Bo Street Runners, Jody Grind, Alexis Korner et al.) all played in Chapman/Whitney's Streetwalkers and were involved in the Hinkley's Heroes jam band, which Mike Patto was also involved with.  The three are only listed in small print on the record label, so their contributions to "Bloodletting" are unclear -- likely just backing vocals and minor instrumentation.
Tracks
1. Hey Bulldog (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 3:49
2. The Blizzard - 3:19
3. Rich Man's Daughter - 4:21
4. Big City Fever - 2:58
5. The Loner (Neil Young) - 4:50
6. Why Pick On Me - 4:14
7. Love Has Got Me - 3:05
8. Dinah-Low (Terry Stamp, Jim Avery) - 3:07
9. Teachers (Leonard Cohen) - 6:05

The Boxer
*Mike Patto - Vocals, Keyboards
*Ollie Halsall - Guitar, Keyboards
*Keith Ellis - Bass
*Tony Newman - Drums
With
*Boz Burrell - Vocals
*Bobby Tench - Vocals
*Tim Hinkley - Keyboards
*Chris Stainton - Keyboards

1975  Boxer - Below The Belt (2012 remaster)

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