Matthew Fisher’s album really is a gem for anyone into the 70’s style. Pure pop music in the classic style of Elton John and Paul McCartney.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Matthew Fisher
ALBUM: Journey’s End
SERIAL: SF 8380, APL1-0195
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England
LINEUP: Matthew Fisher – lead vocals, keyboards * Geoff Swettenham – drums * Mick Hawksworth – bass
TRACK LISTING: 01 Suzanne * 02 Going For A Song * 03 Play The Game * 04 Separation (Theme From The Film) * 05 Hard To Be Sure * 06 Marie * 07 Not This Time * 08 Interlude * 09 Journey’s End (Part 1) * 10 Journey’s End (Part 2)
WEBLINKS: Site Link
A groundbreaking keyboardist, Matthew Fisher’s work with Procol Harum is legendary. It was his gorgeous organ work behind ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ as well as the progressive classics ‘Repent Walpurgis’ and ‘In Held ‘Twas In I’. Personally I far prefer his style over the bombast of Keith Emerson or Rick Wakeman.
It’s perhaps because of his more laid back style, he’s never received the credit he deserves. Adding to Fisher’s relative obscurity is his four solo albums which are all quite different from his work with Procol Harum, leaning more to pop and rock styles of varying quality although I find his first ‘Journey’s End’ to be his best most satisfying.
This album really is a gem for anyone into the 70’s style. Pure pop music in the classic style of Elton John and Paul McCartney it succeeds on every level from the superior song writing of Fisher to outstanding musicianship, ‘Journey’s End’ is a wonderful listen.
In fact I can think of few albums with a better flow and it all goes by far too quickly. Opening with ‘Suzanne’ comparisons to Elton John and Pilot are easy to spot with an upbeat chorus anchored by Fisher’s trademark organ work.
But the highlight of side one has to be the stunning instrumental ‘Separation (Theme From The Film)’ leaving no doubt who the mastermind behind ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’ really was. A beautiful classical influenced track, pastoral and baroque it deserves repeated plays and then some.
Closing out the side on a high note is ‘Hard To Be Sure’, again heavily influenced by Elton John augmented by floating orchestration. Side two is even better opening with the uplifting ‘Marie’ and closing with the two part title track which brings Matthew Fisher back full circle to his roots in Procol Harum with a touch of The Beatles ‘Abbey Road’ for good measure.
I can’t say enough about this record and it’s been double backed on CD with Fisher’s follow-up from 1974 ‘I’ll Be There’ which was a little more rock based but worth looking into. In the years since Matthew Fisher has been involved in management and production work, but has yet to do anything matching the glory of Procol Harum and ‘Journey’s End’.