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Articles Home » 1975 Articles » Head, Murray - 1975 Say It Ain't So
Head, Murray - 1975 Say It Ain't So

ARTIST: Head, Murray
ALBUM: Say It Ain't So
LABEL: Island
YEAR: 1975
CD REISSUE: Reissue List


LINEUP: Various Musicians

TRACK LISTING: 01 Say It Ain't So Joe * 02 Boy On The Bridge * 03 Boats Away * 04 When I'm Yours * 05 Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat * 06 She's Such A Drag * 07 Never Even Thought * 08 Silence Is A Strong Reply * 09 Don't Forget Him Now * 10 You're So Tasty



Here we have an album by actor of film, stage and musical, plus of course singer and song writer, Murray Head. Sometimes coming across as a more sensible Michael Des Barres, my first run in with Murray Head was watching bad old, Top Of The Pops, with 'One Night In Bangkok' which achieved immense international single success. I have always liked this, taken from 'Chess', which I didn't.. actually never watched it, in fact never fancied stage musicals. Well Murray seems to have always had one foot on the stage, rather than the rock hall of fame, but I won't hold that against him. Actually Murray can write a decent tune, also some that don't always hit the mark, but what brought me here was his tune 'Never Even Thought', but sang by Zombies singer Colin Blunstone, which I will cover later in some detail.

The Songs
This album sort of paints a picture of 70's England, scenery of dark days of discontentment, 3 day weeks, coffee tables, and this can be found on the title track 'Say It Ain't So Joe'. It's a sombre piece, and with all my references to Britain the term has more relevance (although maybe down to folklore) to episodes in American History, i.e. Joe Jackson rumoured to have thrown a baseball game, the Richard Nixon shenanigans, even OJ Simpson, basically heroes fallen due to their own actions. Well the song kept Murray in the black as a number of artists attempted covers including Roger Daltrey. Once heard believe me it's hard to forget, and in every sense this is a worthy earworm. 'Boy On The Bridge' comes across as a westcoast classic, although what gets my vote for a classic, is sometimes not universal acclaimed, maybe class this as a hidden gem, the guitar outrun is way before Mark Knopfler put anything to vinyl. The likes of 'Boats Away' and 'When I'm Yours' are true 70's singer-songwriters paydays, which doesn't mean they will satisfy everyone local to GDM. Really, steel drums, penny whistles, maybe too much of the Blue Nun, Arctic Rolls and public information films, although I did prefer Charlie The Cat. These tracks are still listenable and after initially struggling with are starting to appeal, like a modern day Joe Allen or the excellent Jack Savoretti.

Although I can't say the same for 'Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat'. 1920's is not really my era. It's only the likes of 'She's Such A Drag' that Murray starts to rock and pulls on those electric strings with any menace. OK it's not him playing, but his musical friends, actually he has a lot. Here Murray is actually closing in on Mott The Hoople; it really has a 70's glam attraction to it. Then we arrive at the beautiful 'Never Even Thought', (the first line could well be a famous Squeeze song, you work it out), and the reason for me buying this album, after I heard this covered by Colin Blunstone on his 1978 album of the same name, Colin must have been impressed with the tune. Both versions are worth listening to, as they have their own interpretation and create different images, both use acoustic and strings to great success. 'Silence Is A Strong Reply' and 'Don't Forget Him Now' still both managed to keep my interest, although slightly waning, they are similar to Jack Bruce, but maybe not to the standard of the Cream singer, its again a concentration of lyrical adventures, the piano interlude on the latter is most fetching. It's then we fall over the edge again, with the 70's soul of 'You're So Tasty', which I find quite difficult to stomach, maybe too much Blue Nun in one evening.

In Summary
Murray would continue recording albums, which I am seriously thinking about picking up, and a successful career especially on the stage, even appearances on afternoon television series, Doctors! I actually knew that fact without having to look it up, I am ashamed to say. Still it's not an album that all melodic rock listeners are going to keep close to their chest, but within are some pretty excellent tunes, coupled with a haystack full of different instruments and covering all different musically styles from the early part of the decade, finding itself providing all the musical accompaniment of an edition of TV's, 3-2-1. But in parts like the TV Show, it draws you back in when no one else is in the room.

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