My Record Collection 208

Jeff Wayne – famous for one superb double album War Of The Worlds (1978). To my knowledge he hasn’t released any other albums…not that he needs to, having sold 15 million copies.  And with good reason, it is simply brilliant.  Great music throughout, with recurring leitmotifs and several guest singers, and the late great Richard Burton as narrator.  My favourite tracks are Julia Covington singing ‘No No Nathaniel) and David Essex singing ‘Brave New World’ and of course Justin Haywood’s ‘Foreever Autumn’.  A triumph and a well deserved success, even toruing the album with special effects live.

Gillian Welch – An American singer-songwriter specialising in ‘Bluegrass’ and ‘traditional American’ folk styles.  A very sparse sound, which gives plenty of room for her voice and words.  Only one album, 2001’s Time (The Revelator).   Well. It is almost one long song, slight variations in melody but much the same all the way through. A very distinctive voice and great picked guitar – but I am still not sure that I like her.  Best songs are ‘I want to sing that Rock and Roll’ and ‘Elvis Presley Blues’. 

Paul Weller – I was never that big a fan, either of Jam or Paul solo – though I quite liked some of the Jam singles.  But, reading the music press as I do, I bought Wild Wood (1993) – and was not hat overimpressed. Not a bad album, but hardly any of the songs really caught my ear.  Best are ‘Country’ and ‘Holy Man’ – but even these are not that sparkling.  I took one other dip into his stuff with 2008’s 22 Dreams – billed as some sort of psychedelic renaissance, but again, though it was a varied album with different moods and styles, I am not sure of the record; too long and too many unfocussed tracks.  Best songs are the very good ‘Sea Spray’, ‘Invisible’ and Where ‘ere ye go’.   I also have a compilation of Paul solo

and songs from his time with The Jam and The Style Council’ called Hit Parade, and quite good it is too.  Of course, I prefer the earlier stuff but not a bad listen.

WhiskyTown – This was Ryan Adam’s band before he went solo (see A).  This was a pretty country Americana outfit, and maybe he should have stayed with this band, as they were excellent.   Just two albums – Faithless Street (1995) is up first, and was their debut.  Ryan’s weary country voice dominates and is great: I especially love ’16 days’, ‘Hard Luck Story’ and ‘Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight’.  1997 saw Strangers Almanac – another brilliant album, not a poor track on this collection.  Hrd to choose favourites – but ‘Everything I Do’, ‘Losering’ and ‘Not Home Anymore’ stand out.   They did release an album of offcuts in 2001 but I haven’t got it.

The story behind Jeff Wayne's The War Of The Worlds | Louder