Tommy Bolin

The Ultimate: The Best of Tommy Bolin

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Although guitarist Tommy Bolin died well before his time, he left a wide variety of scattered recordings behind (as both a session musician and permanent member of several rock bands). One of the more versatile guitarists of all-time, Bolin touched upon many different styles - blues rock, heavy metal, jazz fusion, and serene ballads, which are all on display on 1989's 2-CD boxset, The Ultimate. In addition to the music, the set comes with a large, gorgeous booklet chock full of pictures, plus a very detailed and informative biography. Disc 1 chronicles Bolin's early years, and while it contains several standouts (the amazing instrumental "Quadrant 4" with Billy Cobham, The James Gang's "Alexis" and "Standing In the Rain," etc.), the selections by his first band, Zephyr, and as a hired hand with a Zep-clone band called Moxy, have not aged well. Disc 2 proves to be more consistent, including tracks with jazz drummer Alphonse Mouzon ("Golden Rainbows," "Nitrogyclerin"), as part of Deep Purple's final '70s line-up ("Gettin' Tighter," "Owed to G"), and as a solo artist ("Dreamer," "Teaser," "Sweet Burgundy," "Shake the Devil," etc.). Although the set was out-of-print by the late-90's, 'The Ultimate' serves as a solid introduction to the talents of the great Tommy Bolin.

blue highlight denotes track pick