Some gems here, and very enjoyable overall, but an iffy valu
Dave | United States | 07/27/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"England Dan & John Ford Coley's "Some Things Don't Come Easy" album originally came out in March of 1978--it's their third in a string of 4 proper albums for Big Tree/ Atlantic Records in the latter half of the '70s, all of which have been issued on CD on the Wounded Bird label in May of 2005. There are a bunch of compilation CDs out there for England Dan & John Ford Coley--there's Rhino's "The Very Best Of England Dan & John Ford Coley", Atlantic's "The Essentials", plus another one titled "Essentials" on WEA. If you were actually to have bought each of those aforementioned discs, you'd have 6 of the 11 tracks on this album, as well as a lot of overlapping tracks. Now, I have no complaints about Wounded Bird putting out these England Dan & John Ford Coley albums on CD--to my knowledge, the "Some Things Don't Come Easy" album had never been released on CD before in its entirety; however, at the current list price of $14.98, with the total running time of the album clocking in at around 35 minutes, plus with much of the album being good-but-not-great, it's not a particularly great value.
The sentimental soft rocker "We'll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again", which was a top 10 US hit, is here--this song was previously done by Deardorff & Joseph and appears on their self-titled 1976 album, but ED & JFC's terrific version here is a substantial improvement. There are other great tunes as well... The Dan Seals-penned title track is an edgy and really catchy mid-tempo pop-rocker. "Who's Lonely Now" is a sumptuous melancholy acoustic ballad. "Just the Two of Us" features John Ford Coley singing lead, and it's a curious match of wistful lyrics with arresting, moody music including an atmospheric electric piano part.
As for the rest... The album is very much in the usual ED & JFC mold, and many of the tracks really do grow on you over time. I have to refute my previous accusation about the Dan Seals-penned "Wanting You Desperately" being a by-numbers mid-tempo pop-rocker--it really does have a beautiful melody and an atmosphere of gentle yearning that ideally matches the lyric. The uptempo, sax-laden pop-rocker "Calling For You Again" again features Coley singing lead, and it is a nicely catchy tune with a pleasingly optimistic vibe. "You Can't Dance", although perhaps "dorky" with those totally "dated" synths, ends up being irresistably fun and catchy. The uptempo "Lovin' Somebody on a Rainy Night" (written by Dave Loggins) also hits the spot, a feel-good tune that works. "Hold Me" is a little syrupy, but it's an admittedly nice ballad with an emotional buildup that really gets under your skin.
The weakest song is the forgettable "If The World Ran Out of Love Tonight" which has really lame and crass lyrics, and musically, it's a rote ballad. There's also the ballad "Beyond The Tears", which has a fairly memorable chorus melody, but the song is quite dull and a little weepy (Art Garfunkel subsequently did this song on his 1979 album "Fate For Breakfast").
So, I have to admit, this is a better album than I previously gave it credit for. I'm still slightly on the fence as to the actual value of this particular CD edition, but if you take the plunge, it will yield considerable reward.
Like I said about the "Dowdy Ferry Road" album as well, it's really unfortunate that "Some Things Don't Come Easy" didn't get paired up with one of the other albums and released as a twofer--even if that meant raising the list price a couple dollars, it'd still have made for a considerably better bargain than having it released singly for this current list price."
George Bretzlaff | 01/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This cd by the best duo of our time do it again & there harmony i& playing of there guitars is just awesome. Id go out & buy this cd right away. George"
It's too difficult to decide!
Suzy Dodson | 06/25/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with Dave, "Missing person".~When comparing my BEST OF cd with compilations such as THE VERY BEST OF, and ESSENTIALS V. 1, I find I have about 75% of the songs already. Which leads me back to reviewing the track lists for the individual 4 albums listed as Atlantic recordings. There are so many songs that I never tired of listening to because they DIDN'T get airplay. But I like more bang for my buck, so until I can find a boxed set of these 4 albums at a reasonable price,($30)(It's been done with James Taylor albums) or a special "2fer" offer, or a lower NEW price, I will just have to miss out on some really great music. I wonder if my turntable still works..."