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
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