Album review: CHRIS BRAIDE – Fifty Dollar Planets And Twenty Cent Stars

Chris Braide - Fifty Dollar Planets And Twenty Cent Stars

Cherry Red Records [Release date 05.05.14]

Towards the end of 2012 Chris Braide and Geoff Downes released an album that may forever be termed “one that got away”.  DBA’s ‘Pictures Of You’ was arguably one of the best albums of the year combining sublime pop rock sensibilities and all highly accessible.  Few will have heard it.

Few will have heard of Chris Braide.  He has an interesting songwriting pedigree, working behind the scenes for artists like Kylie, Beyonce and Britney Spears.   More recently he was a member of The Producers with both Downes and Trevor Horn.   ‘Fifty Dollar Planets…’ is his opportunity to step into the limelight although it’s his third solo album.  Born in Cheshire, he decamped to LA towards the end of 2010.

Braide emerges as a stellar pop rock craftsman on tracks such as ‘Beautiful’, ‘Let Me Love You’ and ‘What’s Going On In Your Head’.   As a performer he reminds me of a rockier, less sugary, Richard Marx in places.

He cites such influences as Squeeze, XTC and Prefab Sprout all of whom tap into that core of classic pop songwriting.  Something is made in the blurb of a strong T-Rex/Marc Bolan influence but this only appears to be evident in the title track.

With most tracks supremely radio-friendly, Braide has a chance to stretch out on the longer ‘Agent Wilde & The Speedway Dancers’ which is another standout.

Essentially this album could have been produced at anytime since the late-seventies, the perfect antidote to much that purports to be quality music these days and certainly far more durable.  It would be criminal if this masterclass, and Braide’s solo work in general,  gets overlooked.  *****

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.

Album review (DBA)



On Sunday 28 July 2019, David Randall celebrated his 600th show. “Assume The Position” started in June 2007 on UK City Radio before transferring a year later to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. The show includes tracks played on the first show plus Upton Blues Festival highlights, new music and the regular features “Live Legends” and “Anniversary Rock” which this week celebrates the Island Records label 60th anniversary.

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Power Plays w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)

BEFORE FIRE Dead Eyes (indie)
SCOTT & MARIA Never Give Up (indie)
CORELEONI Queen Of Hearts (AFM Records)
BERLIN Transcendance (Cleopatra Records)
PHIL CAMPBELL These Old Boots (Nuclear Blast)
PHIL LANZON Blue Mountain (Phil Lanzon Ditties/Cargo Records UK)

Featured Albums w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 SOLEIL MOON Warrior (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 ROXY BLUE Roxy Blue (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS Dragons (Magnolia Music/Thirty Tigers)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

JAMES STEVENSON Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over (2013)



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