It Never Rains in Southern California: A Golden Classics Edition
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It Never Rains In Southern California
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22 original Mums-label tracks from this '70s singer-songwriter, who was born in Britain but nevertheless had a huge hit with It Never Rains in Southern California ! Also includes Down by the River; If You Gotta Break Another Heart; The Free Electric Band; The Peacemaker; Half a Million Miles from Home; I'm a Train , and more.
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With regards the tracks themselves the lyrics really moved me especially how to the point and succinct they are and yet they successfully put forth a message much of which is still very relevant even today. "Listen to the World", the opening track, talks about misunderstanding among nations and the troubles in the world and how even we are at least partly responsible because we actually put the politicians in power effectively giving away our "voice" to someone who doesn't speak for us once elected. The second track "If You Gotta Break Another Heart" reminds me strongly of Cat Steven's "Wild World" both in subject matter and even the sound but I guess imitation is flattery in this case. The next track "From Great Britain to L.A." is a comical track talking about travelling bands and their homesickness and loneliness when touring while the other funny track "Anyone Here In the Audience" actually asks the audience to put him up asking if anyone pities the "poor musician" who is not as well-off as you might think.
The undoubted crowning glory of this album though is track 6, "It Never Rains In Southern California", which must be close to if not already is the perfect pop song. Everything seems to work here and the theme of how hard it is to make it in show biz is never described as well as it is here in song. The other standout tracks for me are "Names, Tags, Numbers & Labels" which talks about prejudice and discrimination and how self-fulfilling prophesies come about when we are told at a young age what we can and cannot do. This track really resonated personally with me and together with "Down By The River" a track about environmental protection issues are still powerful messages on issues relevant today. We also get the original version of "The Air That I Breathe" that would go on to become hits for The Hollies and Radiohead - ahem! :-) - which I actually in many ways prefer to the covers. The bonus track here "For the Peace of All Mankind" is nice but not to the same calibre as the other tracks which explains it being left out in the first place. Overall Albert Hammond is a great story teller and this release in my mind is criminally unloved and should be more known today given the still relevant issues that are addressed in the lyrics and the great musicianship and production.
Great mlps design, great tracks and very good sound quality makes this an easy review.
Very highly recommended!
RATING: FIVE RAINDROPS