Legend Re-Invents His Classic Songs.
I doubt anyone reading this review doesn’t already know the name Albert Hammond a prolific songwriter and hit-maker; and to honour 50 years in the business he has re-recorded 12 of the very best of the best on one amazing record.
Seriously; can you think of a better way to start a record than hearing Hammond’s delightfully silky voice delivering It Never Rains in Southern California with a choir and an orchestra? Me neither; so the coffee pot went on and the biscuits unpacked so I could just sit back and let the rest of the world drift away for an hour (which became two!).
While I instantly recognised songs like To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before and the punchy Nothings Going To Stop Us Now; there are a couple that caught my attention that I knew but had to check the press release to find out who had the hit with them
The beautiful Alejate; sung heart-lingeringly sung here in Spanish was a hit for the billion selling Josh Groban and Don’t Turn Around is totally unrecognisable from the version made famous by British Reggae band Aswad; but slowed down and with a pleading vocal touched me in places I haven’t been touched in a log time.
His one big hit under his own name Free Electric Band gets a new lease of life with a pumping brass band backing and you can hear the happiness in Hammond’s voice as he belts out each and every chorus.
It’s easy to forget that Albert Hammond is technically British (born in Gibraltar) but the version of the Air That I Breathe that coses the album is simply beautiful and has a quintessentially Olde Worlde English feel to the production; with an almost Hovis* style thread from the orchestra end-to-end.
While I normally listen to edgy, modern contemporary singer-songwriters I’ve always had a soft spot for Easy Listening (Andy Williams is a firm favourite at RMHQ) so to hear Hammond singing When I Need You; made famous by Leo Sayer in my teens; as a man of a certain age it now takes on a whole new personal dimension; and for the second time in its incarnation touched me right at the core of my soul; making it my favourite song on a delightful record.
*Hovis is a traditional brown sliced bread made famous by a TV advert set in a sepia tinged English cobble stoned village featuring a cloth capped lad pushing a pedal bike up a hill as a brass band played in the background.
Released 9th June 2017 UK & Europe