Shouts Across the Street

Discussion in 'Talk About Alan's Albums' started by hollyh, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. hollyh

    hollyh Founder Member

    I just thought we should start a thread for each of Alan's major solo albums, where we can all post our thoughts about the album. Anyone want to start? [hr]
    Glass Mountain
    The Wasteland
    Leave It All To Me
    Hungry For Love
    I Know When I've Had Enough
    Shouts Across The Street
    I Just Got Love
    Don't Stop
    The World's Going Down On Me
    Don't Try
    Farewell Goodbye
  2. Daria

    Daria New Member

    One of my favourite albums.

    Wasteland. I thought it coincided with T.S. Eliot's poem, though I couldn't find the lyrics. But anyway it's not the song to listen in the dark :) especially when Alan laughs madly :)

    Leave It All To Me is very tender. Sometimes I doze when listening to it and get so surprised when it's suddenly over.

    Hungry For Love sounds like hello from the past :) It is sooo brit beat. At once I think of the Beatles and of the Animals and others alike. The sound is creamy. I don't know if it's Alan's song or not. But the feelings it gives are amazing.

    Don't Stop is also one of the greatest songs for me. It just doesn't stop :) It goes on without any noticeable culmination. I think if I repeated the same song I'd thought it just never ends. Such a calm and cozy sound.

    The World's Going Down On Me reminded me of McCartney's songs of the Wings era. Or even later. It's a mature song but not a tired one.

    Great album.
  3. hollyh

    hollyh Founder Member

    Oh, this is one of my favorites too! I remember when it first came out, I was living in England, and it was the first time that I could run down to the record shop and buy an Alan Price album the day it was released. What a thrill! Also because I was living there, all this album's critiques of British society were very relevant to me. I think songs like The Wasteland and Shouts Across the Street and The World's Going Down on Me still hold up beautifully -- the cruel and commercial things that bothered Alan about modern society in 1976 are (sadly) still true to a large extent.

    I feel as if Alan was really on a roll by the time he did this record. When you think of it, he had four albums in a row that were of amazing quality -- O Lucky Man!, Between Today and Yesterday, Metropolitan Man, and then Shouts Across the Street. However the latter two were on a different label -- Polydor instead of Warner Bros. -- and I bet they just didn't promote those albums well enough to be best-sellers. Such a pity.

    One curious thing I just noticed -- the track listing on the CD is different from what it was on the original album. (Well, I only have it in cassette -- ancient technologies! :point: -- but I think this is the same as on the vinyl LP. Anyone have the vinyl to check?) The original track listing that I came to know and love swapped Don't Stop and Shouts Across the Street. That means it was the same first 5 tracks, but after I Know When I've Had Enough there's Don't Stop (a good song to end Side 1 with!). Then Side 2 starts with I Just Got Love, THEN Shouts Across the Street, then the last 4 tracks the same.

    A lot of the songs here are simple pop songs, with the same few lyrics repeated over and over. But somehow, they really work. I think it's because each one is done is a different musical style that somehow fits those rudimentary lyrics perfectly. The r&b/blues of Glass Mountain is just right for a song about struggling to make sense of life. Hungry For Love's menacing funky rock groove suits a song about a guy on the prowl. That twangy country sound on I Know When I've Had Enough says all you need to know about this hell-raiser's decision to go clean (I do love that song!). I Just Got Love (funky dance-pop), Don't Stop (Motown-style heavy breathing), Farewell Goodbye (loping country-rock) don't need more sophisticated lyrics, because their melodies and arrangements express as much about the theme as the words do.

    Obviously I love Leave It All To Me (why else would I have it as my signature here ? :wave2: ). I also really love Cherie, how it takes that honky-tonk piano roll and makes it such a sweet song about first love. Don't Try is another favorite; I love how it begins as a gentle, almost tender, folky ballad, and eventually picks up steam until the scathing end. (Was there ever a kiss-off line as bitter as "I'd rather watch a football game than look at you!" :hehe: ?) And then Alan resolves it all with Farewell, Goodbye -- also a break-up song, but much kinder and gentler. He can afford to be kind and gentle here because he's already moved on, and hopes she will too. (I've always wondered how autobiographical this is -- was this after Alan got involved with Jill Townsend?)

    One thing I have to say -- I am sometimes embarrassed by Don't Stop. That tinkly little lounge piano riff, and his falsetto "baby baby baby's" -- I think of this as Alan's Barry White Moment. It's a little too obviously sexy, isn't it? *

    * but of course this doesn't stop me from having it on my iPod and smiling to myself whenever it comes on!! :hehe:

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