Paste (magazine) - "Like fellow Brits Steve Winwood and Georgie Fame before him, Reid builds on standard R&B tropes to fashion his own identity, which is no easy feat."
Audio Mixer: Brian Kehew.
Audio Remasterer: John Baldwin .
Liner Note Authors: Matt Block ; Pat Thomas .
Even though it has been reissued four times in the 21st century, Terry Reid's 1973 album River remains steeped in legend. His debut for Atlantic after Ahmet Ertegun freed him from the legal entanglements with former manager Mickie Most, it was begun in London with Eddy Offord, finished in Los Angeles with engineer Ed Barton, then overdubbed and mastered by Tom Dowd in Miami. No matter how divergent the narratives surrounding the record are, they all agree that enough material was recorded to fill several albums. The Other Side of the River was assembled and generously annotated by intrepid music historian Pat Thomas (who also produced a River reissue in 2006) and producer/writer Matt Block. Just over an hour long, it features alternate takes, unreleased tunes, and intimate jams. This set adds welcome dimension and perspective to River. The musical range on the released album -- from gritty R&B and jazzy singer/songwriter fare to Latin and bossa grooves, and divided into two distinct halves -- sets it apart not only from everything in Reid's catalog but from the era, too. The main band features Reid's voice and guitar, David Lindley on guitar and lap steel, and Ike & Tina Turner bassist Lee Miles. Drummers Alan White and Conrad Isidore appear separately.
The unreleased groover "Let's Go Down" offers a funky backbeat punched up by Miles' bassline and a greasy guitar shuffle, before Reid's vocal literally slips into the middle. Horns add a vintage R&B feel while Lindley's steel whines and bites, creating a massive choogler. "F# Boogie" is a grimier, earlier alternate of "Avenue" -- it's from the London sessions but Dowd later overdubbed the Ikettes on backing vocals. It's so soulful and meaty, it's a complete puzzle as to why it went unissued. "Country Brazilian Funk" is a righteous title for an unreleased gem that moves mercurially between L.A. country, bluesy soul, and funky samba -- with cooking assistance from Gilberto Gil's percussionists in the second half. There is a slower version of "River," with Willie Bobo using brushes to play 24-track tape boxes. A slippery, jazzy bossa acoustic guitar adds a languid, tropical feel -- but the right version was chosen for the album. A bassline and bossa guitar introduce the unreleased "Listen with Eyes," with Bobo's drum kit as the rhythmic floor. Reid's scatty bossa phrasing is breathtaking. "Anyway" appeared in a different mix on the 2006 reissue as a bonus track. This one doesn't illuminate much, but it is a gorgeous sketch. "Funny" also appeared in a different take on the reissue and offers gorgeous chord voicings by Lindley and Reid. It never appeared on the album either. The Other Side of the River contains two throwaways in "Celtic Melody" and the solo piano "Late Night Idea," but the producers make a case in the liner notes. This document is far more than a mere curiosity. For anyone who appreciates the original, this offers a deeper revelation of the process in and context of Reid's classic. ~ Thom Jurek