Tuesday, 25 October 2016

"Pinball And Other Stories" by BRIAN PROTHEROE (May 2006 EMI Music CD Compilation Of Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...

"...Run Out Of Pale Ale..."

Long forgotten UK song troubadour BRIAN PROTHEROE released three albums on Chrysalis Records in the mid Seventies and they make up the bulk of this excellent and long overdue mini-retrospective (a sort of mini 'Best Of'). Here are the flees in the bedroom...

UK released May 2006 – "Pinball & Other Stories" by BRIAN PROTHEROE on EMI Music 360 7182 (Barcode 094636071824) is a CD compilation of Remasters that breaks down as follows (72:58 minutes):

1. Pinball
2. Goodbye Surprise
3. Money Love
4. Changing My Tune
5. Fly Now
6. The Monkey
Tracks 1 to 6 are from his album "Pinball" - released October 1974 in the UK on Chrysalis CHR 1065

7. Enjoy It
8. Oh, Weeping Will
9. Running Through The City
10. Soft Song
11. Pick-Up
Tracks 7 to 11 are from his 2nd album "Pick-Up" - released October 1975 in the UK on Chrysalis CHR 1090

12. I/You
13. Dancing On Black Ice
14. Never Join The Fire Brigade
15. Hotel
16. The Face And I
Tracks 12 to 16 are from his 3rd album "I/You" - released September 1976 in the UK on Chrysalis CHR 1108

17. Thick And Creamy
18. Cold Harbour
19. Holyoke Hotel
Tracks 17 and 18 are on a CD called "Unreleased" - only available in a rather expensive 4CD box set called "Brian's Big Box" on Basta from 1997. The box contains all 3 of the above albums plus a 4th disc of unreleased songs. Track 19 "Holyoke Hotel" is a new song from the "Citysong" CD of 2003.

Most of the tracks are similar (if not as good as) "Pinball" - a superb lone hit for him in the UK in September 1974 on Chrysalis CHS 2043 (sort of 10cc meets The Beach Boys pop). And as you play through the tracks after it - IAN SMITH's remastering hits you - clear, muscular, revealing - similar in fact to the superlative job EMI did on the 5 Labi Siffre albums they also re-issued in 2006 (his UK catalogue from 1970 to 1975 on both Pye and EMI).

There are traces of Seventies singer-songwriter Gilbert O'Sullivan, Pete Wingfield, Phillip Goodhand-Tate and Al Stewart too. "Money Love" is very "Year Of The Cat" territory - clever acoustic guitars meets bass runs and a catchy 10cc pace. While "Changing My Tune" feels like Colin Blunstone circa "Say You Don't Mind". "Enjoy It" from 1975's "Pick-Up" is plucky with a little Salsa thrown in while "Running Through The City" is very Seventies Clifford T. Ward ("I ordered from the menu but I never paid the bill...") and its easy to see why Chrysalis tried it as a 7" single in September 1975 on CHS 2077 (it didn't chart). "Face And I" is a lovely melody (sort of Eric Carmen) while the growing up song "Never Join The Fire Brigade" is fun if not a little slight. And on it goes to the big production values of "Holyoke Hotel" which is lyrically brilliant and full of lush string arrangements.

It's not all genius by any means - but those nuggets are worth it - and the remaster sound is absolutely top notch...

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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