Elektra records has been very kind to some great, highly influential songwriter's from the 60's. David Blue was one of those talents that never got the attention he deserved. Along with the likes of Fred Neil, Tim Rose and David Ackles he wrote some great songs but others seemed to reap the benefits. "Outlaw Man" was hit for the Eagles, but David Blue remains at best, virtually unknown. To quote his chapter in the book, AMERICAN TROUBADORS, "No luminary of modern song---A Nick Cave or an Elvis Costello has come forward to champion his cause".
Unfortunately, this reissue only hints at a talent that later reached it's peak. The truth be told, Blue disowned this record as a chaotic mess. Yet so far, this is the only record in his back catalogue to be made available. Basically it sounds like a cross between Dylan's "Highway 61" and the garage rock anthology, "Nuggets". Stand out tracks are "Grand Hotel" and "Tastes Like Candy". "Grand Hotel" was later redone on the far more superior, 23 DAYS IN SEPTEMBER.
The main problem with this record is a general lack of focus and the fact that Blue's warbly, Johnny Cash baritone is strained into a flat, off key tenor. The wailing, out of tune guitars and swirling Vox organ don't help either. They serve only to obscure melodies that otherwise would be quite memorable.
Another drawback is the inclusion of the SINGER/SONGWRITERS PROJECT album. It only features Blue on a few cuts while the listener has to wade through a number of selections by other artists who are dated or cheesy at best. All it does is further disrupt any attempt to showcase this guy. I mean why not just feature his tracks and leave it at that?
All I can say is, it's a crying shame Blue's finer albums are still out of print. Unfortunately, those were recorded for different labels. Otherwise, I'm sure Elektra would have reissued them by now. For the record, those albums are 23 DAYS IN SEPTEMBER, ME,S.DAVID COHEN (for Reprise) and the brilliant STORIES & NICE BABY & THE ANGEL (for Asylum).
So the late, David Blue has yet to recieve his due. Check out Mark Bend's book, AMERICAN TROUBADORS for the whole story.