Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dave Edmonds: Subtle as Flying Mallet - made at Rockfield Studions

Don't you just love the worn edges on this one, and the corners look rather beat up too?  And I enjoy Dave Edmunds, you might know him from his nice work in the band called Rockpile - with Nick Lowe.  This record was recorded very near where some friends of my live, in Wales - at Rockfield Studios.  Where Records are Made is perhaps my favorite sub-topic within All Things Vinyl.  So let's look into the place.

Founded by brothers Kingsley and Charles Ward in 1963, it is/was a converted farmhouse, and in 1965, it became the world's first-ever Residential Studio - that is - set up so that bands could come to record and also stay in the peaceful rural Welsh surroundings and make a record.  There were two recording studios, the Coach House and the Quadrangle. The first hit record made there was Dave Edmunds' "I Hear You Knocking" in 1970. Peter Hammill's second solo album Chameleon in the Shadow of the Night was made there in 1973, and – one of my favorite songs - Ace's hit single "How Long?" in 1974. Queen's Sheer Heart Attack, but most significantly - in August 1975, Queen returned to Rockfield to begin recording A Night At The Opera, including "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Back to Subtle as a Flying Mallet – it was the second solo album by Dave Edmunds, principally focused on sound-alike remakes of late 1950s and early 1960s hits.  All of the vocals (except on the live tracks) are by Edmunds, and many of the songs are true solo efforts in that Edmunds also plays all the instruments.  The album produced two Top 10 singles in the UK, remakes of the Phil Spector hit "Baby, I Love You" and The Chordettes' "Born to Be with You".  Ian Gomm is listed on it as playing guitar, vocals on it.

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