UNCUT - - Archive - Luke Torn

The Dublin Ses­sions ROCKBEAT 8/10 “run­away” man’s long-shelved stab at main­stream re­nais­sance Like so many pop stars of the pre-Bea­tles era, Del Shan­non’s ca­reer en­coun­tered a few bumps from the mid-1960s on­ward. Like his peers Dion and Roy Or­bi­son, how­ever, in the late ’60s and ’70s Shan­non cut some of the most in­tri­cate and in­trigu­ing mu­sic of the times – see his 1968 psych/pop master­piece The Fur­ther Ad­ven­tures Of Charles Westover – only to meet with crit­i­cal and com­mer­cial in­dif­fer­ence. This long-boot­legged set, recorded in 1977 with his tour­mates Smac­kee, hints at ret­ri­bu­tion. In par­tic­u­lar, it re­con­nects with his cen­tral strength – an ex­is­ten­tial long­ing merg­ing the spir­i­tual with the ro­man­tic. The ar­range­ments are straight­for­ward and fo­cused, fea­tur­ing swirling key­boards, tight har­monies and an FM-ra­dio sheen. Shan­non’s vo­cals, pas­sion­ate and mov­ing, surge on the rock­ers, such as “Best Days Of My Life” and “One Track Mind”, and con­vey pure an­guish on the bal­lads, es­pe­cially “An­other Lonely Night”. Two grandiose love songs, “Ray­lene” and “Amanda”, are near mas­ter­pieces, build­ing to dra­matic over­tures and al­lud­ing to Shan­non’s lit­tle-known col­lab­o­ra­tion with Jeff Lynne. Still, record la­bels were unim­pressed. Ex­tras. None.

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