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Plain and Fancy

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Jimmy Campbell - Jimmy Campbell's Album (1972 uk, wonderful sensitive folk soft rock, 2009 remaster)



Jimmy Campbell's third and final album for Philips, 1972's Jimmy Campbell's Album was a contractual obligation and he spent just one day in a London recording studio laying down 12 songs. With only two microphones, Jimmy's vocals and acoustic guitar were recorded in one session. Musician Michael Snow had appeared with Campbell and Kinsley on Rockin' Horse's superb 1971 power pop-infused album "Yes It Is" and was commandeered by Jimmy's manager Hal Carter to bring these recordings up to release standard.

Snow cleaned up the original master tape and brought in arranger Ron Carthy, and the rhythm section of Billy Kinsley and Stan Gorman, to augment the recordings. Snow would also replace most of Campbell's erratic guitar playing with his own, as well as adding piano, organ, vibraphone and some occasional electric guitar. Campbell would later thank Snow for not "overdoing" the production.

Despite Snow's majestic efforts, the album still has a "demos" feel to it and is a rather subdued and patchy affair in comparison to the previous albums. Songs such as the sparse 'Snow Covered Street', 'Paris, You're In Paris' (which benefits from the overdub of a musette accordian), 'Something In The Wind' and 'It Never Rains But It Pours' do possess a certain ragged charm, but overall this album is recommended to dedicated fans only and is certainly not the place to start for a Jimmy Campbell novice.

The album also includes 'Salvation Army Citadel' (covered by both Sgt. Will Scruffham and Rolf Harris) and 'Baby, Walk Out With Your Darling Man' - a personal favourite of Jimmy's, written about his wife Yvonne, which was recorded to better effect by Rockin' Horse. There are certainly songs here that could have grown into something much better had they been fully realised.

Jimmy Campbell's Album sank with little fanfare or support from Philips and that was Campbell's career pretty much finished. He would continue to write songs and occasionally play with a house band at local Liverpool venues. The Swinging Blue Jeans recorded some of his songs on their 1979 album "Jump N' Jeans", but Campbell would never record for another record label. He passed away in 2007 after suffering with emphysema.

Esoteric mark Jimmy Campbell's musical legacy magnificently with these three sumptuous reissues. The booklets are packed with original artwork, photographs, memorabilia and detailed sleevenotes by Campbell expert Mark A. Johnston. 
by Jim Henderson 


Tracks
1. By The Light Of A Lamp - 2:40
2. Salvation Army Citadel - 3:04
3. Snow Covered Street - 3:41
4. Paris, You're In Paris - 2:18
5. Darling Sweetheart - 3:11
6. April Morning - 2:41
7. Something In The Wind - 3:04
8. Maudie - 3:14
9. Baby, Walk Out With Your Darling Man - 4:29
10.It's Just Like A Girl - 3:03
11.It Never Rains But It Pours - 2:10
12.When You're Coming Home - 3:51
Words ans Music by Jimmy Campbell

Personnel
*Jimmy Campbell - Vocals, Guitar
*Michael Snow - Piano, Organ
*Stan Gorman - Drums
*Billy Kinsley - Bass, Backing Vocals

1969  Jimmy Campbell - Son Of Anastasia (2009 remaster bonus track issue)

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2 comments:

McCracken said...

Haunting, enchanting. John Lennon's "Julia" melody and chord changes are woven into almost every song. I recently visited Liverpool and it sounds like this belongs echoing down those cobblestone alleys. Beautiful.

Marian R said...

Great album! Good songs with stories to tell, and a very likable voice...I love it.