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Re-issues Reviews

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BOB MARLEY
& THE WAILERS -
Best Of The Early Singles
Store For Music 2008

The Scratch sessions: the rootsier wares of all still fresh and cooking.

It was the short-lived yet the most magical collaboration in reggae, the absent word that must have been on the cover of this collection as there's neither ska nor rock steady in which lay the beginnings of Bob Marley. The creative marriage with Lee Perry was made in heaven despite the producer's rage at the singer stealing Scratch's UPSETTERS to back his WAILERS, and here are the cream of what the two came up with.

Many of these 1970 recordings were re-cut later on, and while the original versions have less meat on the bones, they're somehow purer: if "Man To Man" packs no punch as it does, as "Who The Cap Fit", on "Rastaman Vibration", "Duppy Conqueror" is much more sparse than on "Burnin'" and naturally lends itself into dub. The second disc of the set features the same tracks in dub form, with no info on who did them - but the dubs feel a bit pointless, whereas mono "Kaya" just smells of grass, and "Small Axe" cuts it nicely. Sadly, the hazy mellowness of cuts such as "Dreamland" did never re-appear once the operation moved to England. First of all, it was Peter Tosh who, far from JA's golden shore, could never groove like on "Downpressor", yet Marley, too, was rarely as lyrical as on this, early take on "Sun Is Shining", with Perry. Fireless but steaming stuff.

****
JEFF CHRISTIE -
Outer Limits /
Floored Masters
Angel Air 2008

The Yellow River had a spring and an estuary. Here's where the story began.

Remembered mostly for their tremendous hit, CHRISTIE were a mindchild of oneJeff Christie, a songwriter of immense proportions who deserves much more than he's been getting from the off, from the OUTER LIMITS days the whole output of whom is gathered now on CD. Essentially a school band formed on the verge of the Beatlemania - and "Stop" feels like a slow-mo re-write of the Fabs' "What You're Doing" - this combo played only original material which was blacker than what most of their pop contemporaries were doing at the time

With brass-splashed "When The Work Is Through" going the Stax way and "It's Your Turn Now" taking it to Motown, the piano figure of "Just One More Chance", out on Deram, outlines a fine example of pre-psych Brit beat. Surprisingly, none of these charted, neither did 1968's Andrew Loog Oldham-produced cinematically infectious "Great Train Robbery" that reminded the Beeb of the English crime of a few years before and, had it hit, together with "See It My Way", could have given Ray Davies and Roy Wood a run for their money. If only "Tomorrow Night" fulfilled its jolly promise, this singer could have been a superstar.

****2/3
GUN -
Reloaded
Wet World 2008

More bullets from the heavy magazine for the ultimate shell-shock.

It's unfair but no debate of the hard rock origins mentions GUN: the British trio might have only one hit, "Race With The Devil", back in 1968, yet what a smash it was. Jimi Hendrix was a fan and played it on the Isle of Wight festival, but even his fire didn't make the stars of this trio. Maybe it's because they're still hard to categorize with the Curtis brothers' mix of heavy riffage and psychedelic whimsy spread over the group's two fantastic albums. Still, there was more, and "Reloaded" brings on the GUN's BBC sessions, B-sides and demo recordings that allow a glimpse into their magic and a hint of how they sounded live - "Take Off" amazes with its energy despite not the best sound quality.

While the Beeb take on "The Devil" and the Beat Club performance on the bonus DVD don't match the blast of the studio version, "Running Wild" rings with the same brass and guitar attack, whereas light-weight "The Lights On The Wall", basically a KNACK demo for Denny Cordell, and the cover of Paul Simon's "A Most Peculiar Man" lack the sharpness brought in when Adrian Curtis joined his elder sibling Paul. "Fears From The Night", though, even in demo from is a power ballad that got ahead of its time: in the mid-'80s it would have entered the Top 10 all over the world. More so, with its net of acoustic and slide guitars, Paul's solo number "Drown Yourself In The River", a fantastic slab of swamp rock, could make Tony Joe White green with envy. Unlike this gem which made it to the band's 1969's album, "Gunsight", most of these cuts didn't appear on either of two GUN's LPs making "Reloaded" a treasure trove for the fans and uninitiated alike.

****1/2
L.A. GUNS -
The Very Best Of
Store For Music 2008

The glam metal legends' finest moments that didn't take them to the sky.

