Song of the Day: Terry Reid “The River”
The great soul singer, Aretha Franklin was famously unimpressed by the British Invasion scene of the 1960’s. In 1968, the she famously said of the music of the time:
“There are only three things happening in England: the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Terry Reid.”
While Terry Reid isn’t particularly well known now, he remains an impressively talented singer, songwriter and guitarist. He remains perhaps best known as the the first choice to front Led Zeppelin when the band first got together (Reid passed and Robert Plant ended up becoming the singer). This is a real shame because Reid is very much worth knowing about outside of this Zep curio. He made a a series of four absolute classic records beginning with Bang, Bang, You’re Terry Reid in 1968 and ending with Seeds of Memory in 1976.
“The River” is the title cut from Reid‘s 1973 LP, which remains arguably the best from his initial classic period. The song is a meditative, acoustic guitar number that plays out like a gently moving river. The song lyrics paint a bucolic winter scene, with Reid‘s voice showcased as the powerful yet nuanced instrument that it is. Reid‘s vocal style is a combination of jazz, folk and blues singing. His approach and songwriting always managed to feel highly personal. In many ways, it is probably for the best that he eschewed greater fame in favor of the intimate recordings that he did make. These are perfect bedroom records, to be enjoyed and contemplated on a rainy Sunday morning.