By the time of 1971's Tightly Knit, the group had settled into a very comfortable groove and suddenly didn't seem to be trying so hard, instead letting the music speak for itself. This newfound confidence was also mirrored in the fact that eight of the ten tunes aboard were group-penned originals. While they showed some versatility on tunes like "Little Link" and "Shoot Her If She Runs" (both exhibiting a strong country rock flavor), they still managed to sound like no one else but the Climax Blues Band on such familiar warhorses as "Spoonful" and Robert Johnson's "Come on in My Kitchen." Peter Haycock's lead guitar reached scorching levels on the almost-ten-minute-long "St. Michael's Blues"; "Who Killed McSwiggin" explored the Bo Diddley beat for all its worth, and the closing "That's All" took the pan-flute New Orleans groove into folk-singalong territory, making a top-notch finish for the group's most varied outing.
Climax Blues Band had undergone a few changes by the time they cut Sample And Hold in 1983. While Peter Haycock (guitar and vocals) and Colin Cooper (sax and vocals) were still holding the fort, they had sampled a new rhythm section. The latest recruits were George Glover on keyboards, Dave Markee on bass and Henry Spinetti on drums. Together they kept the Climax flag flying. This song-packed ten original LP track CD kicks off with an upbeat and optimistic sounding Friends In High Places , with the vocal harmonies set in place by the old firm of Haycock and Cooper. Peter's guitar solo on this song is especially effective. Although the overall band sound veers towards modern Eighties pop, the guitar and drums, while still rock and strings are brought into play on The End Of The Seven Seas . A fine album with informative CD liner notes that put a much loved British band's career and this album into perspective.
Flying the flag for British rock throughout the Seventies and well into the next decade, Climax Blues Band were at the forefront of high quality, entertaining music, performed with equal success ‘live’ and on record. This ten track selection was first released in 1980, a time of change and conflicting influences. But whatever the moods affecting the musicians, they always played with maximum passion and expertise, as is revealed on ‘Flying The Flag’. The opening number ‘Gotta Have More Love’ is closer to disco pop than the blues that first inspired the group, but whatever style they espoused, Climax always delivered songs with cool expertise. And the core feeling for the rockin’ blues can always be found in performances like Peter Haycock’s outstanding ‘So Good After Midnight’ and the aggressive ‘Blackjack And Me’, that are among the highlights of a vibrant high flying album.
Gold is right – after gradually building their reputation a series of nine LPs, the Climax Blues Band finally enjoyed a serious hit single with "Couldn't Get It Right," which hit number three on the American charts and led to this album and then two years of almost constant touring. The group is at its most laid-back here, slipping more into a funk than a blues groove for most of Gold Plated's length. They keep some elements of their earlier sound, such as Peter Haycock's searing guitar solo on "Mighty Fire," but those looking for the group's unabashed older style will have to content themselves with just three numbers here: "Berlin Blues," with its chiming overlaid and over-amplified guitars, or the slow, Chicago blues-style "Rollin' Home," and the high-energy "Extra."