It's not the best thing for the band to be remembered for giving birth to another, greater entity, yet there's a big gap between GUNS 'N ROSES and L.A.GUNS who ran in the league of MOTLEY CRUE but lacked the media-pulling personality. Or, perhaps, it was mascara, as "Rip And Tear" which opens this 15-track collection is one hell of a rock 'n' roll arena shouter, while "The Ballad Of Jayne" is as snotty teenager tear-jerker as it gets. Still, it's "Electric Gypsy" that goes beyond the hit makings into the rockin' greatness, the rockabilly-tinged "Sleazy Come Sleazy Go" and "Sex Action" which bows to the tradition by way of quoting "Satisfaction". And here's the catch: on their own, the band produced songs that sound rather alike, where it's only the edginess that makes "Never Enough" stand out, and "Hollywood Tease" allows a glimpse at how it all works live. In the studio, though, it's a bit boring.

**1/2
MAGGIE BELL -
No Mean City
Angel Air 2008

A singular theme from the Glasgow police TV show by the Glasgow blues queen.

2008 year marks 25th anniversary of the Scottish detective series "Taggart" which is internationally popular, so it's a good bet the show's main song is familiar even to those who doesn't know whose voice they're hearing every time they tune in. Composed by keyboard maestro Mike Moran, "No Mean City" demanded a performer that knows no compromise, and Glasgow's own Maggie Bell, making a cameo appearance there as Effie Lambie, seemed the perfect choice. Sure, there can be a confusion with her fellow Scots, NAZARETH's track of the same name, but that's only until the music starts, especially now when the "Taggart" song is out on a single.

It's a hard-hitting, guitars-awashed slab of rhythm-and-blues with funky synthesizers - quite close to the Philly sound and a bit dated, yet the vocals are deliciously earthy and pounding drums anchor it all to the ground. Nothing noir-ish or creepy, but there's a pulpable threat and swagger in "No Mean City", very fitting to the series' subject matter, so it's great to have it on plastic. Still, the B-side, a title cut of Ms Bell's first solo album, "Suicide Sal", betters the main track. Here, melismatic soul is mixed with cabaret drama and fantastic panache, with Pete Wingfield's piano bringing a bitter note into this heady coctail. The single, then, is all that's needed to fell in love with Maggie Bell's voice.

*****
VARIOUS ARTISTS -
Flying High Again
Store For Music 2008

Subtitled "The World's Greatest Tribute To Ozzy Osbourne", it could make the Prince of Darkness bite his iwn head off.

A cover version is a tricky thing, as it's hard to apply your own personality to a well-known song without disfiguring it, and when it comes to an artist with such peculiar approach as Ozzy, the mission seems almost impossible. The closest to get to the meaning was the devilish Dio, but Ronnie's not on this album, and the only BLACK SABBATH cuts on offer are Vince Neil's straight reading of "Paranoid" and "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" by the SABS pale copyists FOREVER SAY DIE! The rest comes from the Oz's solo period, going awry from the off, with the deranged Ripper Owens ripping the sympathy to the Great Beast out of "Mr. Crowley" and Yngwie Malmsteen trying to outclass the great late Randy Rhoads, both getting in the way of Tim Bogert and Derek Sherinian who struggle to retain the composition's solemnity.

Further on, the team of Dee Snider, Doug Aldrich, Tony Levin and Jason Bonham almost nails the original madness of "Crazy Train". Entirely in different league are Lemmy who has a hairy ball with "Desire" and Lita Ford who fathoms the depth of sorrow in the live take on "Close My Eyes Forever" - yet these two co-wrote their tracks, so they're not covers at all. The most enjoyable re-imagining is Joe Lynn Turner's cool delivery of "Hellraiser", which is still topped by "Goodbye To Romance" rendered purely instrumentally, fusion-style, by ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO that runs from delicate acoustic strumming to the electric storm. So there is some fun...

***1/2
THE LONDONERS / THE KNACK -
The Londoners /
The Knack
Wet World 2008

Not the "My Sharona" bunch, but obscure British rhythm-and-blues purveyors in preparation to race with the Devil.

There were different guises to the Ilford, England, young band who ended up being GUN in the late '60s, but in 1963, the lads who backed Gene Vincent and played the Star Club in Hamburg called themselves THE LONDONERS, and in 1966, THE KNACK. This collection of their entire output shows the group centered around guitarists Paul Gurtvitz and Brian Morris had potential but lacked the originality, and as great as classic beat and youthful harmonies of short songs such as "Who'll Be The Next In Line" are, their infectious enthusiasm didn't make the combo another Fab Four.

