Three overlooked albums by British singer Mike Harrison – all brought together in a single set! First up is the self-titled Mike Harrison – a wonderful solo debut from the singer who made Spooky Tooth sound so great on their albums, maybe even sounding better here on his own! The album is clearly conceived and put together by Mike – with backup help from The Junkyard Band, who underscore the yearning, earnest qualities in his vocals – spun out with a snakey, raspy charm, with a sound that's maybe a more intimate take on territory explored by Procol Harum. The songs are great, and the whole record has a quality level that really attests to the all-great quality of Island Records at this point – with tracks that include "Pain", "Lonely People", "Mother Nature", "Call It A Day", "Damian", and "Wait Until The Morning". Smokestack Lightnin
g is great solo work from Mike Harrison, ex-Spooky Tooth – a fantastic singer who should have been huge as a solo act – maybe a bit like Colin Blunstone, whose sound with The Zombies was so important, but could never have a huge career on his own – even while he created some wonderful albums in the process! This set's a well-crafted gem through and through – recorded at Muscle Shoals, but with a sound that's free of any of the hoke of those oft-used studios – as instead of bending to southern modes, Harrison uses the ace musicians to underscore some of the depth of his own approach in a really great way. Titles include "Turning Over", "Wanna Be Free", "Tears", "What A Price", and "Paid My Dues". Rainbow Rider has Mike Harrison maybe hitting some harder rock territory than before, with some roots rock moments – more a part of the overall sound of the group, and with some pretty heavy guitars up there in the lead – which seems to bring out a very different quality in Mike's vocals. Titles include "Okay Lay Lady Lay", "Like A Road Leading Home", "Maverick Woman Blues", "You & Me", "I'll Keep It With Mine", and "Friend".