‘Chris’s Kind of Music’
Introduction by the Author
Welcome to my very special Music Club – occasionally on this sports blog I’m going to recommend one album… I’m going to listen to it and review it. There’s several rules to my music choices – for example, no compilations! (Maybe in rare circumstances I’ll include these, for example I know I’ll include some of the ‘Now’ albums because I bought these as a kid).
For this first phase at least, I’ll be including albums I’ve heard before and played on many occasions – albums I know and love and just want to write about how good they are! Perhaps you’ll read about one that you’ve not listened to before and go out and try it… that’s the idea. They’re not in chronological order or anything like that…
So, here’s Albums number one and two to get us going…
- Chas and Dave – Mustn’t Grumble (1981)
I first heard this album in early 2013, during a ‘1981’ season I was doing… I’d watched a documentary about their career on BBC4 and although I was already accustomed to one of their ‘Greatest Hits’ compilations, thought I’d look for an album to try. ‘Mustn’t Grumble’ does not disappoint.
|1||Poor Old Mr. Woogie|
|3||Don’t Anyone Speak English?|
|4||Turn That Noise Down!|
|7||Ain’t No Pleasin’ You|
|8||I Miss Ya Girl|
My top three songs off the album have to be ‘Ain’t No Pleasin’ You’ (which to be frankly honest I’ve never fully appreciated in the past but can now see just how bloody good a song it is), ‘Lonnie D’ is fantastic – their very own tribute to Lonnie Donegan and the tune will instantly get stuck in your head! ‘Beer Belly’ is also another classic – I can’t think of another song about beer bellies, and the lyrics and tune are catchy. You’ll have heard of ‘Rabbit’, that’s on this album too – I love ‘Rabbit’, with its immortal line “You’ve got more Rabbit than Sainsbury’s!”. Another good number has to be ‘Don’t Anyone Speak English’ – one of the lines in this song is “I’ve had my share of Grumble”… I must be naïve but I didn’t know what that was until I ‘Googled’ it (look for Grumble and Grunt – see for yourselves J). It’s a brilliant LP – go out there and play it! And please reply to the blog if you listen to it for the first time and let me know what you think!
Neil Diamond – Home Before Dark (2008)
Me and my wife played this album in the car loads of times when it was first released. It’s Neil Diamond, but perhaps not as you’ve heard him before. It’s a ‘raw’ and ‘authentic’ sound; if you’re expecting an upbeat number like ‘Sweet Caroline’ or ‘Forever in Blue Jeans’ then you won’t find it here. In fact, you have to pick the right time to play the album in order to fully appreciate it.
|1||If I Don’t See You Again|
|2||Pretty Amazing Grace|
|3||Don’t Go There|
|4||Another Day That Time Forgot (Featuring Natalie Maines)|
|5||One More Bite of the Apple|
|7||Act Like a Man|
|8||Whose Hands are These|
|10||The Power of Two|
|11||Slow It Down|
|12||Home Before Dark|
My top three songs having listened to the album this week have to be ‘The Power of Two’, ‘No Words’ and also ‘Forgotten’… which is strange because when I first listened to the album my favourites were the 1st two tracks on the album. But, we change as people and we evolve – I don’t know why the songs I like have changed, they just have, get over it! The album flows really well – but like I wrote at the start of this review, it’s not an album to play necessarily as ‘background music’, I think you get the most out of it by sitting down, pouring yourself a nice glass of red… and just switching off and listening to it. Five years after release, this LP still sounds good, there’s no doubt about that… but if you’re one of those people that’s only ever heard of Neil Diamond through a ‘Best of’ compilation, then you may not like what you hear… I, on the other hand, do!