Review: Dave Edmunds ‘5 Originals’

Guitar and production genius Edmunds was doing roots rock before most people even thought of it, with 1970 transatlantic hit I Hear You Knockin’, producing Shakin’ Stevens debut (and the hit Merry Christmas Everyone) and working with many more stars.

This 3CD set unites five albums. SUBTLE AS A FLYING MALLET from 1975 has Edmunds’ wall-of-sound recreating pop and rock classics – and with country-rockers Brinsley Schwarz, including Nick Lowe, on two live numbers. We skip the Rockpile years when Edmunds and Lowe shared a powerful band, leaping to DE 7th (1982), featuring keyboard/accordion king Geraint Watkins and his band the Dominators and songs such as Watkins’ wonderful Deep In The Heart Of Texas and Gulf Coast fiddler Doug Kershaw’s Louisiana Man – and a song gifted by Bruce Springsteen, From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come). INFORMATION (1983) is same band but augmented, curiously, by the synthesiser of, equally curiously, producer Jeff Lynne. Rather poppy but Lynne wrote the classy hit Slipping Away. Follow-up RIFF RAFF, however, saw Lynne preside over a synth-heavy flop. But Edmunds is at his glorious best on the live I HEAR YOU ROCKIN’, Watkins and co back to romp through a string of rockabilly-country favourites… I Saw The Bride, Girls Talk, Queen Of Hearts, Ju Ju Man and, of course, I Hear You Knockin’.

By Nick Dalton

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