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Courtney; David: Anthology
Anyone with over 30 million record sales behind them must be a household name, right? Well, no, not if you're a songwriter and producer called David Courtney, a man who started out playing drums in The Urchins alongside Adam Faith, went on to discover Leo Sayer and can count the likes of Roger Daltrey and Joe Egan as regular collaborators.
Anthology gathers together 37 tracks Courtney either wrote or produced and while it is, obviously, a limited taster of his impressive catalogue, there's no denying that each and every song keeps you engaged and entertained. The bulk of this collection are songs that Courtney worked on with Daltrey and Sayer and while the formers stock is probably still at its peak, the likes of "Why Is Everybody Going Home", "Long Tall Glasses" and "The Show Must Go On" proves that Sayer who has been oft maligned here in the UK really was (and still is) a superb singer and interpreter of lyrics. Daltrey on the other hand shines brightly on "It's A Hard Life", "You Are Yourself" and, amongst others, "Avenging Annie", while interestingly we also get both singers doing their own and very individual takes on "Giving It All Away" and "One Man Band".
"I Survived" from Adam Faith is another highlight, along with the Gerry Rafferty cover "Stuck In The Middle" where Faith teams up with Daltrey, as the pair also do for a rearranged version of The Who's "Squeeze Box", while Roger Chapman puts in a great performance on "Midnight Child". Along the way we also get cracking contributions from Maggie Bell as she delivers "In My Life", Smokie who thrive on "The Dancer", Joe Egan, Odyssey and the ever excellent Steve Ellis. Showing the variety on offer, the 80s pop of "Shooting Star" arrives from Dollar, while Geisha show up with "Never Tell You Why" and Marina Kapura delivers "The Easy Way Out". As if that wasn't enough to whet the appetite, the guest list across the album also includes Ritchie Blackmore, Brian Robertson (Thin Lizzy), Steve Cropper, David Gilmour, Rod Argent, John Entwhistle, Eric Clapton, Linda and Paul McCartney and Ray Parker Jnr!
However shining brightest are the songs themselves, a selection of crafted rock numbers with a pop eye embellished with superb arrangements and the odd touch of strings and brass. The cast list is stellar and there isn't a single performance dialled in, combine that and the aforementioned skilled songwriting and production and there could only be one outcome. Anthology is a fitting reminder of the talents of the one and only David Courtney.
1. THE SHOW MUST GO ON LEO SAYER
2. LONG TALL GLASSES LEO SAYER
3. I SURVIVED ADAM FAITH (feat Ritchie Blackmore)
4. CHANGE ADAM FAITH
5. IT'S A HARD LIFE ROGER DALTREY
6. GIVING IT ALL AWAY ROGER DALTREY
7. MIDNIGHT CHILD ROGER CHAPMAN
8. IN MY LIFE MAGGIE BELL
9. THE PRISONER ROGER DALTREY
10. THE DANCER SMOKIE
11. STUCK IN THE MIDDLE ADAM FAITH & ROGER DALTREY
12. RAG AND BONE STEVE ELLIS
13. INNOCENT BYSTANDER LEO SAYER
14. ONE MAN BAND LEO SAYER
15. SHOOTING STAR DOLLAR
16. MAGIC TOUCH ODYSSEY
17. THE EASY WAY OUT MARINA KAPURA
18. YOU ARE YOURSELF ROGER DALTREY
19. TRAIN LEO SAYER
1. BACK ON THE ROAD JOE EGAN
2. BLACKMAIL STEVE ELLIS (feat Brian Robertson)
3. WORK LEO SAYER (feat Steve Cropper)
4. ONE MAN BAND ROGER DALTREY
5. WHEN YOUR LIFE IS YOUR OWN - DAVID COURTNEY (feat David Gilmour)
6. SAY IT AI'NT SO JOE ROGER DALTREY
7. NEVER TELL YOU WHY GEISHA
8. SQUEEZE BOX ADAM FAITH & ROGER DALTREY
9. GIVING IT ALL AWAY LEO SAYER
10. WHO WERE YOU WITH IN THE MOONLIGHT DOLLAR
11. WORLD RADIO LEO SAYER
12. AVENGING ANNIE ROGER DALTREY (feat Rod Argent-John Entwistle)
13. YOU PUT SOMETHING BETTER ROGER DALTREY (feat Eric Clapton)
14. STAR SONG ADAM FAITH (feat Paul & Linda McCartney)
15. WHEN THE MONEY RUNS OUT LEO SAYER (feat Ray Parker Jnr)
16. WHEN THE MUSIC STOPS ROGER DALTREY
17. HEROES LEO SAYER
18. WHY IS EVERYBODY GOING HOME LEO SAYER
Added: November 30th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Anthology at Angel Air Records
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|Courtney; David: Anthology
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-11-30 20:15:21
David Courtney started out as the drummer for the Roulettes, the backing band for Adam Faith, and went on to discover the talented Leo Sayer shortly thereafter. He has written, composed and produced music for a number of artists including the aforementioned Sayer, Roger Daltrey, Joe Egan and many others. This new release titled Anthology is a two CD set featuring many of the artists Courtney as worked with throughout his decades long career. Courtney had a hand in all the tracks, either as a songwriter or a producer.
The first disc begins with Leo Sayer's "The Show Must Go On" taken from his 1972 debut album Siverbird. Tasty banjo and Sayer's charming vocals make this one a melodic gem. "Long Tall Glasses" is another excellent Sayer track with jaunty piano, banjo and Paul Keogh's subtle slide guitar. On the Adam Faith tune "I Survived", Ritchie Blackmore's guitar intro combined with grandiose strings has the listener totally enraptured. The song settles in with endearing lead vocals, honkytonk piano and an uplifting melody. The Roger Daltrey ballads "It's A Hard Life" and "Giving It All Away", taken from his self-titled solo debut are absolutely beautiful and probably my favourites on the disc.
Another highlight is the infectious synth driven pop rock of Dollar's "Shooting Star", the irresistible classic "Stuck In The Middle" originally written and performed by Jerry Rafferty with this version done by Adam Faith and Roger Daltrey and the soulful introspective ballad "In My Life" by Maggie Bell. Her voice is taken from the same template as the late great Janice Joplin. Really nice slide guitar and organ as well.
Highlights on the second disc include the proggy "When Your Life Is Your Own", taken from Courtney's 1974 debut First Day featuring David Gilmour's dreamy lead guitar, the uplifting Townshend penned "Squeezebox", this version featuring Adam Faith on lead vocals and Benny Gallagher's fantastic accordion play and the Daltrey led "You Put Something Better" with Eric Clapton's eloquent lead guitar exploits.
Anthology is a great disc and includes some real classics from yesteryear. After listening it becomes readily apparent just how influential David Courtney was/is in British rock music. This one gets a well-earned four stars.
Released on Angel Air Records.
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