SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing David Courtney Anthology CD

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DAVID COURTNEY ‘Anthology’

Earlier this year I reviewed DC’s own albums, now comes this superb collection. A few facts, David is a Grammy nominated songwriter and producer with over 30 million record sales to his credit. Starting off as the drummer in the Roulettes (Adam Faith’s backing band) he went on to discover Leo Sayer and work closely with Roger Daltrey (amongst many others). All the tracks on this 2CD set (37 tracks) are either written or produced by David. The sheer scope and diversity of his talents is breathtaking. ‘One Man Band’, ‘The Show Must Go On’ ‘Long Tall Glasses’ ‘Giving It All Away’ ‘Shooting Star’ ‘Magic Touch’ are just some of the best known songs contained here. Its fascinating to hear Daltreys ‘Giving it All Away’ and to be able to then compare it with Leo’s version both contained here and to do the same again with ‘One Man Band’ but away from the immediately recognisable are some real gems ‘Midnight Child’ Roger Chapman. Maggie Bell’s ‘In My Life’ ‘Rag and Bone’ Steve Ellis and ‘The Dancer’ a Smokie track ive personally not heard before but is superb. I’d also single out Joe Egan with ‘Back On The Road’ and a wonderful take on The Who’s ‘Squeeze Box’ a duet with Roger Daltrey/Adam Faith but to use an old phrase ‘its all killa and no filla. I didn’t skip a single track. The list of featured musicians is awesome, McCartney, David Gilmour, Steve Cropper, Ritchie Blackmore, Eric Clapton, Rod Argent, Ray Parker Jnr and on and on…To sum up this overview of one mans work is class, pure class and a joy to listen to. I can do no better than to quote the late great Harry Nilsson who said of David Courtney ‘he’s the English Phil Spector’. With you on that Harry.

The Anthology is released on September 4th. For more info angelair.co.uk

Till next time…… Colin        colin-head

 

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell… reviews David Courtney, Kevin Johnson & Ruperts People.

Hi to one and all. As SMART goes from strength to strength and thread to thread, Alan and I had a natter and decided to have a Record Review feature.As previously posted first there was ‘Top Sounds’ which I passed to Alan after a couple years. After a break of a year or so and a change of location, ‘On The Record’ was born and ran for 35 years in about 28 newspapers. So having hummed and haaad we’ll call this one ‘SMART SOUNDS’ cos its apt and im out of inspiration!…

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Midsummer Madness/Shooting Star (2 albums on 1 Cd) DAVID COURTNEY 

Of interest straightaway, David was responsible for local resident Roger Daltrey’s first foray as a solo artist,writing or co-writing the album ‘Daltrey’ which included what I personally consider one of Roger’s best vocals on ‘Giving It All Away’. David also discovered Leo Sayer for whom he wrote ‘The Show Must Go On’ and ‘One Man Band’. Good credentials…his own work, if it had to have a label on it, it would fall into the ‘prog rock’ box,but thankfully not the overblown 20 minute solo’s variety. Its thoughtful stuff and on the excellent ‘The Easy Way Out’ penultimate track very poignant. The second of the two albums on the CD is a concept piece displaying his interest in Ufology, so less prog rock..more space rock, and maybe the odd echo of Elo. The big surprise is the title track ‘Shooting Star’, amazingly the very song the er..Dollar hit the top twenty with, Yup, David wrote it, but trust me his original version is a long way from the twee twosome. The intro alone will give your ears and your speakers a work out. Overall a interesting listen and the first time released on CD.

Rock and Roll I Gave You Songs KEVIN JOHNSON

And now as far from local as we can get.. Im sure we are all familiar with Rock And Roll I Gave You The Best Years Of My Life’, never was a song so meaningful to many a musician! Originally released in Kevin’s native Australia in 1973 it was edited (by Johnathan King) and released on his UK Record label in 1974 making the top thirty. In fact the edit version is available for the first time on this CD along with the longer album version. Sandwiched between these two cuts are sixteen tracks that demonstrate that KJ was/is no one trick pony and had the potential for more hits. He writes of childhood, money, love, mundanity and life in general with a wistful touch, its overall a gentle listen, one to chill out to.

45 Years And Beyond RUPERTS PEOPLE

And back to Britain and Hastings Pier 1960’s regulars. I have to hold my hands up here and try and be impartial with this one! Having been responsible for compiling the first RP Collection already posted on SMART with liner notes by yours truly..However what you do get extra with this updated release in addition to Reflections, I Can Show You etc is hard to find bonus tracks by Matchbox, Swampfox and Rod Lynton. Oh ok and better mastering….grrrrr

In keeping with the ethos of SMART albums reviewed will be generally of the 60’s/70’s although new releases. All the above CD’s are released on the Angel Air Record Label.

For more information go to www.angelair.co.uk colin head

Bye for now….. Colin

Mick O’Dowd… Nice debut review Colin!

Jane Hartley… You need a column in the Observer Colin!

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supplied by Colin Bell

Colin Bell… Nice photo of David Courtney, Roger and Jimmy Page at Reunion!