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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Something A Little Different From Kiki, 26 Oct 2008
By 
Stuart A. Smith (Edinburgh Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cage The Songbird (Audio CD)
Cage The Song Bird was recorded in 1975 and intended as the follow-up
to 1974s I've Got The Music In Me but was never commercially released until now. The reasons were never clear but perhaps Rocket , management and maybe Kiki herself were a little unsure of the end result.
It certainly doesn't feel like a natural follow-up as the production is fairly sparse and some of the tracks almost sound like they are at the demo stage of recording. The album should not be written off though as there are some real growers here and as always Kiki's vocals are outstanding.
The best tracks are Cage The Songbird , Prince Of Fools Rock N Roll Me Baby ,Once A Fool and the original take on First Thing In The Morning.
For those of us who have been curious about this album for the last 30 years or so it's great to at last hear the songs - worth a listen and a real grower.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A work in progress, 1 Jan 2009
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This review is from: Cage The Songbird (Audio CD)
First of all I have to say that it's wonderful that so much of Kiki Dee's back catalogue has finally been released on CD, particularly the albums during her time with Elton John's Rocket label. It's certainly true to say that it was during her tenure at Rocket that Kiki was nurtured to become much more of a rounded singer-songwriter as opposed to a singer who simply went into a studio to lay down a vocal track.

'Cage The Songbird' is something of an oddity though. Recorded during a period of great creativity for Kiki it was shelved, with only the Elton John-produced 'Once A Fool' released at the time. On listening it is fairly obvious why maybe Rocket and Kiki were unsure about it. As the previous reviewer has noted, some of the Robert Appere-produced tracks have a sparse, demo-like quality in spite of the fact that a full complement of instrumental and vocal parts seems to be present in the mix. Kiki's voice is spot-on (apart from the screechy 'Uphill Place of Mind') and some of the some of the tracks are lost gems. Greatest success is probably had on the lesser-known tracks like 'Cage The Songbird', 'Prince Of Fools', 'Man After My Own Heart' and 'Cry Like A Baby'. 'A Change Is Gonna Come', because it's been covered so many times, has a karaoke-type quality, and 'Chicago' and 'First Thing In The Morning' don't hold a candle to the epic reworkings that were later produced for the 'Kiki Dee' album. 'Once A Fool' is great, though in my copy there's what sounds like a vinyl click around 1:05 - not sure if it's on all copies.

So what you have is essentially a cherry-picking album. I can understand that releasing this album at all represents a financial investment for limited return, so kudos to EMI for caring enough about Kiki Dee as an artist to do it, though it would have benefited from some remixing. Consequently it's not of the same quality as the rest of her Rocket output, but if you've got that, and are interested in hearing more, it's worth checking out, especially as it's been priced in the mid-range. However, if you're curious about Kiki Dee and are wondering which CD to buy as your first, go for 'Kiki Dee', then work your way through the other Rocket recordings. You might also want to have a listen to the 'Perfect Timing' album. Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hotch-potch of almost-good and almost-bad., 19 Sep 2011
By 
C. P. Schaefer "Schaefespeare" (Mid-Staffordshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cage The Songbird (Audio CD)
This was supposed to be the successor album to the Kiki Dee Band's 'I've Got The Music In Me' so all the reviews say, and they also say it lacks cohesion and I can only offer my opinion as to why. I believe that 'I.G.T.M.I.M.' was her peak achievement, both the chart-topping single and the album, and owed a lot to Bias Boshell's songwriting talent and the Band's musicianship.

I can still just about remember the concert in Birmingham's version of the Albert Hall [circa 1974/5); it was an excellent evening apart from the one song which KiKi announced to be her next single. It was not what I expected, the other commercial track off the IGTMIM album, "You Need Help", another BIas Boshell penned song that hooked into your brain; but, and I may not be correct here, but the 'Prince of Fools' track on this album, which recieved a politely warm reception, which I couldn't help thinking was an instant flop for a single and only a passable album track.

Whatever the forgetable follow-up was, I remember her saying she had written it and I guess her ego wanted a hit with something she had written herself. Quite how long after the tour I am uncertain, but the Kiki Dee Band was no more, and from what could have been a successful future of the K.D.B., Kiki almost went back to total obscurity briefly thanks to her cheezy duet with Elton John, but obscurity beckoned afterwards never-the-less.

So, whether the Band thought they could do just as well without Kiki, or Kiki thought she could do without the band, it wasn't to be and I suspect that Kiki and Rocket Records were scratching around for material that hadn't got the K.D.B.'s stamp on it. Some of the tracks were almost "there" : Uphill Piece Of Mind, Bright Medallion, Rock 'N' Roll Me Baby, but the covers she did are failures : Cry Like A Baby, A Change Is Gonna Come, etc.. Therefore you probably have to be a very devoted fan to appreciate this album. Kiki always has an excellent voice, and probably because of that 99% of her musical output suffers from her voice being at the forefront of the track, in competition with the musical "Backing", rather than allowing the musicianship to provide the hooks necessary to achieve commerciality. IGTMIM, Amoureuse, and Loving & Free are the album and two tracks that have achieved such near-perfection. To put 'Demo' versions of songs, especially one that featured superbly on The I.G.T.M.I.M. album (First Thing In The Morning(potential single material in I.G.T.M.I.M. album version)) just adds insult to injury.
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Cage The Songbird by Kiki Dee (Audio CD - 2008)
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