The band broke through big from around 1979-1981 with a trio of superb records that mixed Southern Rock attitude and stylings with a more heavy metal approach and production style. Before that however, the band released two albums that were more traditional, Flyin’ High and their debut album No Reservations.
1975’s No Reservations shows the potential that the band had even at this early stage in their career. Despite its basic production values and slightly derivative songwriting, there is still a lot of interesting material to be found.
In terms of positives, the album has variety on its side. Mixing some great rock moments like the album highlights ‘Born To Rock N Roll’ and ‘Take A Train’ with quieter moments like the ‘Simple Man’ referencing ballad ‘Stars’ and the excellent Bluegrass album closer ‘Railroad Man.’
The only problem with the album is that the level of energy is comparatively restrained for the majority of each song’s duration, which can make the songs seem a lot less dynamic and interesting than they really are.
Every song does kick right into life when the guitar solos break out however, and suddenly all band members start playing the absolute hell out of their instruments. Had they delivered more of the album with this level of passion and intensity it would be a truly powerful and memorable record.
As it stands it is a nice addition to your Blackfoot collection, although not really something I would recommend to non-fans or first time buyers in the same way that I would recommend any of the four albums which followed. That being said; the more you listen to it, the more it grows on you and while it isn’t just as world beating as some of their finest work, it is still way above average.