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COZY POWELL

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United Kingdom


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Cozy Powell picture
Cozy Powell biography
Cozy Powell is one of the most prolific drummers in the business. His CV runs like a Who's Who of rock, with stints as a fully paid up member of Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Whitesnake, M.S.G. and the ELP spin-off Emerson, Lake, & Powell. Then there are those legendary guest appearances - with everyone from Donovan to Roger Daltrey, Jack Bruce to Jeff Beck and Gary Moore to Brian May.

His career not only spans three decades, it's also one of the most diverse in rock. In the 1960's, Cozy was a member of the Ace Kefford Stand; in the 70's he was a session drummer for Mickie Most's RAK label, which made Cozy a household name with the Dance With the Devil single; and in 1991, he turned up on Comic Relief's No 1 single, "The Stonk", with comedians Hale & Pace!

Since then Cozy joined Brian May on a Jimi Hendrix tribute album, and supported the legendary Peter Green on his comeback. Most recently, sessions with Glenn Tipton (Judas Priest), Brian May (new album) and Yngwie Malmsteen, the last two with tours, have seen Cozy Powell back to his busiest and perhaps, his best'

written by Cozy Powell himself on his webpage. Unfortunately it was never expanded upon because Cozy was killed in an auto accident in 1998 at the age of 51.

Cozy is known first and foremost as one of the most renowned and versatile drummers in rock. However Cozy in the spare time between groups and sessions put together a group of his own in the late 70's and early 80's. Featuring some of the biggest names in J-R such as Jack Bruce, Gary Moore, Ron Middleton, Don Airey, and David Sancious just to name a few. His albums featured a strong J-R sound, especially on Over the Top that fans of Colosseum II would love. The albums are not well known but are worth exploring for fans of great drumming, superior musicianship, and great jazz-rock.

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The Best Of Cozy Powell /  Cozy PowellThe Best Of Cozy Powell / Cozy Powell
Remastered
spectrum 2017
$3.82
$2.49 (used)
Polydor YearsPolydor Years
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Octopuss /  Cozy PowellOctopuss / Cozy Powell
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Over TopOver Top
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COZY POWELL discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

COZY POWELL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.62 | 23 ratings
Over the Top
1979
2.93 | 20 ratings
Tilt
1981
3.69 | 15 ratings
Octopuss
1983
3.08 | 6 ratings
The Drums Are Back
1992
5.00 | 1 ratings
Especially For You
1998
5.00 | 1 ratings
Edge of the World (as Tipton, Entwistle & Powell)
2006

COZY POWELL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

COZY POWELL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

COZY POWELL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 5 ratings
The Very Best of Cozy Powell
1997

COZY POWELL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Theme One
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Loner
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sooner Or Later
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Drums Are Back...
1992

COZY POWELL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Very Best of Cozy Powell by POWELL, COZY album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
4.00 | 5 ratings

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The Very Best of Cozy Powell
Cozy Powell Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars "FIRST REVIEW OF THIS ALBUM"

How nice, a 'The Best Of' album that is really a 'The Best Of' album, from Cozy Powell his 3 solo albums. Because this compilation contains 6 tracks from his excellent debut album Over The Top (1979), 6 tracks from his good final effort Octopuss (1983) and only 4 tracks from the mediocre, pretty disappointing second one entitled Tilt (1981). The list of musicans that has played on those three Cozy Powell solo albums is jawdropping, but how sad that more than a few passed away during the years, including Cozy Powell himself.

Many years ago I was on a holiday in Scotland and walking on the Royal Mile road towards the Edingburgh Castle. I noticed a record shop and bought this CD so this purchase has a very special memory. But listening to that compilation also turned out to be the re-discovery of his great music: I bought the LP in 1979 (due to the presence of Gary Moore and Don Airey from my beloved Colosseum II) but was so disappointed about the next LP Tilt that I stopped following Cozy Powell solo. Full circle with this CD!

If you are up to a fusion of several styles with jazzrock overtones, you will enjoy this comprehensive compilation from the first until the final composition, what a classy musicians and what a dynamic, varied and exciting music! Cozy showcases his powerful, often furious and thunderous drumming, in awesome interplay with (most times) Jack Bruce, especially in the opener Theme One (also sensational work on the mighty Yamaha CS80 synthesizer). Listening to the music Colosseum II often comes to my mind, due to the distinctive interplay between Gary Moore his powerful guitar and Don Airey his flashy synthesizer play (like in Killer and The Blister). Guitar legend Jeff Beck delivers great contributions with his very distinctive guitar sound in the swinging Cat Moves (funky with sensational keyboardplay) and Hot Rock (distorted and biting).

Other interesting tracks are The Loner (David Sancious with an outstanding synthesizer solo) and the wonderful guitar soli in Up On The Downs (Mel Galley) and Dartmoore (Gary goes blues, goose bumps!). My highlight is the epic Over The Top, so much happens: from the flashy Minimoog synthesizer solo and the Eddie Jobson-like Grand piano runs to the glorious final part featuring sumptuous classical orchestrations on the Minimoog and Yamaha CS80. What an awesome blend of classical music and symphonic rock, it could have been soundtrack music for the A Clockwork Orange movie. In 633 Squadron and The Big Country the drums of Cozy are in combination with a philharmonic orchestra, it sounds beautiful. The final track of this compilation is an up-tempo beat with furious drumming, soaring Hammond (by Jon Lord) and fiery guitarplay, a strong goodbey to a very strong The Best Of Cozy Powell album, highly recomended!

 Over the Top by POWELL, COZY album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.62 | 23 ratings

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Over the Top
Cozy Powell Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars In the late Seventies I was very much into jazzrock sounding music, like JL Ponty, Al DiMeola, Jeff Beck and Colosseum II. So it was no surprise that I stumbled upon the late drummerCozy Powell, on this first solo LP many contributions are by musicians that have played with the aforementioned bands.

The instrumental album On Over The Top we can enjoy a super powerhouse rhythm-section featuring Cozy Powell and ex-Cream bass player Jack Bruce, what a powerful and dynamic sound, especially on Theme I and El Sid! The keyboard sound is also very exciting (delivered by Max Middleton and Don Airey), from mellow Fender Rhodes electric piano and sparkling Grand piano to lots of flashy Minimoog flights, symptuous classical orchestrations and UK-like synthesizer sounds (due to the use of the mighty Yamaha CS-80). Some songs sound similar to Colosseum II because of the interplay between their ex-members Don Airey and Gary Moore. It's 'blues time' in The Loner (dedicated to Jeff Beck) with moving work on guitar and piano and a pitchbend-driven Minimoog solo in the end. But the most interesting (and most progressive) composition is the titletrack: it opens with a swinging rhythm rhythm, then varied and exciting work on keyboards and halfway Cozy starts a drum solo, soon accompanied by bombastic classical orchestrations (lots of woodwinds and brass) on the Yamaha and Moog synthesizer, the build-up and grand finale is great.

Therefore I will remember Cozy Powell as the composer of this awesome composition, mighty close to the level of the unsurpassed Classic Prog (of the Seventies)!

 Tilt by POWELL, COZY album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.93 | 20 ratings

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Tilt
Cozy Powell Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The second album of Cozy Powell brought together various music styles into the album. This time Cozy brought in talented musicians like Jeff Beck, Gary Moore, Neil Murray, Jack Bruce, Mel Collins, David Sancious and others. The music is actually not complex and I enjoy with almost all tracks in this album. 'The Right Side' is of course an interesting opening in blues rock fashion with some flavor of jazz especially through the sax work by Mel Collins. The vocal part is also very nice. 'Living a Lie' is basically a nice blues track with good guitar work by Bernie Marsden. Even though this album was released in 1981, there is a strong nuance of 70s music as shown by this song.

The 'Sooner or Later' is basically a straight pop rock song. 'Cat Moves' featured Jeff Beck as guitarist and the song is really nice. 'Sunset' was performed by trio Gary Moore (guitar), and Don AIrey (synth solo) and it moves excellently with some blues and jazz elements on it. The trio also perform excellent track 'The Buster' which runs in relatively fast tempo with stunning guitar solo and powerful drumming. Cozy's drumming is really excellent!

Even though this album is actually not really a prog album but there certainly elements with prog style. It's an interesting album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

 Over the Top by POWELL, COZY album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.62 | 23 ratings

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Over the Top
Cozy Powell Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars More of that Jazz

Cozy Powell is possibly my favourite drummer of all time and he has worked with many of my favourite musical artists like Ritchie Blackmore in Rainbow, Keith Emerson and Greg Lake in ELP, Black Sabbath and Brian May among many others. Here we have him together with Gary Moore and Don Airey who just came from their stint with Colosseum II.

