Along with Steve Marriott, Robert Plant and Rod Stewart, Terry Reid is a member of that genuinely rarified group of vocalists – the truly convincing British blue-eyed soul singer. But while the others broke through to reach wider and appreciative audiences, Reid’s appeal remains selective at best.
Contractual hassles kept him out of the public eye from late 1969 until his return in 1973 with one of his most fondly remembered albums, River. Adopting a laissez-faire approach to his craft, the album is very much a let-it-all-hang-out affair, and one that takes in folk, soul, blues and bossanova with an almost hazy nonchalance. Those were indeed the days.
This belated companion album is populated with five alternate versions of songs from the original album and six songs recorded at the time but never released until now.
The new versions of the previously released songs – River and Avenue – feel less like alternate readings and more like guide tracks or the bones of ideas being fleshed out. Similarly, new material such as Let’s Go Down and Country Brazilian Funk are more akin to studio jams than realised songs.
A mixed bag of variable results, then, though Reid’s voice remains consistently magnificent throughout.