Nicky Hopkins: The Tin Man Was A Dreamer (1973)
I decided to pull up an album I rarely play, yet is such a joy when I do. Hopkins only released a few albums of his own during his sadly brief lifetime (1944-1994), yet 1973's Tin Man is surprisingly solid. His vocals are warm and guileless; his playing is impeccable; and it doesn't hurt to have friends like George Harrison and Mick Taylor to lay down some guitars.
Musically, it's straight 70s classic rock with a nice pop touch; recorded not long after his work on the Stones' Exile on Main Street, you can hear a lot of those traditional rootsy rock vibes throughout, with a healthy dose of Elton John and Harry Nilsson as well. "Waiting For The Band" is terrific, a sweet, lovely little piano-driven pop song; "Lawyer's Lament" has a similarly Beatlesque, baroque pop sound. "Dolly" and "Dreamer" are more in an Elton-like mode, endearing ballads, the latter sounding like something John Lennon may have recorded; while elsewhere Nicky and the band show their musical chops, like on the jazzy instrumental "Edward."
While largely remembered for his supporting work for bigger stars, Tin Man makes a pretty sound case that Hopkins belongs in the rock & roll canon for his own work as well.
Here's an audio rip of "Waiting For The Band":
Meanwhile, here's a handy mix giving an overview of some of his most noteworthy session work: