Robin Trower has been producing accessible and mostly melodic hard rock for more than 30 years. He served a five-year stint as the lead guitarist of Procol Harum from 1967-1972 before embarking on his solo career. I was not a big fan of Procol Harum during that time period but became so after Trower left. Oddly I also became a fan of Trower’s solo work so it all goes back to the old whole vs. the parts.
Day Of The Eagle: The Best Of Robin Trower is a 17-song compilation that gathers together most of his better known and popular tracks from his lengthy solo career. At this point in his career, Trower has a lot of gold to be mined from his extensive catalogue and this album does a good job of assembling these musical gems in one place.
The title song, “Day Of The Eagle,” is taken from his classic album, Bridge Of Sighs, and sets the tone for what will follow. Trower mostly recorded as part of a power trio with an occasional extra guitar. Here bassist-vocalist James Dewar and Trower’s guitar playing come close to a Jimi Hendrix sound. Trower is a master at improvisation but unlike many other guitarists never lets it get out of control. He always has the knack of returning his songs to their basic melodies and structures.
There are two excellent live songs presented on the album. “Too Rolling Stoned” shows off Trower’s technical skill and finger speed. “Althea” has an excellent and typical '70’s drum solo plus some inventive wah-wah guitar by Trower.
Day Of The Eagle just rolls along once it hits its stride. “Daydream” is a slow bluesy number filled with Cream like chord progressions. “Caledonia” and “Man Of The World” provide ample room for more improvisation. “In City Dreams,” “Caravan To Midnight,” “Long Misty Days,” “Bridge Of Sighs” and probably the best song Robin Trower ever produced, “Victims Of The Fury,” take the listener on a ride through the 1970s and '80s world of hard rock.
If there is one criticism I have of Robin Trower it is his sound has changed little over the years. If you liked the 1970’s Robin Trower you will like the Trower of today. This issue is not a real problem for me as I believe that within the musical confines he has set for himself he is a master of his trade. Day Of The Eagle: The Best Of Robin Trower shows this master at his best.