Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Graham Gouldman Thing
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
2007 digitally remastered reissue of singer/songwriter Graham Gouldman's 1968 solo album. At the time, Gouldman was best known as a hit songwriter, penning hits for Herman's Hermits, The Yardbirds and others. It wasn't u... more »
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2007 digitally remastered reissue of singer/songwriter Graham Gouldman's 1968 solo album. At the time, Gouldman was best known as a hit songwriter, penning hits for Herman's Hermits, The Yardbirds and others. It wasn't until the early '70s when he helped form 10cc did he get the true recognition he deserved. Nearly four decades after this album was originally released, it still sounds fresh. Rev-Ola.
Interesting document of a terrific artist/ songwriter
Dave | United States | 02/25/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Graham Gouldman's first solo album, 1968's "The Graham Gouldman Thing", is an undeniable curiosity. Gouldman is one of the finest pop-rock songwriters of all time, seemingly possessing a magic touch for catchy songwriting over the years, whether it be gems such as "Heart Full Of Soul" by the Yardbirds, his 1979 solo single "Sunburn" (for the Farrah Fawcett-Majors movie of the same name), his brilliant 1980 "Animalympics" soundtrack, or the mass quantity of jewels he wrote or co-wrote in the legendary 10cc. Gouldman's songwriting prowess is clearly in evidence on "The Graham Gouldman Thing", however there are significant problems. First of all, Gouldman had a long way to go as a singer--he has considerable trouble keeping his vocals in tune on here, decreasing the impact of some high quality melodies. Then, there's future Led Zeppelin bass guitarist John Paul Jones' string arrangements that tend to add a twee-ness to the material. Plus, there's clearly some filler on here, and the album runs under half an hour in the first place, so it's not a fantastic bargain at all. I really don't mean to sound too harsh here though. There actually are a bunch of strong, splendidly melodic tracks including "Who Are They", the minor-keyed coming-of-age album opener "The Impossible Years", and "The Pawnbroker" which has warp-speed acoustic guitar running throughout. There's also a mid-tempo pop-rock version of "For Your Love", & although it lacks the driving intensity of the Yardbirds' version, it's a nice version in its own right. "The Graham Gouldman Thing" is an interesting document of a brilliant artist/ songwriter in the relatively early stages of his incredible career, & the best tracks here are definitely worth having.
The 2004 CD version of "The Graham Gouldman Thing" on BMG/ RCA is very, very nicely done. The album sounds as if it's been excellently remastered, plus it contains a charming little essay written by Gouldman himself in August of 2004, & the back cover of the original vinyl LP version, with liner notes written by Gouldman's dad, is splendidly recreated as well."
Fascinating, inconsistent solo debut from 10cc singer/songwr
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 12/23/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Gouldman's most famously known as a member of 10cc and their U.S. hit "I'm Not in Love," but prior success as a songwriter, producer and studio owner resulted in equally well-known hits by other artists. As a hot hand in the British Invasion, Gouldman penned hits for the Yardbirds, Hollies, Herman's Hermits, Wayne Fontana and other icons of 1960s British pop. His songwriting for the New York-based Kasenatz-Katz bubblegum factory extended the legacy of The Ohio Express, Crazy Elephant and other confections, and his own UK-based Strawberry Studios turned out latter-day works for Freddie & The Dreamers, Neil Sedaka and the studio-creation Hotlegs.
Along the way he'd dabbled as a performer, flopping with the occasional single throughout the mid-60s. Between his initial success as a UK songwriter and the later opening of his studio he released this full-length solo LP in 1968. Originally issued only in the U.S., neither the album nor its singles found commercial success, and Gouldman's career was soon given over to production and then to 10cc. It's the latter association that spurred the initial vault excavation of this little-known album for a vinyl reissue in 1978, and Gouldman's on-going solo work (and 10cc's continued presence on oldies radio) that led to CD reissues in 1994, 2004 and 2007. Despite its continuing tenure in print, it remains more a cult curiosity than any sort of UK pop Rosetta stone.
In addition to remakes of three monster hit songs ("Bus Stop," "No Milk Today," and "For Your Love"), the album debuted several superb new compositions. Opening the album is a fine piece of baroque pop, "Impossible Years," written from a father to a teenage daughter, complete with a string quartet playing against drums, guitars and bass. In counterpoint, "My Father" provides a twee-pop rebuttal from a son yearning for independence. Also worth hearing is the Spanish-tinged "Pawnbroker" with its cycle of debt and reclamation, and the haunting waltz "Who Are They."
The covers of Gouldman's hits-written-for-other-artists are good, though none touch the ephemeral greatness of the original singles. The Hollies' "Bus Stop" underlines its chamber harmonies with strings in place of the original's guitars, as does Herman's Hermits' "No Milk Today," but with more of a backbeat. The Yardbirds' "For Your Love" is slowed and given a light psychedelic shuffle beat, and Wayne Fontana's "Pamela Pamela" has a lighter arrangement than the original's swooping production. Other than "For Your Love," Gouldman doesn't greatly re-imagine his best known songs.
What keeps this album from being an amazing vault find is the inconsistency of Gouldman's vocals. His voice was pleasant, if perhaps a tad reedy, but not practiced enough to find notes with the surety these songs deserve. Perhaps the producer found the missteps charming, or was in a hurry to get this out, but a few more takes would have substantially improved the result. Heard as an historical artifact, the pitch problems are forgivable, but for pure listening pleasure they detract from the experience. In 1968 Gouldman was already a great songwriter but still an average vocalist. [©2007 hyperbolium dot com]"