Down in the Bunker [Bonus Tracks]

Down in the Bunker [Bonus Tracks]

by Steve Gibbons

CD

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Overview

Sometimes referred to as Birmingham, England's answer to Bob Seger, with his working-class rock & roll and tough, British wit, Steve Gibbons' first two releases for MCA were hit-and-miss affairs which garnered him a U.K. hit with Chuck Berry's "Tulane," as well as a fan base that included members of the Who. This would have undoubtedly been enough on which to build a journeyman career, but with his fourth record, Down in the Bunker, there seems to be a shift in attitude -- from the choice to use David Bowie and T. Rex producer Tony Visconti on down to Gibbons' new appearance (from bearded, long-haired, leather-clad rocker to clean-shaven, nattily attired bandleader) -- that takes things to a new level. And while there's still a bit of Gibbons and company's former rock & roll swagger, there's also an understated intelligence that had been suggested in the past, but is truly evident here. Musically and vocally, Down in the Bunker shows obvious American influences, but lyrically Gibbons' songs touch on questions of class, race, sexual orientation, and trends, with a decidedly British bent. Tracks like "No Spitting on the Bus" and "Down in the City" paint a picture of urban life in England, ranging from its most mundane to its very edge, while "Mary Ain't Goin' Home" is a thoughtful yet never heavy-handed look at race and love. Elsewhere, two of the record's best tracks, the mythical "Big J.C." and the strange postwar golf amalgam of the title cut, suggest certain periods but also seem to defy a definite stamp of time, much like the record's post-pub rock rock & roll. "Big J.C." hints at the Old West without necessarily committing, while "Down in the Bunker" has a more ominous, futuristic, and militaristic feel that seems almost Orwellian at times. Compared with Down in the Bunker, Gibbons' first two major-label studio efforts seem like merely promising indicators of a career that don't really prepare you for what's to come. Reissued on CD in 2000 by Road Goes on Forever, this is the best, most consistently satisfying album of Steve Gibbons' career, as well as one of the highlights of British rock & roll in the late '70s. [The 2000 reissue features eight bonus tracks.]

Product Details

Release Date: 04/17/2001
Label: Road Goes On Forever
UPC: 5022539004422
catalogNumber: 44
Rank: 38140

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Steve Gibbons   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
London Symphony Orchestra   Strings
Robbie Blunt   Guitar
Trevor Burton   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Bass,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Electric Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals
Dave Carroll   Acoustic Guitar,Fiddle,Pedal Steel Guitar,Violin,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Moog Synthesizer,Slide Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar,Guitar (12 String Electric)
Bob Lamb   Drums
Harry Rix   Drums
Tony Visconti   Recorder,Moog Synthesizer,Double Bass
Bob Wilson   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Bob Wilson & His Orchestra   Organ,Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Electric Piano,Background Vocals,Moog Synthesizer,Guitar (12 String Electric)
Nick Pentelow   Saxophone

Technical Credits

Chuck Berry   Composer
David Katz   Orchestra Leader
Kenny Laguna   Producer
Tony Visconti   Producer,Orchestra Director
Bobby Pridden   Producer

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