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Hellbound Train (1972) - Savoy Brown


    Featuring »

Dave Bidwell, Paul Raymond, Kim Simmonds, Andy Sylvester/Silvester, Dave Walker

    Tracklisting »
Doin' Fine
  Date Performance: 1972, Running Time: 2:46
Lost And Lonely Child
  Date Performance: 1972, Running Time: 6:00
I'll Make Everything Alright
  Date Performance: 1972, Running Time: 3:18
Troubled By These Days And Times
  Date Performance: 1972, Running Time: 5:43
If I Could See An End
  Date Performance: 1972, Running Time: 2:54
It'll Make You Happy
  Date Performance: 1972, Running Time: 3:26
Hellbound Train
  Date Performance: 1972, Running Time: 9:10
    Released »

1972-02-18

    Format »

Domestic Vinyl/CD Album

    Other Appearances »
Roy (Thomas) Baker (Engineer), Neil (The Curmudgeon) Slaven (Producer), Paul Raymond (Songwriter), Paul Raymond (Songwriter), Kim Simmonds (Songwriter), Kim Simmonds (Songwriter), Andy Sylvester/Silvester (Songwriter), Andy Sylvester/Silvester (Songwriter), John Tracy (Co-Ordination), John Tracy (Co-Ordination), John Tracy (Liner Notes), John Tracy (Liner Notes), John Tracy (Research), John Tracy (Research), Gail Inkpen (Co-Ordination Assistant), Regina Steyaert (Co-Ordination Assistant), Anthony Hawkins (Re-Mastering), David Anstey (Original Sleeve Design)

    Record Label »
Parrot/Decca/Deram

    Catalogue Number »

XPAS 71052 (US Parrot Vinyl) TXS 107 (UK Decca Vinyl)/844019-2 (Deram '91 CD Reissue)

    Running Time »

33:14

    Liner Notes »

Recorded at Trident Studios, London.

A LOST SOUL....A HELLBOUND TRAIN..IT SAT, AND LOOKED OUT OF THE WINDOW. IT SAW......A THING - SOMETHING......COMING TOWARDS HIM THE WINDOW SHATIERED THE THING DISAPPEARED THE TRAIN SPED ON...PASSED A SWAMP THAT OOZED AND MOVED. A CREATURE CREPT UP......AND THEN ANOTHER, TO HERD IT AWAY FROM THE TRACK. IT LOOKED ON SUDDENLY IT ALL WENT BLACK..EXCEPT INSIDE THE CARRIAGE IT LOOKED ROUND AT ITS FELLOW TRAVELLERS. WE'RE ALMOST THERE! WHERE?? WHERE ARE WE GOING? WHERE? IT DOESN'T KNOW. IT DOESN'T KNOW! TO HELL WITH IT THEN!! ...AND THE TRAIN SLOWED UP!

1991 CD Reissue notes:

With their last album, STREET CORNER TALKING (U.K.: Decca TXS 104, Rel: 24th September 1971 U.S.: Parrot PAS 71047), having reached a very acceptable 75 on America's Billboard Top 200 - their fifth such long-player to dent the ratings there - and with even the bonus of a spin-off single notation as TELL MAMA (U.K.: F 13247, 29th October 1971; U.S.: 45-40066) crept up to 83 beneath the Stars and Stripes, a similar line-up ensconced themselves in London's Trident Studios to commit another LP.

Producer Neil Slaven would again direct operations over Kim Simmonds (Lead Guitar); Paul Raymond (Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals); Andy Silvester (Bass); Dave Bidwell (Drums) and main vocalist Dave Walker for the rather-short-on-running-time collection to be billed as HELLBOUND TRAIN.

Fitted in between their usual round of Stateside gigging crusades, this powerful set was scheduled for issue at home as TXS 107 on February 18th 1972, our cousins across the 'big pond' being able to secure an identical seven tracks by ordering Parrot XPAS 71052.

The gaudy gatefold-sleeve came courtesy once more of David Anstey, whose illustrative talents reached a new high of animation in telling the tale of the ill-fated transport, and while British sales were restricted to a relatively small hardcore following, Savoy supporters in America grew ever more numerous: after breaching the barrier initially on March 18th HELLBOUND TRAIN steamed up to No. 34 and remained visible for 21 weeks. In so doing it was destined to be their most successful package ever.