While covers of John Sebastian's songs expose the boys as savvy enough to look over to the West Coast, they sound undeniably English, with their own numbers like Gurvitz's jolly ditty "Dolly Catcher Man" and Morris' acoustic "Marriage Guidance And Advice Bureau" could almost give Ray Davies run for his money. Money-wise, delicately orchestrated "Save All My Love For Joey" had all the makings of proto-psycho hit, so it's a big contemporaries' overview that it didn't chart just like a purely white reading of Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home To Me". Now, though, a time has come to re-instate the band as the unsung heroes of Brit rock. Gurvitz and Morris, then known as Parrish, reunited in the '70s, but that's a different story.

****1/3
DAVEY PATTISON -
Mississippi Nights / Pictures
1999 / 2003
re-issue Angel Air 2008

Not black but blues: the top guitarists' fave warbler's double shot.

That's quite a reputation to be a choice singer of Robin Trower, Ronnie Montrose and Michael Schenker, but if that implies Davey Pattison's up to hard rock belting out, it's not the case with the Scottish singer's solo output. There's a boogie lava in "Have A Look At Yourself", the opening cut of Pattison's debut, piano and slide guitar oiling the rails for the voice to roll on, slowly but surely. This swampy ride, which gains weight in "Judas" from the edgier "Pictures", is engaging, and it's impossible not to be taken with the Stax-styled brass-splashed glide of "I Got The Hots For You" or "Daydreaming" where Davey fills Otis' shoes on what feels like a sequel to "Dock Of The Bay".

Where Paul Rodgers who Davey sounds like in the humid "Too Hot To Sleep" and upbeat "Waiting As Fast As I Can" usually goes urban, Pattison takes a country lane, like in the harmonica-adorned "John Lee, Jimmy Reed And Mississippi Fred" and "Houston Street Blues". Yet he can turn steely brooding, too, as in the sax-guilded "Gypsy Woman Got The Blues", and mischievous in the hush tones of "Mr. Henpecked", while the folk evergreen "WIld Mountain Thyme" takes the singer back to the glens - and points to the place where his all-encompassing heart really is.

***** / ****1/2
FAMILY -
Best Of Family & Friends
Angel Air 2008

Do you have troubled, if lovable, relatives? Meet 'n' greet these folks! You won't be disappointed.

Uncategorisable is the best word to categorise this band. Very English but with Americana in its core, from 1968 to 1973 Roger Chapman's ensemble moved from cozy yet spooky surroundings of "Music In A Doll's House" to the Western-like panorama of "It's Only A Movie" taking in every possible genre thread in-between. The title track of the latter album could be as fitting entry point to this collection as is funky "Burlesque" which hangs on another fine word to depict the FAMILY oeuvre.

Idiosyncratic most of it may be and Chappo's earth-splitting vibrato isn't to everyone's taste, yet all of this feels strangely alluring. In the absense of the debut LP's tracks, the folky buzz of "Larf And Sing" soothes the glide, while their greatest hit, "The Weaver's Answer", and the live rendition of "Strange Band" come as the most hard rocking beasts with a progressive twist in their hypnotic tales. This bunch of lads had no rivals when it came to flying off on a stylistic tangent, and flying away with them - there's a promise in the hooks of "Ready To Go" and "In My Own Time"- still looks like a riveting adventure.

But "Family & Friends" is a bit misleading title, as there's not a song from Roger Chapman's subsequent illustrious career - but this is made up for with a bonus DVD.

****4/5
THE DAMNED -
Punk Generation
Best Of Oddities And Versions
Store For Music 2008

An excursion into the unlikely heroes' alternative demimonde.

This London bunch, together with THE CLASH, were unstoppable in the way of transcending their spiky margins and welcoming any other music strain that didn't drew a regular punk's interest. With the foursome's body of work now considered classic, it's tempting to look beyond it, which is the focus of this CD. Mostly live tracks, there's four early demos, the infectious "Thanks For The Night" that has a dub depth to it, and "Do The Blitz" debuting on the 1984's single, while "I Just Can't Be So Happy Today" and "Love Songs" lack the lustre of the "Machine Gun Etiquette" versions.

