Ian Matthews Stealin' Home / Siamese Friends
- Released: July 12, 2005
- Label: Bgo - Beat Goes On
- 1.Gimme an Inch Girl - (with Iain Matthews)
- 2.Don't Hang up Your Dancing Shoes - (with Iain Matthews)
- 3.King of the Night - (with Iain Matthews)
- 4.Man in the Station - (with Iain Matthews)
- 5.Let There Be Blues - (with Iain Matthews)
- 6.Carefully Taught - (with Iain Matthews)
- 7.Stealin' Home - (with Iain Matthews)
- 8.Shake It - (with Iain Matthews)
- 9.Yank and Mary (Smile) - (with Iain Matthews)
- 10.Slip Away - (with Iain Matthews)
- 11.Sail My Soul - (with Iain Matthews)
- 12.You Don't See Me - (with Iain Matthews)
- 13.Survival - (with Iain Matthews)
- 14.Heatwave - (with Iain Matthews)
- 15.Home Somewhere - (with Iain Matthews)
- 16.Crying in the Night - (with Iain Matthews)
- 17.Baby She's on the Street, The - (with Iain Matthews)
- 18.Hearts on the Line - (with Iain Matthews)
- 19.Anna - (with Iain Matthews)
- 20.Lies - (with Iain Matthews)
- 21.Run Away - (with Iain Matthews)
2 LPs on 1 CD: STEALIN' HOME (1978)/SIAMESE FRIENDS (1979).
Personnel: Ian Matthews (vocals, guitar); Ian Matthews; Jim Russell (guitar, drums); Bryn Haworth (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, bass guitar); Bob Metzger (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Mark Campbell Griffiths (electric guitar, fretless bass, background vocals); Phil Palmer (electric guitar, drums); Joel Tepp (slide guitar, saxophone); Duffy Power (harp, harmonica); Craig Buhler (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Mick Weaver (grand piano, Fender Rhodes piano, Clavinet, Wurlitzer organ); Rick Kemp (bass guitar); Mel Collins (saxophone, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Wynder K. Frog (organ); Pete Wingfield (keyboards); Simon Morton (percussion).
Audio Remasterer: Andrew Thompson .
Liner Note Author: John Tobler.
Recording information: Chipping Norton Studios, Oxfordshire, England.
Photographers: Keith Morris; Judith Caldwell; Sandy Robertson.
Arrangers: Ian Matthews; Bryn Haworth.
Following two less than thrilling releases for Columbia, Stealin' Home is somewhat of a return to form for Ian Matthews. Recorded for Rockburgh Records in the U.K., and co-produced by Matthews along with label owner and former cohort Sandy Roberton, the album veers away from the tepid jazz-tinged pop of its predecessor, continuing what seemed to be a natural progression that was hinted at with Some Days You Eat the Bear in 1974, and then to a greater degree with the lackluster Go for Broke two years later. The pop and light R&B of the disappointing Go for Broke is more fully realized here, showing Matthews in a much more flattering light. Once again he chooses a handful of good covers, including songs by Robert Palmer, John Martyn, and Terence Boylan to round out and complement his own material. It's a nice, pure pop treatment of Boylan's "Shake It," that gave Matthews his first Top 40 hit in over seven years (number 13), but it's a pair of pre-rock & roll numbers that are responsible for two of Stealin' Home's most inspired moments. A warm a cappella arrangement of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Carefully Taught," from the musical South Pacific, evokes both the beauty and depth of the song, while the interpolation of Richard Stekol's contemporary "Yank and Mary" with the old standard "Smile" has a sort of melancholy sweetness. Elsewhere, cuts such as Palmer's "Gimme an Inch," Boylan's "Don't Hang Up Your Dancing Shoes," and Martyn's "Man in the Station" are appealing enough, but seem a bit diluted when placed next to the original versions. Released by Mushroom Records in North America, Stealin' Home, though not necessarily essential, is still worth a listen. Saddled with late-'70s production techniques there is nothing, on the surface, to recommend Siamese Friends. A close look at the songwriting credits, though, will reveal a beginning of Matthews' fascination with the work of the great Jules Shear. (Matthews would later do an entire album of Shear's songs). Still, even this track is burdened by a cheesy David Sanborn-style sax line. ~ Brett Hartenbach & Jim Worbois
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