Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Some Years: It's the Time of Colin Blunstone
Genres: Pop, Rock
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Disappointing collection that doesn't do Colin justice
Hindburn | Church Stretton, Shropshire, England | 08/02/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This selection covers only a very small part of Colin Blunstone's long career - his 3 albums on Epic Records during the years 1971 to 1973. Of these 'One Year' has a unique style, with almost all the songs having a gentle chamber music accompaniment, comprising a small string section, as well as harp, harmonium, brass band and classical guitar. On only three tracks (all of which appear in this collection) is there a conventional rock band rhythm section, here provided by the band Argent. Although 7 out of the 10 songs from 'One year' are included in the collection, there are other better tracks which could have been substituted for some of them, notably 'Her song' and 'Smoky day'.The second album represented is 'Ennismore', a more conventional 'light rock' album, from which 3 notable songs and one less memorable one appear. Given the length of the 'Some years' CD, it would have been possible to include up to five additional tracks, and in that case the omission of the rest of the 'Quartet' medley from 'Ennismore', and 'Time's running out' is most regrettable.The last of the three albums represented here, 'Journey', has sometimes been criticized as a patchy, disappointing record, but even so it contained some good songs. The opening medley commencing with 'Wonderful' is superb, in the space of 10 minutes ranging from a driving Argent backing to unaccompanied choral voices and solo classical guitar. This is probably the most memorable of the pieces in the collection. However, it is then followed by three lacklustre songs from the US edition of 'Journey', whilst much better tracks such as 'Beware' and 'Shadow of a doubt' are omitted.So, in conclusion, although the compilers managed to include many of the gems from the three albums, they also included some substandard material, whilst overlooking several excellent tracks and failing to provide a full-length, more comprehensive collection from the original albums. Although 'One year' is available on CD, 'Ennismore' and 'Journey' are not and consequently it is regrettable that a better effort was not made with this compilation. So although the best of Colin's work undoubtedly merits 5 stars, this poor selection from it doesn't. Also, be warned, the CD booklet contains some of the most thoughtless and ignorant 'sleeve notes' I have ever read, which in their sneering remarks about the band Argent are completely unworthy of a Blunstone album and would never have been sanctioned by Colin."
It's the Time Of Colin Blunstone
Eugene Bentley | Des Moines, Iowa United States | 09/29/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Colin Blunstone (for those who don't already know) was the remarkable lead vocalist for the Zombies.. His hauntingly breathy voice graced the hits 'She's Not There', 'Tell Her No' and 'Time Of the Season' (among plenty of other Zombies recordings). After the Zombies split up, Colin spent a couple of years in an assistant stockbroker position. Convinced that he was wasting one of popular music's most beautiful voices by friends (and by former bandmate Rod Argent), Colin got back into the music business. First off, he cut a remake of the Zombies' 'She's Not There' for Deram under the ill-advised psuedonym of Neil MacArthur during 1969 (while 'Time Of the Season' was really popular). Unfortunately, The release didn't do very well and one wonders if thing would have gone better if the public knew the Zombies connection through his real name. The compilation "Some Years" captures Blunstone's post-Deram (however brief) phase. It's a fairly decent overview of Blunstone's CBS tenure in the 1970s. Surveying heavily from his "One Year" album (which deserves a listen in its own right), "Some Years" presumably gleans the best from "Ennismore" and "Journey" (Colin's other two CBS albums) as well. All of the songs from "One Year" are excellent. From the chamber string arrangement on Tim Hardin's wistful 'Misty Roses' and Denny Laine's cheerful 'Say You Don't Mind' to the straight pop of Blunstone's own 'Caroline Goodbye' and the Motown infected 'Mary Won't You Warm My Bed' (from Manfred Mann band member Mike D'Abo) -- these tracks never fail. Things get a little erratic when we get into the material from "Ennismore". While 'Andorra' and 'I Don't Believe In Miracles' are prime examples of Colin's pop style (and are as good as anything from "One Year"), the somewhat countrified 'How Wrong Can One Man Ever Be' sounds a bit old and tired (almost tedious) even though Colin's voice is always in good form. Perhaps the "Ennismore" tracks 'Exclusive For Me' and 'Every Sound I Ever Heard' would have worked better. The weakest of Colin Blunstone's CBS albums was "Journey". The trilogy of intimate songs backed by a choir Wonderful/Beginning/Keep the Curtains Closed' are by far the best off that album. Here, the "Some Years" compilation does us a great service by lifting that trilogy from an otherwise mediocre album and putting it in with better company. The other noteworthy track is 'It's Magical'. Although it's filled with Argent cliches (not coincidentally Rod's band is backing him here), 'It's Magical' has Colin rocking in a way he hasn't since his re-recording of 'She's Not There'. In essence, "Some Years: It's the Time Of Colin Blunstone" is a strong compilation because it includes so many tracks from "One Year" and gleans (for the most part) the best from Colin's other to CBS albums. It's kind of a double-edged sword for true Blunstone fans because it contains seven of the ten tracks from "One Year" (which is an essential disc for Blunstone fans). As strong as "Some Years" is, it's perhaps not the best way to overview Colin's solo career. A good solid Colin Blunstone restrospective, would cross reference the different labels He recorded for (hear me Rhino?). Starting with the Neil MacArthur single misfire 'She's Not There'/'World Of Glass' and about four unreleased tracks from that same session (which I understand do exist). Then to his CBS phase with a little less from "One Year" and better selections from "Ennismore" and then ending a ten year span with his best from his stint on Elton John's Rocket Records. But that may be asking too much and in that case "Some Years" is a success."