Liverpool Echo were not a tribute band, the songs while steeped in the Merseybeat tradition have a bit of that 70’s pub rock sound that pre-dated punk.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Liverpool Echo
ALBUM: Liverpool Echo
LABEL: Spark Records
SERIAL: SRLM 2007
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Martin Briley – vocals, lead guitar * Brian Engel – vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica * Herbie Flowers – bass * Clem Cattini – drums * Andrew Pryce Jackman – keyboards
TRACK LISTING: 01 You Might As Well Surrender * 02 Girl Said To Me * 03 You Know It Feels Right * 04 No Not Again * 05 Seems Like Today Will Never End * 06 Gone Gone Gone * 07 If I Told You Once * 08 Girl on the Train * 09 Sally Works Nights * 10 No More Tomorrows * 11 Don’t You Know I’ve Been Lying * 12 Another Night Alone
Proving once again that behind every great AOR artist and band is a psychedelic/ progressive rock history. Former Mandrake Paddle Steamer and Greenslade guitarist Martin Briley formed Liverpool Echo (named after the Liverpool daily newspaper) in 1973.
Along with fellow Mandrake band mate Brian Engel and studio musicians Clem Cattini (Donavan, T-Rex), Herbie Flowers (David Bowie, Sky) and producer Andrew Pryce Jackman on keys who’s previous claim to fame was with pre-Yes band The Syn.
Their goal was to create a sound that harkened back to the ‘Merseybeat’ sound of the mid-60’s which included The Searchers, Gerry and The Pacemakers and of course The Beatles.
Signed to a tiny UK label – Spark Records, the album failed to chart, but has remained a valued collectable revered by both Beatles and power pop fans that few actually heard, including this reviewer until quite recently. Rev-Ola Records have reissued the album complete with extensive liner notes and photos giving music fans a chance to finally hear and enjoy this legendary album.
Does Liverpool Echo live up to its reputation? Absolutely! This a power pop gem recalling the magic of the early ‘Fab Four’ platters ‘With The Beatles’ and ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ but make no mistake, Liverpool Echo were not a tribute band. The songs while steeped in the Merseybeat tradition have a bit of that 70’s pub rock sound that pre-dated punk.
Think Brinsley Schwarz with Nick Lowe and Ian Gomm (remember his superb ‘Summer Holiday’ album from 1979?) with rough and tumble vocals matched to perfection and catchy melodies complete boy-meets-girl lyrics.
It’s hard to pick a favourite track since they are all uniformly excellent but ‘No Not Again’ and ‘Girl on the Train’ are wonderful, leaving me longing for the days when pop music was fun and the world was less complicated.
Martin Briley has always been a favourite of mine and his ‘Fear of the Unknown’ and ‘One Night With A Stranger’ releases are two of the best albums the 80’s had to offer in my ever so humble opinion. It’s fun to hear where some of that witty lyricism and his gift for melody in its early stages with this disc.
Liverpool Echo is a solid album/reissue for fans of Briley, The Beatles and the 60’s sound, but fans of Cheap Trick, Pezband and the 70’s power pop movement will find much here to enjoy as well.
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