Smokie albums reissue from 7T's Records
 
           
 

The company “7T's Records”, a department of the British “Cherry Red Records”, has reissued on CD eight albums of the original Smokie line-up recorded on “RAK Records” – from the debut “Pass It Around”(1975) to “Strangers in Paradise”(1982). It's rather momentous event, speaking of which one can repeatedly use the words “for the first time”. So, for the first time these classical albums of Smokie are issued on CD in Britain; for the first time the lyrics of many songs is published; for the first time several songs which before that were available on vinyl singles only are released on CD; for the first time pictures of the most of vinyl singles sleeves are printed. Finally, probably for the first time connoisseurs of that band can take pleasure from such a magnificent edition which claims to be a “nearly complete set of works” or, as we call it, “the equipment” ;-).

singles covers     singles covers

All the tracks were completely re-mastered in the studio of Tim Turan. And it should be said that the sound really has become just amazing. It's crystal pure and one can clearly hear every instrument's part, every vocal lines and all the arrangement's nuances. This is especially noticeable on the first two albums, maybe because the sound there was recorded somehow in a different way than on the following records (another “sound produce” as they say nowadays), or maybe because the arrangements were not yet so “electric”. For instance, the album “Pass It Around” has become simply a revelation to me, though really it would seem known so well... As if someone has taken it from the shelf, cautiously dusted, renewed and scoured, and it began to shine with new colours in its splendour! It seems like you hear many details and traits for the first time, especially on the songs written by the musicians, and it's a great feeling – to enjoy the things which you would think you know to the last note, to discover something anew. While listening to that record I think it was obviously underestimated in its time. Have a listen to it by all means! Surely, it is desirable that you do it on a good acoustical equipment or better in a good headphones. Then you just can't but admire every sound, every note, every vocal cue. What an awfully “tasty”, simply virtuosic and enchanting bass of Terry Uttley! Exact and accurate drums of Pete Spencer! Staggering and clever solos from Alan Silson! Clear guitar rhythm of Chris Norman! Not to say a word about the vocal parts because it's already a well-known fact. On the following albums the sound will somewhat change, become “thicker”, but here – it's just yet the “pure”, “pureblooded” Smokie, or rather even Smokey. ;-)

singles covers     singles covers

Special item is the CD booklets. By the way, at first the picture sleeves can seem to be done carelessly, like on pirate editions, but that's deceptive impression. The point is that for this edition not the retouched pictures from the previous CD releases were used, e.g. from BMG, but the original vinyl LPs artworks. This is a controversial but praiseworthy decision. The booklets themselves contain songs lyrics (except bonus tracks), loads of scanned pictures of the world singles sleeves and annotations by Phil Hendriks which were specially written for this release and which are definitely a non-banal and rather informative reading. Special high respect to the author.

Speaking about the shortcomings, I can only mention the absence of the authors indication in the lyrics and the lack of the bonus tracks lyrics.

All in all, I'd like to express a huge appreciation to the “7T's Records” company and everybody who have worked over this edition! We've waited for it for a long time. I would definitely recommend it to all the fans of Smokie and Chris Norman.

 
 © Stranger, Feb 2008
 © www.chris-norman.ru
 
 
Pass It Around (1975)
   
     
  7T's Records (UK)
GLAM CD 36
 
1. Pass It Around
2. Daydreamin'
3. Oh Well, Oh Well
4. My Woman
5. It Makes Me Money
6. Headspin
7. Goin' Tomorrow
8. I Do Declare
9. Don't Turn Out Your Light
10. Will You Love Me
11. A Day At The Mother-In-Law's
12. The Coldest Night
13. Shy Guy
Bonus Track:
14. Couldn't Live
Changing All The Time (1975)
   
     
  7T's Records (UK)
GLAM CD 37
 
1. Don't Play Your Rock'N'Roll To Me
2. If You Think You Know How To Love Me
3. It's Natural
4. Give It To Me
5. We're Flying High
6. Changing All The Time
7. Julie
8. Take Me In
9. Umbrella Day
10. Back To Bradford
Bonus Tracks:
11. Tis Me *
12. Talking Her Round
 * – first time on CD
 
Midnight Cafe (1976)
   
     
  7T's Records (UK)
GLAM CD 38
 
1. Something's Been Making Me Blue
2. Wild Wild Angels
3. Poor Lady (Midnight Baby)
4. When My Back Was Against The Wall
5. Make Ya Boogie
6. Stranger
7. What Can I Do
8. Little Lucy
9. Going Home
Bonus Tracks:
10. Train Song
11. The Loser
12. I'll Meet You At Midnight
13. Miss You
14. Living Next Door To Alice
15. Run To You
Bright Lights & Back Alleys (1977)
   
     
  7T's Records (UK)
GLAM CD 39
 
1. It's Your Life
2. I Can't Stay Here Tonight
3. Sunshine Avenue
4. Think Of Me
5. In The Heat Of The Night
6. Needles And Pins
7. No One Could Ever Love You More
8. The Dancer
9. Baby It's You
10. Walk Right Back
Bonus Tracks:
11. Now You Think You Know
12. Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone
13. Here Lies A Man
 
The Montreux Album (1978)
   
     
  7T's Records (UK)
GLAM CD 40
 
1. The Girl Can't Help It
2. Power Of Love
3. No More Letters
4. Mexican Girl
5. You Took Me By Surprise
6. Oh Carol
7. Liverpool Docks
8. Light Up My Life
9. Petesey's Song
10. For A Few Dollars More
Bonus Tracks:
11. Stumblin' In (With Suzi Quatro)
12. A Stranger With You (With Suzi Quatro)
The Other Side Of The Road (1979)
   
     
  7T's Records (UK)
GLAM CD 41
 
1. The Other Side Of The Road
2. Do To Me
3. Belinda
4. Big Fat Momma
5. Don't Take Your Love Away This Time
6. London Is Burning
7. Babe It's Up To You
8. You Don't Care
9. All Alone
10. I Can't Stop Loving You
11. Too Many Pennies In Hell
12. Samatha Elizabeth
13. San Francisco Bay
Bonus Tracks:
14. Cryin' *
15. Did She Have To Go Away*
16. You're You *
17. Maybe I Just Don't Know
 * – first time on CD
 
Solid Ground (1981)
   
     
  7T's Records (UK)
GLAM CD 42
 
1. Jet Lagged
2. I'm In Love With You
3. Everything A Man Could Need
4. My Woman Don't Like Rock'N'Roll
5. Take Good Care Of My Baby
6. Rock'N'Roll Woman
7. Your Love Is So Good For Me
8. Long Time Coming
9. Melody Goes On
10. Songs
Bonus Tracks:
11. I Wanna Kiss Your Lips*
12. Run To Me
13. Look What You’re Doin’
14. Little Town Flirt
15. Not Fade Away
 * – first time on CD
Strangers in Paradise (1982)
   
     
  7T's Records (UK)
GLAM CD 43
 
1. Introduction
2. Love Remains A Stranger
3. Falling For You
4. Yesterday's Dreams
5. Come On Home
6. Can You Feel My Heartbeat?
7. Two Strangers Falling
8. You'll Be Lonely Tonight
9. Mirror, Mirror
10. Now It's Too Late
11. Long Way From Home
12. Strangers In Paradise