REVIEW: Cozy Powell – Over The Top (1979 Polydor)

Next in line of my reviews from Record Store Excursion 2012!  Check out the video below if you missed it.  This one bought at Sonic Boom Kensington.

MIKE AND AARON GO TO TORONTO

Let’s boogie!

The lineup is impressive enough:  Joining Cozy are Don Airey on keyboards/moog and Jack Bruce on bass.  Guitarists include Gary Moore, Bernie Marsden and Clem Clempson.   So, that’s all good.

But Over The Top starts with the disco-sounding “Theme I” (written by George Martin of all people).  There’s too much of Don’s dated sounding synth.  That continues into the next track, “Killer” featuring Gary Moore.  Don’s ray-gun keyboard are too much, although Gary is brilliant, and a highlight to the track.

Cozy expertly steps his way through every track,  sounding like nobody but Cozy.  But these cheesey keyboard anthems don’t lend themselves well to his style.  Too much disco, too much funk, too much boogie and not enough rock.  Jack Bruce is great, of course, very few can do what he does.  His bass here is articulate and precise but for me, too much jazz fusion and not enough anchor!

Most of this is progressive-based rock, but the dated synth echoes too many things that nobody really liked anymore.  The songs are not especially stiking, and Cozy doesn’t really go nuts until the final song, “Over The Top”.  The producer behind this mess?  None other than Martin Birch!

Best Song:  “El Sid” which has some groove and stomp to it, the keys are toned down while Jack plays some beautifully stretchy basslines, and Bernie Marsden throws in one of those bluesy solos that you know and love from early Whitesnake.  (Bernie wrote this one.)  Second best is “Sweet Poison” which has moments that smoke.

I dig the cover art with Cozy jumping his drums with his bike!  Sweet.

2/5 stars.  I think it likely that if Cozy were with us, hey’d probably regret the keyboard-saturated sound today.

TRACK LIST:

Side One – “Theme I”, “Killer”, “Heidi Goes To Town”, “El Sid”

Side Two – “Sweet Poison”, “The Loner”, “Over The Top”

5 comments

  1. Man, keyboards were everywhere, for a while there. Can’t fault them. Blame the drugs. Still, you’d think that that collection of players together, with Maiden’s producer no less, could come up with something better than a 2/5 in Lebrain’s ears.

    That is some seriously sweet cover art, though. I mean, that shit’s AWESOME. He just looks so nonchalant as he’s jumping his lit. Classic.

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    1. “kit” not lit. See, the ‘l’ and the ‘k’ are right beside each other on the keyboard. And I had two glasses of wine tonight when I was already tired from chasing kids all day. Yeah. Jumping his “kit.” Not his “lit.” I don’t even know what “jumpng a lit” would mean… You know what? I’m headed for the tub.

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    2. Cozy loved his bikes. I bet if you did a google search for Cozy pictures, many would be on a bike. I remember his photo inside the Rainbow album Down to Earth was him on a bike.

      I was surprised that this was only a 2. I was expecting a solid 3 at least!

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