COZY POWELL – Over The Top [Universal Japan Hard & Heavy series]
It has been requested classic COZY POWELL albums in the best sound quality possible. “Over The Top“, the first Cozy solo album has been reissued in Japan on SHM-CD. We don’t have it, but don’t need it either: this ‘Universal Japan Hard & Heavy series’ from 2007 uses the same remaster and it sounds fabulous.
This is a Nineties remastering – the only available for this album – and perfectly fits to this recording: this is a late Seventies album and this type of ‘quiet’ remaster preserves the original harmonics.
The pristine sound quality from this Japanese CD is clearly noticeable against the other pressings we heard.
With Gary Moore, Bernie Marsden, and Don Airey among the musicians surrounding Cozy on this album, you only can expect superb musicianship.
In the second half of the Seventies the rock fusion was pretty in vogue with the likes of Al DiMeola, Jeff Beck and Colosseum II. So it was no surprise that Cozy Powell, on this first solo LP, presents many contributions by musicians that have played with the aforementioned bands.
On ”Over The Top” we can enjoy a super powerhouse rhythm-section featuring Cozy Powell and ex-Cream bass player Jack Bruce, what a powerful and dynamic sound, especially on ‘Theme I’ and ‘El Sid’.
The keyboard sound all over the LP is also very exciting (delivered by Max Middleton and Don Airey), from mellow Fender Rhodes electric piano and sparkling Grand piano to lots of flashy Minimoog flights, sumptuous classical orchestrations and UK-like synthesizer sounds (due to the use of the mighty Yamaha CS-80).
Some songs sound similar to Colosseum II because of the interplay between their ex-members Don Airey and Gary Moore. It’s ‘blues time’ in ‘The Loner’ (dedicated to Jeff Beck), with moving work on guitar and piano and a pitchbend-driven Minimoog solo in the end.
One of the most interesting (and most progressive) composition is the title track: it opens with a swinging rhythm, then varied and exciting work on keyboards and halfway Cozy starts a drum solo, soon accompanied by bombastic classical orchestrations (lots of woodwinds and brass) on the Yamaha and Moog synthesizer, the build-up and grand finale is great.
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01 – Theme 1
02 – Killer
03 – Heidi Goes To Town
04 – El Sid
05 – Sweet Poison
06 – The Loner
07 – Over The Top
Drums, Gong, Tympani, Tubular Bells – Cozy Powell
Guitar – Bernie Marsden
Guitar – Gary Moore
Guitar – Dave Clempson
Bass – Jack Bruce
Piano, Electric Piano – Max Middleton
Piano, Synths – Don Airey
Out Of Print