The Blues Image

Ride Captain Ride: Anthology of Classics

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The Blues Image story is one of the great "if only"s of American rock, with most of those questions centered around the traditional bugbears of promotion and finance. But you can add timing to the brew, too, as Blues Image emerged one of the great psychedelic bands of the late '60s -- but did so about three years too late. Time, then, for frontman Mike Pinera to redress the balance with a tribute not only to the time and place that Blues Image should have dominated, but also to the bands and musicians whose own work either influenced or inspired him. It's a nonstop jukebox, then, that slams some remarkably personal vision into songs that might otherwise seem so familiar that nobody needs to cover them anymore: Spirit's "I Got a Line on You," the Guess Who's "American Woman," Arthur Brown's "Fire," Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride." Ride Captain Ride is a traveling time machine, spanning the last of the '60s through the first of the '70s, and it's difficult to say what comes out on top -- a seething take on Argent's "Hold Your Head Up"; a dramatic ride through Edgar Winter's "Free Ride"; or no less than three stellar versions of the title track itself, one in English, one in Spanish, and one that will simply blow your head off. A storming brew from start to end.

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