I'm sure that Cozy and his friends had a tremendous time putting this album together, and Over The Top is indeed a fun album to listen to in parts. We find here some great drumming, guitar and keyboard work. It is mostly an enjoyable listen clearly belonging to the Jazz-Rock category with some Blues influences (not surprisingly with Gary Moore on board). However, the whole album sounds basically the same with little variation in mood or tempo. The whole album is instrumental and hearing the whole album in one go can be slightly tedious. I do not find this music particularly progressive (if not Jazz-Rock is Prog by definition).

It's very hard to know who I should recommend this album to. Fans of Rainbow and Black Sabbath is bound to find this music too cheerful and lightweight; fans of ELP will probably find this too jazzy and not symphonic or progressive enough; serious Jazz-Rock/Fusion fans will likely find this music too simple and not complex enough. Hence, only serious followers of Cozy's drumming and hard core fans of Gary Moore are likely to find this album of genuine interest.

 Octopuss by POWELL, COZY album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.69 | 15 ratings

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Octopuss
Cozy Powell Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Raff
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars With his third solo album, released in 1983, powerhouse drummer Cozy Powell wisely reverted to the format of his debut, Over the Top, after the half-baked effort that had been 1981's Tilt - that is, ditching any attempts at including songs, and going for an all-instrumental tracklist. At the time, Powell was a member of Whitesnake (I saw him perform with them at Castle Donington a few months after the album's release), so he enlisted the help of some of his bandmates for the recording of Octopuss - whose title oddly recalls the James Bond movie Octopussy, also released in 1983. The album cover, which shows Powell behind his kit, looking a bit like a many-armed Hindu deity, is also clearly reminiscent of the movie's official poster.

As in the case of Over the Top, the album features a series of classy, dynamic hard/jazz-rock numbers, as well as two covers of popular pieces of music, this time soundtracks to well-known movies - respectively, 1964 war flick 633 Squadron, and William Wyler western The Big Country (starring John Wayne). The orchestral arrangements on both tracks provide the ideal background for Powell's drum pyrotechnics, though both of them are definitely more restrained than the wonderfully bombastic title-track of the first album.

Though the overall level of the compositions is quite high, there are a couple of highlights that are probably worth the price of the whole album. One is the Gary Moore-penned Dartmoore (notice the pun in the title), inspired by the camping trip that Cozy and his then-new boss, David Coverdale, had made a few months earlier to the titular, scenic area of southwestern England. It is a brilliant, slow-burning, guitar-driven piece in the style of the previous album's stunning Sunset, though somehow lacking the latter's deeply poignant quality. The other is the title-track, a highly original offering which is basically a dialogue between Powell's drums and Colin Hodgkinson's jaw-dropping bass, backed by Jon Lord's trademark, rumbling Hammond organ. Closing track The Rattler (co-written by Powell and Coverdale) also deserves a mention: a brisk, energetic (though rather short) workout, introduced by a veritable drum explosion, it features some very tasteful guitar licks.

Octopuss was to be the last solo album to be recorded by Cozy in a long time: his fourth album, The Drums Are Back, the last released before his early demise in 1998, came out in 1992. In the meantime, the legendary drummer lent his considerable skills to a large number of bands, including the ELP incarnation where the P stood for Powell instead of Palmer. This album offers further proof of his ability to play different kinds of music than the hard-hitting rock for which he is mainly known. With excellent musicianship throughout, and interesting, well-written compositions, Octopuss will appeal to both fans of vintage rock and hard-edged jazz-rock. A highly recommended addition to your collection.

 Tilt by POWELL, COZY album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.93 | 20 ratings

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Tilt
Cozy Powell Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Raff
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars Unlike the majestic, completely instrumental Over the Top, Cozy Powell's second solo album, Tilt (released in 1981, when Powell was a member of The Michael Schenker Group) features no less than four songs, all strategically placed in the first half of the record. Unfortunately, though the musicianship is excellent throughout, it is those songs that let the album down, making it sound far tamer and more commercial than its predecessor. Even though many of the guest musicians on Over the Top appear here as well, the listener hardly gets the same cohesive feel, so that the album comes across as somehow thrown together without a lot of forethought.

