CHRIS YOULDEN - Nowhere Road (1973) & Citychild (1974)
Best known for having replaced Bryce Portius as one of Savoy Brown's original lead singers, during his tour of duty with the band Chris Youlden rivaled Kim Simmonds in serving as the band's focal point. In addition to being blessed with a voice that was perfectly suited for the band's bluesy rock moves, his reputation wasn't hurt by his onstage attire - often a bowler and monocle, or a tux. It also didn't hurt that Youlden was a capable writer, responsible for penning roughly half of Savoy's classic early-'70s material.
Unhappy with Savoy Brown's constant touring and drift towards what he considered to be mindless boogie, in May 1970, Youlden tendered his resignation. He effectively vanished for the next three years, unexpectedly reappeared in 1973 signed by London Records as a solo act (coincidently Savoy Brown's label). Produced by Barry Murray, 1973's "Nowhere Road" was notable for the fact it bore little resemblance to his Savoy Brown catalog. With Youlden penning all eleven tracks, material such as 'Chink of Sanity' and 'Mama Don't Talk So Loud' retained a bluesy base, but injected a distinctively sinewy funky edge into selections such as the title track (boasting a great guitar solo), 'One October Day' (with some tasty horns) and the blazing 'Cryin' In the Road'. Chris Spedding and Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan provided sterling support throughout. A commercial disappointment, the set barely charted, peaking at #210. (Sporting one of the year's ugliest covers certainly didn't help sales.) The lack of sales was unfortunate since Youlden's instantly recognizable voice remained in prime form. Without wanting it to sound like hype, had Savoy Brown recorded an album this good, they would've been stars ...
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