First off, all I can say is WOW! Yeah, I seem to say that a lot. Anyhow, I was venturing down the road, listening to a CD compilation that I had made a couple of years ago, when I came across three songs by The Liberty Horses. Most people haven't heard of them, so let me turn to Trouser Press to fill in the gaps...
Joyland (Gramavision) 1993
For his epilogue to the Bible, London singer/guitarist Neill MacColl (half-brother to Kirsty, son of folksinger Ewan and the nephew of American folk great Pete Seeger) brought along that band's bassist Leroy Lendor, drafted his guitarist/singer brother Calum and hired American session drummer Robert Bond. Liberty Horses' lone album fell victim to various business calamities, moved through several labels and was repeatedly delayed. Rough Trade/Capitol announced it for late '92, but canceled the release. In any case, Joyland is pristine pop from the Ralph McTell/Gerry Rafferty/Blue Nile school. Neill's husky voice has a lot of personality; the band's songs are earnest and attractive-even when the overweening lyrical sap is rising in the elevator-smooth arrangements.There you have it. Now, I had first fell in love with the music of Neill MacColl when he was playing with The Bible, a great Brit-Pop band from the late 80's. They had a minor hit with "Crystal Palace", which made the Modern Music charts back in 1988. Anyhow, as you can tell by the resume' above, this is one talented guy, from one talented family. For those of you who don't know, his father Ewan MacColl was the one who wrote "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", which has been sung by countless people, but made famous by Roberta Flack. One of the first memories I ever had of actually being moved by a song, when I was only a few years old. I still love that song, even to this day. Check out George Michael's version, if you want to curl up in the corner and cry like a baby.
Anyhow, I was doing some internet searches to find out some information on The Liberty Horses. I find NOTHING. BUT, I came across the myspace.com page for Mr. Neill MacColl, and what he is up to NOW. And I must admit, I am finding it to be VERY tasty. I will list the address for the myspace page, but you will need to copy and paste the link into your address bar. I really need to figure out how to post links. If anyone knows, let me know via comment. I look and look and look, and never seem to find it. Anyhow... here is the URL.
Neill has found another musician to work with, and in reading on the website, they had Phill Brown produce the album. Now, I am familiar with Phill Brown's work, but I must be honest, I wouldn't have been able to put two and two together with this. It stated that Phill Brown produced two of Talk Talk's albums, THE SPIRIT OF EDEN, and LAUGHING STOCK. Now, for those of you who follow the incredible work of Talk Talk, this was where they totally derailed from the railroad of regular Pop music, and went into experimental Jazz waters. Although Phill Brown's production credits are not tagged onto albums that would move the mainstream listener, it also said that he produced "Stairway To Heaven". Perhaps you have heard of THAT song. Wow, I had no idea that the producer of THAT fantastic piece of Rock and Roll history also produced two Talk Talk albums. And NOW, a new collaboration with Neill MacColl. Well, consider yourselves warned. I will order the album, and I will review it, once I get it into my grubby little hands. In the meantime, check out the myspace page, and see what you think. I will warn you, that it isn't like The Liberty Horses, or The Bible... but it IS good. At least I think so. And on this blog, that's all that matters!