It’s quite weird to be confronted with the fact that I’ve had a recording career spanning 40 years! I’m referring of course to the new compilation “Jukebox”. I was talking about it in Alzey a couple of weeks ago and actually got a round of applause when I mentioned 40 years, I guess for still standing up or something!! It has been really great to revisit a few tracks live that got buried over the years the band and I have been playing together,
(it’s coming up to 14). Love and Loneliness, If you remember me, Hot summer Night, Cold Wind, Spirits, Redemption Song are a few that spring to mind. It was very interesting to get an audience response when I gave them a choice as to what we could play at certain parts in the set. It seems people never get tired of hearing the favourites!! I’m looking forward to the next 3 gigs, in Siegburg, Buchholz and Herford , where I’m hoping to play ‘A Shift in the Wind” a song from the new compilation which was recorded in the early 80’s I guess with Brian May on guitar. It’s one of those songs with a lyric that maintains its poignancy in today’s crazy world. There are of course some songs I recorded that have never seen the light of day, but have remained favourites of mine, so I took the opportunity to let them loose on this compilation.
On a very sad note, I was shocked to hear of Joe Cocker’s death at Christmas. He was such an influence on my singing and has remained one of my favourite singers. He had such emotion in his voice and the last note on “You are so Beautiful” always brings tears to my eyes. I was lucky enough to meet him many times over the years, he was a really nice man.
I’ve been doing some interviews for the new compilation and it’s amazing to me how much preparation the interviewers have been doing, digging into the past and situations surrounding the songs and the times they were recorded. It has been a real pleasure to relive some great moments and I guess some not so great moments and has made the compilation come alive for me in ways I never expected. For anyone who has bought it already, there are some extra notes and information on the website under discography, Click on Jukebox and then on additional information for stories and information on the recordings. Most of the MMEB favourites are represented by live versions which I feel really represent the songs as they have developed live over the years, but remaining true to the original recordings in so many ways. (I obviously couldn’t use the original recordings). “Blinded by the Light” is represented by a different recorded version that I love, arranged by John Lingwood and myself.
One more thing, I have to thank Chris Spedding for helping me do an acoustic version of “ThunderChild”. Thanks Chris, we captured the essence! It has still eluded me live, but I’m working on it!!!
As they say on Hill Street Blues, “be careful out there”. It is a crazy world we live in.
Best wishes and keep on Rockin’