Exposé Online banner

Ian McDonald — Drivers Eyes
(Camino CAMCD18, 1999, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-11-01

Drivers Eyes Cover art

Let us take a long journey back through the ether to advent of progressive rock. Who do you see lurking around in the shadows? Well one person was Ian McDonald whose group, King Crimson, was a magic band by definition: forceful and radical approach. McDonald's role was as contributor, but vague in most aspects related to the actual creation of the concept of that influential quartet. Now thirty years later, we have his first solo album with a myriad of alumni on Steve Hackett's Camino label. Save for 1970's McDonald and Giles album and his three year stint with Foreigner, the gifted multi-instrumentalist's writing and arranging work has been largely undocumented until now. It appears that his recent involvement with Hackett's Tokyo Tapes and Crimson's Epitaph projects has kicked some life into those savvy bones. Most of Drivers Eyes is upfront rock with overtones of the checkered past. John Waite croons "You Are Part of Me" with a solid rhythm held down by the drumming of none other than Michael Giles. Several other singers give competent vocal readings including Lou Gramm (Foreigner), John Wetton (Crimson, UK, Asia), and Gary Brooker (Procol Harum) on the album's closing track. Other notable contributions come from Hackett, lead guitar on "Straight Back to You," Peter Frampton on "If I Was" and former Hall and Oates sideman G.E. Smith on "Saturday Night in Tokyo." The instrumental tracks, "Sax Fifth Avenue," "Hawaii," and "Demimonde," feature good melodic content across basic arrangements and 4/4 tempos. Overall, this successful MOR album should find a home with classic rock stations that have been playing "Feels Like the First Time" in their 70s time warp. And what’s wrong with that really?


Filed under: New releases, Issue 18, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Hackett, John Wetton, Ian McDonald

Latest news

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hidria Spacefolk - Balansia – Normally it would be problematic for a band to sound the same on their third album (not counting a remix project) as on their first, especially if the first is basically a self-released demo. But when...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues