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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING ALBUM, 1 July 2004
By 
This is a very, very good album and I'm shocked it's not been re-issued yet. A superb mixture of folk, funk, blues and rock it is an early seventies masterpiece with a great performance by legend Stevie Wonder on 'The Lonely One'. Get hold of a copy in any way you can.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "…Troubles To Mend…" – It's Like You Never Left by DAVE MASON (2014 CD Remaster), 9 Jun 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This is a smart reissue by Beat Goes On of the UK. Mason’s 4th Solo album after Traffic has been languishing in digital Purgatory for years (with an early issue garnishing a hefty price tag). And second to his “Alone Together” album on Harvest in 1970 and the wonderful duet album with Mama Cass on Probe in 1971 – 1973’s “It’s Like You Never Left” has long been a fan favourite. Well they’re going to love this beautifully handled remaster with its exceptional sound quality. Here are the cat-on-the-lap details…

UK released 9 June 2014 – Beat Goes On BGOCD 1153 (Barcode 501726211538) breaks down as follows (34:46 minutes):

Tracks 1 to 10 are the album “It’s Like You Never Left” – originally released October 1973 on vinyl LP in the UK on CBS Records S 65258 and Columbia Records KC 31721 in the USA

The outer card wrap is a nice touch and gives all of these BGO reissues a classy look and feel. The 16-page booklet has superb liner notes by noted writer and music lover JOHN O’REGAN (before and after the album history) and comes complete with lyrics, photos of foreign 45s (Traffic included) and repro details of the inner gatefold sleeve of the original album. But it’s the fabulous new 2014 ANDREW THOMPSON remaster that will thrill – it’s gorgeous and reflects the staggeringly professional self Production job Mason did back in the day. Instruments are warm and clear and there’s no compression to my ears – it’s an album unleashed (bit of a lost class vibe going on too).

Three tracks on Side 1 feature the superb harmony vocals of Graham Nash adding real back-up punch – the opener “Baby…Please”, then “Every Woman” and the excellent Side finisher “Head Keeper”. A careful listen to the zippy “If You’ve Got Love” and you can quickly name-check the distinctive guitar playing style credited on the sleeve to ‘Son Of Harry’ – it’s George Harrison Of The Beatles using a pseudonym for contractual reasons.

But there’s much better than that. The sheer melody and acoustic guitar playing on “Maybe” is more than impressive (lyrics from it title this review). The aching words could be a road map to Dave Mason’s life – bad management – restrictive contracts – drug and alcohol abuse – relationship meltdowns. As a song - its extraordinarily pretty music – yet at its core is a strange darkness and pleading that I’ve always found moving (and haunting with phrases like “strangers until our dying day…”).

Vocally too – Mason is also more confident than ever on this album – like he knows the material warrants his best – and the whole shebang is certainly helped by that thoroughly professional Production polish.

The two Side 2 openers are particular strong – “Misty Mountain Stranger” and the religious “Silent Partner” – both featuring blistering guitar work on Electric and Acoustic - sounding not unlike Emitt Rhodes at his Probe Records best. The funky “Side Tracked” has always been a soft touch for me - a sort of Peter Green/Fleetwood Mac instrumental Rock tune on a Soulful tip. With the rhythm section of Jim Keltner on Drums and Greg Reeves on Bass – it plays up a blinder.

“The Lonely One” features the distinctive Harmonica of Motown’s legendary Stevie Wonder throughout and is easily the most commercial track on here. CBS Records issued it as a UK 45 in May 1974 on CBS S 2153 with “Misty Morning Stranger” as its B-side (delayed from April). It was a strong song-combo - but of course it went nowhere in Blighty at the time. Perhaps the “God’s Eternal Son…” lyrics of peace and love were out of step with the changing Rock/Pop/Disco landscape.

So there you have it - a great album given a proper dust off and polish for 2014. Fans will need this and the curious should dig in and give it a lash.

There’s a lot of quality songmanship and mature playing on Dave Mason’s “It’s Like You Never Left” – and its very sweetly presented too. Nice one…
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD, worth waiting for., 7 May 2010
By 
L. Levy "lilac time" (Bristol, EnglandBristil, England) - See all my reviews
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I have been waiting for this CD to appear at a reasonable price and become available on the internet for about 6 months are more, and it was well worth the wait. A great relaxing CD to listen to, and does not sound dated and of a high quality. All the tracks are excellent, especially The Lonely One.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another lost 70's Classic, 20 Jan 2013
By 
A. D. Hall (wales) - See all my reviews
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Having long being familiar with Mason's first couple of excellent solo releases (see Alone Together/headkeeper review) following his departure from Traffic, this album somehow managed to pass me by. Having never heard this until purchasing the CD this album came as a very welcome surprise. It's every bit as good as his brilliant debut and both albums should be in the collection of any lover of Traffic alongside Jim Capaldi's 'Whale Meat Again'. Not a dud track on the album and one of my most played in recent months. Mason should have been one of rock's all time greats but was largely overlooked. If you like Clapton's solo work this will probably also appeal, as Mason has a similar guitar style with the added bonus that Mason is a brilliant songwriter. The fact that Carl Radle of Derek and The Dominos features on bass on several tracks only serves to reinforce the similarity with Clapton's sound. Graham Nash also features on backing vocals with Stevie Wonder even popping up on Harmonica. In such hallowed company you know this album has to be a little bit special.
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