Pat Travers Pat Travers

Patrick Henry Travers (born April 12 1954) a native of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is a Jimi Hendrix-influenced guitarist who began putting out albums on Polydor Records in the mid 1970s. Pat Thrall, Nicko McBrain and Tommy Aldridge are among the people who have been a part of the Pat Travers Band.

Pat Travers Pat Travers (Polydor) 1976

1. Stop And Smile 3:50
2. Feelin' Right 3:55
 3. Magnolia 4:18
4. Makes No Difference 4:27
5. Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights) 2:47
6. Mabellene 2:57
7. Hot Rod Lincoln 2:50
8. As My Life Flies 2:33
9. Medley, Parts 1 & 2 6:46

Review to come.

Makin' Magic Pat Travers - Makin' Magic (Polydor) 1977

1. Makin' Magic 5:05
2. Rock n' Roll Susie 3:39
3. You Don't Love Me 3:30
4. Stevie 7:13
5. Statesboro Blues 3:41
6. Need Love 5:04
7. Hooked On Music 6:25
8. What You Mean To Me 4:33

Review to come.

Pat Travers - Putting It Straight/Heat in the Street (One Way) 1977/1979

Putting It Straight

1. "Life in London" (4:22)
2. "Gettin' Betta" (4:44)
3. "Runnin' From the Future" (3:46)
4. "Off Beat Ride" [instrumental] (4:36)
5. "It Ain't What It Seems" (4:13)
6. "Lovin' You" (4:02)
7. "Dedication" (7:54)
8. "Speakeasy" (3:18)
Heat in the Street

9. "Heat In the Street" (4:29)
10. "Killer's Instinct" (5:08)
11. "I Tried to Believe" (5:04)
12. "Hammerhead" [instrumental] (3:04)
13. "Go All Night" (3:57)
14. "Evie" (4:14)
15. "Prelude" [instrumental] (3:38)
16. "Once For Me and One For You" (6:11)

Been looking for "Heat in the Street" forever and finally scored it with this 'two-on-one' collection. This remastered CD contains both albums and is nicely wrapped up in a slipcase that is hand numbered and autographed by Pat Travers. (Mine is 2,058/2,500) The booklet includes a bio written by Pat himself, as well as the lyrics and a few vintage photos.

"Putting It Straight" is a straight forward, guitar oriented hard rock disc. Pat Travers guitar licks and tricks are similar to contemporaries like Frank Marino and Robin Trower. However, Pat is less bluesy and much more flash! "Gettin' Betta" is a tasty funk based rock number and one of my favorites on this album. Despite my accolades for "Putting It Straight", it pales in comparison to follow-up "Heat In the Streets". "Putting It Straight" features drummer Nicko McBrain who went on to fame with Iron Maiden.

"Heat in the Streets" is a slightly more metallic effort from Pat and has long been a favorite of mine. This album is just jam packed with some of the most loud 'n proud guitar rock to come out of the 70's, second to only Ted Nugent or possible Van Halen's debut. The guitar harmonies between Travers and new guitarist Pat Thrall are quite compelling. Also, there are plenty of Pat's patented odd time signatures, funky grooves, and jazz interludes. "Go All Night", "Heat In the Street" and "Hammerhead" are all awesome! "Heat in the Street" features Tommy Aldridge on drums, who went on to play with a score of well known artists including Ozzy, Ted Nugent, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, House of Lords among others.

Pat Travers - Live! Go For What You Know (Polydor) 1979

1. "Hooked On Music" (6:25)
2. "Gettin' Betta" (4:52)
3. "Go All Night" (4:02)
4. "Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)" (5:05)
5. "Stevie" (6:21)
6. "Makin' Magic" (4:00)
7. "Heat In The Street" (4:24)
8. "Makes No Difference" (7:03)

At one time Pat Travers was on of a respected group of 1970's heavy metal/hard rock guitarists, along with Frank Marino, Ted Nugent and Robin Trower. He was a great guitarist and an amazing talent and no where is that more evident than on this classic live album. His band included seminal drummer Tommy Aldridge, bassist Mars Cowling and guitarist Pat Thrall. Not unlike many other live albums from the late 70's there is a live energy that is captured on tape and unleashed each and every time this disc is played again. The big hit here was "Boom Boom", but this album is not a hit single surrounded by a bunch of filler. Far from it! From the opening track to the last note of "Makes No Difference", this is a solid slab of guitar rock.

