Rock Workshop - s/t + The Very Last Time. 1970-1971 England



Rock Workshop were yet another early 70s horn rock band, when that sound was all the rage, due to the massive popularity of Blood Sweat & Tears and Chicago. In England you could find other bands in this style like Heaven and Brainchild. Lead by jazz guitarist Ray Russell, Rock Workshop had the pedigree to go far. Musically, the band played both sides of the horn rock spectrum - from blues to jazz. The music never really goes off the rails, rather opting to clearly try to grind out a hit, as Ray Russell grouses about in retrospect in the liner notes. All the same, there are plenty of super tracks found on both albums (including the bonus tracks). Good fuzz bass, acid guitar and advanced horn charts. As readers of my blogs know, I like a good horn rock album - and no doubt Rock Workshop are in the top half of the genre. While I wouldn't call this top tier like the aforementioned Brainchild or Heaven albums, Rock Workshop is a fine example of the UK brass rock style. The bonus tracks on The Very Last Time are awesome, showing the band at their most raw and progressive, and thus the more recommended of the two CDs.

Personal collection
CD (Rock Workshop): 2002 Angel Air
CD (The Very Last Time): 2004 Angel Air

Each CD features copious bonus tracks, band written liner notes, previously unreleased photos. Excellent reissues. These were released on a high profile label like Angel Air, no doubt due to the fact that the leader of Rock Workshop was none other than relatively famous jazz guitarist Ray Russell's band.

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