Back Street Crawler

Paul Kossoff

original release year 1973
this release year 2008
number of disks 2
total duration 150 minutes

Paul Kossoff is probably best-known for being the guitarist in Free. After Free broke up, Kossoff recorded his first solo work Back Street Crawler in 1973.

That album is a great find indeed. I had never even heard of it, but after borrowing Back Street Crawler from the library, I bought the 2CD Deluxe Edition from eBay and am very happy with the acquisition. For an affordable price, you get very good old-school rock but that is not all. There are also long, extended jams with plenty of guitar solos.

On disc 2, Time away - the complete jam lasts over 38 minutes without getting boring. What a great album for those who love bluesy rock guitar playing and the sound of real Hammond organs. Wow!

Kossoff's guitar tone deserves a special mention, since it is exceptionally good. It is a nice example of how you can achieve fantastic tone with a very basic setup. Perhaps surprisingly to some modern guitarists, Kossoff actually often plugged his guitar straight into a tube amplifier and that was it: No tricks, digital effects or gimmicks needed. Of course, a huge part of the tone comes from Kossoff's fingers and not from any particular gear.

All in all, this album was a very pleasant surprise to me. Highly recommended!

copyright ©  2010 Kalevi Kolttonen <>