Not Marc Bolan, Tommy Bolin
C. Clark | 12/08/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of course, Tommy Bolin died in a bathtub, fully dressed, under a spraythat I guess wasn't cold enough to revive him. The coroner's reportthat came out over the AP wire the next day listed the cause of death as the result of a mixture of heroin, cocaine, barbiturates, and alcohol. Those were the days. I was sixteen. I owned both his records, and I'd just seen him play the previous May sitting at a front table at the Roxy Theater in ("keep me out of") L.A. I was a fan, but that was the last time I ever gave a good goddam about whether any rock star guitar hero ever went out that way again. (Some will claim Cobain.) For me, Tommy Bolin was the last in a long line of corpses, martyrs to something or other, whom I watched being carried from death site to grave site (some of whom even vied with me for my custodians' attentions even while I rocked in my cradle). No wonder it was the saddest songs all the young dudes like me dug. We was down with blues, baby; and for many of us the shooting-star-status-by-way-of-the-tragic-life-dismount with-myth-corked-up-like-the-finest-cabernet-and-ready-for-public-consumption tack was an appealing scenario too, the attraction to which was not easily outgrown. That bathroom scene was what it ended up taking for me; and, if I may lend a somewhat mythical air to the admixture of Tommy Bolin's and my biographical details in order to reemphasize the significance of his passing on my psychic development, I will mention that Tommy Bolin was buried wearing a ring that Jimi Hendrix wore on the night of his demise. But please, nobody go dig it up. But the music (and I promise this is the first and last review I'll suffer you, Amazon.com's clientele) ... With the inarguable exception of "You Keep on Moving," these are certainly not the best versions or mixes of those songs that are available elsewhere, so if you don't already know the music on The Ultimate, it may not be the box-set for you. Get 'Private Eyes' instead. It's much sexier. Kind of a Shriekback 'Big Night Music' paradisal vibe. Twenty years before its time. If you do know the music on The Ultimate, then you're probably like me and you tough it out through the first five "early years" tracks because they get shorter and shorter the more times you listen to them, and before you know it, "People People" is playing and you're thinking about listening from the beginning again anyway. What else would you want?"
The Ultimate Boxed Set--But Too Short
C. Clark | United States | 07/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 2000 it is easy to forget what a godsend this boxed set was back in 1989. At that time, there was virtually no Tommy Bolin available at all--all the great '70s albums he had played on were long out-of-print, and record companies were ever-so selective about what they put out on CD. When The Ultimate came out, it was a chance for the world to re-discover the magical guitar playing of one Tommy Bolin, who died too soon at the age of 25 in 1976. Known primarily as the man who took Ritchie Blackmore's place in Deep Purple (a mixed blessing), Bolin is actually a fusion man who colors his playing with liberal use of echoplex, slide playing, funk rhythms, and octave lines a la Wes Montgomery. Towards the end of his life he concentrated on a solo career featuring a variety of songs tempered with his pleasant, if limited, voice. If there are any drawbacks to this set, these are they: 1. It is now out-of-print; and 2. It is too short! Come on, just one song from the influential Spectrum album by Billy Cobham? They could have dropped one of the Moxy and/or Zephyr songs to make room for more Cobham. Also, perhaps only one song from the infamous Last Concert in Japan (Deep Purple) should have been included. But these quibbles come to naught, for any Bolin-related material is greatly appreciated in this cookie-cutter world."
Wild Dogs live a must hear for devoted fans
James Demestihas | Reno, NV. United States | 10/16/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While this set is not the greatest it is a must have for true
fans. The live version of wild dogs with deep purple is, well,
so good, its hard to put in words. An all time favorite for me.
There are other highlights but alot of lackluster material too.
Get teaser and private eyes, then if you must have more, by this.
If you dont have any Bolin already, dont buy this first."