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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Olsson, Nigel - 1978 Nigel Olsson
Olsson, Nigel - 1978 Nigel Olsson

ARTIST: Olsson, Nigel
ALBUM: Nigel Olsson
SERIAL: BL 35048
YEAR: 1978
CD REISSUE: 1997, Collectables Series (USA), COLL-583623


LINEUP: Nigel Olsson - lead vocals, drums, percussion

James Stroud - drums, percussion * Mike Baird - drums * Ray Cooper - percussion * Steve Cropper, Thom Fowle, Jay Graydon, Dean Parks, Edward Patterson, Ronn Price, Richard Rising, Richie Zito - guitars * Paul Schaffer, David Foster - keyboards * Ray Ransom, Leland Sklar, Dave Wintour, Joe Chemay - bass * Jim Horn, Jackie Kelso, Steve Madio, Lew McCreary - horns * Venette Gloud, Stephanie Spunill, Bruce Johnston - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rainy Day * 02 You Know I'll Always Love You * 03 Say Goodbye To Hollywood * 04 Part Of The Chosen Few * 05 Please Don't Tease * 06 All It Takes * 07 Right Or Wrong * 08 Cassey Blue * 09 Au Revoir


Usually when someone mentions rock music's great drummers, the conversation turns to people like Keith Moon, John Bonham, and Neil Peart. All worthy of inclusion in that exclusive club of course, but rarely does the name Nigel Olsson crop up and for my money he belongs right up there with the greats. Originally a member of the popsike outfit Plastic Penny which included future UFO alumni Paul Raymond and Mike Grabham who would later go on to join Procol Harum, Nigel did a brief stint with Uriah Heep before going solo and extensive session work, including a high profile and long running gig in Elton John's band. While his first solo album 'Nigel Olsson's Drum Orchestra And Chorus' was released in 1970, it took another five years for his second self-titled record to appear. The critics were pleased but it didn't do much business and a second 'Nigel Olsson' album appeared in 1978.

The Songs
That album which is reviewed here, was produced by none other than the late Paul Davis. That's right, and as pop albums go there's much to like here and although at times it veers a little too close to MOR, it's a worthy addition to the collection. Opener 'Rainy Day' is about as charming as pop music gets; sunny, uplifting and catchy and while his cover of Billy Joel's 'Say Goodbye To Hollywood' lacks the power of the original, it's passable. Paul Davis fans will enjoy 'Part Of The Chosen Few' where he shares writing credits with Olsson and clearly dominated the partnership while the influence of David Foster who also makes an appearance on keys can be found on 'Please Don't Tease' and most of side two with plenty of orchestral strings and drama to be found on the closing 'Cassey Blue/Au Revoir'.

In Summary
A CD version of most of this album is available from the 'Collectables' label including two tracks from his follow-up album released in 1979 - 'Nigel', which would finally bring Olsson some much deserved attention and out from under the shadow of Elton John. 'A Little Bit Of Soap' and a cover of the Faith Band classic 'Dancin' Shoes' were both top 40 hits in the States, unfortunately 1980's 'Changing Tides' LP barely dented the charts.

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