Angel Air Records [Release date 15.01.16]
For most, Peter Sarstedt will forever be associated with his 1960s hit ‘Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?’. This wider success has masked a long and productive solo career and the release of this 1997 album merely confirms an artist worthy of re-evaluation.
‘England’s Lane’ has very slick production values (Brian Hodgson, who has worked with many familiar sixties/seventies artists and Eric Idle and Neil Innes in the formative Rutles), and is bolstered with contributions from session stalwarts, including drummer Gerry Conway and vocalist Sam Brown.
The musical approach, and vocal, reminds me of a slightly more commercial Steve Tilston (especially Tilston’s exceptional crossover album ‘Such And Such’) and best evidenced on ‘The Horses’. The title track has a gently funky undertow whilst ‘You Crazy Fool’ features Martin Taylor on acoustic guitar and has an appealing AOR vibe.
‘Biarritz’, with the characteristic accordion and Parisian themes, is a throwback to former times and could be ‘Where Do You Go To… ‘ Part 2 (ditto ‘The Last Of The Breed’) whilst ‘All Together Now’ brings together his brothers Richard (aka Eden Kane) and Clive, and Albert Lee on guitar.
Only the lyrics are missing from the inlay to this welcome reissue by Angel Air who you could have forgiven for including the almost inevitable alternate version of Sarstedt’s “big hit” as an inducement. But in truth, it’s not necessary. Sadly, Sarstedt retired from performing in 2010 due to ill health. This is a gem of an album from a talented and perhaps underestimated pop folk journeyman. ***1/2
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
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