There's surely class of '77 on display in rough, feverish concert takes on "You Know" and "Stab Your Back", but "Curtain Call Pt. 1" that, like the bulk of the tracks here including the "Grimly Fiendish" buzzing march and killer rock 'n' roll of "New Rose", comes from 1985's performance is good example of the goth element in Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible's artistic vision. The cover of Iggy Pop's "Lust For Life" provides an insight in the band's vitality, with the likes of "Street Of Dreams" adding pop sensibilities to the mix. Quite a collection! If only there was some details on the songs in the bookelt, an extract from the history of punk book: this is a major let-down whereas the music content deserves the thumbs-up.

***2/3
PHILLIP GOODHAND-TAIT
& THE STORMSVILLE SHAKERS -
1965 & 1966 /
Ricky-Tick ...40 Years On
Angel Air 2008

Uncovered treasures from the most Northern of the early '60s soulsters - and some brand new diamonds too.

They came from the Ricky-Tick club scene of Croydon, Windsor and Guildford with very unusual for both rock 'n' roll and rhythm-and-blues proposition of two saxes bolstering the sound of what initially seemed a plain beat combo. Phillip Goodhand-Tait's band could be noticeable for this novelty yet, whole of their output spanning two years, remained conserved in the dark recesses of British music - so well that the ensemble's recordings haven't aged a bit sound quality notwithstanding.

It's the songs and the attitude that matter, and the soulful "What More Do You Want" packs a blast. What with the "Society For The Protection Of Love" idealistic pop sensibilities, most of the material is quite rootsy, the singer's own "No Problem" easily reproducing the Stax groove with Goodhand-Tait doing a great Otis impersonation, while "Gonna Put Some Hurt On You" shares a hook with "Iko Iko". And how many groups back in the mid-'60s dared to take James Brown's "I Feel Good" to the stage without falling flat on their faces? Still, by the end of 1967 it was over, the latter-day sax blower Mel Collins taking reins from Phillip to turn the band, now called CIRCUS, into jazzy territory.

Having become a successful songwriter Goodhand-Tait didn't sign off THE SHAKERS to the past gone, so 35 years later they were back and after flexing the muscle presented the few faithful with "Ricky-Tick". The album builds on their legacy but gives the proceedings a modern turn. It's hard not to get caught with the soft glow of "Burning Rain" where the leader does a great organ work, a heart-breaking hope in "Love's Refugees", or the "Tighten Up Your Bible Belt" gospel fervor. There's a youthful spirit in the rock steady of "Fly Me To The Sun", which means the old magic still works. Who would ask for more? Everyone who's spinned this CD!

*****
SHANIA TWAIN -
Send It... With Love
Store For Music 2008

The first pulsations of the future supernova. The heat goes on.

With everybody knowing Shania Twain was a country singer before she crossed over to the sharp pop fame, these recordings may hold a big surprise. Done in her native Canada for Harry Hinde's Limelight Records back in the late '80s, the tapes are the direct precursor to what has made Twain a star, the catchy "Wild And Wicked" rocking hard not unlike "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!" years later while "Luv Eyes" sits close to "That Don't Impress Me Much", and "Rhytm Made Me Do It" could easily be re-cut for the lady's next album. Now the early songs sound a bit dated due to the production gloss typical of those times - "It's Alright" almost a European electropop - but what they're lacking is Mutt Lange's wizardry, not the artist's talent which shines so bright it's rather shocking that polished demos such as the tremulous title track didn't draw any attention, and Shania had to go to Nashville in search of recognition. There's already a hint of country in "Lost My Heart", yet it's too breezy for the genre, and "Half-Breed" would be too hot for the Grand Ole Opry. Still, a charm of the young singer is undeniable, and it's not a period charm of "For The Love Of Him", it's a magnetism of a big artist in the making.

****1/3
ANCIENT GREASE -
Women And Children First
Mercury 1970
re-issue Angel Air 2008

The band that never were but set RACING CARS in motion.

They were called STRAWBERRY DUST, this bunch, who caught the ear of the fellow South Wales lad, the future GENTLE GIANT and MAN drummer, John Weathers, who find the quartet a perfect vehicle for his songs. Little did Weathers knew that there was enough potential in the team of singer Graham Mortimer, or Morty, and guitarist Graham Williams to strike on their own three years later as RACING CARS. But that band's soft rock is as far removed from what's on this STRAWBERRY DUST album, credited for some strange reason to ANCIENT GREASE, as can be.