Crash & Burn Pat Travers Band - Crash and Burn (Vertigo) 1980

1. "Crash and Burn" (5:18)
2. "Can't Be Right" (3:32)
3. "Snortin' Whiskey" (3:24)
4. "Born Under a Bad Sign" (5:47)
5. "Is This Love" (5:26)
6. "The Big Event" [instrumental] (5:34)
7. "Love Will Make You Strong" (4:01)
8. "Material Eyes" (5:52)

This is one of those albums that I grew up with. Pat Travers "Crash and Burn" is blues-based hard rock with loads of raucous guitar and attitude. As with past Pat Travers albums, however, there are a large variety of sounds and styles. "Crash and Burn" is a slow, but heavy blues number, while "Can't Be Right" is the lone metal number on this disc. Of course one of the highlights is the Bob Marley cover "Is This Love". "Snortin' Whiskey" was an FM Rock Radio staple until mentioning the word "cocain" became politically incorrect. (Seem to remember a Eric Clapton song that also disappeared from the airwaves in recent years.) In anycase, "Crash and Burn" is a classic album; one that remains a favorite of mine three decades later.

Radioactive Pat Travers - Radioactive (Lemon) 1981

1.  New Age Music (5:06)
2.  My Life Is On The Line (3:44)
3.  (I Just Wanna) Live It My Way (5:31)
4.  I Don't Wanna Be Awake (3:55)
5.  I Can Love You (2:26)
6.  Untitled [instrumental] (3:26)
7.  Feelin' In Love (3:33)
8.  Play It Like You See It (5:11)
9.  Electric Detective (3:07)

"Radio Active" is a mostly guitar heavy, rock and roll album from the seminal Pat Travers. The album was released in 1981 originally on Polygram. By this time Pat Thrall and Tommy Aldridge had left the band but Travers forged ahead with new drummer Sandy Gennaro and longtime bassist Peter Cowling. The album features nine electrifying tracks. Many fans made the claim that "Radio Active" is basically "Crash and Burn Pt. 2". The album includes the semi-hit, hard rocker "New Age Music" as well as the heavy rocker "My Life is on the Line.  "(I Just Wanna) Live It My Way" is blues based rocker with some sweet guitar work. It is perhaps one of my favorite songs on the album. The songs clocks in at around five and a half minutes, but frankly, I would have love for the song to go longer. It fades out to Travers cranking out some leads. "I Don't Wanna Be Awake" is a bit of a corny track, but fun nonetheless.

Side two of the record seems a little bit more keyboard heavy. This is especially true of "I Can Love You" which has the 70's style keys burying the guitars. "Untitled" is an instrumental. Being that this is a Pat Travers record I actually expected a smokin' guitar led instrumental, but rather this song seems to be more of a spotlight on the keyboards and is a rather melodic number. "Feelin' in Love" has a bit of a reggae vibe to it. "Play It Like You See It" is a melodic, bluesy number with a ton of emotion and feel. This is probably my favorite track from side two and once again brings Pat's guitar to the front of the mix. It's also one of Pat's more soulful vocal performances. The album finishes off with another instrumental, this time with the guitar in the spotlight rather than the keys.

Originally released on vinyl and cassette tape by Polygram Records, the album didn't see an official CD release until 2008.  Apparently, the CD reissue is mastered from a vinyl transfer. I've not been able to find any information on-line as to why the original master tapes weren't used. Perhaps they just aren't available. Regardless, the CD sounds great for a vinyl transfer. I've cranked this on my iPod, my car player and my home rack system and it sounds good on all of them. I hear no scratches or vinyl pops. Oddly enough, the CDs themselves are made to look like vinyl records. The CD re-issue features an 8-page booklet with interviews, photos, and a commentary from David Ling.

Of course I also have my original wax version as well. There's just something about spinning some of these older albums on vinyl. Perhaps it's the warmth of the sound, or perhaps (and more likely) it's just pure nostalgia for aging rockers. Also, the smaller size CD cover really loses something from the big 12" square vinyl size.

