It was 1975 and Steve Marriott was on his own again, still not keen on launching a solo career. So, after a short stint with Alexis Korner's combo Steve came up with ALL STARS, which, for the sessions, included his former HUMBLE PIE colleagues Clem Clempson, Greg Ridley and Tim Hinckley among others. Everything ended up eventually as "Marriott" album, and it was out of question what direction Steve would pursue: sure, R&B. Yet, before firing off anew, Marriott delved into classics with Sam Cooke's "Shake" turned funky and THE RONETTES' languid "Be My Baby", but if, rendered faithfully, those hold a little surprise, major kicks lie in Elvis's playful rockabilly "You're A Heartbreaker" and, most of all, "The Times They Are A-Changin'", as far removed from Dylan's original as can be - a pure soul with vocals passed around to various ensemble members. Even THE SMALL FACES' "Wham Bam Thank You Mam" got revived on the occasion, given PIE-like hard rock edge. In fact, the band's material had made its way to the sessions too: "Street Rat", enlivened by Ian Wallace's percussion, appeared on the PIE album of the same name.
The rest were freshly cooked songs, like transitional in style "Midnight Rollin'" or "High 'N' Happy" that rightfully appeared on THE SMALL FACES' 1977's "Playmates", standing close to the Mods' early cuts. The same honky tonk swagger distinguishes "It's All Over", which may be considered a sequel to "All Or Nothing". But free, Steve would gracefully slide from straight "Ruthy" blues to joky "Bluegrass Interval", with those "marginal" songs much tastier than funk of "Don't Take But A Few Minutes" or "Cocaine" - pityfully, not J.J. Cale's one, like "Signed Sealed" had nothing to do with Stevie Wonder's hit. At the same time, "The Things You Do" slow burn, adorned with Mel Collins' sax, might pretend to be produced by Motown team, while "Lord Help Me To Hold Out" wears a Stax influence on its sleeve, and it's easy to fancy Otis singing universal "I Need A Star In My Life". Marriott's were ALL STARS, and that's a crime they didn't hit the sky.