Jack Bruce: Silver Rails

First solo album in over a decade from the Cream bassman

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As his 71st birthday approaches, Jack Bruce is in stellar form. Ten songs, seven of them co-writes with Cream lyricist Pete Brown, every one infused with quality.

Bruce’s voice now has a wonderful, tremulous tone and has lost none of its charm or range - witness Don’t Look Now where it starts baritone then soars to falsetto. On Hidden Cities his vocal is mirrored by four female voices. On the chilling Industrial Child it’s accompanied by little more than his own piano playing.

That scope is reflected in the musical styles - from reggae-fied opener Candlelight (co-written with wife Margrit Seyffer) to the Cream-like Rusty Lady (on which Robin Trower plays guitar). Although closing with the brilliantly defiant No Surrender (guitar by Bernie Marsden), the best track in Silver Rails is probably Drone. Mixing super-fuzzed bass with what sounds like Stukas dive-bombing, it emerges as a track Geezer Butler would probably have killed to have written for Black Sabbath.

Neil Jeffries

Freelance contributor to Classic Rock and several of its offshoots since 2006. In the 1980s he began a 15-year spell working for Kerrang! intially as a cub reviewer and later as Geoff Barton’s deputy and then pouring precious metal into test tubes as editor of its Special Projects division. Has spent quality time with Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Ritchie Blackmore, Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore – and also spent time in a maximum security prison alongside Love/Hate. Loves Rush, Aerosmith and beer. Will work for food.