Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Deacon Blue - Walking Back Home (1999)

Beautiful stranger....


Released October 1999

For the purposes of this review, I will only comment on the previously unreleased tracks from this retrospective compilation from 1999, after the first split of the band. The previously released tracks have been commented on in the reviews of the albums from which they came. The other material, which I shall concentrate on here are rejected tracks from various sessions from the late 80s/early 1990s. The quality of them is exceptionally high, making this a worthwhile album to have. An excellent, atmospheric photo on the cover as well.


1. Love Hurts
2. Jesus Do Your Hands Still Feel The Rain
3. The Very Thing
4. The Day That Jackie Jumped The Jail
5. Love and Regret
6. Christmas In Glasgow
7. The Wildness
8. When You Are Young
9. Love's Great Fears
10. Chocolate Girl
11. Plastic Shoes
12. A Brighter Star Than You Will Shine
13. Beautiful Stranger
14. All I Want
15. When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring?)
16. Walking Back Home
17. I'll Never Fall In Love Again                              

Jesus Do Your Hands Still Feel The Rain is a mid-paced, soulful, plaintive typical sad Deacon Blue, "bleak winter in Scotland" song. It has some lovely, evocative guitar work at the end. A good one. Christmas In Glasgow is another atmospheric one too, and it doesn’t have to be played only at Christmas. Some nice bluesy slide guitar and great backing vocals on it. Springsteen-like vocal wail at the end and some Van Morrison-style flute.

When You Are Young has a moving, majestic piano intro and some lovely soulful vocals and verses. The violin parts at the end become so redolent of Van Morrison’s When The Healing Has Begun as the climax of the song mounts.

Plastic Shoes is a relatively upbeat, pleasant song. Nothing special, but enjoyable all the same. All I Want has strong hints of Elton John’s Philadelphia Freedom strings riff and a keyboard backing and vocal delivery reminiscent of early 90s Bruce Springsteen. Walking Back Home has Tunnel Of Love-era Springsteen synthesisers and a vocal fade out so blatantly Van Morrison it may as well be the man himself. Very reminiscent of his Boffyflow And Spike from his 1984 Sense Of Wonder album and also from tracks on Hymns To The Silence.

Bigger Than Dynamite has an appealing, catchy vocal duet from Ricky and Lorraine. Haunted has a big, rumbling bassy solid beat and would not have been out of place on Whatever You Say, Say Nothing. The One About Loneliness is a typical Deacon Blue song - sad, thoughtful lyrics and a great hook. Irresistible guitar parts too.

Quite why some of these excellent tracks didn't make it on to albums is a mystery. Particularly when considering the Whatever You Say, Say Nothing album.


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