Saturday, 2 June 2018

Cockney Rebel - The Psychomodo (1974)


Released June 1974

Recorded at Air Studios, London

After 1973’s quirky, innovative debut “The Human Menagerie” that took many by surprise, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel continued in the same vein in 1974 with an even better piece of avant-garde pop/rock songs. Full of Dylanesque lyrics that alternate between sixth form poetry and sheer genius and a sound dominated by electric violin and keyboards, there was some truly unique stuff on here. Harley’s strained voice and drawn-out vowels was somewhat unusual too. Musically, only Roxy Music and Sparks were as adventurous and different at the time.


1. Sweet Dreams
2. Psychomodo
3. Mr. Soft
4. Singular Band
5. Ritz
6. Cavaliers
8. Bed In The Corner
9. Sling It!
10. Tumbling Down

The double header upbeat openers, “Sweet Dreams” and “Psychomodo” set the tone and then we get the jaunty single “Mr Soft” with its “Cabaret” stylings. “Cavaliers” is an eight minute slow burning opus, full of bizarre and memorable imagery. My favourite Harley track of all time. “Ritz” is similar. “Bed In The Corner”, “Singular Band” and “Sling It” are shorter, more melodic and maybe less imposing, but all is returned to melodramatic majesty with the closing track, “Tumbling Down”, Cockney Rebel’s unforgettable concert-closing anthem.

Who knows what “oh dear, look what they’ve done to the blues” meant but if you have ever been at the final few minutes of a Cockney Rebel gig, you simply won’t care. I have never forgotten it.


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