Wednesday, 13 June 2007

A short review of 'Now Listen' - Shakin' Stevens

Here's Shakin stevens and the Sunsets from 1974 with Little Queenie. This is bloody excellent stuff. Oh the wonders of YouTube. I had never seen a Sunsets video before YouTube. When is someone going to wake up and put all of this stuff on a DVD and sell it. There is so mch material from the Oh Boy series which would be great to have on DVD. Its time for a proper Shakin Stevens Boxset, not another rehashing of the pop hits of the 80's, but a boxset of 70 tv performance, live recordings, demos. etc!

Anyway, after about 15 years wait, I finally received the new Shakin Stevens album, Now Listen, in the post and having listened to it for a week in the car to and from work, my verdict is shay is, as ever, best at reworking old hit songs.

The best two songs on the album are songs whose original versions I don't even like, have never bought or even downloaded. Ever since I first heard Shaky singing 'This Ole House' back in '81 I've always though the same. He's really good at taking a good tune, made a hit by someone else some years earlier, and reworking it in his own unmistakeable style. On this album he continues to do this with 'Got my mind set on you' originally by the Travelling Wilburys and 'Trouble' originally a hit for Pink.

Its quite a good album, although I'm not sure why its taken so long. It does represent a progression for the artist himself, but there's nothing new or contemporary. Many of the guitar-heavy tracks sound like eighties Dire Straits (its not as bad as it sounds). It good to listen to while driving but I'm not so sure I'll still have it in the car in a month's time.

The standout track for me is:

Got my mind set on you - Shakin Stevens


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