This was the first Chris Rea album that many people heard. Apart from Diamonds in the 70's he had gone unnoticed by many until the Springsteenesque Stainsby Girls entered the charts in the 80s. Shamrock diaries was a real development for Chris Rea, forming the basis of the style and structure which he has developed with such huge success over the past 2 decades. This album is a real forgotten gem, with absolutely no fillers whatsoever. You sense a relaxed nostalgia from the opening bars of Steel River to the powerful trademark guitar crescendo of hired gun. The gravelly voice, perfectly complemented by strong guitar chords are totally involving throughout. Apart from Stainsby Girl, standouts are Josephine, All Summer Long, Stone, and the title track itself. If you like Chris Rea, you will love this album.