1 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Big Swing Face (album)

It’s fair to say that this record caused the biggest stir amongst fans up to this point. Opinion was greatly divided, such was the departure from anything Bruce had ever put out before. Some while after it’s release, then, it’s interesting to look back at the initial reaction to it. You’ll find some pretty fervent debate here… and feel free to add your comments still, now that you’ve had plenty more time to give it a listen!

Big Swing Face
Big Swing Face, 2002

The record’s title comes from a relatively obscure 1963 album by legendary drummer Buddy Rich. It seems, however, that the inspiration might not have come from Rich’s’ great skill as a musician but rather the infamous “Buddy Rich Tapes” on which Rich is caught on tape ripping his band up one side and down the other after a less than stellar performance. These tapes are legendary amongst musicians. (Thanks to Nick Lung for that).

Release: June 25 2002

  1. Sticks and Stones
  2. Cartoons and Candy
  3. The Chill
  4. Big Swing Face
  5. This Too Shall Pass
  6. Try Anything Once
  7. Take Out the Trash
  8. The Good Life
  9. So Out
  10. No Home Training
  11. Place Under the Sun

Keyboard Magazine: A Bruce Hornsby CD with no piano on it? Next, fish will wear trousers. Not to worry, though: Hornsby’s songwriting (social conscience, fresh changes, moving hooks) is as incisive as ever, and even without acoustic piano, Big Swing Face serves up plenty of top-notch keyboard playing. Electric piano and organ are woven through the fabric of the mixes, along with some percolating filter work on synths and even a few drums that sound like loops. Hornsby has always been willing to take chances; jettisoning his primary instrument (temporarily, I hope) is not a sign of confusion but a way of exploring some of the other colors in the paintbox. When he stretches out with a distorted, ballsy EP solo in Cartoons and Candy, it’s a prelude to a vocal break that veers straight over into Prince territory. But whether he’s laying down an R&B groove or playing with New Orleans funk, as in the second-line groove of the title track, it’s all pure Hornsby.

Your favourites: 

Loading ... Loading ...


Personnel: Bruce Hornsby (keyboards, vocals), Joe Lee (vocals), Floyd Hill (vocals), Doug Derryberry (guitar, vocals), David Bendeth (guitar, organ, drum fills), J.V. Collier (bass), Michael Baker (drums), Bonnie Bonaparte (drums), Steve Kimock (guitar), Bobby Read (bass-clarinet), Wayne Pooley (talking), Jeff Juliano (talking), J.T. Thomas (organ), Taso Kotsas (drum programming)

More thoughts:

Current thoughts are up on this BSF thread on the Bruuuce.com Board.

What were you saying about Big Swing Face in 2002?

Related content

Leave a Comment