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Blue (UK) - 1973 Blue

SERIAL: 2394-105
YEAR: 1973
CD REISSUE: 2009, Japan (Vivid Sound Corporation (VSCD-2167)


LINEUP: Hugh Nicholson - guitar, keyboards, vocals * Ian Macmillan - bass, harmonica, vocals * Timmy Donald - percussion, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Red Light Song * 02 Looking Around * 03 Someone * 04 Sunset Regret * 05 Timi's Black Arrow * 06 Sitting On a Fence * 07 Little Jody * 08 Let Me Know * 09 I Wish I Could Fly * 10 Skye Banana Boat Song * 11 The Way Things Are * 12 Sunshine Or Falling Rain


Scotland's Blue recently made International news. I am not kidding. The band went head to head with Virgin Records when they attempted to release a reunion single a couple years ago. Unfortunately Virgin, obviously lacking any scope when it came to Scottish pop history had another Blue on their roster, a London based 'boy band' playing unremarkable pop for the masses. I'm not sure what sort of legal action took place or if the dispute was settled, but the story certainly brought the original Blue back into the public eye, albeit briefly. If Virgin had done their homework they would have found Blue were quite popular back in the 70's releasing four albums, the last two co-produced by Elton John who signed the band to his own Rocket Records. They toured extensively opening for acts as diverse as Frank Zappa and Kiki Dee to The Beach Boys and Mott the Hoople, even scoring a top 40 hit in the United States, but never really attaining the 'megastar' status they deserved.

The Songs
1973 was a perfect year for simple but brilliant pop music. From The Raspberries debut, to Stories classic 'About Us' album, it seemed music was headed in the right direction once and for all, flying in the face of the blue jean brigade of The Eagles and CSN&Y as well as the lumbering British progressive bands of the day, while taking a page from the Beatles songbook. Blue's debut fits perfectly into this trend combing 'Let It Be' era Beatles with Badfinger and Bread at their laid-back best. From the opening 'Red Light Song' its clear these guys are on top of their game and automatically comparisons to Badfinger come to mind. 'Someone', a mid tempo ballad has a country music flavour similar to what The Raspberries pulled off on their albums and it works. Yes, odd for a Scottish band but who cares? 'I Wish I Could Fly' is a beautiful work with delicate piano, atmospheric keyboard work and vocal harmonies reminiscent of The Hollies. The only track that doesn't quite work is side two's 'Skye Banana Boat Song', a reggae influenced track that seems out of place on an otherwise near perfect album.

In Summary
Not bad for a debut, not bad at all and they would get even better with pride of place going to Blue's third album, the Elton John produced 'Another Night Time Flight', a must hear for fans of 10cc and Supertramp, but really you can't go wrong with either album, or the other two for that matter. Early 70's pop at its best! As at 2009, Japanese label Vivid Sound Corporation has re-released this on CD. Go to it people!

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#1 | trillion1999 on October 06 2011 23:34:20
Everything by them is out on CD now I believe.Elton should be ashamed doing a woeful cover of Sorry seems to be the hardest word with those guys that had the audacity to call themselves Blue.Thanks to Ronnie Friend over at youtube I heard all of Another Night Time Flight.All killer-tracks and I love I Understand.Grin
#2 | Eric on October 07 2011 00:06:39
Yes, put out by Hugh Nicholson and all of good quality. There's a lot of other things on Rocket I'd love to see reissued too..

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