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Buddy Miles – Them Changes (1970)

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Buddy Miles – Them Changes (1970)

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01. Them Changes (Buddy Miles) - 3:19							play
02. I Still Love You, Anyway (Charlie Karp) - 4:12
03. Heart's Delight (Buddy Miles) - 4:06
04. Dreams (Greg Allman) - 4:51
05. Down By The River (Neil Young) - 6:20
06. Memphis Train (Rufus Thomas, R.W.Sparks, B.Rice) - 2:55
07. Paul B.Allen, Omaha, Nebraska (Buddy Miles, André Lewis) - 5:30
08. Your Feeling Is Mine (Otis Redding) - 2:11					play

Personnel:
- Buddy Miles - drums (01,03-08), lead & backing vocals, lead guitar (05), arranger, producer
- Bob Parkins - organ (01)
- Wally Rossunolo - rhythm & lead guitar (01)
- Billy Cox - bass (01)
- James Tatum - tenor saxophone (01,06)
- Robert Pittman - alto saxophone (01), tenor saxophone (06)
- Teddy Blandin - trumpet (01)
- Charlie Karp - acoustic guitar (02,05), guitar (03,04,05,08), backing vocals, arranger
- Bob Hogins - organ (02,05), piano (02), trombone (03,04,08), electric piano (04), backing vocals, arranger
- Robin McBride - harpshichord & piano (02), backing vocals, producer
- André Lewis - organ (03,04,07,08), clavinet (04,05), electric piano (05), backing vocals
- Marlo Henderson - guitar (03,04,05,07,08), backing vocals
- David Hull - bass (03,04,05,08), backing vocals
- Lee Allen - trumpet (03,04,08), backing vocals
- Phil Wood - flugelhorn (03,04,08), piano (08), backing vocals
- Mark Williams - tenor saxophone (03,04,08), backing vocals
- Dwayne Hitchings - organ (06)
- Jim McCarty - guitar (06)
- Roland Robinson - bass (06)
- Pete Carter - trumpet (06)
- Tom Hall - trumpet (06)
- Tobie Wynn - baritone saxophone (06)

 

This 1970 release by former Band of Gypsy's drummer Buddy Miles is, quite simply, one of the great lost treasures of soul inspired rock music. From the funky drive of the title track to Miles' plaintive singing on "I Still Love You, Anyway" and Greg Allman's "Dreams," the album is filled with the best qualities of both genres. Not only does Miles prove himself to be a great interpretor of songs, but with the title track and "Heart's Delight," he demonstrates his ability to write solid material on his own. Complimented by the Memphis Horns, Miles' songs soar and swing as hard as any Stax release, and his voice, underutilized when he played with the Electric Flag and Hendrix, combines the nuance of soul singing with the grit of rock. Them Changes is definately worth the extra effort to try to locate. ---Steve Kurutz, AllMusic Review

 

My favorite Miles album, which is also considered one of his classic releases, is Them Changes. Released in 1970, it helped to define and explore the fusion of rock and funk music. He was basically a powerful rock drummer who had a fine rhythm & blues oriented voice; the combination of which made his sound versatile and unique.

The title song is the first track and sets the tone of the album. Old band mate Billy Cox is on hand to lay down some nice bass lines which compliment his dominating drumming. The rock guitar runs counterpoint to the funkiness of the supporting brass. Miles vocal ties it all together and allows this song and what will follow to embrace both a rock ‘n’ roll and a rhythm and blues sound.

Classic songs follow one after the other. “Heart’s Delight,” which was written by Miles, contains a blazing brass section complete with trumpet, tenor saxophone, trombone, and even a funky flugelhorn. Gregg Allman’s “Dreams” is a song that builds and builds as he is supported by a virtual choir of backup singers. “Paul B. Allen, Omaha, Nebraska,” which has to be of the strangest titles in history, demonstrates what a creative drummer he could be as only an organ and minimal guitar appear in support. “Memphis Train” just rolls along as he leads practically a big band sound on this old Rufus Thomas track. The album closer is the Otis Redding tune, “Your Feeling Is Mine” where it is interesting to hear Miles vocal take.

The only real miss is Neil Young’s “Down By The River.” It is a difficult song for him to sing plus he steps out from behind his drums to play lead guitar on the track which was not a wise decision.

Them Changes is a fitting epitaph for Buddy Miles. The classic cover of a young Miles just sitting behind his drum set is the way I want to remember him. It spent a deserved year and a half on the American Billboard charts and remains a fitting legacy of one of rock’s powerhouses.

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Last Updated (Saturday, 09 December 2017 09:39)

 

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