Hold On

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Steve Huey called Hold On by Trapeze, reissued on CD in 1998, their "final proper studio album (and) quite possibly their best, as the group had perfected the sort of blustery heavy rock that filled arenas in the mid- to late-'70s." Credit must be given to the late producer of the Rolling Stones, Jimmy Miller, who smoothed out the gruff sound of a band like Motörhead, handing that particular group Overkill and Bomber, two metal classics that would not be the same without the production maestro's participation. Miller was also involved with the Plasmatics at this point in time, working multiple projects by influential bands who may not have had the impact of Jagger and Richards, but were still musically vital. So, too, with the straight-ahead blues-rock of Trapeze featuring founding members Mel Galley and Dave Holland. Miller tightens up their sound and puts it in a very proper setting, Savoy Brown with a bit of an edge. Mr. Jimmy's appreciation of the fusion of blues and rock was fundamental to his production style, and though there are none of his trademark percussion sounds here, extras that frosted the cake for artists from the Rolling Stones to Johnny Thunders, the three Pete Goalby originals, and six songs from guitarist Mel Galley play with briskness and uniform continuity from track to track. The toughness of "Take Good Care" and "When You Get to Heaven" is matched by the two best songs on the disc, the poppy title track, "Hold On," and the exquisite slow sustain of "Time Will Heal." You can hear Bad Company and Humble Pie in the grooves, the last song reflected in the back cover of a full moon and clouds against a night sky. It also recalls music Jimmy Miller created ten years earlier with the Hungarian group Locomotiv GT and Doug Fieger of Sky (later, the Knack). "Don't Break My Heart" veers off from Rolling Stones to Free, solid British rock with bite. Hold On by Trapeze may have a second life as Jimmy Miller's work outside of the Stones finds renewed appreciation.

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