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Friday, September 23, 2011

Rock Workshop - The Very Last Time (UK 1971)

An Uncle Roddus Album Review

Many moons ago, I used to browse a small second hand book shop, nestled amongst a small group of other rundown shops in an outer suburb of the central city. This particular shop also had a fairly large collection of used vinyl, which was the main reason I went there. Back in those days, I was always on the lookout for obscure early 70s rock bands and occasionally I would find a real gem or two in this shop, this album being one of them. I parted company with this album, after much enjoyment, when I sold my vinyl collection back in 98' but was lucky enough to find a re-release on Cd a couple of years back.
Rock Workshop was a short lived project and this was their second and last LP. This exceptional record is a great mix of Funky, Soulful, Motown influenced Rock/Jazz fusion with some great guitar work, plenty of cool jazzy brass licks and plenty of variety to keep it interesting. A mix of uptempo rockin' funky tracks with some slower folk tinged numbers and cool soulful Male/Female vocals and a very impressive extended jam on the outstanding "Street War". A somewhat political album with anti war sentiments and what with the unlimited plethora of obscure 60s & 70s  Rock, Fusion and Prog albums posted on so many blogs in Internet land, a set that stands well above many of those rarities that I have managed to hear. One of several little masterpieces that I managed to discover in that little shop.
As with many re-issues, this Cd has several bonus tracks of live and demo tracks cut between the two albums, all previously unreleased. The first 3 bonus tracks feature the Manic Alex Harvey on Vocals, as he also sang on the first album(Which I haven't heard). These numbers are a lot more chaotic with some real free jazz blowing thrown in as well  and all are good but not as good as the original songs on this album. The rest of the bonus songs are interesting and ok but don't really add anything to the original album either. I Rate the original LP 5/5 and the CD release with extra tracks 4/5.

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