The ‘70s had its extraordinary share of classic lineups, and Robin Trower’s trio was one of the unforgettable ones. Although their first album – Twice Removed From Yesterday (1973) – performed less than expected, their second work, Bridge of Sighs more than made up for it. In its success, people went back and picked up the first, and Robin Trower became a household name synonymous with a perfect work. Bridge of Sighs was buoyed not only by Trower’s Hendrix-like guitar playing, but also the vocal soulfulness of James Dewar, who also contributed superb bass-work. The trio was rounded out by Reg Isidore on drums. After Bridge of Sighs, Trower and company went on to produce several more fine albums as well as a ‘had-to-have’ live album (Robin Trower Live – 1976), all within the span of 1973 through 1978. Trower recorded more afterwards but his golden years were within the years notated.
Capitol Records reissues this classic with remastering of the songs as well as expanding it with 8 bonus tracks from two separate BBC sessions with John Peel. Robin Trower had a hand in the remastering of the tracks, providing his help to Peter Mew at Abbey Road. In addition, Trower provided several paragraphs in notes for this set, where he reveals that “Little Bit of Sympathy,” and “Lady Love,” two of the songs on the original album, were not recorded in the sessions for Bridge of Sighs, but were recorded several months earlier – a nice bit of trivia.
The included John Peel sessions are divided by two trips to Peel’s BBC studio. The first session was recorded on May 3, 1974 and includes “Alethea,” although a studio version of the song would not be included on an album until For Earth Below (1975). The second Peel session was recorded on January 28 of 1975, this time with new drummer, Bill Lordan in the lineup. On this session, songs from For Earth Below were recorded (“Fine Day,” “Confessin’ Midnight,” “It’s Only Money,” “Gonna Be More Suspicious”). The Peel tracks are excellent, easy to see why they’re included here.
Listening to Bridge of Sighs once again is certainly a treat. It was easily an album on everyone’s turntable or playing loudly out of cars back in the days of its release period. This reissue makes it nice to have a chance to have an updated version along with the excellent John Peel sessions that complete this remastered package. I have come to accept digipaks as the current CD art-form packaging. It is a packaging format style that certainly would have enhanced this package, as it would many other releases. We have hope that the rest of Trower’s excellent catalogue will follow this reissue in like fashion.
But go with the digipak.