Moscodisc [Release date 12.07.19]
Tim Staffell’s 2006 solo album ‘aMIGO’ gets a timely re-issue, given the ongoing success of the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ film, plus Tim Staffell released his latest solo album ‘Two Late’ last year (the title a nod to the time elapsed since ‘aMIGO’ was released).
Tim Staffell was the singer and bassist in Smile, the band that when he left saw the two remaining members Brian May and Roger Taylor, hook up with Freddie Mercury and Queen was born. Staffell went on to join Humpy Bong and Morgan (featuring former Mott the Hoople keysman Morgan Fisher, who guests on this album) amongst others. He also has a career as a model maker for such TV shows as ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ and ‘A Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy’.
The songs on ‘aMIGO’ were written between the late 60’s and 2003, meaning the album has a variety of styles, although there is a distinct jazz feel running through most of the music on here.
Of interest to Queen fans are ‘Earth’, a duet with Brian May, who adds a little rock to the proceedings and ‘Doin’ Alright’, a song that was re-recorded for the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ film, featuring Tim Staffell singing again with Brian May and Roger Taylor. The version on here has a more pop, country feel to it and Brian May duets on vocals, as well as playing some laid back guitar.
Elsewhere highlights include, ‘The Land’ an evocative song with a folk air thanks in part to the mandolin playing of Richard Lightman. ‘Sudden Moves’ is a tasty blues number with a New Orleans feel to the sound. Former Thin Lizzy guitarist Snowy White guests on ‘Just Couldn’t Say’, a smooth jazz number with a hint of a Latin sound, not unlike Santana.
Tim Staffell went his own way musically, totally different to Smile or indeed Queen, which is as you’d expect and for a jazz/blues rock fan ‘aMIGO’ is well worth investigating. The whole album has been remastered and good to have it available again via this re-issue. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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