Album of the Day
Tower of Power is rightfully revered for its horn section, which has graced sessions for performers including Santana, Aerosmith and Elton John. But the Bay Area band has cut many albums of its own, and 1975's URBAN RENEWAL is one of its best. Recorded near the peak of group's commercial success, the Warner Bros. collection would be the last with lead vocalist Lenny Williams before his departure for a solo career. The instrumental work is also stellar, and not just the horns; keyboardist Chester Thompson and bassist Francis "Rocco" Prestia will dazzle you as well. Except for a Johnny "Guitar" Watson cover, the material is all original and ranges from topical tracks (“Only So Much Oil in the Ground”) to soulful balladry (“Willing to Learn”) to hard funk (“Maybe It'll Rub Off”), an appealing mix that lifted the set to #22 on the Billboard Album chart. Released 45 years ago this month, URBAN RENEWAL is sure to please any fan of '70s R&B.