Billy Cobham, The Best of Billy Cobham (1979)
Maybe I had heard some of his pre-solo stuff first – I’m sure I had, even if maybe I didn’t even know that it was him but certainly hearing this Billy Cobham compilation was one of the formative experiences for me in the beginning of my CD-buying – and just the other day I found the original record, and decided immediately that I had to have it. It wasn’t just like looking through an old photo album it was like catching up with an old friend. I played some of the songs in the store – something I almost never do, particularly if I already know the record well. But I just had to connect with it again – and that is exactly what happened: instantly. It’s not even that Billy Cobham was ever my favourite drummer or one I considered the best – it was just that I’d never heard anyone play like this and never heard music like this. I imagine I’d read his name in the Modern Drummer mag and so on…anyway, he was (is) a hero. And this music is so vital to me. Funny though, I remember being blown away by album opener Quadrant 4 simply because I’d never heard anything like it. And closing track, Do What Cha Wanna was just so-so. Now I feel almost entirely the opposite, Do What Cha Wanna’s slinky, cool groove is a favourite and Quadrant 4 is just silly show-off stuff. Still it’s amazing to hear this guy – how in control he was. And some great musicians sitting in on these towering performances.
Sample Track: Stratus
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown