Cozy Pow­ell

The Poly­dor Years

Classic Rock - - The Hard Stuff Reissues - Ge­off Bar­ton

Triple tub-thump­ing trauma.

The late Colin Trevor ‘Cozy’ Pow­ell will al­ways have a spe­cial place in this hack’s heart, the drum­mer be­ing the sub­ject of my first ever pro­fes­sional – and I use the word ad­vis­edly – mu­sic-journal in­ter­view way back in mid-1975. At that time, Pow­ell had just formed a band called Ham­mer. He was also rid­ing high on the back of hit sin­gles Dance With The Devil, The Man In Black and Na Na Na.

Af­ter a sto­ried shift with Ritchie Black­more’s Rain­bow, the tub-thumper – and let’s face it, Cozy was the very def­i­ni­tion of the term – recorded the solo al­bums Over The Top (1979), Tilt (1981) and Oc­to­puss (1983).

Col­lected un­der the ban­ner

The Poly­dor Years, th­ese are cu­ri­ous cu­rios in­deed. With

Over The Top (4/10), Pow­ell was ob­vi­ously keen to prove there was more to his play­ing style than the ‘pow!’ in Pow­ell. It be­gins with Theme One, the Ge­orge Martin com­po­si­tion pop­u­larised by Van der Graaf Gen­er­a­tor, here done in a Doc­tor Who style, and of prog, clas­si­cal and jazz in­flu­ences abound.

Tilt (7/10) is a far su­pe­rior, more straight­for­ward of­fer­ing. Guest gui­tarist Jeff Beck siz­zles on Cat Moves and Hot Rock, while Frank Aiello and the es­timable Elmer Gantry al­le­vi­ate the in­stru­men­tal tedium with some wel­come vo­cals.

Oc­to­puss (5/10) finds

Pow­ell re­vert­ing to type with overblown ver­sions of 633 Squadron and The Big Coun­try, but it’s all too Jeff Wayne for com­fort. The ti­tle track, how­ever, prowls and pounds like a jack­ham­mer-wield­ing pan­ther.

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