The exhilaratingly grandiose quality of the previous recording is mostly absent here, watered down by the presence of those four songs, mostly rather nondescript blues-rock offerings that sound like outtakes from the likes of Down to Earth era Rainbow, rather than scintillating hard-fusion workouts in the style of Colosseum II. Actually, to be perfectly honest, one of the songs, the slow, bluesy Living a Lie, is lifted up from mediocrity by Frank Aiello's impassioned vocals and Bernie Marsden's guitar solo. The other three, performed by former Stretch singer Elmer Gantry (also of Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera fame), are instead quite forgettable, and smack somewhat of filler.

The four instrumentals featured on the former B-side see a definite improvement, though they are nowhere as brilliant as their counterparts on Over the Top - the exception being what, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful guitar performances ever, Gary Moore tour-de-force Sunset. It is one of those pieces in which (as I like to say) the electric guitar ceases to be a mere musical instrument, and finds an almost human 'voice' of its own. The shredders of this world should take a listen to this track, and learn how to convey emotion as effectively as Gary does, instead of going for that tired, 3000-notes-a-second routine. The fact that Moore, in the following years, often dedicated Sunset to Randy Rhoads when performing live adds to the piece's poignancy and beauty.

Of the remaining three tracks, two (Cat Moves and Hot Rock), penned by legendary keyboardist Jan Hammer, both feature Jeff Beck on guitar, and are reminiscent of the exciting jazz-rock of the previous album. The third track, The Blister, veers more towards standard, guitar-based instrumental rock, underpinned by Powell's explosive drumming. Jack Bruce, on of the stars of OTT, guests on Cat Moves, adding a funky touch to the proceedings.

On the whole, though it is a fun album to listen to, Tilt is ultimately disappointing - especially for those who were expecting a repeat of the brilliant Over the Top. However, in my view, Sunset alone is worth the price of admission, and its mere presence is enough to earn the album three stars.

 Octopuss by POWELL, COZY album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.69 | 15 ratings

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Octopuss
Cozy Powell Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars It's good to feature Cozy Powell here as he can be considered as proghead because his solo albums demonstrate it. I knew him for the first time when I heard "Stargazer" on Rainbow "Rising" album. It was quite a big surprise on the change of drummer from Rainbow with Gary Driscol on debut album and finally I found different sound and style when "Stargazer" starts to roll. The drum solo at the beginning of the track was truly stunning and made me rewind the cassettes because I wanted to listen to the drum solo at the intro part. Fabulous. Since then, it was becoming my important reason to purchase any release from Rainbow.

Only later I knew that he made an album called "Octopuss" that blew me away at first spin of the cassette. Actually, I expected the music was somewhat similar with Rainbow Rising because at that time I was not used to jazzy-like music. It was a disappointment at first spin because the opening track was totally different with any track from Rainbow. "Up on the Downs" (3:55) did not really impress me due to the drumming was just mediocre and more on guitar and bass. As I followed through the music, I found that the next three tracks "633 Squadron" ( 4:13), "Octopuss" (5:35) and "The Big Country" (2:56) were all excellent ones. And by the passage of time I could enjoy the opening track as well. "633 Squadron" impressed me with its bombastic nature of the music as it sounded brilliant with grandiose orchestra. I played the cassette in loud volume and I was totally blown away with the music - it's so powerful. This song was later becoming very popular as background music for appreciation of Sales staff who achieved their targets. While "Octopuss" satisfied my needs for powerful, jaw-dropping drum work by Cozy that I have been waiting for it whenever I played this album. Stunning drum work, really! While "The Big Country" serves like a grand finale of the three tracks. Considering these tracks alone, it's worth having this album in your collection, really.

It does not mean that the other tracks are not good. "Formula One " is a straight forward jazz-rock fusion with good guitar and stunning drum work. "Princetown" is also an important track. "Dartmoore" explores the Trapeze's guitarist Mel galley into blues-like composition. While "The Rattler" opens with great drum solo that reminds me to Stargazer.

Cozy Powell is a very talented drummer in the history of rock music. And this album is very solid in composition as well as musicianship. Peace on earth and mercy mild. Keep on proggin' .!

