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Townley, John - 1981 More Than A Dream

ARTIST: Townley, John
ALBUM: More Than A Dream
YEAR: 1981


LINEUP: John Townley - electric & acoustic guitars, lead & backing vocals, synthesizers, hammond organ

Guests: Stuart Tosh - drums, backing vocals * David Paton - bass, backing vocals * Billy Lyall - keyboards, backing vocals * Alan Murphy - electric guitar * Max Middleton - piano, fender rhodes * Morris Pert - percussion * Paddy Bush - mandolin * Dick Morrisey - sax * Carol Kenyon, Sonja Jones, Marion Bairnson - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hold Me * 02 But I Do * 03 Take Me In * 04 Won't You Please * 05 Lover * 06 Slipping Away * 07 Sail Away * 08 War Zone * 09 Give Me Some Love * 10 Pity Me

I don't have a lot of information on John Townley although much of the Alan Parsons Project appears on this, his second record with the great Chris Rainbow producing his first album in 1979, but his biography is missing in action and where he is now is a mystery. Coincidentally there is an American folk musician/astrologer going by the same name, but no mention of a UK recording career on that Townley's web site, so it's probably safe to assume he's not the same guy.

The Songs
'More Than A Dream' is a really nice pop effort with a lot of similarities to the softer side of the Alan Parsons Project and yes, even Chris Rainbow's solo albums minus the overwhelming Beach Boys influences. Throw in a little Tarney/Spencer Band and opener 'Hold Me' will sweep you away in a melodic groove. In fact there's a nice mid-tempo pace to side one with tasteful leads and plenty of pop hooks to satisfy fans of sophisticated music. I hear a bit of a playful Celtic influence on 'Take Me In' featuring mandolin from Paddy Bush, brother of famous sister Kate. 'Slipping Away' on side two has all the earmarks of the Alan Parsons Project and 80's Manfred Mann's Earth Band. Smartly the song was released as a single, but didn't chart. 'War Zone' is the rockiest tune here with a blistering sax solo going the direction Mike + The Mechanics would take a few years later and borrowing nearly the same chords from Genesis' 'Misunderstanding' for the melodically insistent 'Give Me Some Love'; Townley was clearly a prog guy with a pop heart.

In Summary
Neither of the John Townley albums has been reissued on CD which is surprising considering how popular Chris Rainbow has been in Japan and I would think the connection to Townley's first album alone would be enough to warrant the digital treatment. In the mean time seek out his work, at least the 'Slipping Away' single which was released in a nice picture sleeve or the unofficial video on YouTube while it's available.

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#1 | Traveller in time on November 28 2010 07:48:08
Its a wonderful album. The song "Slipping away" was a hit
in rockpubs and rockdiscos in the 80`s in bavaria.
#2 | swazi on November 30 2010 16:32:44
'Slipping away' ...! What a phantastic song! headphone

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