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Jack the Toad

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Album Review

Savoy Brown made the best of Dave Walker's departure for Fleetwood Mac by hiring Jack Lynton as their lead singer. While Lynton's voice can't match the warmth instilled by Walker's, he does do a competent job at melding with Kim Simmonds' guitar playing. His voice is sharp but not overly exciting, yet it still presents "Coming Down Your Way" with enough emotion to make it the album's standout track. The addition of Ron Berg on percussion and Stan Saltzman's saxophone are worthy instrumental extensions, helping to boost the album's energy level another notch. "Ride on Babe," "If I Want To," "Some People," and the title track are straight-sounding efforts, but they seem to lack the blues resilience of what the band is capable of. There's enough of Simmonds' talent to keep die-hard fans fascinated, yet the provocative blues-rock character that has evolved from Savoy Brown as a complete group has been slightly abandoned for the most part. Considering Savoy Brown's past tribulations that have played out in such a short time span, Jack the Toad can be labeled an adequate effort, but when paralleled to the quality of strut and swagger that Simmonds has administered with his members in the past, it may be regarded as a little less than that.


Formed: 1966 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Part of the late-'60s blues-rock movement, Britain's Savoy Brown never achieved as much success in their homeland as they did in America, where they promoted their albums with nonstop touring. The band was formed and led by guitarist Kim Simmonds, whose dominating personality has led to myriad personnel changes; the original lineup included singer Bryce Portius, keyboardist Bob Hall, guitarist Martin Stone, bassist Ray Chappell, and drummer Leo Manning. This lineup appeared on the band's 1967 debut,...
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