Album Review: Widowmaker – Too Late To Cry (1977)

Initially billed as a supergroup for the late seventies Widowmaker bowed out once and for all with this mediocre 1977 offering.

The supergroup tag was always going to be difficult to live up to as none of them exactly had top drawer cv’s. Guitarists Ariel Bender (Luther Grosvenor) and Huw Lloyd Langton had been in Mott The Hoople and Hawkwind respectively, whilst drummer Paul Nichols had been with Lindisfarne. Bass player Bob Daisley arguably had his glory days to come going on as he did to play with Rainbow, Uriah Heep and Ozzy Osbourne. Original vocalist Steve Ellis had come from the pop rock outfit Love Affair but he didn’t stay around long enough to contribute to this second album and was replaced by Robert Plant wannabe John Butler.

I have never actually heard the debut album so can’t really comment on whether they were going in the right direction or not but ‘Too Late To Cry’ does not sound like an album from a band that were on the verge of setting the world on fire. It’s pretty standard formulaic late seventies rock. Right down to the dodgy group photographs which in retrospect look totally ridiculous. Big burly beer drinking blokes all dressed up in sparkly gear stolen from the glam rock wardrobe staring at the camera like cut throats and desperados.

The musical content too is pretty predictable. The title track, which opens the album, is sort of Thin Lizzyesque probably due to the twin guitar sound. It is also one of the better tracks. Other highlights are the Grosvenor penned ‘Here Comes The Queen’ an acoustic Led Zeppelin type track which highlights Butler’s Robert Plant pretentions and ‘The Hustler’ a track which surely has a claim to be the only rock song with a steel drum solo, provided courtesy of Miguel Barradas.

The weaker cuts include ‘Pushin’ & Pullin” on which Bender takes over lead vocal duties and the Daisley composition ‘What A Way To Fall’. The closing track ‘Sky Blues’ is another Led Zeppelin like workout which is pleasant enough but hardly original.

Widowmaker went their seperate ways before they had a chance to record a third album. The majority of the group continued in numerous second division bands although bassist Daisley, as previously mentioned, went on to enjoy success in Rainbow and Uriah Heep among others whilst Bender/Grosvenor called it a day and became a painter and decorator.

© Martin Leedham. First Published on RYM October 2008

About Martin Leedham

Music critic, Horse Racing Tipster, Hapless Dreamer, Defender of the Underdog
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6 Responses to Album Review: Widowmaker – Too Late To Cry (1977)

  1. kevmoore says:

    I know Steve Ellis, and worked with him several times (we even did B.V’s together for Chubby Checker in Antwerp once!) I always consider it a shame that he never really gets the credit for the great rock voice that he has. Perhaps if he’d stayed around for this album, it might’ve helped a little. I would recommend ‘El Doomo’ for Steve at his finest.

  2. i love areil benders guitar player and wish he would do more records like widow maker hope to hear more albums like this darryl feyjoo

  3. Eisen says:

    This album is a masterpiece and the reviewer doesn’t know his ass from his elbow.

  4. Dino Zeus says:

    The first album is infinitely better than this album. The reviewer is right on…this album is just plain boring.

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