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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Joe Egan

Out of Nowhere (Vinyl Reissue)

Review by Gary Hill

This is a classy new vinyl reissue of the 1979 solo debut from Joe Egan. It’s a limited edition of only 1,000 copies and is pressed on 180 gram white vinyl. Egan was part of Stealers Wheel along with Gerry Rafferty. While Rafferty’s solo work seemed to have a bit more jazz built into it at times, this album from Egan is set heavily in folk rock. It’s quite an effective set of tunes, and this is great stuff.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Side One

                         
Back on the Road

This is accessible soft rock. It has a lot of folk built into it for sure. It’s the kind of thing that was such a big deal in the 1970s. It’s the kind thing bands like The Eagles and America popularized.

Ask for no Favours
With jazz and folk music both firmly entrenched in the arrangement, this is a classy tune. It makes me think of a cross between James Taylor and Paul Simon in a lot of ways. I like the powered up choruses quite a bit, but the whole thing is classy, really. The multi-layered vocal parts work particularly well.
Natural High
The arrangement here definitely has some serious progressive rock built into it. In fact, if the whole album were like this, I’d land it under prog. While this is more complex than the songs that preceded it were, it is no less accessible and compelling. There are some particularly cool instrumental bits, though.
Why Let It Bother You
This one rocks out more than some of the rest do, too. It has some killer guitar soloing. It’s another that’s a bit on the proggy side. The string arrangement in particular brings some prog to the table. It’s another strong tune.
The Last Farewell
Rather bouncy, this has a lot of folk music in the mix. There is a decent amount of country and some blues built into this, too. It’s a down home kind of song, but with a bit of a “dressed up” edge to it.
Side Two
                       
Freeze

Soft rock with definite folk music in the mix is the concept here. This is another song that is so typical of the 1970s.

Pride
Slide guitar is all over this. The cut is part folk tune and part old school blues number. It’s also a really classy rocker.
No Time for Sorrow
Here’s another soft rock tune. The sound here is classic in so many ways. It definitely calls to mind things like The Eagles.
Leaving It All behind
Here we get an electric rocker. It has a lot of old school rock built into it. Comparisons to the Eagles, but the rocking side of that band, are also appropriate here. This is another strong tune on a disc that’s full of potent material.
Out of Nowhere
Another mellow tune, this is a ballad. It’s very folk like, but really is pure soft rock. It’s also quite pretty and rather catchy.
 
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