Timeless: Blues Image Featuring Mike Pinera By Mike Pinera

December 26, 2017

Not quite what I expected. Blue Image, with and without singer/guitarist Mike Pinera, was an under rated rock/blues band 1966-1970, who released three studio albums that are still worth tracking down. The commercial peak of their career was the hit single “Ride Captain Ride.” Pinera were on to become a member of Iron Butterfly, The New Cactus Band, and enjoy a long solo career, which is where these albums problems begin.

Pinera covered a lot of Blues Image and Iron Butterfly material during his solo career. Much of it is solid rock and roll but it appears here under the Blues Image moniker, which is a tad misleading. There are no other members of Blues Image listed in the credits. If you want a primer or over view of his solo career, then this is a good album to explore.  If you want to explore Blues Image or Iron Butterfly material, then look elsewhere.

“Ride Captain Ride,” “Love Is The Answer” with guest Jonathan Cain, and “Pay My Dues” with Pat Travers are songs that appeared on the second Blues Image album Open. Here they are modernized versions of the songs. Travers adds a little edge to”Pay My Dues” but moves it toward hard rock and away from its original blues foundation.

His time with Iron Butterfly is represented by “In A Gadda Da Vidda,” which is just too modern and “Butterfly Blue,” which is saved by Pat Travers.

Four tracks are taken from his 1996 solo album In The Garden Of Eden” and 2012’s Isla. “Fantasy Of Love,” and the two title tracks are competent but do not rise above that level.

Timeless: Blues Image Featuring Mike Pinera is a disappointing release that in and of itself, never rises above the ordinary. It also make one yearn for what it could have been.

Ride Captain Ride 45 by Blues Image

October 2, 2009

Blues Image was a short lived group that Jimi Hendrix admired. They were formed in Tampa, Florida but moved to L.A. to record.

They were fronted by guitarist/vocalist Mike Pinera who would go on to perform with such groups as Iron Butterfly, Alice Cooper, Ramatam and Cactus.

“Ride Captain Ride” would be their most memorable recording as it would climb to the number four position on The American charts in May of 1970. It is one of the more listenable hit singles of the early seventies and received considerable airplay on college radio stations.

The song is very representative of their sound and I am amazed that they did not achieve greater fame. Two of their albums, OPEN and RED, WHITE & Blue are still worth seeking out.

783lThey quickly passed from the music scene but left behind one of the more enjoyable, if small, rock catalogues of the early seventies.