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Music Review Section

Music Index

The starting point for an index of all my musical sections.

 

Historic Album Reviews

I am gradually building up my reviews of historic albums from America to U2

 

The Music Years

Albums reviewed by years from 1963 until the present day.

 

The Gig List

A list of concerts and gigs I have attended over the years with reviews when I can remember what they were like.

 

Music Writing

My music writing - both published and unpublished.

 

Here and Now

Details of Eastern Evening News Here and Now columns I was involved in.

 

2009 Album Reviews

Major 2009 albums reviewed and rated.

 

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My Amazon Reviews
Free music - Best of 2009

 

Free music - Best of 2010

My favourite tracks from 2010 compiled as a playlist.

 

 

 

 

 

The Music Years - 1974

The following albums were released in 1974 and have been reviewed thanks to the following legal music sites:

Harry Chapin - Verities and Balderdash - 7

Cat's in the Cradle/ I Wanna Learn a Love Song/ Shooting Star/ 30,000 Pounds of Bananas/ She Sings Songs Without Words/ What Made America Famous/ Vacancy/ Halfway to Heaven/ Six String Orchestra

Perhaps the power of Harry Chain as a storyteller and moralist is summed up on the opening track of Verities "Cats in the Cradle" - the song of a relationship between a father and a son and the lost opportunities of a parent never there for a child. It is a song of sadness, regret and lost opportunities that has been used by family specialists across America. Chapin also used this album to show his lighter side - although telling the story of a lorry driver who crashes with a truck carrying 30,000 tons of bananas might not be to everyone's cup of tea. I have to say it's one of my least favourite Chapin tracks, but one he used to good effect to involve the audience at concerts. The other fun track is Six String Orchestra which I believe turned up many years ago on the Muppet Show. I Wanna Learn a Love Song is one of the singer's most autobiographical songs - telling the story of his meeting with his future wife Sandy. There is at times more edge on some of these songs than on those of the past, but overall I find it less effective than the first three albums

 

Waterloo - 5

The title track has never been one of my favourite Abba songs and so that doesn't start this one on a solid footing, although there is no doubt that Abba are the best thing ever to come out of the Eurovision Song Contest apart from Secret Garden. This has a similar feel to the first album, although the real hints of pop music writing genius are becoming evident in "Hasta Manana" one of their most endearing songs and a blueprint for so many pop songs that were to follow and "Dance (While the Music Still Goes On)". Sadly songs like "Sitting in the Palm Tree" and "King Kong Song" are dreadful and the kind of thing you would expect from trashy party groups like Black Lace. It's a tough call as to whether this is an improvement on Ring Ring. Perhaps it is a little more slick.

 

Holiday - 5

Despite my love of the band I find this one of their least satisfying albums. The sweet, distinctive harmonies are there but some of the lyrics are trite. Having said that the album has a quirky feel to it which somehow evokes the American countryside and feelings of peace and calm. Tin Man, Lonely People, Glad to See You and Mad Dog are the best tracks.