5 Stars out of 5 'Lead Me To The Replay Button', 21 March 2006: Philip Gee
Gary Brooker's 1982 solo album is by far his best work away from Procol Harum. Song after song, there is no filler here. Brooker wrote all of the compositions, and proves he is a valid lyricist; he steps confidently out of Keith Reid's shadow and shows he was not simply a melody maker. Great session work by the likes of Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Albert Lee, George Harrison, and Mel Collins to name a few. I'd have liked to see a track by track list of musicians, but neither the vinyl or CD release has this information. This is [but see here] an incredibly hard CD to find -- I actually had to order mine from a local dealer as an import disc from Germany back in 1991. That particular disc was issued by LINE RECORDS in 1987, if anyone wants to hunt it down. If you can't find it online, search the used record/CD shops in your area [but see here] . You won't be let down.
5 Stars out of 5 'Brooker's Best Solo Album', 26 August
2005: Alan Caylow
1982's Lead Me To The Water is the second solo album for Procol Harum frontman Gary Brooker, and it is also his best solo album to date. For Lead Me To The Water, Brooker turns up the rock feel a little bit more, and he also gets help in the studio from such star players as George Harrison and Eric Clapton on guitars, and Phil Collins on drums. It's a terrific album, with great tracks such as Mineral Man (with great guitar licks and percussion from Harrison and Collins, respectively), Hang On Rose, The Cycle, the reggae-flavored title song, Low Flying Birds, and the excellent Sympathy [sic] For The Hard Of Hearing. It's a hard CD to locate these days [but see here], but diehard Harum/Gary Brooker fans will love it. Definitely seek out "Lead Me To The Water." (NOTE: Brooker recorded a third solo album in 1985 called Echoes In The Night, which is also a difficult album to find on CD lately. But it's also a great disc and totally worth getting, just like all of Gary's wonderful music, whether solo or with Procol Harum).
5 Stars out of 5 'An Enigmatic Effort', 16 December 2002: Kurt Harding
Having worn out my cassette years ago, I was delighted finally to find Lead Me To The Water listed here. I ordered it through an Amazon partner immediately upon discovery four days ago and it is already playing as I review it. Gary Brooker has recorded much wondrous music in his long career, but this CD remains his most underrated and enigmatic effort. Despite being largely overlooked, it is by far the best of his solo work. No Keith Reid needed here. Gary wrote the music and the lyrics. If you like Brooker's voice and style, you are going to love this CD. Among my favorites are Mineral Man, Another Way, the fabulous title cut, and Sympathy [sic] For The Hard Of Hearing, so evocative of the hardships of war. But the best of all is The Angler, a bewitching tale of elemental struggle between man and fish on Oregon's Deschutes River. The CD is so good, one really has to wonder why it never got any promotion. Brooker is ably backed on Lead Me To The Water by a number of well-known musicians including Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, George Harrison, and Tim Renwick. This is certainly one CD you should buy while it's still available [but see here].
5 Stars out of 5 'Fantastic', 23 April 1999, A Customer
Sort of a prelude to The Prodigal Stranger, this album
deals with family values (Home Loving), helping friends in personal
trouble (Hang On Rose), and other personal issues. Mineral Man
is about being a tough macho man, Low Flying Birds is about issues
with 'easy' women. A beautiful and sensitive album. Who cares about the
celebrity guest musicians? Not me.