Ian Lloyd

Ian Lloyd

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His first solo outing after Stories' 1973 album Traveling Underground on Buddah, a disc that was labeled Ian Lloyd & Stories, this self-titled recording features Stories' guitarist Steve Love along with the guitar man from Foreigner, Mick Jones. Lloyd is in his best Rod Stewart voice -- even looking a bit like a young Stewart on the cover. For the most part this is a good recording, but Love and Lloyd definitely lost the groove they had with Stories three years earlier, and it would be three years until Goose Bumps would materialize on Scotti Brothers, where Stories producer Richie Wise did A&R duties. Ian Lloyd originals like "I'll Give You Love" and "Lonely Dancer" tend to sound like jams, and the shame of it is that "I'll Give You Love" had the potential to sound like a nice outtake from Paul McCartney's Ram album. The pull of hard rock was a leaning that took away from Ian Lloyd's fan base, and solo collaborations with Michael Brown of the Left Banke would have been more welcome by original fans than pairings with musicians from Foreigner. Having said that, it's a bit of a paradox when Mick Jones sole songwriting contribution, "One More Chance (Sha La La)" almost sounds like the Small Faces, down to the Steve Marriott vocal. By the time Goose Bumps came along, things would get more focused. Jimmy Mack's "Let Me Down Easy" is one of the album's highlights, with Ian McDonald's saxophone a tasty supplement to Lloyd's sensitive and wonderfully warm performance. Most of the material on Ian Lloyd is written by producer Gregg Diamond and the singer, and fails to reach the heights of the two songs by Jimmie Mack and Mick Jones. "Sensations" sure tries, and it is nice to have Steve Love and Mick Jones collaborating on guitars and backing vocals, a terrific hook in need of a more melodic verse, but lovely guitar lines provide a pretty balance which is consistent across both sides of this album. It's really not a bad recording at all, but with label changes and the momentum of "Brother Louie" long gone, this album really had less of a chance to shine. It definitely needed stronger material, something they successfully addressed on Goose Bumps; covering more Hot Chocolate or the Left Banke would have been advisable for this first solo outing which, despite the flaws, has real merit.

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