US band THE EDGAR WINTER GROUP was formed in 1972, and existed as a unit until 1975, after which Winter mainly decided to release solo albums again. He did briefly revive his precursor band Edgar Winter’s White Trash, but is today mainly known as a solo artist. “They Only Come Out at Night” is the first of the three albums by The Edgar Winter Group, and was released in 1972.
Back in the day, this album was a high selling album. One may suspect that the main selling point for this production was the hit singles, as that was rather customary back in the day. That the album as such is one that have disappeared from the limelight kind of emphasize that train of thought. It was the week 9 album to be highlighted in the Classic Rock Album Of The Week Club Facebook group, which is the reason why I decided to give it a review.
My main impressions about this album is that it is very much a time typical production, very much a product of the part of the decade in which it was made, and an album that comes across as rather dated today.
That being said, this isn’t a bad album at all. A certain affection for vintage era music is merited of course, but the band is tight, the vocalists are by and large of a high enough quality to elevate the material, and the core of the songs are generally good too, with several chorus sections extremely catchy.
The band are at their best when they explore blues rock with a bit of boogie swagger. The rhythm section is steady, the guitarists flavor the songs with excellent details, riffs and solo passages, and a common denominator on many of the cuts is a wandering, effective piano motif.
It is when the bands strays off from this path that subjective taste becomes an issue. We are treated to a couple of Americana/Country-tinged excursions which for me at least comes across as items of a lesser value, and the light and fun spirit of the Caribbean flavored Alta Mira didn’t manage to impress on a higher level either. The concluding instrumental Frankenstein is another one that for me didn’t really impress all that much, despite this being a major hit for the band. While the core foundation of the track is a compelling one, some of the various instrument solo runs feels out of place, and stops the momentum in an otherwise engaging and tight creation. The use of synthesizers also feels a bit awkward in 2018, but I understand why they probably was quite the attraction back in the day.
For me, “They Only Come Out at Night” comes across as very much a product of the time period when it was made. An album that feels dated and out of touch today, but also an album that contains several good songs that merits a listen of you tend to enjoy the main style of this band. Hence, if you enjoy your classic rock with a strong blues feel to it and something of a boogie swagger, then this is an album that should be given a spin at some point. A certain affection for Americana details wouldn’t go amiss either, to be able to enjoy the full album experience.
My rating: 70/100
Hangin’ Around // When It Comes // Alta Mira // Free Ride // Undercover Man // Round & Round // Rock ‘n’ Roll Boogie Woogie Blues // Autumn // We All Had a Real Good Time // Frankenstein