Dino Valenti had a pretty good niche in history carved out for a while: he wrote (or at least claimed to have written) “Hey Joe,” the pube classic that’s been done by everyone from Jimi Hendrix to the Leaves to the Shadows of Knight. Also to Dino’s songwriting credit was “Get Together,” one of the best things to come out of the whole Summer Of Love (as done by those wizards of tight AM rock, the early Youngbloods).
Then Dino went and ruined it all by joining Quicksilver, and pretty well ruining them. Comin’ Thru is the fourth album in less than two years that Quicksilver have been willing to put their name on, and it proves to be only another chapter in a continuing decline.
Comin’ Thru opens with the sixteenth or so Quicksilver adaptation of the “Fresh Air” chord change, this time disguised under the title “Doin’ Time In The USA.” Then “Chicken”: a pallid bastardization of “Subterranean Homesick Blues” with some Herb Alpert trumpets throughout and a Mongo Santamaria sax solo in the middle. The rhythm guitar is out of tune.
“Changes” and “California State Correctional Facility Blues” end the side. “Changes” reminds me of the Sandpipers, only Valenti’s voice keeps quavering in and out of tune, and I don’t think the Sandpipers did that. “California State” has the best lyric of the album: “Ooh a hey hey oh ah” repeated three times over watery Santana backup.
Side two continues in the same vein. So bad it makes me mad to think that Louie & the Lovers never got to record a second album, while these guys keep coming with one after another.
John Cippolina, finally got so fed up with the disintegration of Quicksilver that he quit and formed his own band. I hope they’re good, because it would be a shame if that 1966-7 brittle Quicksilver hard rock, never really captured on album (except for possibly Happy Trails, which I personally wouldn’t count), never finds its way onto LP. Albums like Comin’ Thru, along with Quicksilver’s public asphyxiation, serve as nothing but embarrassment to all concerned.