Fairtrade FAIR CD14
Our Favourite Liverpudlian Delves Through His Record Collection.
Why oh why; isn’t Ian McNabb NOT a world renowned Star filling auditoriums the size of football pitches?
Well; sadly he isn’t but I will stop at nothing to promote his work until that day comes.
Following many requests over the years, Ian has finally created an album of cover versions; some were influential and others just songs that he loves.
Existing fans will know he has eclectic taste and will always throw a curve ball in concert; singing songs you’d never expect and also cliches that just happen to fit into that night’s body of work.
While I know and own 9 of the 10 songs here; there are surprises around every corner; none more so than the opening track Changes. The Bowie song? Of course not; Ian does a beautiful acoustic version of a Black Sabbath song! Honestly! Just like the night I watched Nirvana on the fledgling MTV Unplugged show; I never knew Ozzy and gang could actually write songs quite like this; and McNabb’s rendition is actually mind blowing.
The inclusion of a Neil Young song was always going to be obligatory; but which one? Neatly he follows that Black Sabbath song with a sensitive reading of Pocahontas; so much so I had a tear in my eye as it builds to a fantastic finish.
The accompanying booklet sets the scene for each song; and as we are ‘of a certain age’ his memory of seeing Randy Newman on OGWT then discussing it at school the following day the, rushing out to but the album on Saturday just as I and countless others did; brought back so many memories. The song is quite wonderful and Ian’s occasional rumbling and stinging guitar solos are just perfect too.
McNabb’s cheeky side comes through with the inclusion of friend/nemesis Ian McCulloch’s Echo and the Bunnymen’s Killing Moon; and again the words ‘sensitive’ and ‘beautiful’ spring to mind. Who cares what the other Scouse Mac may think; this version is gorgeous.
While the album is full of surprises; one song didn’t surprise me at all; but confirmed what a great singer and piano player McNabb can be when he puts his mind to it. Somehow he finds a whole new angle on Scott Walker’s Montague Terrace (In Blue) and harks at a new direction that could be a real ‘money spinner’ should he desire such a task.
Just like Bowie’s Pin Ups many moons ago; Ian puts his own spin on just about every song here; and who knew The Crystal Ship and the Stone’s Memory Motel could become late night ‘torch songs’ but they can; and indeed are, here.
The Rocking Magpie’s favourite; phew…not easy at all; probably the rocking and rolling Time Ain’t Nothing originally by house favourites Green on Red should be #1; but for the sheer chutzpah of recording Life on Mars the week the Grand Dame died; gives it the accolade.
To some degree the out-and-out quality of this album disappoints me somewhat; as Ian McNabb is probably my favourite songwriter of the last 30 years. I’m not saying he’s the best….just my favourite; but Respectfully Yours is by far his best album since The Gentleman Adventurer in 2002; and I urge you to buy it and check out his amazing back catalogue (solo and The Icicle Works.
PS This is only available from his own website in Disc form….no downloads and NO Free streaming. Support THE Artist.
You are welcome.
Released May 27th 2016