Illinois Speed Press - Illinois Speed Press - Columbia 1969

Illinois Speed Press  - Illinois Speed Press  - front cover

front cover

Illinois Speed Press  - Illinois Speed Press  - rear cover

rear cover

Review

Music - 5 stars

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.

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Note: We did find this album through Amazon.com as part of a "twofer". The second LP is entitled "Duets." You need to go through a secondary vendor, and it’s a bit expensive. We recommend doing some legwork tracking down the original vinyl. The record is rare, but well worth the effort.
The guys at Vinyl History.