Black Pearl Pat Travers - Black Pearl (Lemon) 1982

1. "I La La La Love You" (3:40)
2. "I'd Rather See You Dead" (4:14)
3. "Stand Up" (4:30)
4. "Who'll Take The Fall" (4:17)
5. "The Fifth" [instrumental] (3:27)

6. "Misty Morning" (5:06)
7. "Can't Stop The Heartache" (5:11)
8. "Amgwanna Kick Booty" [instrumental] (3:27)
9. "Rockin'" (5:36)

Back in 1982 when "Black Pearl" was released, I was a young high school student and resident metalhead. My very first "big" concert was Aerosmith on their "Rock in a Hard Place" tour at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, PA. Opening that show was Pat Travers on his "Black Pearl" tour. I had been familiar with Travers before that concert, but had only really heard the radio hits, "Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)" and "Snortin' Whiskey". After that show I had to go out and purchase a copy of the Black Pearl album. So, it is with this nostalgic background that I find "Black Pearl" to be one of Pat Travers best albums and perhaps even the pinnacle of his recording career. At the very least, "Black Pearl" is a lost gem from the Canadian born guitarist's catalog. On this short nine song album, Pat manages to successfully mix of hard rock, blues, jazz, proto-metal and reggae. He creates a whirlwind of sounds that seems like it would be disjointed, but instead, this album flows together perfectly. If anything were to stick out, it's the Beethoven instrumental "The Fifth". (You can blame Ritchie Blackmore for so many guitarists exploring classical terrains.) "La La La Love You" was minor hit off the album, but my favorite tracks are "Can't Stand The Heartaches", "I'd Rather See You Dead", "Rockin'" and the Bob Marley cover "Misty Morning

Lemon Records CD re-issue contains a nice 12-page booklet with classic photos and a lengthy biography. I also own the original Polygram vinyl.

Greatest Hits Live Pat Travers - Greatest Hits Live (King Biscuit) 2003

1 "Tonight" (3:41)
2 "Killer" (3:55)
3 "Life in London" (4:53)
4 "Gettin' Betta'" (4:54)
5 "Just Try Talkin' (To Those Dudes)" (4:48)
6 "I La La La Love You" (3:24)
7 "Stevie" (7:09)
8 "Born Under a Bad Sign" (6:52)
9 "Ready or Not" (4:42)
10 "Hot Shot" (5:07)
11 "Born a Rocker" (3:54)
12 "Rockin'" (6:42)
13 "Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)" (8:42)
14 "Snortin' Whiskey" (4:17)

I had read in Martin Poppoff's "Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal" that Traver's BBC recordings were well worth tracking down. While I didn't findthe BBC disc, I didn't stumble across this King Buscuit live disc, thanks toa generous on-line trader. Despite the name of this disc, which makes it sound like a hodge-podge of live recordings, Greatest Hits Live captures Travers live on March 26, 1984, in West Palm Beach, FL supporting his "Hot Spot" recent release. The band sounds great and Travers simply tears up the fretboard. I actually think some of these live versions are better than the more rigid studio versions. There is just something about capturing that live energy that brings life to old tracks and that is certainly the case with this disc

Infidelis Pat Travers - Fidelis (Alexis) 2011

1.   Ask Me Baby (4:37)
2.   Edge Of Darkness (4:47)
3.   Then I'll Fall (4:10)
4.   Josephine (4:45)
5.   Save Me (5:10)
6.   Stay  (5:49)
7.   When I'm With You (3:30)
8.   I've Got Love To Give (4:36)
9.   Tear Of Love  (5:26)
10. Yeah, Yah (4:08)
11. So Missing You (5:34)

I am a longtime fan of Travers since first seeing him opening for Aerosmith on the "Black Pearl" tour back in '82. I was enamored by his music for years, but as I got deeper into heavy metal, thrash metal and death metal I lost track of Travers' music. "Hot Shot" was the last album I purchased by Pat. I still spun all those old Pat Travers Bands records but never really looked beyond them. For whatever reason in 2010 I really was getting into Travers' music again, and began to fill out my collection. It was at that point I started looking into his newer music. "Fidelis", released in 2011, is the first new Travers album I picked up.

"Fidelis" starts of with a song that fits neatly in the tradition of Travers' classic 70's albums. Much of Travers' post-"Hot Shot" work has been described as traditional blues. This is not the case with "Ask Me Baby", a a guitar-based hard rock song has a nice hook and features some fierce guitar work. "Edge of Darkness" is a blues-based rocker with a ton of groove. "Then I'll Fall" returns to the straight-forward, guitar-based hard rock. "Josphine" comes close to being traditional blues and is a melodic ballad with some soulful guitar solos and a short reggae bride towards the end of the song. "Tear of Love" has a slight Zeppelin vibe to it while "Yeah, Yah" is a funk-based and nearly all instrumental. With the exception of a few "Yeah-Yah's" there aren't any lyrics.

Pat's vocals have aged well. Though you can hear his age, he has a ton of soul and a slight rasp that works well on this album. The production is warm and rich as well. Travers has released a solid rock and roll album in "Infidelis".

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