Tiger : Going down Laughing
(EMI - 1976)
Category : overlooked
Tiger : Tiger
Category : overlooked
These must be two of the most overlooked or forgotten albums in Rock history. I thank the coincidence that brought them into my possession,... through a bargain bin no less. I think they cost me 1,25 € each.
I have to admit both of them are the kind of album that you have to sit down for to let them grow on you. These aren't simple albums with instant appeal, as the sound and the style are very distinctive. You first have to get used to them to experience their full impact. And they are certainly not something for everyone. Tiger is an acquired taste, but if you have ever listened to bands like 'Argus'-era Wishbone Ash, early Ambrosia, early Barclay James Harvest and 'Something Magic'-era Procol Harum, appreciating them will be lot easier than for your average Classic Rock fan. However, people who know their Progressive Rock, will nevertheless notice that Tiger bears little or no resemblance with any of these aformentioned bands. I'll come back to that later.
For the most part Tiger plays a kind of slow and soft Progressive Rock, with lots of melody and with subtle injections of Jazz and Funk. There are a few "bursts" of up tempo Jazz Fusion (for example in the very beautiful 'Waiting for the snow'), some more powerful Rock passages and there are also some compositions that were built on a foundation of classic Funk Rock (example 'Gamblin' Gambler'). But for the most part it's a rather laid back affair with lots of dreamy and melancholic passages. It's all very well performed, it's smart and artful, dramatic at times but never pompous or overdone.
The average Tiger composition is a lengthy one, clocking in at seven minutes on average, and certainly taking its time to build up. In this aspect, but also a bit in style and feel, they resemble 'Argus'-era Wishbone Ash. I'm mentioning Wishbone Ash, even though the resemblance is vague, essentially because I don't know of any other band that sounds even remotely like Tiger. And I have heard thousands of them.
Tiger has two (yes, two) very good vocalists that cooperate well together. The first one is a melodic singer with a clear voice. The other one has a bluesier feel. It's this second singer who's of note, as it's a man called Nicky Moore, who would later go on to become the singer of the NWOBHM-bands Samson and Mammoth (among others).
(Footnote 1: A review of two Samson-albums, with vocals by Nicky Moore, can be read here.)
(Footnote 2: Be warned that there are (were) more bands out there called Tiger, so be careful if you go looking for music of this band.)