 Tilt by POWELL, COZY album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.93 | 20 ratings

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Tilt
Cozy Powell Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

2 stars Safe and Cozy

Cozy Powell released his second solo album in 1981 following his departure from Rainbow and a brief stint working with ex-Rainbow man Graham Bonnet. Although many of the star guests who graced "Over the top" return to help out once more, others are brought in both to help with the song writing and the performances. As a result, "Tilt" has a somewhat different feel when compared to its predecessor. The most obvious difference is the addition of vocals to all of the tracks on the first side (but not the second) of the LP.

The tracks are effectively batched together according to who plays on them. The first three all feature the same basic line up, with vocals by Elmer Gantry (of Stretch), keyboards by John Cook, bass by Chris Glen and lead guitar on tracks two and three by Kirby (Gregory).

The opening "The right side" provides immediate evidence that this album will be by no means "Over the top". A quick burst of drums and a ubiquitous sax sound introduce a rather anonymous blues rock song written by Cook and Kirby. It is an enjoyable enough number, but perversely the tight arrangement is something of a disappointment when compared to what went before. "Jekyll and Hyde" is equally ordinary, Cook's keyboards supporting a nondescript funk rock song.

The third and last track here to feature the voice of the improbably named Elmer Gantry is "Sooner or later". This time, the song feels like a Rainbow reject, Gantry doing a passable impression of Graham Bonnet. The side closes with "Living a lie", where the line up is rather different to the first three songs. Here, Frank Aiello takes over on lead vocals, while Bernie Marsden supplies lead guitar and Neil Murray bass. John Cook remains on keyboards. The song is a slow blues number written by Cozy with Marsden and Don Airey. It is by far the best track on the side, Marsden's guitar solo being particularly memorable.

Side two sees Powell reverting to instrumentals, with two pieces written by Jan Hammer and two by Gary Moore (one with Don Airey). The first of the Jan hammer numbers, "Cat moves" is a funky jazz rock number featuring the synth playing of David Sancious (of Jack Bruce band). Jack Bruce plays bass while Jeff Beck pops by to add some fine lead guitar to the latter part of the track. The other Hammer composition is "Hot rock", another jazz rock piece featuring the guitar of Jeff Beck, which closes the album.

The first of the Gary Moore numbers, "Sunset", sees the line up reduced to a trio of Moore, Powell and Airey. The piece is one of Moore's fine slow lead guitar soliloquies, full of emotion and passion. Unfortunately, in my view the production does not capture the finesse of the guitar work fully, but this remains the highlight of the album. "The blister" retains the trio from "Sunset" but this time they opt for a "Race with the devil" type, heads down, all out burst of guitar rock. It may be unoriginal, but it is fun.

Perhaps the wonderfully pompous nature of "Over the top" led to us having too high expectations for Cozy's second album. For whatever reason, it seems he decided to play far safer this time and go for a more commercial solution. With the common denominator being the drummer though, this simply results in a rather eclectic mix of average rock numbers which have little to say collectively. Admittedly, the totally instrumental side two is noticeably better than the generally uninspired side one, but the mediocre production fails to ignite the album throughout.

 Over the Top by POWELL, COZY album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.62 | 23 ratings

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Over the Top
Cozy Powell Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars Cozy Powell appears courtesy of Swindon Town Football Club (sleeve note)

In any list of top rock drummers, the name of the late Cozy Powell is guaranteed to appear. He may not have been the most subtle or the most technically gifted, but he could provide a powerhouse to drive even the most demanding of bands. Such was the journeyman nature of the way Powell preferred to operate that he made many friends along the way. For his first solo album, released in 1979, he called upon a select few of these to make up a band for the purposes of recording. With names such as guitarist Gary Moore, the legendary Jack Bruce on bass, and Don Airey on keyboards, it quickly becomes clear that this is not to simply be a self indulgent drumfest. Not only does Powell exploit the musicianship of these greats, he also persuades them to donate their songwriting skills too.

"Over the top" is undoubtedly the most progressive of Powell's solo releases, recorded when his career with Rainbow was all but at an end (he left them in 1980 bring him to the attention of Emerson and Lake of ELP who later enticed him to join them in Emerson Lake and Powell).

Inevitably we kick off with some thumping drums introducing George Martin's "Theme one", an instrumental covered rather successfully by Van Der Graaf Generator. This version of the irresistibly catchy melody is entirely faithful while emphasising the strong rhythm of the piece. The track sets the tone for the album, which is one of power and melody, devoid of subtlety. "Killer", written by Don Airey and Gary Moore, is the first time we get to understand Powell's true vision for the album, the 7 minute piece being a jazz rock number with the accent still very much on the rock. The track was recorded live in the studio, the feel being one of controlled improvisation featuring the lead guitar of Gary Moore.

