Rick Derringer - Joy Ride – Solo Albums 1973-1980 album review

Four-CD box set of celebrated singer/writer/producer

Cover art for Rick Derringer - Joy Ride – Solo Albums 1973-1980 album

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Rick Derringer was the Alex Chilton-style teen prodigy – he was 17 when he sang The McCoys’ 1965 US No.1 Hang On Sloopy – who managed to forge a successful 70s career. Looking like a hard rock David Cassidy, he could have been a pop star but he had other plans, like being a blistering guitar-slinger for hire on a lot of your favourite records by Steely Dan, Todd Rundgren, Alice Cooper and Johnny and Edgar Winter.

He was more than just a flashy sidekick, though, as his solo debut All American Boy (1973) proved. An underappreciated gem, this time Derringer was the centre of attention with the illustrious guests (Joe Walsh, David Bromberg), and it’s a measure of his ability to straddle the cool/commercial divide that it featured both Suzi Quatro and a co-write with Patti Smith (the fab Hold). His strongest collection, it ranged from his biggest hit, the hardkicking boogie of Rock And Roll, Hoochie Coo, to lachrymose tongue-in-cheek ballad The Airport Giveth (The Airport Taketh Away). Spring Fever (1975) came with a cover of Rufus Thomas’s classic SOFTWAREmark” gingersoftwareuiphraseguid=“54a2adf2-58d5-4d5c-9767-f1d0e9fe9a0d” id=“fe3b6d9b-9d7a-4bbc-ae5b-b9cf58a6d00e”>SOFTWAREmark” gingersoftwareuiphraseguid=“c39af6d3-1112-4a47-ac06-ca5b8eb3f4f9” id=“7fd38979-b923-49e3-a81a-3857a9ad964e”>Walkin’ The Dog as well as Chick Corea on Moog and David Johansen on electric harmonica. Guitar And Women (1979) was given a power pop punch and sheen by co-producer Rundgren and featured two tracks written by Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen, then in his Dream Police pomp. Completing this four-CD set is Face To Face (1980), including a cover of Neil Young’s My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue).

Paul Lester

Paul Lester is the editor of Record Collector. He began freelancing for Melody Maker in the late 80s, and was later made Features Editor. He was a member of the team that launched Uncut Magazine, where he became Deputy Editor. In 2006 he went freelance again and has written for The Guardian, The Times, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, Classic Rock, Q and the Jewish Chronicle. He has also written books on Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Bjork, The Verve, Gang Of Four, Wire, Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, the Spice Girls, and Pink.