Album review: FRANKIE MILLER – Falling In Love and Easy Money (Remasters w/bonus tracks)

Rock Candy Records [release date 18.03.22]

1980 now, and Frankie Miller’s label are looking for another hit song like ‘Darlin’, from his 1978 long player, Falling In Love.

And so, knowing there’s no substitute for throwing money at it, they ship him out to Nashville, and place him under the wing of Troy Seals, ultra successful songwriter and producer.
Miller’s Easy Money album was the result.

Did it work? Well, no hit single, so you could say, no, it didn’t. In fact, it’s a patchy album, but the good stuff is outstanding.

Miller’s cover of the US Number 1 Country hit, ‘Why Don’t You Spend The Night’, recorded by genre legend, Ronnie Milsap, is a peach. Arguably, he improves on the original by leaning hard into the strength and laid back grace of his own bluesy vocals. In doing so, he gets just that little bit more out of this otherwise unadorned love song.

Elsewhere, the Miller/Seals cowrites, ‘The Woman In You’ and ‘Forget About Me’ are the perfect fit for Miller’s blues rock with-a-bit-of-pop-sensibility vocal style.

For fans, listening to his records was the definition of personal experience, and Easy Money went down a treat. ***1/2

The year before, Miller released Falling In Love, from which came his huge hit, ‘Darlin’.

In addition, ‘When I’m Away From You’, a carefully crafted pop song, with just enough ragged edged rock moments to put Miller’s stamp on it, the gutsy blues rock of ‘A Woman To Love’, undercut by a ragtime, funky feel, are the picks.

That said, ‘Good To See You’ is a magnificently apposite closer.
It’s a much covered Allan Taylor song that owes something to the original, but Miller, as usual, gets under the skin of any song expressing heartfelt human emotions, and makes it his own. It’s what he spent a lifetime doing. RIP. ****

Both remasters include a bunch of demos and live tracks. The picks, ‘Is This Love’ and ‘When Something is Wrong With My Baby’ sound battered and bruised live, but that’s the kind of stuff Miller’s voice was born to sing.

Review by Brian McGowan

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