Locomotiv GT

Locomotiv GT

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AllMusic Review by

Much of the immediate post-Rolling Stones work by producer Jimmy Miller was embraced by ABC Records, which gave Miller a lucrative deal to sign talent and release records, and it was clear he had a free hand. Albums by Genya Ravan, Henry Gross, B.B. King, Bobby Whitlock, and others at least had an outlet, but as one colleague put it, "Jimmy had already run the hundred yard dash...and won." It's a true rock & roll tragedy that a genius producer didn't have the ambition to infuse the intuitive elements he put into Spooky Tooth and Traffic into these grooves for Locomotiv G T, thus there are highs and lows on this outing by a unique Hungarian rock quartet. Jack Bruce shows up on harp on "She's Just 14," and the songwriting of Tamas Barta, Anna Adamis, and Gabor Presser is sometimes very good. "Rock Yourself" and "Confession" are standouts on side one, as are "Waiting for You" and "Serenade to a Love (If I Had One)" on side two. But there is a void here, and the void seems to be Miller's mind perhaps on other things. The album feels like co-producer/engineer Andy Johns is in control, as it has more of his homogenized approach than Jimmy Miller's clever rhythms and variety of sounds. Miller adds his percussion to some of the tracks, but not to the level that dripped lots of frosting on "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Honky Tonk Women," "Loving Cup," and other delights. That's the biggest problem with Locomotiv G T -- there is no standout hit to draw an audience in, and Miller certainly knew better than to leave an album somewhat naked. "She's Just 14" is a nice bluesy raver, and Bruce's harp is fun, though the really awful packaging probably went a long way to sending this directly to the bargain bins. A silver train inside what looks like foil graces the cover, with a single unrevealing photo of the band on the back. Drummer Joe Laux did go on to become an engineer of note, including work with Michael Jackson, Dionne Warwick, the Average White Band, and others, while the recording also provides evidence as to how wide Jimmy Miller's scope was. Like the Savage Rose, this band hailed from Europe, while Kracker was a Santana-influenced band from Cuba or South America. He even discovered American Doug Fieger, who later went on to form the Knack. The major flaw is that Jimmy Miller Productions didn't seek out hit tunes to launch all these artists, and despite some impressive songwriting skills on Locomotiv G T, there are too many klunkers, like "Won't You Dance With Me" and "Back Home," which offset the good tunes and are about as exciting as the dreadful album art. Uneven, it plays like it's unfinished.

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