Illinois Speed Press
Illinois Speed Press
Columbia 1969

Music - 5 stars

Illinois Speed Press
Duets
Columbia 1970

Music - 5 stars

Illinois Speed Press  - Illinois Speed Press  - front cover

front cover

Illinois Speed Press  - Illinois Speed Press  - rear cover

rear cover

Review

A terrific rock record recorded and released around the same time as the first Chicago album. Sound wise the two bands have little in common other than coming from the same city and sharing the same producer. The Illinois Speed Press eschews horns and is focused on hard blues-rock.

What makes this record great is the song craft. Everything is terrific, and "Get in the wind", "Hard Luck Story", "Here Today", "Be a Woman", "Sky Song", "Free Ride", and "Pay The Price", are truly exceptional. In fact, if there ever was a song definable as a lease breaker it’s the raucous and rollicking "Pay The Price." The writing is self contained, and the vocals by Paul Cotton and Kal David offset each other very nicely.

The record sports a gatefold cover with a misty picture of the group in profile. Inside is an entertaining Illinois Speed Press “newspaper” designed and written by the Firesign Theatre. For reasons not quite clear, producer James William Guercio splintered the group after this record leaving only a core of David and Cotton. We consider this record to be one of the great rock albums of the 1960's and a must for collectors of that era.

- Allan J Moore

Illinois Speed Press  - Duets  - front cover

front cover

Illinois Speed Press  - Duets  - rear cover

rear cover

Review

It's so easy to review Illinois Speed Press albums since everything is very good to great so there's no time wasted separating the wheat from the chaff.

What's left of the Illinois Speed Press Is Paul Cotton and Kal David. The duo proves to be more than enough. While the first album is appropriate music for a keg party one could play this album at a dinner party and it still rocks.

Cotton and David serve up a plateful of great songs and the production is flawless "Country Dumplin" is a nice guitar jam, and "Sadly out Of Place," an engaging tune demonstrates some really charming vocal harmonies. The surprise of the album is the "Dearly" a splendid suite of songs accented by an understated Lincoln Mayorga orchestration. "Morning Blues" and "Bad Weather" are charming Tunes.
["Bad Weather" turned up again on Poco's 1971 album "From The Inside ".]

"The Life" and "Seventeen Days" are skillful hard rockers. "The Visit" is a heads up to pure blues and Kal David's vocal absolutely shines. Every tune on "Duets" is memorable. These are two very talented musicians at their very best. This record is a must for all fans of late 60's music or lovers of great rock music.

- Allan J Moore