|Back Street Crawler — 2nd Street (1976)|
Back Street Crawler — 2nd Street
♦ On 19th March, 1976, Paul Kossoff died. 'In America, far
from us, but peacefully, without pain, and among friends.'
The performances were done as a memorial: 'To a nice young
man — and one of the best blues guitarists in the world'.
Birth name: Paul Francis Kossoff
Born: 14 September 1950, Hampstead, London, England
Died: 19 March 1976, en route to New York City, U.S.
Album release: August 1976
Record Label: Atco Records / Wounded Bird Records, WOU 138
01. Selfish Lover (John "Rabbit" Bundrick) 3:30
02. Blue Soul (Terry Wilson) 3:49
03. Stop Doing What You're Doing (Back Street Crawler) 3:29
04. Raging River (Terry Wilson) 3:18
05. Some Kind Of Happy (Terry Wilson) 5:03
06. Sweet, Sweet Beauty (Terry Wilson) 3:16
07. Just For You (John "Rabbit" Bundrick, Dean Rutherford) 6:23
08. On Your Life (John "Rabbit" Bundrick) 3:58
09. Leaves In The Wind (John "Rabbit" Bundrick, Dean Rutherford) 5:12
♦ Terry Wilson Slesser — lead vocals
♦ Paul Kossoff — lead guitar
♦ Terry Wilson — bass, acoustic and electric guitars
♦ John "Rabbit" Bundrick — keyboard, vocals
♦ Tony Braunagel — drums, vocals
♦ W.G. Snuffy Walden — guitar
Notes 1: SD–36–138 – 2nd Street – Back Street Crawler  (8–76, #140)
Ξ A British tour with AC/DC as support act was set to commence on April 25, 1976. On March 19, Paul Kossoff died from cerebral and pulmonary edema on an overnight flight from Los Angeles to New York. Following Kossoff's death, the band continued under the name of Crawler.
♦ This is simply one of the great underrated rock albums of the 1970's and the last album to feature Paul Kossoff on guitar. He actually died before the album was released due to a heart attack brought on from a long standing heroin addiction. It almost seems as if Koss knew this was to be his last effort and his playing is of an unusually melancholic and lilting quality on tracks like, "Blue Soul", "Some Kind Of Happy" and particularly the end portion of "Leaves In The Wind."
♦ Blending beautifully with Koss' guitar is the keyboard work of John 'Rabbit" Bundrick. He has a haunting and equally reflective style that embraces aspects of melancholy and longing. His unique style brought a similar layer of sophistication to Free's final album "Heartbreaker." In more recent years he has been the regular touring keyboard player with The Who.
♦ Of equal importance is the powerful, soulful and curiously unaffected vocals of Terry Wilson Slesser. His voice is just perfect for these well crafted songs which vary between the funky "Stop Doing What Your Doing", the acoustic driven "Raging River" and the pleading "Some Kind Of Happy." The latter song also features some nice blending of his voice with some impassioned female back–up singers. His voice never falls into any overwrought bellowing or bluster and always provides what the song needs without drawing special attention to embellishments. A perfect example of this is on the song "Just For You" which many other singers of the era would have delivered in an overdone bluesy growl. Here Slesser sings like a man truly pining for a woman he has recently lost. No bravado just a wish unfulfilled.
♦ Two real highlights are the last two songs, "On Your Life" and "Leaves In The Wind." "On Your Life" is a perfect example of this band working as one with no showboating. The keyboards blend perfectly with the vocals, and the drumming of Tony Braunagel are tight but never intrusive. It's a a sad remembrance captured in song. "Leaves In The Wind" starts out as a nice funky groove with some tasty bass from Terry Wilson (like this band in general, an underrated bass player) before moving into its reflective second half where, appropriately, Paul Kossoff shows off his lilting guitar playing in all its glory. When Slesser sings "If you can't imagine, what is the use...Leaves in the wind" with Kossoff's sad guitar weeping along it's true magic and a perfectly fitting end to a very brief life, of not only Paul Kossoff, but a band with great promise. Of course, the band would carry on under the shortened moniker Crawler, with a new guitarist, but the rare magic captured here was never quite matched again. ♦ The only negative about this album is that it is too short! Pick up the 2004 CD release of this on the Wounded Bird Records label! (by Godwaffle, rateyourmusic) © Photo courtesy of Lucy Piller.
♦ Kossoff's unhappiness with the end of Free and his drug addictions contributed to a drastic decline in the guitarist's health. On a flight from Los Angeles to New York on 19 March 1976, Kossoff died from heroin–related heart problems. The day before, he had a jam session with keyboard player Dennis Provisor. He was cremated and interred at the Golders Green Crematorium. His epitaph reads "All Right Now".
♦ Tons of Sobs (1969)
♦ Free (1969)
♦ Fire and Water (1970)
♦ Highway (1970)
♦ Free Live! (1971) (live)
♦ Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu and Rabbit (1971)
♦ Free at Last (1972)
♦ Heartbreaker (1973)
The following albums were issued after the band ceased recording:
♦ The Free Story (1974)
♦ The Best of Free (1975)
♦ Free and Easy, Rough and Ready (1976)
♦ Completely Free (1982)
♦ All Right Now: The Best of Free (1991)
♦ Molten Gold: The Anthology (1994) (2 disc set)
♦ Free: All Right Now (1999)
♦ Songs of Yesterday (2000) (5 disc box set)
♦ Chronicles (2005) (2 disc set)
♦ Back Street Crawler (1973)
♦ Koss (1977)
♦ Blue Soul (1986)
Back Street Crawler:
♦ The Band Plays On (1975)
♦ 2nd Street (1976)
♦ Live at Croydon Fairfield Halls 15/6/75
♦ (After Kossoff's death the band made further albums)
Tom Guerra. Paul Kossoff — Biography. Paul Kossoff — The Back Street Crawler Vintage Guitar Magazine, 2000. ♦ http://www.tomguerra.com/paulkossoff.htm
ATCO ALBUM DISCOGRAPHY, p. 4: http://www.bsnpubs.com/atlantic/atco36100.html
Wounded Bird: http://www.woundedbird.com/
|Back Street Crawler — 2nd Street (1976)|