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I often think how lucky we are that some of our best singer-songwriters are still around, and even after 40 or 50 years in the business still producing quality songs that deserve to be listen to. One of these songwriters is Gilbert O’Sullivan who last year celebrated his 50th year in the music industry and who is still as brilliant as ever. His voice, his lyrics, his melodies – all as strong and vibrant as they were all those years ago.
We saw him last year on his anniversary tour at the Barbican and more recently at a small and intimate gig at 100 Wardour Street where he played old and new songs and introduced his new album, the eponymously named ‘Gilbert O’Sullivan’, which will be in the shops on August 10th.
Gilbert O’Sullivan has the unique talent of being a witty, observant storyteller combined with being able to write melodies that stand the test of time and appeal to young and old fans. His name is often mentioned in the same breath as Ray Davies of the Kinks, Difford & Tilbrook of Squeeze, Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson and Billy Joel who all have the enviable knack to tell a story wrapped in a 3 minute pop song.
His career has included global million-sellers, critical acclaim, court cases and an occasional tendency to reclusiveness, but there has always been music in his life. His fans include everyone from Paul Weller to Difford & Tilbrook, from Boy George to Neil Diamond. Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Laura Marling, Kings of Leon, Ray LaMontagne and Paul McCartney), who produces his new album Gilbert O’Sullivan agrees: “I’ve been a fan of Gilbert’s for years,” he says. “He’s a true original.”
Gilbert’s 19th studio album is somewhat reminiscent of his 1971 debut Himself which contained his first hit, the beautiful Nothing Rhymed. This is in part due to Etan, who encouraged Gilbert to ditch the planned album of rock songs and to go back to his perennial strengths of evocative tunes and wry insight.
The album was recorded on analogue equipment at O’Sullivan’s Frobisher Drive Studios, Jersey, in easy-going sessions with players hand-picked by Ethan. The band featured guitarist Paul Stacey (Oasis, Finn Brothers), bassist Nick Pini (Johns’ The Black Eyed Dog), drummer Jeremy Stacey (Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Waterboys), Stephanie Jean, AKA Ida Mae (hammond organ, Fender Rhodes, mellotron, harpsichord), and O’Sullivan on vocals and piano. There are also guest appearances from several incredible musicians: Andy Fairweather Low (guitar), Chas Hodges (piano) and Geraint Watkins (piano – Van Morrison, Nick Lowe).
Gilbert O’Sullivan – Gibert O’Sullivan
Release date: 10th August 2018
CD Track Listing:
- At The End Of The Day 03:12
- The Same The Whole World Over 03:15
- Love How You Leave Me 02:51
- What Is It About My Girl 03:38
- I’ll Never Love Again 03:35
- Where Did You Go To? 03:34
- Dansette Dreams And 45’s 05:51
- No Head For Figures But Yours 02:43
- Penny Drops 02:43
- This Riff 02:48
- The Mind Boggles 03:39
- For The Record 02:49
We have only heard a few of the songs at the gig at 100 Wardour Street but we can promise both old and new fans that they are in for a real treat.
Here is how BMG describe the collection of songs on the new album:
The album is a collection of some of the finest songs Gilbert has ever written and recorded. Ranging from the melancholy charm of At The End Of The Day or I’ll Never Love Again to the brisk, buoyant Penny Drops, What Is It About My Girl and Ethan’s favourite, the rollicking This Riff. There are musings on ageing and mortality, and also, of course, crisp comic touches, something Gilbert attributes to his love of Spike Milligan.
One of the album’s standout tracks is first single Where Did You Go To? which, with Gilbert’s surreal wordplay and the hammond organ to the fore, would not be out of place on long-time influence, Bob Dylan’s Like A Rolling Stone album.
Whilst the album’s centerpiece, Dansette Dreams And 45s, is a nod to nostalgia, Gilbert’s deft, droll observations on today’s world remain ever eagle-eyed. The album’s final two songs, The Mind Boggles and For The Record, both tackle serious issues, with references to Donald Trump and homelessness. These songs show Gilbert at the top of his game, as he has been since banging out Dylan and Beatles tunes as a child on the piano, in the shed at the end of his mother’s council house garden in Swindon.
But the last word must go to the man himself:
“Success for me is to write what I think is a good song,” says Gilbert. “When I’m pleased with it, that, for me, is a magical moment. I never lost that buzz.”
Gilbert O’Sullivan will be available on digipack CD, vinyl and cassette.
And thanks to Gilbert’s record company BMG we have a copy of the CD to give away to one of or readers. Please see below for details.
To enter the competition please answer the following question:
Gilbert O’Sullivan had seven Top 10 hits in the UK, including two No.1’s. Name any of those 7 songs.
There are four ways to enter:
- you can enter by commenting with your answer on this article on our website london-olios.com
- like our facebook page London-Olios and comment with your answer on the correct competition article. Sharing would be nice but is not necessary.
- FOLLOW our Twitter page @londonolios, RETWEET the pinned competition tweet and REPLY with your answer.
- Follow us on our Instagram page @londonolios and comment with your answer.
You can enter once via each channel (duplicate entries will be deleted) and each time you do, your answer or comment will count as a separate entry, so you can have four chances to win. You can enter until midnight on Sunday, August 12th, 2018. There is one prize only and the winner will be drawn at random, contacted privately and announced on the London-Olios website. The winner has two weeks to claim their prize; if a prize goes unclaimed, we will have another draw.
Entry to the competition is open to everybody 18 years or older. This competition is being run by London-Olios and NOT by Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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