"Freedom Train" chugs in on the warped blues rails to let Morty let off his inner McCartney on coda which borrows from "Hey Jude" and let off the steam at the psycho-cum-prog junction. Typical of the period, especially with folk motifs of tremulous acoustic in "Mother Grease The Cat", here heavy organ undepins adventurous guitar lines that once in a while welcome the voice for the unison glide. Still, the focus is firmly on a tune which sometimes gets of the hook just like "Odd Song", a burlesque dirge that's as lachrymose as hilarious, or "Prelude To A Blind Man" where time changes and blues harmonica vie for a listener's attention. With powerful groove and charm in spades, "Women And Children First", both the track and the album, come as buried treasure timely discovered for all to relish.

****
QUIET RIOT -
Live & Rare. Volume 1
Store For Music 2008

The revolt that's not been hushed, a riot still goin' on.

Fondly remembered for being the launch pad for Randy Rhoads and fostering the wasted talent of Kevin DuBrow, there's been much more to this band than their massive 1986's album "Metal Health", and this collection shows their less polished, though as shining, facets. There was grit and there was glitter, with SLADE's "Cum On Feel The Noize" a natural choice for cover, as "Let's Get Crazy" - which starts and ends the main selection here in concert and demo form - springs right from that righteous stomp that kept the punters on their feet.

QUIET RIOT were the force to be reckoned with who didn't fall for the poodle hard rock. Wasn't that the reason they didn't get what they deserved with the 1984's hurricane-like live take on "Run For Cover", featuring Frankie Banali's drum solo, hot on the heels of "Run To The Hills", and 1981's version of "Thunderbird" as powerful a ballad as its proper recording for that glorious pinnacle of five years later? Latest years saw the renewed interest in the quartet, yet with their great singer having joined the band's legendary guitarist for the great gig in the sky, there'll be no recapturing the moment. The only option now is to fondly remember them.

***1/2
ERIC BELL - Irish Boy
1998
Re-issue Angel Air 2008

There's much more fire and water in the jar than whiskey.

Forever associated with THIN LIZZY's breakthrough reworking of traditional tune, the band's first guitarist didn't ride the swell wave with them, having stuck to a peculiar Eire take on the blues idiom akin to that of the titular song's boy, Rory Gallagher's. It's all in the soft folksy strum of "Days Of Independence" and the "Sweet Mystery" low-key urgency where the real soul of Bell the roots maestro emerges. There's no aural assult but lyrical observations are aplenty, yet one could easily imagine Phil Lynott handling "You Were One" and "Ballard By The Irish Sea" - fathom, then, Eric's contibution to his erstwhile group - while he developed a nice trick of vocalsing in unison with his guitar lines and applies it here and there it in a jazzy manner. What's quite unexpected is a reggae shaping of "Priest Of Love" which underlines the understated stylistic elegance of the man, and overall feeling of a storm brewing under the calm surface. The depth of this album reveals itself slowly but the process is rewarding and much enjoyable.

****
THE AMAZING RHYTHM ACES -
Live In America
Store For Music 2007

All the trumps in their hand, the country heroes are captured at the top of their game, rootsy-way.

Leading an ace for a start can be a dangerous thing that's hard to follow, but in 1979, five years into their career, ARA weren't starters anymore and had the goods to back up the opening "The End Is Not In Sight" which three years before snatched a "Grammy" for country vocal performance by a group. These collective harmonies are barely audible here, due to the recording's quality bootleg quality, yet the Denver's audience embraced the band. Not much of a surprise, as the performance itself is excellent with the well-judged mix of country rock, boogie, vaudeville and even, in "Typical American Boy", occasional foray into rock steady, rough-cut Russell Smith's voice keeping both the musicians and listeners on their toes in the desperate blues of "Just Between You And Me And The Wall" and such knees-up ditties as "Who's Crying Now". More so, the Memphis, Tennessy guys were savvy enough to cover Charlie Rich's "Who Will The Next Fool Be" and answer the gospel-ish question in the end to everybody's delight which gives a nice aftertaste to this CD.

*****
QANGO -
Live In The Hood
Manticore 2000
Re-issue
Store For Music 2007

"Quintessential Non-Governmental Organisation": not the best name for a supergroup that failed to be.

QANGO came about when Geoff Downes backed out from the ASIA reunion, and Carl Palmer went along with John Wetton's proposition to draft in his keyboard player, John Young to round off the line-up with another of his cohorts, guitarist Dave Kilminster. Perhaps, the creative chemistry wasn't there, as the quartet didn't make it to the studio and offered the public only one new composition, "The Last One Home", which would surface, significantly changed, as the title track of Wetton's next solo album, and a tremendous, haunting reading of Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower", yet live, they came down with a storm. Which was not that hard with a brilliantly delivered selection of ASIA and ELP tunes, starting with the "Fanfare For The Common Man" snippet seguing into "Time Again".

