Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Horn Rock Heaven Top 20 - #20. I Had Him Down – Ten Wheel Drive [1971]

Nearly every horn/rock record featured at least one gratuitous ballad to showcase the more sensitive side of its writers and musicians. Chicago’s ‘Color My World’, and Janis Joplin’s ‘Maybe’ are two classic examples of the typical ballad fare. But in many instances, the ballad song-form became an additional vehicle for artistic expression within the genre. Such is the case with TWD’s ‘I Had Him Down’. Genya Ravan’s compelling vocal and TWD’s powerful horn section showcase both restraint and raw power all within 4 minutes. The usage of strings only further beautifies this masterpiece. But the importance of this piece should be noted for its usage of all the elements that made horn/rock unique and great by including complex meter, wide range of dynamics, well-crafted lyrics, outstanding arrangement, and great musicianship. TWD proved they could run on all eight cylinders even if the tempo was ‘down’.

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