In 1975, Humble Pie came sputtering to a halt after a series of less than inspiring albums. Surprisingly, frontman Steve Marriott's first solo album after the split, 1976's Marriott, is a sprightly, rollicking affair that is light on the blues-rock of Humble Pie and heavy on soul, funk, and hard-charging rock & roll. The album is divided into a British side (recorded by Marriott's band that included ex-T. Rex guitarist Mickey Finn) and an American side (with backing by a raft of West Coast session players including Michael Nesmith sidekick Red Rhodes on pedal steel). The British side is a rocked-out blast of noise with Marriott's wailing vocals sounding rejuvenated and his live-wire guitar playing fully to the front. Tracks like "East Side Struttin'," "Lookin' for a Love," a fully fleshed-out version of a Small Faces track, "Wam Bam Thank You Ma'am," and "Midnight Rollin'" equal the best moments of Humble Pie, and only the blues ballad "Help Me Through the Day" lets the side down. The American side is unsurprisingly a much slicker proposition, relying on backing vocalists and synths to flesh out the sound. Marriott's ragged soul shines through, however, on rollicking tracks like "Star in My Life," the disco-fied "Late Night Lady," and a slinky cover of Freddie Scott's "Are You Lonely for Me Baby." Again, the ballad drags things down as the cheesy arrangement of "You Don't Know Me" shows that maybe Marriott should have steered clear of the ballads -- the cheesy arrangement is pure supper club, and Marriott sounds very out of place. Batting .800 is nothing to look sideways at, though, and Marriott is a stunning return to form and a powerful two-finger salute to anyone who had written the lad off as washed up. He's dirty as ever and on top of his game, and the album flat out rocks.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra