Deke Leonard

Wireless

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Though known mostly as a guitarist for Man, Deke Leonard also did some work on his own in the 1970s, sometimes as the head of Deke Leonard's Iceberg. Wireless collects previously unreleased recordings he made for radio during the decade, the first seven tracks coming from European broadcasts of Deke Leonard's Iceberg between 1972 and 1974 (the exact dates and locations are not known), the final four from a BBC John Peel session in February 1978. The 1972-1974 material is an awkward, and not too pleasing, mix of boogified bluesy rock with some art rock brush strokes, not helped by the dull sound (though the fidelity is basically of studio standard). Particularly due to some pointed, quizzical circular guitar riffs, there's sometimes the strange feeling that you're hearing a blues-oriented bar band trying to be Yes, or vice versa. It's not the most inviting combination, and when you throw in the thin vocals of limited power, you have music that even lovers of '70s hard rock/blues-rock blends might seldom dig out of the archive. Leonard plays it much more straightforward, and much poppier and roots-rockier, on the better-sounding 1978 Peel session, though the songs aren't anything to highly recommend. Ending the disc are a couple of Elvis Presley covers from that session -- inessential oddities from an inessential addition to the Leonard discography.

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