Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Man in the Bowler Hat
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
Recorded between July and September 1973 at Air Studios, London, and released the following February, ?The Man In The Bowler Hat? was Stackridge?s third long-player. It was, by common consent, their finest achievement, bot... more »
Recorded between July and September 1973 at Air Studios, London, and released the following February, ?The Man In The Bowler Hat? was Stackridge?s third long-player. It was, by common consent, their finest achievement, both up to that point and in their entire seven-year career. The magic ingredient this album boasted was the involvement of an iconic musical figure: George Martin, producer of the Beatles until their split three years previously. 10 tracks including 'Fundamentally Yours', 'To The Sun And The Moon', 'Pinafore Days' and more. Angel Air. 2007.
The Best Album the Beatles Didn't Make
Mark A. Frumento | Cherry Hill, NJ USA | 03/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are looking for great melodic pop then look no further. Man in a Bowler Hat is simply the best successor to Abbey Road that you will ever find. It's not that Stackridge sound exactly like the Beatles, it's that they embody the same creative and melodic spirit like no other band. It helps that this album was produced by George Martin but the similarities were there all along. Yes Stackridge take diversions and yes they are sometimes a comedy/novelty act but Bowler Hat is a consistently good pop album from the first note to the last.
My rating is for the music content on this CD but I do have some critical comments about the Angel Air reissue:
MASTERING: Excellent. It sounds to me like they got the original master tapes for this reissue. Past issues (including the fantastic Japanese mini-LP versions) sound like second or third generation tapes. The overall sound of this CD is great and it appears that they did not try to tweak the original recordings or over-EQ. It also sounds like they did not ruin the recordings with noise reduction.
ARTWORK: Awful! The only black mark I can find on the whole Stackridge remaster program is that the artwork is hideous. I mean BAD! The colors on the covers are not accurate and the images are very fuzzy. Some of the liner note photos are pixilated and hardly worth using. I can't say enough bad things about the artwork. Truly some of the worst reissue artwork I have in my collection - especially give the high quality of the original LP art.
PACKAGING: Fair. With bad artwork its hard for the packaging to be good. The problem is that the packaging looks like a homemade job at best and just isn't consistent with the amazing cover art the band had going for it. The photos in the booklets are minimal and the memorabilia looks like it was photographed by kids. The liner notes are okay but just not detailed enough to be worth the time to read them.
BONUS TRACKS: None. Note that the Amazon listing is wrong as of the writing of this review. This CD is the orginal album only (10 tracks). For the bonus tracks you need to buy Friendliness.
Fortunately it's the music that prevails here. For the high prices of the CDs and for a band that had interesting LP covers I wish Angel Air had invested just a little more in the art and packaging. Perhaps that's looking a gift horse in the mouth? I'm not sure but I am happy that the CDs sound good.
Buy this CD without reservation. You will not regret it."
Rich | Chicago, IL USA | 03/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...and why shouldn't it be since it was produced, in part, by George Martin? But the excellent song writing makes it so much more than a Beatle wannabe album. The songs are joyous, humorous, pensive, exhilirating and remarkably well written, produced and performed. I have both the LP and the CD (which has three added tracks, which actually thematically detract from the original LP). I highly recommend the purchase of this fun CD."
An old favorite
Rich | Chicago, IL USA | 02/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My brother had given me the LP years ago stating that he thought it was junk. After one listen I realized that it was anything but. I think that this masterpiece, elegantly produced by George Martin, stands as a tribute to the Fab Four. But I feel that it's more than a tribute album and stands as a wonderful compilation in its own right. The songs range from humor to pathos. Excellent instrumentals and a Fab time."