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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Wall, Alwyn (Band) - 1978 The Prize
Wall, Alwyn (Band) - 1978 The Prize

ARTIST: Wall, Alwyn (Band)
ALBUM: The Prize
LABEL: Myrrh
YEAR: 1978


LINEUP: Alwyn Wall - acoustic guitar, vocals * Norman Barratt - guitars, vocals * Phil Holmes - keyboards, vocals * Tony Hudson - bass * Nick Brotherwood - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fly Me * 02 Dreams On Sand * 03 South California * 04 Music Maker * 05 Musical Thing * 06 That's Life * 07 Hall Of Mirrors * 08 All That Really Matters * 09 I Don't Care * 10 All Because Of You

Debuting on the Pye label in 1973; the duo Malcolm & Alwyn were promoted as Britain's answer to Simon & Garfunkel, but that was just the label praying for the best really. Both Malcolm & Alwyn albums 'Fool's Wisdom' which featured John Wetton on bass and 1974's 'Wildwall' released on the tiny Jesus friendly Key imprint were very good with lots of Beatles influences, but Paul and Art they were not and tossing in the Christian quotient they blew past most record buyers. Calling it a day following the 'Wildwall' tour, Alwyn carried on with newly converted guitarist Norman Barratt formerly of Jethro Tull influenced heavy rockers Gravy Train as the Alwyn Wall Band. The group toured both the UK and America where they eventually set up home base before breaking up in 1978.

The Songs
Sadly 'The Prize' was the Alwyn Wall Band's only release but what an impressive work it is. Uplifting pop in the first degree with nods to Wings, Hudson-Ford and long forgotten UK band Arbre; this is a charming album that never wears thin, nor is it heavy handed in the lyric department. Never is that more evident than on the first two tracks; the heartfelt pop of 'Fly Me' and the achingly beautiful 'Dreams On Sand' which gets my vote for the albums best song. A summery vibe with wide appeal it's not until 'Music Maker' that 'The Prize' takes on a religious tone but it shines with its hooky as heck chorus and Norman Barratt's solid guitar work. 'That's Life' kicks off side two with Barratt's talents once again taking center stage and really 'The Prize' and its engaging ten tracks could slide easily into any secular '70s rock collection and no one would be the wiser.

In Summary
To my knowledge 'The Prize' has never been on CD, officially at least unlike the Malcolm & Alwyn albums which both saw the digital treatment in the 1990's and are now very hard to find. Alwyn Wall released at least one solo record which I've yet to track down while drummer Nick Brotherwood spent a short time in After The Fire, but it's Norman Barratt's Barratt Band that attracted the most attention with a couple early '80s hard rock albums that didn't sell as well as they should have but are worth looking out for.

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#1 | trillion1999 on October 10 2011 15:21:03
Sad to say this review was to late for me.A store on the south side of town never managed to get rid off this the countless times I was there.Now the store probably is gone if not the south side and definitely not the town.Thank you very much for the review in any case.Frown
#2 | gdazegod on January 02 2017 01:57:27
I believe there is a 1982 album, called 'Invisible Warfare'. In 1981, he also toured with CCM artist LARRY NORMAN, and appeared on his 'Friends On Tour' LP, credited as Alwyn Wall and Barratt Band.
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