Each player in top form, and three-part vocal harmony as luxurious as ever, it's Kilminster who shines whether it comes to the electric blast of "Sole Survivor" or acoustic solo interpolating the "Pictures At An Exhibition" theme, while Wetton masterfully inhabits the jazzed-up "Bitches Crystal". There's an atomic energy in this performance; sadly, the band didn't get it together to break through their past into the future.

*****
BOB WELCH
& Friends -
Live From The Roxy
Burning Airlines 2004
Re-issue
Store For Music 2007

The transitional member of FLEETWOOD MAC succesfully goes it alone. Former band members guest.

Singing guitarist Bob Welch was the first American the MAC drafted in in 1971 once Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer had left the band and took the blues away. Later in the decade, though, Welch was a successful solo performer who, surprisingly, failed to shake off the memories of his past. And there's no need, as this recording from 1981 shows, which starts off with two of Bob's greatest hits, the catchy rocking disco of "Precious Love" and funky "Hot Love, Cold World", before Mick Fleetwood and the McVies join their friends for "Hypnotized" and "Sentimental Lady" that, ten years earlier, set the MAC on the world-conquering course: rather insipid slices of AOR in comparison to the jive of the jam-like-stretched "Outskirts" featuring Carmine Appice on drums, the spanking riff fest of "Bend Me, Shape Me" where his tenor sounds the warmest. More so, the closing "Rattlesnake Shake" lose it to the finger-popping "Don't Give It Up", while Stevie Nicks-sung "Gold Dust Woman" feels out of the show's context, where the surefire winner is the pure yet grandiose pop of "Ebony Eyes". With not the greatest sound quality, it's one of the concerts a listener would like to experience in person.

****
JOHN WETTON -
Arkangel
Pony Canyon 1999
Re-issue Store For Music 2007

The return of the Crimson man, with royal guests carrying the train.

With the sunshine pop rock he shaped with ASIA locked behind the iron door, it's the most cerebral album John Wetton's ever done, the bloody red artwork being no coincidence but a perfect foil for the music inside. Once the mighty bass of "The Last Thing On My Mind" kicks in, a troubled soul makes its entrance to cast a shadow over two of the best Wetton's ballads, heartfelt "Emma" flowing over acoustic strum and the title track, rendered all the more sinister by opening thunder and Robert Fripp's short solo. John sounds worried at his most serene: there's a deceptive calm in "All Grown Up" where Steve Hackett guests, and "Desperate Times".

Candid, anguished lyrics show Wetton alone with his demons, and there's almost none of the trademark vocal harmonies. Here, even AOR cuts like "Nothing Happens For Nothing", adorned with Hackett's harmonica, and "Be Careful What You Wish For" sounds progressive. You can't get away from the past, be it sweet of bitter, that's the lesson the artist's learned the hard way, and the orchestral surge of "After All" paves a road to peace of mind. A masterpiece.

*****
THE KORGIS -
This World's For Everyone
1992
Re-issue Angel Air 2007

Fifteen years on, the fourth album of one of the most melodious bands ever gets the worldwide release.

With their success in the early '80s, it's most surprising that in the early '90s, when Andy Davis reunited with James Warren in THE KORGIS, the band's new album was released only in Europe in Japan, not even in their native U.K., especially with a new version of quietly tremendous "Everybody's Got To Learn Sometimes" as a lead-off single. It's a tone-setter for the record as a whole, which starts with a gentle buzz and tribal chant of the title track and flows on with no flashes but wonderful sepia-tinged songs such as heartfelt "Hunger" and "Work Together" that are hard not to love - though not on the first listen. Creeping into one's soul, gently anthemic "All The Love In The World" and its antithesis, "No Love In The World", may sound old-fashioned yet not dated at all, which can't be said of the cold "Wreckage Of A Broken Heart" that belongs to the previous decade, so there's a good pinch of nostalgie plays a part. With a handful of bonus cuts, including the rarest of all rarities, THE KORGIS' live rendition of the "Mount Everest Sings The Blues" rockabilly from 1993, that's from the studio-only band, this CD will feel at home in every home.

*****
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