There are hidden gems beyond number in the recording catalog of the late and great Jack Bruce. One of them is his solo entry that enjoyed its brief US chart run in December 1974, Out Of The Storm.
Listen to Out Of The Storm right now.
The album represented Jack’s return to his solo career after the West, Bruce & Laing rock trio had reached its conclusion. It was produced by Bruce and Andy Johns, who had overseen WBL’s Why Dontcha set of 1972. Johns, like his older brother Glyn, became a go-to studio man for many of the rock powerhouses of the day, notably as engineer for both Led Zeppelin (on 1973’s Houses Of The Holy) and with the Rolling Stones across several albums: his work on It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll was unveiled almost simultaneously with Bruce’s album.
Joining Eric at RSO
Out Of The Storm saw Jack join his former Cream bandmate Eric Clapton on the RSO label. Unusually for Jack at the time, the LP was recorded chiefly on the west coast of the USA, which gave both him and Johns access to some of the top American players of the day, such as drummers Jim Keltner and Jim Gordon (the latter from Derek and the Dominos) and guitarist Steve Hunter, aka “The Deacon,” famed for his work with Lou Reed and Alice Cooper.
For all of their sterling work, though, Out Of The Storm was a tour de force by Bruce, who made remarkable contributions to the record’s instrumentation, not only on his trademark bass but on numerous keyboards, as well as harmonica, notably on “Keep On Wondering.”
The eerie electric piano and other effects on tracks such as “Running Through Our Hands” (with lyrics by Janet Godfrey) were further, rich enhancements,. The material on the original eight-song set reflected Bruce’s ambitious sonic palette, his distinctive vocals and the ever-mystical lyrics of his lifelong writing partner Pete Brown.
A rich mixture of rock and beyond
“Keep It Down,” also released as a single, was a showcase not just for Bruce’s nimble bass-playing but Hunter’s rock guitar, while “Into The Storm” (the album’s original title) featured Jack on piano and a more reflective album rock approach. Early mixes of five tracks were added to the 2003 CD reissue.
The album missed the UK charts, but immediately started picking up album rock airplay from such FM strongholds as WLIR in New York and WMMR in Philadelphia. It shared radio playlists with other such rock staples as Deep Purple’s Stormbringer, Linda Ronstadt’s Heart Like A Wheel and the Marshall Tucker Band’s Where We All Belong.
Out Of The Storm “bubbled under” the Billboard Top LPs chart for the week of 30 November, before debuting inside the Top 200 a week later at No.183. It climbed to No.166 and then No.160, but sadly fell off the chart as Christmas arrived. But the album stands tall today as a key example of the 1970s ouevre of a British original.
Out Of The Storm can be bought here.
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