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Articles Home » 1999 Articles » Samuel Purdey - 1999 Musically Adrift
Samuel Purdey - 1999 Musically Adrift

ARTIST: Samuel Purdey
ALBUM: Musically Adrift
LABEL: Quattro Records
YEAR: 1999
CD REISSUE: Reissue List


LINEUP: Gavin Dodds - lead vocals, guitars, background vocals * Barney Hurley - drums, percussion * Numerous guests

TRACK LISTING: 01 Whatever I Do * 02 Valerie * 03 Lucky Radio * 04 Only When I'm With You * 05 I Can't Move No Mountains * 06 Late For The Day * 07 One Of A Kind * 08 Santa Rosa * 09 Soon Comes Another * 10 Bitter With The Sweet


If you followed the British TV series 'Lovejoy' about a rouge antique dealer, then you would know that Samuel Purdey is a make of rifle. And like all antiques they are more valuable when they come in pairs. So it's not surprising that this Samuel Purdey is in fact a pair of musicians, Barney Hurley and Gavin Dodds. Talk about false starts because this album originally was put together way back in the mid 90's. In fact a couple of singles were actually issued in 1996, and only after being dropped by Sony, it had an initial limited release in 1999, but only in Japan of course. 10 years later a remastered version by Grey Dogs Records was released, again just in Japan. Finally in 2013, sporting a new album cover, did it make a more worldwide release in 2013 by Tummy Touch Records based in America. A full history of the band and the reasons and the misfortunes that led to its limited release, can be found at their own website or an interview at I only recently picked up on this from the site Hopefully over the course of this article I will try to convey what a Westcoast treasure this is. Personally I feel this is one of the best Westcoast records I have ever heard, and while it may not be classed in that genre in every regard, it gets pretty close. What also makes this remarkable is that it was put together this side of the Atlantic, in the town of the Green Party and seagulls, being Brighton of course.

The Songs
'Whatever I Do' and 'Late For The Day' step right out of the Pages songbook and I feel what may interest the majority of GDM readers are the amount of layered vocals, they give the impression of them fighting over the one microphone. Is that Bobby Caldwell piano climbing from the stereo? Summer may be over but not on this album, especially with the likes of 'Valerie'. This is like a model Airfix kit, where great artists replace the parts, and these guys have unclipped the likes of Hall & Oates, Robbie Patton and the Doobie Bros to put together this tune. At times it's like they have brought to life a Marc Jordan mannequin! Hurley and Dodds at the time were certainly innovative recording artists, they were using voice decoders two years before Daft Punk, this can be seen on 'Only When I'm With You', but in saying that I find this is not to my preference and in fact if I am ever going to skip a track then this is it.

There is no surprise that at times you hear Chicago style horns and Earth Wind And Fire backing vocals fluttering around the edges of most of the tunes, Hurley's even wearing a Chicago baseball jumper in one of the pictures on the sleeve. Haunting horns pave the way of the introduction to 'I Can't Move No Mountains'. I love this track, with the flashes of guitar, it sounds like Nile Rodgers has just won another Grammy. It's one of those songs that only get released on a white label 12 inch, lost forever in a DJ's record case. In general I feel that AOR seeds are peppered across this album, but seem to have germinated the most in 'One Of A Kind' and 'Soon Comes Another'. So you can already cross out names like Joe Chemay, Sneaker and Larry Lee. Whereas 'Santa Rosa' could have easily made its way onto Steely Dan's Greatest Hits, or even Santana.

In Summary
Flip through your West Coast directory and wherever you land you will find a group that seems to have influenced Samuel Purdey. What is staggering is that the whole AOR/Westcoast thing went straight over their heads. Be thankful this has not been lost in the archives longer than when Donald Trump last paid tax, and for once not lost forever in the blue oceans of obscurity and musically adrift no longer.

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#1 | gdazegod on October 31 2016 07:54:40
This sounds very interesting. I feel a treasure hunt coming on..
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