Album Reviews: Barbara Dickson, The Tremeloes and Prince

Barbara Dickson – Time Is Going Faster

Barbara Dickson’s latest album Time Is Going Faster (released via Chariot Records) has been a year in the making and although that sounds like a long time, Time Is Going Faster snapshots the artist with ten beautifully intimate performances.

There’s a hint of familiar with traditional songs such as Barbara Allen, a revisit to a previous success with a new arrangement of Tell Me it’s Not True from Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers, a nod to an old friend, Gerry Rafferty with Look Over The Hill, and three new songs from Barbara herself, Where Shadows Meet The Light, Goodnight, I’m Going Home and the title track.

Barbara Dickson’s new album release – Time Is Going Faster

Barbara’s voice, set against the backdrop of beautifully subtle instrumentation gives the impression of a live feel, taking the listener to a musical haven in these troubled times.

Definitely an album to warm your heart on a dark winters evening and a candle of hope for those days in 2021 when Barbara embarks on a new UK Tour.

The Tremeloes – The Complete CBS Recordings 1966-72

In 1962, a Dagenham group called Brian Poole and The Tremeloes beat a group from Liverpool called The Beatles to a recording contract with Decca Records. Hits followed and ultimately the bands lead singer left to pursue a solo career.

That would have spelled the end for most groups, but not The Tremeloes, who arguably had greater success without Poole with hits on CBS Records in the mid to late 60s including Even The Bad Times are Good, Here Comes My Baby (a Cat Stevens composition) and the number one hit Silence Is Golden (previously a B side for Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons).

The Tremeloes feelgood approach to music remained a popular draw beyond their chart career with the most constant member, drummer Dave Munden only retiring in recent times due to ill health. (Dave sadly died on October 15th 2020)

Sounds of the 60s revisited with The Tremeloes on The Complete CBS Recordings

The Complete CBS Recordings (released via Cherry Red) raids the bands CBS archive with 6 albums worth of rare outtakes and album tracks as well as those unforgettable hits.

The tracks are colourful, energetic and fun including renditions of The Newbeats’ Run Baby Run and the Capitols’ Cool Jerk. The release also demonstrates the live vibe the Tremeloes had in the studio and the ability to own a track with harmonies and tight instrumentation, perhaps demonstrated to perfection on their version of The Showstoppers Ain’t Nothin’ But a House Party.

This release with a lengthy booklet showcasing The Tremeloes history is the closest you may find to a genuine swinging 60s rave up – pure 60s, pure gold, pure Tremeloes!

Prince – Sign O The Times (Reissue – various formats)

Prince and The Revolutions Purple Rain album proved to be one of the biggest music successes of 1985, so it was fair to assume that there would be more of the same the following year.

Prince quickly discarded any thoughts along those lines when he announced on the eve of his next release of Sign O The Times, “I feel that we’re on the brink of something. It is going to be strict and wild and pretty.”

Prince’s Sign O The Times gets an expanded reissue in several formats

What followed in 1987 was an album that was an alternative and topical. The title track was poetry put to music. Prince sang of the news, drugs and rocket ships exploding. He also seemingly plucked Sheena Easton out of post-success obscurity and gave the singer her first British hit in several years on the duet U Got The Look.

Sign O The Times features Prince bursting out of the style of former glories with Play In The Sunshine to a slightly more alternative distortion with The Ballad of Dorothy Parker.

Fans wishing to delve further into Prince’s Sign O The Times masterpiece can now do so via a Super Deluxe Edition (8CD+DVD / 13LP+DVD / audio-only download and streaming), Deluxe Edition (3CD / 4LP 180g vinyl / download and streaming) and Remastered album (2CD / 2LP 180g peach vinyl / download and streaming).

Reviews by Andy Howells, Ents South Wales

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