The Tin Man Was a Dreamer - 1973
Any fan of British rock throughout the 1960s and 70s is inevitably a fan of Nicky Hopkins, as the keyboardist lent his talents to an astonishing number of LPs - the Who's My Generation, the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street, the Kinks' Village Green Preservation Society just to name a few. Unquestionably the session man of the classic rock era. It's no surprise then, that after adding his mark to countless albums by other artists, Hopkins would have a wealth of his own material and a tremendous album up his sleeve. Recorded with the help of many of his fellow session men of the period, including saxophonist Bobby Keys and bassist Klaus Voormann, as well as George Harrison (credited as George O'Hara) and the Rolling Stones' Mick Taylor, The Tin Man Was a Dreamer was Hopkins' second solo effort and one that holds its own next to the albums on which he contributed as a sideman. Every bit the album you'd expect from a musician whose work lay mostly in the shadows, Tin Man is full of subtle variations in style and lyrical context, shifting from semi classical solo numbers to smart, beautifully orchestrated pop tunes with timid, oddly charming lead vocals throughout. The highlights are numerous, but my hands-down favorite is "Waiting for the Band". Tight production with songwriting that wouldn't sound out of place if this LP were released today, Tin Man will undoubtedly take your appreciation of Hopkins to a whole new level.