on 12 January 2006
Given that it's incredibly difficult to get hold of Ronnie Lane albums these days, the two-star review of this release doesn't seem very constructive. Anymore For Anymore was Ronnie Lane's first album after leaving the Faces and it's a small masterpiece of pastoral folk-rock, throwing in touches of zydeco, ragtime and rock & roll. It's hard to find, but I'd say anyone who enjoys the folkier side of the Faces, or indeed the first four Rod Stewart albums, is going to love this. The fact that the bonus tracks (17 of them!) have been released elsewhere shouldn't deter you, given that they are consistently excellent in their own right and the box set on which they originally featured seems to be out of print. Then again, this version of the album is apparently deleted too. If it comes up again and you've any interest in Ronnie Lane, buy it straight away, because it's great.
on 4 February 2002
I can't believe mine is the first review of this album, as I've owned various copies of it since it was first released in the 70s. It was the album where Ronnie Lane turned his back on stardom, and many of the lyrics reflect his desire for a simpler lifestyle out on the road on an old circus caravan as I recall. Other songs obviously come from his background - music hall (Only a Bird in a Gilded Cage), American folk songs (Amelia Earhart and Careless Love). Lovely stuff.
on 24 November 2011
Oh, this is such a joyous album to listen to and I cannot believe it's almost forty years since I bought this album on vinyl in 1974. If you have this already, I bet it brings a smile to your face. If you don't have it and you are persuaded by this review, see if it doesn't !
After Lane had left The Faces - due mainly to issues with Stewart - and to make a little money (which he needed at the time), he went into the studio with Benny Gallagher, Graham Lyle, Bruce Rowland and others to produce the very catchy, top twenty single, "How Come" which was backed with "Tell Everyone" and "Done This One Before". The former, "Tell Everyone" was the 2nd track on The Faces' 2nd album "Long Player" and though it was Stewart that took the vocal there, this 'solo' version is much better due, I believe, to Lane's singing and the more respectful interpretation of his own song. There's also a sumptious sax solo from Gallagher & Lyle sessionman Jimmy Jewell ("Love And Affection" - Joan Armatrading) which really fits the song like a well-worn glove. Some CDs (pressed later obviously) include "How Come" and "Done This One Before" though the album order suffers from these inclusions. ("Careless Love" is such a great opening track on the original album order.)
However, the original album opens with the old traditional song "Careless Love"* and this is simply a wonderful opener and sets the tone for the whole album with its 'loose feel' and (very carefully sloppy) production** by Lane.
* (or W.C. Handy song - dependent on what the history books tell us. I heard Lane say in concert [at The University of Leeds in 1975] that "I did the arrangement and copped for the royalties!")
**(Indeed the sleeve notes suggest that "Any rumble on "Anymore For Anymore" is caused by wind in the microphone - please do not adjust your set.")
This is followed by a very slow but sensitive "Don't You Cry For Me" which apart from one electric guitar is totally acoustic. At the end there's a fade out with a solitary acoustic guitar which segues into the rambling, spiritual "Bye And Bye (Gonna See The King)" which is in the tradition of his song "Stone" from The Faces' "First Steps".
"Silk Stockings' is a very short acoustic shuffle with some lovely breathless vocals from Lane along with some soft violin runs from Ken Slaven. This segues into the album's side one closer, the gorgeous "The Poacher" which apart from the aforementioned "How Come" is just about the only other Ronnie Lane solo record you hear on radio nowadays - which I think is truly shameful. "The Poacher" is very well known but credit here should go to Jimmy Horowitz who crafted the very distinctive string arrangement.
Side two opens up with Derrol Adams' "Roll On Babe" which has some lovely but simple banjo runs, courtesy of Graham Lyle and a lovely vocal from Lane.
"Tell Everyone" follows and then Lane lays down here a wonderful track celebrating the final journey of the much lauded Amelia Earhart in "Amelia Earhart's Last Flight". Once again, there's a lovely 'shuffle' feel to this song with some simple acoustic slide injected by Lyle.
Up next is "Anymore For Anymore", the title track, which is one of Lane's 'road' songs - a subject which he seemed to revisit and in view of The Passing Show (circus et cetera), seemed to resonate with his personal lifestyle of travelling showman. Again this has such a lovely light 'shuffle' touch and feel that Lane appeared to make his own during this time. Perhaps only Gallagher & Lyle came close to this similar style?
A one minute vignette of Harry von Tilzer's "Only A Bird In A Gilded Cage" featuring only piano and Lane's breathless counter-tenor vocal segues straight into the almost manic "Chicken Wired".
Now anybody who can compose a (three chord) song about going to market "hustling for chicken - bound for town I'm the early bird to do my picking" is fine by me! "I want that big fat brown one, I don't want that one, she's far too skinny, she's far too scrawny" are such wonderful lines about a simple everyday rural activity (- you know, going to the poultry market - as you do) ! In my book, this song - the album's closer is absolutely priceless and just so, so, Ronnie Lane! Here again, Jimmy Jewell raises his head and gives the song another 'fit like a glove' sax solo and the the song ends with a manic 'acoustic funk', piano a-vamping, sax a-screeching with Lane ad-libbing away to the crashing cymbal ending. Joyous, simply joyous music!
And this is the beauty of both this album and Ronnie Lane - he would probably admit to never being a great guitarist (however, as a bass player he was under-rated - just listen to the inventive bass lines in "Stay With Me" - The Faces' finest hour to understand what I mean) but, he did have the ability to write simple songs and back these up with very simple, stripped down vocal and instrumental arrangements. His choice of backing musicians was always exemplary and the classiest, talented people who wanted to work with him, says a lot about Lane's character.
As a live act, I was privileged to have seen him both in The Faces and more so, as a 'solo' artist (with Slim Chance Mk II). He was always best as a 'band' player and on this (and his 2nd) album Lane managed to re-create a 'live feel' in the studio. If you won't take this review at face value and refuse to accept it as balanced, go to You Tube and look up some of his concert footage. Hopefully, you'll see first hand why Ronnie Lane (and his lovely walking shuffle - 'Anniversary' is typical) was very special.
on 30 July 2015
Superb! An expensive and difficult album to get hold of (record companies take note...... A re-release would sell very well, I'm sure) but so worth it. Ronnie Lane was an undeniable genius and should be celebrated as such. This album will make you sing, dance, laugh and cry. The man had a knack of writing songs that (to my knowledge) has never been equalled and this, his first solo album, is possibly his finest offering. If you can't buy this album then there are some much cheaper download options available as sort of "best ofs", "How Come" being one but whatever you do, purchase some Ronnie Lane music and fall in love with it. I have, for many years been a "Small Faces" and "Faces" fan but have only discovered Ronnie's solo work with "Slim Chance" in the last couple of years, I now know that I've saved the best 'til last. Cannot speak highly enough of the man or this album........ Wish you were here, Plonk.
on 14 March 2013
I've loved this album since it was first released in the 1970s. Ronnie Lane's style is so charming, poetic and dreamy without being at all pretentious. It really seems to come from his heart, and is the one album I would save if my house was on fire. He's rarely mentioned for his solo work in the general media, but don't take that as meaning he's no good - just the opposite. His modesty only added to his charm, and his talent is unquestionable.