Rick Derringer


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Released in 1976, Derringer was the debut for Rick Derringer's eponymous band that featured Vinny Appice on drums. Derringer was best known as a member of the McCoys and as a member of the Winter brother's bands. He made a couple of good solo albums that flirted with hard rock and pop. Here he aims for straight-ahead hard rock and ends up with a mediocre album that shows a distressing drop-off in quality. While the songs are borderline catchy, they are very simple (both in construction and production) and unadorned by little things like hooks and good vocals. Derringer has a thin and not very expressive voice that can't really carry the day. His guitar solos are pretty run of the mill as well. A few of the songs work well, probably due in part to the presence of Cynthia Weil's (of the legendary Mann/Weil songwriting team) help in the songwriting department. "Let Me In" and "You Can Have Me" are strong straight-ahead rockers with one foot in the glam rock camp; "Comes a Woman" is a tough ballad that features some excellent guitar work. The only glaring misstep is the disco track, "Envy," which shows how wide-ranging disco's net was cast. It also shows that not everyone was suited to try his hand at it. Derringer is the beginning of the end of the interesting part of Derringer's career. Still worth a listen for fans but all others need not bother. [In 2004 Derringer was combined on one disc with the 1977 follow-up, Sweet Evil.]

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