Guitar on Fire: The Atlantic Sessions

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
The 16-tracks on this compilation are from Roy Buchanan's trio of mid-1970s titles: A Street Called Straight 1976, Loading Zone 1977, and You're Not Alone 1978. After a less than personally or professionally satisfying stint earlier in the decade with Polydor Records, Buchanan teamed up with Atlantic, who helped him get out of his pending contract with the former. Under the direction of Arif Mardin, the guitarist assembled the same instrumental support combo he'd used during his concurrent and practically incessant touring -- John Harrison bass, Malcolm Lukens keyboards, and Byrd Foster drums/vocals. The core quartet are augmented by all-stars Andy Newmark drums, Will ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
The 16-tracks on this compilation are from Roy Buchanan's trio of mid-1970s titles: A Street Called Straight 1976, Loading Zone 1977, and You're Not Alone 1978. After a less than personally or professionally satisfying stint earlier in the decade with Polydor Records, Buchanan teamed up with Atlantic, who helped him get out of his pending contract with the former. Under the direction of Arif Mardin, the guitarist assembled the same instrumental support combo he'd used during his concurrent and practically incessant touring -- John Harrison bass, Malcolm Lukens keyboards, and Byrd Foster drums/vocals. The core quartet are augmented by all-stars Andy Newmark drums, Will Lee bass, Billy Cobham percussion, the Brecker Brothers horn section, and even backing vocals from former Rascals member Eddie Brigati. The ferocious opening whine of "Running Out" is followed by Buchanan's nimble and liquefied tone, which enhances his otherwise bold and unabashed emotive leads. Specifically, the center solo exemplifies his remarkable ability to ably turn from a finely honed and sinister sound, to a divergent string stretching bluesy intonation. The reading of Jimi Hendrix' "If Six Was Nine" is nothing short of an inspired augmentation of the original. While Mardin's production on A Street Called Straight has been roundly criticized, there is a distinct progression from his previous studio releases, which were consistently hit-or-miss. Loading Zone is represented on this collection by no less than six of the LPs nine tunes. The effort was overseen by jazz bassist Stanley Clarke, and yields some thoroughly excellent material. Of top priority is the stretched-out Memphis groove on "Green Onions," sporting contributions from Booker T. & the MG's personnel Steve Cropper guitar and Donald "Duck" Dunn bass. Of equal note is "Ramon's Blues," which commences this set, with riff upon riff of smouldering rounds of fretwork from Buchanan. You're Not Alone builds upon a spacey motif, right down to the astronaut headgear depicted in the cover artwork. Within the grooves are the languid and restrained "Fly...Night Bird," as well as a pair of diverse cover versions of rock classics "Turn to Stone" Joe Walsh and "Down by the River" Neil Young. After a blistering take-off, the former disintegrates, thanks to the rather uninspired smooth jazz arrangement, which is highlighted by Buchanan's intense fret board flurries. Vocalist Gary St. Clair fronts the soulful "Down by the River," which is nowhere as essential as the live and otherwise unavailable rendering included on the two-disc Sweet Dreams: The Anthology 1992, or the decisive, if not definitive interpretation on Buck & the Snake Stretchers 1971. The ante is significantly raised, however, on the intense "Supernova," which aptly reasserts Buchanan's proficiency. Although there is a bit of overlapping material, Guitar on Fire: The Atlantic Sessions 1993 is a great companion to the aforementioned Sweet Dreams: The Anthology as a worthwhile critical assessment of Roy Buchanan's sadly unrated status, reiterating his moniker as "The World's Best Unknown Guitarist."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/20/1993
  • Label: Rhino Mod Afw
  • UPC: 081227123529
  • Catalog Number: 71235
  • Sales rank: 1,543

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Ramon's Blues (7:11)
  2. 2 The Heat of the Battle (5:05)
  3. 3 Hidden (3:27)
  4. 4 Green Onions (8:12)
  5. 5 Judy (4:13)
  6. 6 Adventures of Brer Rabbit and Tar Baby (2:39)
  7. 7 Turn to Stone (5:48)
  8. 8 Fly...Night Bird (7:50)
  9. 9 Supernova (3:28)
  10. 10 Down by the River (8:44)
  11. 11 Running Out (2:47)
  12. 12 Man on the Floor (3:28)
  13. 13 Okay (2:40)
  14. 14 My Friend Jeff (4:04)
  15. 15 If Six Was Nine (4:09)
  16. 16 The Messiah Will Come Again (4:09)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Roy Buchanan Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar
Steve Cropper Guitar
Luther Vandross Background Vocals
Jan Hammer Piano
David Lasley Background Vocals
Ray Gomez Acoustic Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Alfa Anderson Barfield Background Vocals
Stanley Clarke Bass, Flute, Strings
Krystal Davis Background Vocals
Donald "Duck" Dunn Bass
Byrd Foster Drums, Vocals
David Garibaldi Drums
John Harrison Bass, Vocals
Will Lee Bass
Malcolm Lukens Organ, Bass, Keyboards, Electric Piano, Pipe organ
Narada Michael Walden Piano, Drums
Andy Newmark Drums
Gonzalo Sifre Drums
Gary St. Clair Vocals
Willie Weeks Bass
Alfa Anderson Background Vocals
Dennis Parker Bass
Technical Credits
Stanley Clarke Producer
Jean Charles Costa Liner Notes
Arif Mardin Producer
Raymond Silva Producer
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