Working with such bands as Rainbow, the Michael Schenker Group, and Black Sabbath, the accomplished percussion work of Cozy Powell was highly regarded throughout the rock world. His career included everything from session work with the Jeff Beck Group in the early '70s to replacing Carl Palmer for an album with Keith Emerson and Greg Lake in 1986, maintaining the ELP abbreviation. His solo work is just as credible, since it isolates his talent as a top-notch drummer and shines a light on his exquisite form and unrestricted adeptness behind the kit. Polydor's Master Series takes the most dynamic tracks from his solo albums and gathers a bona fide collection of his material. Even though each track spotlights Powell's drumming equally, some of the cuts still seem to rise above the rest. His work on Russ Ballard's "Liar" is undoubtably one of this set's best tracks, and 1981's "Cat Moves" and "Sunset" reveal his steadiness with the toms and the bass drum. Some of the music's surrounding pretentiousness is hard to ignore at times, but with musicians like Gary Moore, Jack Bruce, and Jeff Beck taking care of the string work on a number of pieces, at least the hard rock atmosphere is of the finest quality. Powell even performs his own versions of a couple of movie-theme songs in "633 Squadron" and "The Big Country." "Formula One" stands as one of the most thunderous tracks Powell has ever played, representing his turbulent finesse and boisterous rhythmic dexterity. This 17-song collection serves as a reputable hits package of this late drummer's solo efforts.
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