Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
 

Edgar Winter

Tell Me in a Whisper: The Solo Albums 1970-1981

Review by Gary Hill

This new box set captures all of the albums Edgar Winter recorded under just his name (as opposed to the Edgar Winter Group and Edgar Winter's White Trash) from 1970 to 1981. There are four albums here, and each is very different. The first one lands in the vein of prog and fusion (I've done a retro review of it individually under the progressive rock heading and the review here is nearly the same, but there are a couple bonus tracks here). Next he moved toward more mainstream rock with other elements at play. His third album was very disco influenced. The final one is more of a straight-ahead rock release. It's clear Winter does not like to be pinned down to one musical style.  This is a very classy release that let's you sample all the flavors of his solo works. Each disc comes in a sleeve that has the original album cover on it, and there is a nice booklet with this. All that is in a cool clamshell box. I should note that I've done an overall review of each album followed by all the tracks on the disc.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc One

         
Entrance (Epic 1970)
This was Edgar Winter's first solo album. It was released in 1970. It's nearly all progressive rock, with the exception being Winter's take on "Tobacco Road." There is plenty of jazz here, along with some classical music and more. It's a solid release that seems to get better the further along the road you take it.
Entrance

Keyboards open this with an intriguing motif as percussion provides some accents. The musical concept is very prog rock like as this works forward. The vocals come in with a bit of a jazz meets psychedelia approach. This cut evolves through several shifts and changes in a very progressive rock like arrangement. I can make out hints of both Todd Rundgren and Frank Zappa links on this cut. The track segues into the next one.

Where Have You Gone

A bit bouncy and quite jazz like, this is an intriguing number. The break on the piece really reinforces that jazz thing, but it shifts to more pure prog rock and even some jam band stuff later. Again, this seems to connect directly to the next song.

Rise to Fall

This comes in with an off-kilter symphonic prog approach. It is high energy and tastefully weird. It's also very dramatic. There is a jazzy segment mid-track, though. We're taken into quite a classical journey later in the piece, too.

Fire and Ice
Progressive rock, fusion and even space rock merge on this energized piece. We're taken into more pure jazz later in the piece, but then it gets into some seriously freeform stuff as it marches onward. There is some pretty awesome jamming in the extended instrumental sections. This is one of my favorites here. It's so cool.
Hung Up
Fast paced jazz based progressive rock is the order of business on this screaming hot number.
Back in the Blues
A killer combination of jazz and rock, I love this fast paced tune. It has some great saxophone work built into it.
Re-Entrance
Jazz prog drives this cut through a number of shifts and changes.
Tobacco Road
Now, this one isn't a prog rock piece. It's a jazzy blues take on the old chestnut. This has some great textures, and is a powerful jam. The vocal performance is screaming hot, and the cut has some killer guitar fills.
Jump Right Out
A killer fast paced tune, I dig the wah pedal guitar work on this thing. The tune has plenty of jazz at its core. I love the movement mid-track with the killer walking bass line.
Peace Pipe
Bluesy rock and jazz merge on this high energy piece. Scat singing soars over the top. There is some killer guitar soloing when that drops away.
A Different Game
A powerhouse house jazz rocker, this is energized and so cool. I love the dropped back instrumental section. It really rises up toward space rock.
Jimmy's Gospel
This instrumental is a smoking hot jazz rocker. It's incredibly cool.
Bonus Tracks
      
Now Is the Time (B-Side)

This cut is another cool slab of jazzy prog with plenty of space music in the mix.

Tobacco Road (Mono Edit)
Here we get a mono edit of the earlier track. I'm guessing you gleaned that from the title and parenthetical, though. I actually think that it works better in this mix.
Disc Two
Jasmine Night Dreams (Blue Sky 1975)
Five years passed between Winter's first solo album and this one. That time really changed the sound. There are some songs here that feel as if they would have fit on the proggy, jazzy first album. Overall, the bulk of this disc lands more in mainstream hard rock territory. It's a great album that's more diverse than its predecessor.
One Day Tomorrow

A mainstream rock vibe with a healthy helping of jazz opens this cut. It has a lot of soul music built into it. It's a powerful tune with definite hints of Todd Rundgren type sounds.

Little Brother
Blues and funk merge on this screamer. In some ways it makes me think of Stevie Wonder a bit.
Hello Mellow Feelin'
More of a pure rocker, this has some hints of psychedelia in the mix. It also leans toward progressive rock.
Tell Me in a Whisper
A jazzy jam brings this into being.  This feels a lot like something that would have fit on the debut disc. It's melodic and quite cool.
Shuffle Low
A blues rocker, I love the guitar work on this thing. It definitely has some ZZ Top built into it.
Keep on Burnin'

This is a screaming hot hard rocker. It does have some progressive rock built into it. Overall, though, this leans on the metallic side and really is one of the highlights of the set.

How Do You Like Your Love?
Funk and more collide on this soulful number. It's high energy and quite tasty.
I Always Wanted You

Fun rock and roll and fusion seem to merge on this energized piece. I can hear some Stevie Wonder in the mix on this. The guitar brings some funk to the table. It's another fun piece that has a real Motown kind of thing going on within it.

Outa Control

Screaming hot hard rock, this thing really works. This is the same vein as stuff like Jimi Hendrix and Robin Trower. This gets really fierce near the end.

All Out

In stark contrast, this is nearly all jazz. I love the cool keyboard soloing. Winter's sax gets a chance to shine, too. There is some scat singing on this, but beyond that it's instrumental. This feels like it would have fit well on the first album.

Sky Train

This instrumental seems like an extension of the previous cut. It's another that would have been at home on Entrance. This gets more space rock in the mix and the keyboard soloing really sells it.

Solar Strut

Coming out of the previous track, this fusion jam is a killer. It reminds me of Frank Zappa in a lot of ways. The guitar soloing on this instrumental is on fire, too. This gets incredibly powerful and proggy as it works out to the closing.

Bonus Tracks
          
Little Brother (Mono Edit)

Truth in advertising here, this is a mono edit of the earlier track.

Little Brother (Single Edit)
Here we get a single edit of the same tune, but you probably saw that coming.
One Day Tomorrow (Mono Edit)
I am guessing you can tell what this is from the title and parenthetical.
One Day Tomorrow (Single Edit)
Truth in advertising is king here, too.
Jasmine Nightdream (B-Side)

This jazz number features scat singing. It also moves out to weirdness in a dropped back movement. They bring back out into fusion stylings with some definite space music in the construction. There is some killer keyboard soloing on this movement. Around the four and a half minute mark another tasty jazz groove takes command. This is definitely another piece that would have fit on the first album.

I Always Wanted You (Mono Edit)
Truth in advertising is going strong here.
I Always Wanted You (Single Edit)
The final bonus track is another single edit.
Disc Three
                 
The Edgar Winter Album (Blue Sky 1979)
While the time between the first two solo albums was longer, the change in musical style from the last one to this album is more extreme. This disc is a funky, soul and R&B type thing. It leans toward disco. Of course, disco and dance music had caught on since the release of the previous disc. In fact, disco was the kind of the pop music scene until later in this year, so perhaps this was a reaction to that. If so, it probably wasn't the best timing for hitching up to that bandwagon.
It's Your Life to Live
Funk and soul drive this number. It's fun and a good opener.
Above and Beyond
Another that's decidedly funky, this is very much dance music. It even leans toward disco. Overall, I guess this would land under soul music.
Take It the Way It Is
The funk is all over this soulful tune. It has a lot of Motown in the mix.
Dying to Live
A mellower cut, this is a soulful gospel styled piece based on piano and voice at the start. The arrangement gets more filled out further down the road, but the basic concept remains unchanged.
Please Don't Stop
I dig the funky rhythm section on this. The cut drives forward in killer soulful ways. There is some jazzy guitar and tasty saxophone on this number.
Make It Last

The funky bass work on this is so cool. It's another soulful tune that works very well.

Do What
I love the tasty funk and near disco on this cut. The keys bring some real magic. The bass line is so cool. The saxophone really sings. While this isn't an instrumental, the only words are the title.
It Took Your Love to Bring Me Out
Another energized and funky soul-filled cut, this is good fun,
Forever in Love
This cut still has some of that soulful vibe, but overall it's more of a mellow, jazz ballad.
Bonus Tracks
           
Above and Beyond (Extended Backing Track)

This comes across almost like a dance remix in some ways. At least this is probably what the early version of that was like as it doesn't have all the studio tricks that implies.

Above and Beyond (Extended)
As the title and parenthetical suggests, this is another extended version of the piece.
Above and Beyond (Single Edit)
More direct and straight to the point, this is (as you would expect) a shortened take on the piece.
It's Your Life to Live (Single Edit)
The final bonus cut on this disc is another single. It's classy.
Disc Four
                 
Standing on Rock (Blue Sky 1981)
After the last disco-leaning album was released the tides of public tastes had taken a drastic turn. There was a revolt against disco and back to rock music. This album reflects that change, but there are some moments of soul and funk still in the mix. There is even a song on the disc that talks about rock music winning out over disco. This is another solid release. It also shows that Winter doesn't seem to like to be tied to any one sound for very long.
Star Garbage
There is still some R&B in the backing vocals, but overall this is more of a glam rocker. It's a pretty simple cut, but it works well. The chorus hook is very catchy. The middle-section is pretty weird with some literal space elements. In some ways I'm reminded of Frank Zappa just a little on this cut.
Standing on Rock
Another hard rocker, the chorus is set in more of a mainstream pop rock style. This is energized and classy.
Love Is Everywhere
A mellower, balladic type cut, this has a mainstream rock vibe to it. It's pretty classy and has some soulful elements in the mix. I like the change that it represents from the two openers.
Martians
With some spacey elements, this instrumental is actually a modern variant on "Frankenstein." It is pretty cool, but I prefer the original.
Rock and Roll Revival
This song is literally all about the victory of rock music over disco. It's a classy old school rocker that works well. It has a lot of energy and a tasty vibe.
In Love
This number is more of a pop song than it is a rock one. It has some jazz in the mix along with some hints of Island music and more.
Everyday Man
A killer rocker, there is a bit of a funk edge to this in some ways. Still, this is all hard rock. It happens also to be a very catchy piece. There is some scorching instrumental work on this.
Tomorrowland
There are some definite progressive rock and jazz elements at play on this tune. The non-lyrical vocal movement brings some soulful textures.
Bonus Track
             
Love Is Everywhere (Single Edit)

Truth in advertising rules with this single bonus track.

 
Return
 
Google

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2018 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./Beetcafe.com