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Bay City Rollers “Ricochet” Reviewed

Bye Bye Rollers

And so we say goodbye to the Rollers and watch Eric and Woody just before they drift into nostalgia Rollerworld with a perfectly fine collection of power-pop, rock anthems, and prog vibes. Is this the way it ends? With an album that you just can’t help imagining woulda coulda shoulda, if Clive Davis had any more interest in them. Dave Thompson of AllMusic’s review (here) wittily wondered if they’d have been better off changing their name to Cheap Trick, and he has a point.

The well crafted 1981 Ricochet is better than we could have hoped for, I put it up around their first three albums, the first side has three Eric Faulkner tracks and two by Les McKeown replacement, Duncan Favre, the other side has a mix of Woody-Eric-Duncan, and solo and twosomes, and also Faulkner taking lead vocals on one song on each side. The first side is a landscape for a future never reach with one of the Rollers best songs ever, “Life On The Radio” – a signature tune that isn’t. As much as anyone, the Rollers can claim to have spent their life on the radio, from bubblegum rockers to power poppers, they had a good coupla years before they just couldn’t get out of their past history and though stuff like “Doors, Bars, Metal” might be too artsy for their own good, “Roxy Lady” has a keyboard hook that propels the song and a strong and smooth vocal.

As aside, it was called

But over the album, the lack of memorable tunes is a real problem, if you want to play power pop you must have the melodies down to an art and the segue between art rock instrumental title track and the coulda been a contender “Won’t You Come Home With Me” with its classicist piano, is harmed by simply not being memorable enough.

The Rollers released Ricochet as The Brown Bag Album in Canada, the cover art is below

It was the end of the Rollers, of course, what came next was a mining of their early 1970s. And why not?

Grade: B+

2 Comments

  1. Blaine Barber on September 11, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    I’m learning the bass lines to this right now and I can tell they had a great time in the studio. But yes a lack of hit songs – this one is for member only. I do love the album.

  2. Rebecca Hall on April 10, 2022 at 4:41 pm

    An amazing album, all around. Wish they would have been given more of a chance in this form. Duncan/Eric/Woody made a great songwriting team.

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