I was originally turned on to the late British bluesman, Long John Baldry, via his 1971 LP, It Ain’t Easy. Initially, it was Baldry’s take on The Faces “Flying” that stopped me in my tracks, as, until hearing his reading of the song, I could not imagine anyone else other that Rod Stewart’s pipes doing it justice. Here, Baldry does just that.
As a whole, It Ain’t Easy is a great record, with an interesting back-story to go along with it. Released in 1971, the album was dual-produced by Rod Stewart and Elton John, each handling one side of the LP. Stewart bring in his Faces band mates and, as expected, a raucous revelry ensues. Elton John’s technique is also fitting, reminiscent of his work on own album – also from 1971 – Tumbleweed Connection.