Alan Merrill

The Face of '69

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

In 1969, Alan Merrill was one of the biggest stars that Japanese rock had ever seen, western or otherwise, and three decades later, Merrill recalls those heady days of hysteria with a song that also reminds us why he was so huge. Because he is a fabulous songwriter, with a dramatic grip on melody and a sense of humor, and a storyteller's gift for drawing the listener into anything he puts his voice to.

Twenty songs long and strong, The Face of '69 is a collection of songs that span both his career and his address book. "Always Another Train" presents a virtual supergroup as he hooks up with Steve Winwood and Mick Taylor; "Love Express" draws Rick Derringer into the mix, but of course the album is so much more than a sum of its contributors. The pulsating "Hard Road," with a solid riff and wailing guitar solo, is one early highlight; a gentle cover of Meat Loaf's "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" is another. And so on. "Slow Down" is taken at Mach ten; "Hang on Sloopy" leaves you airborne with delight; and, when he looks back at "Walk Away Renee," you remember just how much you loved the song in the first place. The face of '69 is still looking good.

blue highlight denotes track pick