FROM THE ARCHIVES, VOL. 2 is a collection of previously unreleased demos and live tracks.
Personnel: Tommy Bolin (vocals, various instruments); Jeremy Steig (flute); Norma Jean Bell (saxophone); Al Kooper, Jan Hammer, Mark Stein (keyboards); Stanley Sheldon, Gene Perla, Dale Peters, Jimmy Haslip (bass); Bobby Berge, Billy Cobham, Jim Fox, Johnnie Bolin (drums).
Producers: Tommy Bolin, Eddie Kramer.
Compilation producers: Mike Drumm, Bob Ferbrache.
Recorded between 1971 and 1976. Includes liner notes by Stanley Sheldon, Jim Sheridan, Max Carl, Mike Drumm and Dennis MacKay.
Digitally remastered by Bob Ferbrache.
From the Archives, Vol. 2 is a compelling collection of demos, both acoustic and with band, plus live tracks. A follow-up to the similarly styled From the Archives, Vol. 1, it was compiled by the Tommy Bolin archives. The archives, overseen by Bolin's brother, was set up to collect and preserve Bolin's musical heritage, both previously released and unreleased. "Alexis" (a track originally recorded with the James Gang) opens and closes the album and shows the evolution of a song. First a rough guitar-only demo, last a more developed piece with Bolin on all instruments (drums, acoustic, and electric guitars). One thing that's evident on many of the Archives releases is how many excellent songs were written by Bolin but never made it past demo form. "Celebration" and the Latin-flavored "Gypsy Moon" are examples. The exotic sounding "Destiny," featuring flutist Jeremy Steig plus Jan Hammer, Billy Cobham, and Gene Perla, shows Bolin working in the service of the song and not as the focus, as he often was. Because many of the songs are not fully realized and sound quality varies, this release is geared more toward the serious fan. ~ Rob Caldwell