Chris Spedding: Backwood Progression (1970)
But his early 70s stuff is pretty interesting. 1970's Backwood Progression, his second solo album (following an instrumental debut), is... well, kinda weird and ill-defined. It ranges from eclectic singer-songwriter to skewed folk/Americana to a sort of pre-glam art rock. Think, say, Bowie's Hunky Dory or the first Mott the Hoople record or Cockney Rebel, as peformed by the Band or Brinsley Schwarz. Spedding isn't the most dynamic vocalist (mostly sounding like Mott's Ian Hunter, with some Dylan or Mark Knopfler thrown in), but the roughness gels with the patiently ambling music. And for all Spedding's rep as an in-demand guitarist-for-hire, the album downplays the flashy guitar, with the pianos at least as prominent in the mix.
Again, it's an odd little record, definitely of its time, but there's an enchanting eccentricity to it I really dig. The sprawling, almost proggy opener "For What We Are About To Hear" is a bewitching mess; the rocking "Words Don't Come" is a mish-mash of Dylan and Mott and the Faces; "The Hill" conjures the Band's Americana; "She's My Friend" sounds like an upbeat outtake from the Velvets' Loaded; "Never Carry Any More Than You Can Eat" is unpretentious fun, Spedding finally letting loose a bit of that guitar magic. It's hardly an essential album, more like one of those well-kept secrets that caters to consummate music nerds.
Here's an audio rip of "She's My Friend":...and "The Hill":...and "Words Don't Come":
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