They Only Come Out at Night
Edgar Winter’s third studio album convincingly streamlined his previous forays into jazz, blues, hard rock, gospel, and boogie into concise blasts of shout-out rock ’n’ roll and power ballads. Besides the nerved-out, synth-and-guitar instrumental “Frankenstein” (which hit No. 1 on the American pop charts) the album features the FM-ubiquitous “Free Ride,” a stomping, post-psych classic if ever there was one. Go deeper, and “Alta Nira” sports a surprising bit of a Latin flavor while showcasing the sweetness in Winter’s singing voice. The rockers “Hangin’ Around” and “When It Comes” each have an uncommon and welcome degree of chime and ring to them, and damn if “Round and Round” isn’t a great early slice of countrified pop rock. Yet, if there’s ever any doubt where Winter’s musical heart lies, the aptly titled “Rock ’n’ Roll Boogie Woogie Blues” sets things straight like a shot of Jack. This 1972 set, which features guitarists Ronnie Montrose and Rick Derringer, as well as superstar producer Bill Szymczyk (Eagles, Joe Walsh), wound up central to Winter’s career while selling north of 2 million copies.