Music Matters - with John Murray

John Murray
John Murray
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Rod’s still got what it takes

Rod Stewart seems to have been around for decades (he has) and after years of churning out American Songbook oldies and lapping up Las Vegas he is truly back with an original self penned album. Time (Capitol), is a personal record too and after just a few days has reached No. 1 in the hotly contested album chart. Stomping Faces type songs like ‘Finest Woman’ and ‘Legless’ bring it all back and references to his past reflect his good times (‘Can’t Stop Me Now’) for his dad, bad times (‘It’s Over’) when the marriage breaks down or indeed ‘Brighton Beach’ for lost love long ago and apparently autobiographical too. The album opens with ‘She Makes Me Happy’, a joyous love song and closes with a heartfelt ballad in ‘Love Has No Pride’.
Another remaster this week means Morrissey is back in the spotlight. His 1989 Kill Uncle (Parlophone), has a new running order and enhanced instrumentation plus bonus tracks ‘Pashernate Love’, a live studio cut (‘There’s A Place In Hell For Me And My Friends’) and a Herman’s Hermits cover ‘East West’. The hit single was ‘The Last Of The Famous International Playboys’ and this recently appeared as a 7” picture disc and other formats with radio sessions as teasers. Again the album has collectible values available as gatefold CD or ‘heavyweight’ vinyl.
‘Blaze Of Glory’ is a cracking track to start any album and from the prolific pen of Boo Hewerdine its subtleness does not go unnoticed. His project with Brooks Williams continues as State Of the Union announce the arrival of the new album Snake Oil (Reveal). The quality is unquestionable in terms of new writing and with a lifetime of influences when these two come together the cross Atlantic sounds bring a wealth to the table. Gently acoustic with guitar, slide guitar, banjo and piano it falls into the ever growing Americana category and with the lazy ‘Southern Daydreamin’ or ‘Hellzapoppin’ from the jazz age. As announced last week they play Carnegie Hall Dunfermline on May 29.