Although Decca declined to pull a seven-inch extract from within its ranks, her sister was understandably keener to seek airplay action to tie-in with the inevitable promotional support tour they undertook, so on April 26th IF I COULD SEE AN END was unveiled back-to-back with LOST AND LONELY CHILD as 45-362. Both titles, like everything on the album, were this time compositions emanating exclusively from band members, but unlike TELL MAMA it failed to show on other than radio playlists.

All one would have imagined was perfect, but the very nature of the beast known as Savoy Brown meant that its trademark - frequent personnel changes - were somehow almost necessary for its evolution and continued welfare centred, as always, around Simmonds, the only constant thread extant from their earliest days.

So it was to be that Andy Silvester would seek pastures new in June '72, his immediate replacement being Andy Pyle from Juicy Lucy. Ironically this latter was simply returning to the fold, and by doing so united once again the line-up which had existed immediately prior to STREET CORNER TALKING's recording; it had never previously committed anything to tape for Pyle had quit before such an event could occur...to throw in his lot with Juicy Lucy.

The wheel having come full-circle, they soon made up for lost time, and by August 24th '72 everything required for another album was cut and mixed. It would not, therefore, be long until Uncle Sam's nationals at least could sink their teeth into a bumper feast fit for a king. Britain wouldn't follow until the next year, but ultimately everyone would enjoy a LION'S SHARE of the spoils...

JOHN TRACY London, 1991

(P) 1972 (C) 1991 The Decca Record Co. Ltd., London, England

PolyGram Label Group

Manufactured and Marketed by Polygram Records, Inc. New York, NY

All rights reserved.

Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

Made in U.S.A.

Compact Disc Digital Audio

AAD

0 422 0

0501

    Reviews »
Add your review here.

4/5.04/5.04/5.04/5.04/5.0
Two long tracks make up for mostly sagging middle
Review written by John Fitzgerald, February 9th, 2005

Though this album is pretty short on running time and doesn't have many tracks to offer, fortunately it's longest tracks make it worthwhile alone. The closing title track ranks up there as one of Savoy Brown's best ever. It's a dramatic keys and guitar builder. Though the production by today's standards sounds rather flat, it still works great and proves you can't keep a great song down whatever the obstacles (though it may be considered preferable to rid of those obstacles). The track climbs to an atmospheric speedy train sounding guitar solo section at the end which ends with a quick cut as if the proverbial train had hit a brick wall at it's destination, it's effectively jolting, though a word of warning here: When the CD edition of this album was released in 1991, whoever was transferring the disc thought this track was supposed to be faded so you just hear a quick fade at the end rather than the quick stop cut so if you want the quick cut over the fade then you'd be best to either hunt down the vinyl or get a Savoy Brown compilation CD on which the track was pressed with the correct ending such as the economical "20th Century masters: The millennium collection" or the 2 disc anthology "The Savoy Brown collection featuring Kim Simmonds". There may well be others but these are two discs I have heard first hand and can confirm that these do include the right ending. There was word from Deram after the "Hellbound train" CD was released that it was going to be "redone correctly" but as far as I know this has yet to happen with the "Hellbound train" CD. Back to the tracks: "Lost and lonely child" is a moody organ drone mixed with an acoustic guitar strummer which once you get to know it, doesn't seem six minutes in length. You will be aware that the song has a long fade out but you won't mind as you'll be enjoying the soothing groove it will be in towards the end. The nearly six minute "Troubled by these days and times" does seem long though in contrast. It's a slow to mid tempo, almost gospel like tune which is over repetitious I believe. Now on to the short tracks: One can see why "If I could see an end" was chosen as the single as it's a pretty catchy pulsing echo vocalized rocker but this is a case (though I'm usually against edits of any kind) where the album may have been better represented with a single edit of the title track and/or "Lost and lonely child" as sadly, "If I could see an end" made little to no impact on the charts. You may get sick of the bass & organ bouncing riff in "It'll make you happy" but if you sing along once you get to know it's tune, it's actually OK. "I'll make everything alright" is also a weaker track with it's even keys & guitar arrangement, it's not a strong hook though the album opening "Doin' fine" is a likable popish strummer with a nice ragtime piano solo in the middle. Overall, this strikes me as an album with a formula similar to albums from the late 60's by heavy rockers that had a few ideas for their long jams but then filled out the record with throwaway tracks as they figured their fans were only going to listen to the longer jams anyways. The same could be argued here but "Hellbound train" has stronger filler than those albums generally do and probably smarter long tracks as well.

    Last Modified »
2010-11-18
    Tracklisting »
Discography entry submitted by Jeff Kenney.