Warhorse - Red Sea.1972 England



Warhorse - Red Sea. 1972 Vertigo

LP reissues: 1984 Thunderbolt; 2014 Repertoire (Germany)

Select CD reissues: 1990 Repertoire (Germany); 1997 RPM; 1999 Angel Air; 2008 Air Mail (Japan mini-LP); 2012 Repertoire (Germany)

Add another name to those who feel disappointed by this effort. I had that somewhat cheap looking Thunderbolt vinyl reissue going back to the 80s (3rd scan), and sold it not long after, as I was nonplussed about the music from the get. However, I picked up the Angel Air CD about a decade ago, and thought it good enough to keep. This relisten validates my initial assessment.

In hearing it again, it becomes obvious why most folks tend to appreciate the album, including myself. The first two tracks are excellent, sounding exactly what one expects of Warhorse: That of Mk. 1 Deep Purple emulating Mk. 2. But the appropriately titled 'Confident But Wrong' shows the frayed strands of creativity, and introduces us to 4 very ordinary rock and roll tracks that are a slog to sit through. Though the lengthy 'Mouthpiece' looks alluring on paper, one quickly realizes there's not much but a skeleton of a song there, with an overlong drum solo to boot. 'I (Who Have Nothing)' begins to turn the corner with its shrieking Ian Gillan-like pleas, but it's clearly too late, and this warhorse has already sunk to the bottom of the sea. And this would be it for the once promising hard rock band.

Given the pedigree of the band, this album was somewhat "mainstream" in real time, and was pressed in multiple countries. Surprisingly, though, it did not receive a US pressing, and that continues to be the status today. Real originals on the swirl label are quite expensive, as is everything on the imprint. Otherwise, it's not a difficult album to find. Personally, I'm pretty much done with this album.

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