The last of Quicksilver's albums before they broke up is a disappointment, and a real poser for all but the most dedicated fans. The songwriting was getting thin by this time, as indicated by the presence of numbers like "Chicken," a traditional piece arranged by Dino Valenti, which is little more than four minutes of wasted time on a 36-minute record. This track, and Valenti's promising but ultimately disappointing "Changes," were a sure sign that the band was delivering an album, but nothing more than that, as a way of fulfilling a contract; it's even hard to visualize the group doing this material on-stage. The presence of trumpets, trombones, and saxes is also a problem, because they make Quicksilver sound more like Blood, Sweat & Tears than themselves, and Valenti wasn't David Clayton-Thomas. But then there are hard-rocking numbers like "Doin' Time in the U.S.A." and "California State Correctional Facility Blues," which actually work, with slashing guitars, organ playing that is alternately soaring and funky, and a great beat. So about two-thirds of this album is what you would want and expect from Quicksilver, even if it isn't their best work, and the rest can be skipped. ~ Bruce Eder
Quicksilver Messenger Service: Dino Valenti (vocals, guitar, congas); Gary Duncan (vocals, guitar); Chuck Steaks (organ); Mark Ryan (bass); Greg Elmore (drums).
Additional personnel: Sonny Lewis, Donald Menza (saxophone); Ken Baizell, Dalton Smith, Bud Brisbois (trumpet); Pat O'Hara, Charles C. Loper (trombone).