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Articles Home » 1977 Articles » Oscar - 1977 Cobblestone Heroes
 
Oscar - 1977 Cobblestone Heroes



ARTIST: Oscar
ALBUM: Cobblestone Heroes
LABEL: DJM Records
SERIAL: DJF 20516
YEAR: 1977

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Brian McGladdery - lead vocals, twelve string guitar * Kevin Parrot - lead guitar, backing vocals * Roger Tweedale - drums, backing vocals * Gary McDougal - bass, backing vocals * Tony Bamforth - Keyboards, backing vocals * Geoff Gill, Cliff Wade, Lee Patrick - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Be My Moonbeam * 02 I'd Like To Know Your Name * 03 Justin And John * 04 Love Me For A While * 05 Cobbelstone Heroes * 06 Let Your Braces Dangle * 07 Let Me Rock You * 08 The Sun The Sky The Sea * 09 Sweet Father Wilfred * 10 I Really Love You


Background
The British band Oscar recorded three albums under the direction of Geoff Gill, best known as a member of The Smoke ('My Friend Jack'), producer and songwriter for Boney M and the man responsible with writing partner Cliff Wade for 'Heartbreaker' which was a major hit for Pat Benatar. Oscar hailed from Manchester and recorded at Strawberry - the studio that 10cc built. Their first self-titled record was released in 1974 on the Buk label, followed by 'Twilight Asylum' in 1976 and their final effort 'Cobblestone Heroes' in '77 on the DJM (Dick James Music) imprint. Singles were released and pub tours as well as support slots with Leo Sayer and Caravan, not to mention a stint in Turkey and Iran of all places gave the band some visibility, but Oscar never really took off in a big way and their albums are rarely mentioned these days.


The Songs
Owning all three Oscar records I can say with confidence 'Cobblestone Heroes' is their best effort and will have appeal for those into other British bands of the period such as Charlie, Arbre, Krazy Kat and Hudson-Ford. Coming from Manchester and recording at their studio, Oscar not surprisingly picked up some of the 10cc sound, but this record is a far cry from that band's work. Lead vocalist Brian McGladdery sounds like Charlie's Terry Thomas and The Strawbs Dave Cousins, but to be frank he isn't as good as either singer. On the plus side, Oscar wrote some good pop tunes with a slight prog feel. 'I'd Lke To Know Your Name' and the baroque pop of 'Love Me For A While' with flute and harpsichord are two of the more interesting cuts as is the single 'Let Me Rock You'. Still, something's missing as the record seems to lack energy in certain areas which can be partially attributed to McGladdery's acoustic strumming on every track. I only wish he had put the guitar away and let the band rock out a bit which might have made for a better record. Who knows?


In Summary
'Cobblestone Heroes' was released on CD backed with 'Twilight Asylum' a couple years ago on the 'Vinyl Japan' label. Taken from the masters, it was released in micro-quantities under 500 copies and it could very well be sold out. I came across a copy last year by accident which I grabbed immediately and I'm glad I did since I haven't seen another for sale since. Happy hunting!


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