Clover / Clover

The Sound City Sessions - 1975

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Before the band headed from San Francisco to London to establish itself as one of the few American outfits on the pub rock scene, Clover cut some demo sessions at a studio called Sound City. These remained unreleased until 2006, when Sonic Past Music issued the aptly named The Sound City Sessions, a 16-track collection of these early recordings from the band that later went on to back Elvis Costello on My Aim Is True and still later spawned Huey Lewis & the News and a Doobie Brother in John McFee. Hints of these later incarnations can be heard throughout The Sound City Sessions -- there are a few sprightly pop sessions and a bit of boogie -- but for the most part this is friendly, slightly sloppy country-rock designed for mellow sunny afternoons, not dimly lit honky tonks. Sometimes, they sound designed for the radio, too, a giveaway regarding the participation of Keith Olsen, who would soon produce Fleetwood Mac's eponymous 1975 pop breakthrough, but make no mistake, these are demos, sometimes sounding just a little bit shy of full-blooded arrangements. Nevertheless, these recordings are pretty charming. Even if they didn't always put the pieces together in the best possible combinations, Clover had the songs and they had much of the bright pub rock feel that enlivened My Aim Is True, and that's enough to make this a worthy stroll through the past.

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