Robin Trower

Robin Trower

English guitarist, former musician of the band 'Procol Harum'
Date of Birth: 09.03.1945
Country: Great Britain

  1. Biography of Robin Trower
  2. Early Career
  3. Solo Career and Success
  4. Success and Continued Solo Work
  5. Musical Direction and Continued Success
  6. Continued Career and Legacy
  7. Discography

Biography of Robin Trower

Robin Trower is an English guitarist, best known for his time as a musician in the band Procol Harum. He began his musical career as a guitarist, starting off in the rhythm and blues group Paramounts, and then joining the famous art rock band Procol Harum. In 1973, Trower started his solo career, forming the backing band Jude, consisting of vocalist Frankie Miller, bassist and vocalist Jim Dewar, and drummer Clive Bunker. Trower performed melodic, guitar-driven compositions that were reminiscent of late Jimi Hendrix. With his unique psychedelic blues sound, Robin Trower confidently entered the group of "non-classical" blues performers of the mid-70s. However, his contribution to the development of the "British vision of the genre" was often overlooked by the music press, and he was rarely considered one of the "first generation" heroes. There were obvious reasons for this. While Peter Green and Stan Webb played blues standards, Rory Gallagher and Jeff Beck invented progressive blues, mixing it with jazz and psychedelia, Robin was not in the lead role in one of the best early art rock bands, Procol Harum.

Early Career

Trower's career began in 1966 in the middle-tier rhythm and blues band Paramounts, which consisted of very strong keyboardists/composers - Gary Brooker and Matthew Fisher. After a series of unsuccessful singles, the band broke up, only to reappear in an updated lineup under the name Procol Harum. And although the successful single "A Whiter Shade of Pale" (1967) featured guitarist Ray Royer, it didn't take long for our hero to become their lead guitarist. Along with him, drummer B.J. Wilson joined the lineup. The exiles - Ray Royer and Bobby Harrison - formed the first lineup of Freedom, a group that also played a significant role in the development of the British blues scene. On the first three albums ("S/t" 1967, "Shine on Brightly" 1968, "A Salty Dog" 1969), Trower's guitar was overshadowed by the excellent piano parts of Brooker and the Hammond organ of Fisher. But his true talent could not be hidden, and on the fourth studio album by Procol Harum, "Home" (1970), his own composition appeared, vividly demonstrating his musical preferences. The powerful hard blues rock number "Whiskey Train" sharply contrasted with the soft and intelligent sound of classic Procol Harum. Just a year ago, Trower had only composed an unimpressive blues track, "Juicy Joint Pink," a couple of duets with the band's leaders ("Too Much Between Us," "Crusifiction Lane"). And here - a central composition of the album.

Solo Career and Success

The following year was a triumph for Trower as part of Procol Harum. Almost half of the material on the album "Broken Barricades" came from the pens of Trower and Brooker, and Brooker himself, influenced by his guitarist, composed several heavy tracks. As a result, it was the first truly heavy rock album by Procol Harum. Although fans rarely call the shift towards hard rock successful, and the album is often underestimated, it is impossible not to mention such immortal compositions as "Simple Sister" (a concert favorite), "Memorial Drive," and "Poor Mohammed." The last track is interesting because it was a rare moment of Trower as the lead vocalist. This could have been the direction for heavy progressive rock, but disagreements that had been brewing for quite some time (a year ago, one of the founders, Matthew Fisher, left the band) led to Trower's departure and the formation of the Robin Trower Band. Prior to this, Trower had formed the group Jade with STONE THE CROWS' vocalist/bassist/composer James Dewar and drummer Reg Isadore, but Miller proved to be an unreliable partner and traded the prospects of the joint project for a successful solo career. With Dewar taking on the role of singer, Trower formed the classic trio lineup.

Success and Continued Solo Work

Trower's debut album "Twice Removed from Yesterday" (1973) showcased his Hendrix-inspired influence in all its glory - from his magical guitar technique to the psychedelic structure of the compositions. And although critics unanimously characterized their blues-rock trio in the tradition of Cream, the music was unique and quite progressive. The only drawback was the weak and uneven selection of material: several slow tracks played in succession (I Can't Wait Much Longer, Daydream, Hannah) and slightly tired the listener, while towards the end, Trower's explosive side was revealed much more (Rock Me Baby, Sinner's Song). Success in America was achieved the following year with the release of the album "Bridge of Sighs" (1974 - TOP 10), which included both "signature" heavy riff-based material (Day of the Eagle, Too Rolling Stoned, and Trower's personal favorite, Lady Love) and excellent ballads. This time, the ballads were much more interesting and finally acquired an indescribable atmosphere of mystery, melancholy, and sadness, unique to Trower's musical world. Hearing Dewar's haunting whispers and Trower's guitar patterns, one can't help but think, "Close your eyes, it's about to begin." In 1975, with the release of "For Earth Below," Robin Trower Band solidified their status as a super-star trio. That same year, Bill Lordan replaced Isadore on drums, a musician no less professional than his predecessor.

Musical Direction and Continued Success

It was in the mid-70s that the Trower/Dewar songwriting duo reached its peak. All the material on the albums "Long Misty Days" (1976) and "In City Dreams" (1977) was written by the duo, and stylistically, they differed from the first three albums. The blues took a back seat, allowing for a full display of their art-rock direction. And although Trower's music was never classified as progressive rock, the sound was very distinctive for fans of "hard blues punch." Rusty Allen replaced the bass guitarist, allowing Dewar to focus on vocals and occasionally relieve him during live performances. Throughout the late 70s, Robin Trower Band managed to maintain their style without repeating themselves. Each album from this period is still interesting to this day. However, the album "Caravan to Midnight" (1978) turned out to be ambiguous. Among the excellent compositions like "I'm Out to Get You" and "Caravan to Midnight," which were recorded at the level of the best works of the mid-70s, there were also overtly pop melodies like "Fool" and "Birthday Boy." Attempts to stay on top proved to be somewhat futile and meaningless. The Punk and New Wave era simply couldn't affect our heroes.

Continued Career and Legacy

We do not have the right to put a period in the biography of the legendary musician and composer, Robin Trower. He is still full of joyous energy during concerts, and his creative source is far from drying up. The best example of this is his tour schedule and the release of his 17th album, "Living Out of Time" (2004) this year.


  • 1973 Twice Removed from Yesterday (Chrysalis)
  • 1974 Bridge of Sighs (Chrysalis)
  • 1975 For Earth Below (Chrysalis)
  • 1976 Live (Chrysalis)
  • 1976 Long Misty Days (Chrysalis)
  • 1977 In City Dreams (Chrysalis)
  • 1978 Caravan to Midnight (Chrysalis)
  • 1980 Victims of the Fury (Chrysalis)
  • 1981 B.L.T. (as Bruce, Lordan, Trower) (Chrysalis)
  • 1982 Truce (as Jack Bruce & Robin Trower) (Chrysalis)
  • 1983 Back It Up (Chrysalis)
  • 1985 Beyond the Mist (Passport)
  • 1987 Passion (GNP Crescendo)
  • 1988 Take What You Need (Atlantic)
  • 1990 In the Line of Fire (Atlantic)
  • 1994 20th Century Blues (Demon)
  • 1997 Someday Blues
  • 2000 Go My Way
  • 2004 Living Out of Time