Don’t bother scrolling down to see if I’ve written “April Fool” at the bottom of the post, I am seriously posting about this album because I actually bought it in 1983. There is a cautionary moral to my tale. Throughout my entire record buying life, I had one record buying rule: Never buy an entire album on account of one song. This rule has probably saved me lots of money over the years but one time, in 1983, I broke my rule and the result was Chris DeBurgh, “The Getaway.”
In May of that year, Chris’s best known hit, “Don’t Pay the Ferryman” got a considerable amount of airplay on the radio and I liked it. I liked the rather rock sounding lead guitar breaks between the verses along with fantasy quest sounding lyrics. Plus I liked eerie introduction to the song, the keyboards and acoustic guitar got my attention straight away. My point, “Don’t Pay the Ferryman” is a decent rock song. Now, I could blame it on my lack of living space whilst still in the marines as normally, I would have bought the song on 45. (Remember those?) However, I didn’t want to risk the record breaking while packed with all my stuff for that final trip home, so I bought “The Getaway” on cassette.
In tradition of the time, “Don’t Pay the Ferryman” opens the album. The joke here is that I could have stopped the tape there but I didn’t. Sometimes, I think that maybe I should have. After the big hit, the next three songs are totally mellow out love song ballad type things. None of them really grabs my interest. Then things speed up for the next two songs. Both “The Getaway” and “Ship to Shore” are not ballads but still not rock. They are both trendy pop songs and though I’ve heard worse, nothing to get excited about. Then after another ballad, things take a slightly interesting turn.
“The Borderline” is a ballad but the lyrics are quite interesting. The song is about two lovers who live in neighbouring countries who are about to go to war. Since the nations of Europe fought like cats and dogs from the fall of the Roman Empire until World War 2, this situation probably happened a lot. Another nice surprise is as the song nears the end, you are treated to a rather decent guitar solo. The credits don’t say who plays it but hats of to whoever it was. After “Where Peaceful Waters Flow,” which sounds like it has a choir harmonizing on it, comes the closer in three parts. The beginning called “Revolution” sets the song up for its glorious middle where that guitarist gets to shine again on “Light a Fire.” This part is the rockingest on the album and maybe a metal band should cover just those two minutes. Then in typical fashion on the album, “Liberty” is another ballad to end the song, except I have come to like the keyboard exit that ends the album in a eerie manner similar to how the album started. So, with “The Getaway,” we have a good beginning and a half decent end to the album. It’s just the in between that lets it down.
- Don’t Pay the Ferryman
- The Island
- Crying and Laughing
- I’m Counting on You
- The Getaway
- Ship to Shore
- All the Love I Have Inside
- The Borderline
- Where Peaceful Waters Flow
- Light a Fire
Chris DeBurgh- vocals, guitar, piano
Rupert Hine- synthesizers, percussion, backing vocals
Jim Giblin- bass
Steve Negus- drums
Phil Palmer- guitars
Dave Caddick- piano on I’m Counting on You
Tim Wynveen- guitars
Anthony Thistlewaite- saxophone
Steven W Tayler- woodwinds, saxophone
Nigel Warren-Green- cello
Anthony Head, Sue Wilkinson, Diane Davison, Miriam Stockley- backing vocals
I have come to this conclusion, I theorize that Chris DeBurgh had the potential to be a great rock singer. Instead, he sang ballads and other mellow out songs. “The Getaway” is evidence of both. Still don’t do what I did and buy this album on account of a really good opening song.
Next post: Modern English- After the Snow
To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html
Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London