The brief "Heidi goes to town" features the synth of Don Airey in a light repetitive theme not unlike "Theme one". Side one of the album closes with "El cid", a hard rocking piece which contains the screaming guitars Bernie Marsden, who is credited with writing the song.

The second side of the album has just three tracks, two of which run to over 8 minutes. "Sweet poison" is primarily a vehicle for guitarist Dave (Clem) Clempson to display his skills alongside those of Max Middleton on Fender Rhodes and piano. "The loner" will be recognisable to anyone who is familiar with the work of Gary Moore, as he has made this Max Middleton compostion his own as a solo artist. Here, it is Clemson who plays lead guitar, the 5 minute piece being dedicated to Jeff Beck.

The album closes with a piece of pure inspiration. Powell adapts the latter part of Tchaikovsky's "1812 overture" in a magnificent orgy of "Over the top" rock indulgence. The original overture is one of the most famous pieces of classic music, but here Powell and his posse transform it into a stunning rock suite. The first part of the track gives little indication what to expect although there is a greater tightness to the bombastic melody. Only as Powell takes control do the familiar tones of the 1812, complete with canon fire, take over. The piece is ideal for Powell, allowing him to hit everything in site as we reach the triumphal conclusion.

While the album is credited to Cozy Powell, this is very much a band album. Powell resists any temptation to make the drums the focus of the set, preferring to use his skills to drive along the rhythm behind the musicians. It is to his great credit that we are not subjected to endless percussion solos, but instead are treated to the combined talents of an enviable collection of great players. While probably rightly classified overall as a jazz rock album, it is the rock aspect which is by far the more dominant here.

The word subtlety should not be used anywhere in connection with this album. This is Powell at his "Over the top" best. Turn everything up to 11, and simply enjoy it.

Incidentally, another the sleeve note says "Lyrics enclosed"; but don't go looking for them, nobody sings!!

 The Drums Are Back by POWELL, COZY album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.08 | 6 ratings

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The Drums Are Back
Cozy Powell Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars Powell power and classical gas

Following the 1983 release of Powell's third solo album "Octopus", it took another 9 years for him to come up with his fourth and final release prior to his untimely death. This album was recorded between Powell's two stints with Black Sabbath, and following its release he took a band on the road under the name Cozy Powell's Hammer. Once again, he calls upon a who's who of musicians to support him, although the line ups here are somewhat different to those which appeared on his first two albums.

By and large, Powell reverts to the ambitious jazz rock numbers which were a feature of the "Over the top" debut, the emphasis being mainly on heavy drum laden instrumentals. There are a couple of songs, Gerry Lane being the vocalist on both. Of these, "I wanna hear you shout" is the low point of the album, being a lightweight, undistinguished rock number. Lane composes both the songs which bear his voice, the second, "Cryin'", is a slower ballad and noticeably the better of the two.

On the other hand, highlights of the album include the guitar laden two part piece "Light in the sky/Return of the 7", a pleasing jazz rock workout also featuring the keyboards of Don Airey. On "Battle hymn", which closes the first side, Steve Lukather provides some fine Gary Moore like lead guitar while Don Airey's symphonic keyboards orchestration add some welcome colour too.

The second side of the album is arguably the more melodic, featuring the guitar pieces "Legend of the glass mountain" and Mason Williams' superb "Classical gas". Steve Lukather once again plays lead on the former, accompanied by Jon Lord on keyboards. This version of the oft covered "Classical gas" is largely faithful to the original, the guitars and keyboards being provided by Ray Fenwick. It is of course one of those pieces it is always great to hear. "Somewhere in time" is of interest as it features Brian May and John Deacon of Queen, the piece being a slow, atmospheric blues guitar number. The melody would actually have sounded great over the closing titles of the film of that name (starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour).

In all, a decent album by Powell, who did actual record one further solo album before his death, although it was released posthumously in 1999. While there are a number of worthy tracks here, none stands out as being the album's "Over the top". Those who enjoy that debut album by Cozy though should find this to their liking too.

Thanks to micky for the artist addition.

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