Back Street Crawler was the name of Paul Kossoff’s 1973 solo album, and henceforth the name of the post-Free band with which he recorded two further albums before his untimely demise in 1976. Posthumously, the remaining members shortened their name to Crawler and recorded two more albums, with their eponymous 1977 release – a tasty, mature melding of the Free/Trapeze/Spooky Tooth school of soulful hard rock (i.e. the Island Records tradition) with the rootsy funk inflections of Little Feat – standing as the best album to bear any form of the Crawler moniker.

The music on Crawler faithfully delivers on its Island heritage, starting with the brawny Free-styled rocker “Without You Babe”, shifting into the hard/gospel realm of Spooky Tooth on “You Got Money”, and floating along the jazz/folk wonderlands of Traffic with “Sold on Down the Line”. My favorite cuts are the funky Little Feat groove of “Never Loved a Woman”, the punchy reggae knots of “One Too Many Lovers”, and the steamy, moan-soaked submersion of “You and Me”.

Six of the nine superb cuts from that distinguished album can be heard right here:


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