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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT!, 1 May 2004
By 
This review is from: Is This What You Want? (Audio CD)
Jackie Lomax is a long-lost/never found gem. One of the best white R&B/soul voices to have come out of the sixties and seventies, he was unappreciated at the time and unheard of today and what a shame that is for lovers of great blues/soul/pop music. After spending the mid-60s in the Undertakers and Lomax Alliance, he was the first solo act signed to the Beatles' Apple label and his first single, SOUR MILK SEA, was written by George Harrison. It was one of the first four Apple singles and featured Jackie, George Harrison, and Eric Clapton on guitars, Paul McCartney on bass, Ringo Starr on drums, and Nicky Hopkins on piano - and Jackie's voice is equal to the high quality of the musicianship. In spite of this superstar line-up, the single failed to chart but an LP of Jackie's own songs was recorded, again produced by George Harrison and with the same line-up on some of the tracks. Other tracks came out of sessions Jackie and George recorded with the cream of LA session players: Hall Blaine on drums, Larry Knechtel on keyboards and Joe Osborn on bass. The LP, entitled IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT?, was released in March 1969 but there was no concerted effort to promote the album or to highlight the incredible group of musicians involved and it didn't sell enough to enter the charts in Britain or America. Two singles later he was lost in the black hole at Apple Records created by the break-up of the Beatles, and he had to move on to other things on other labels like Warner Brothers and Capitol. This CD has all the tracks he recorded for Apple, and there's not a bad one amongst them. There's SOUR MILK SEA with Eric Clapton and George Harrison on double lead guitars, the beautiful FALL INSIDE YOUR EYES, the hit-that-never-was HOW THE WEB WAS WOVEN and - as they say - many, many more. Great songs, great playing, great singing...it's been one of my favourite albums for 35 years and it will be one of your favourites as well - to know it is to love it. This re-release will stop people having to pay up to £100 for the CD on Ebay. THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT!, 5 May 2004
By 
This review is from: Is This What You Want? (Audio CD)
Jackie Lomax is a long-lost/never found gem. One of the best white R&B/soul voices to have come out of the sixties and seventies, he was unappreciated at the time and unheard of today and what a shame that is for lovers of great blues/soul/pop music. After spending the mid-60s in the Undertakers and Lomax Alliance, he was the first solo act signed to the Beatles' Apple label and his first single, SOUR MILK SEA, was written by George Harrison. It was one of the first four Apple singles and featured Jackie, George Harrison, and Eric Clapton on guitars, Paul McCartney on bass, Ringo Starr on drums, and Nicky Hopkins on piano - and Jackie's voice is equal to the high quality of the musicianship. In spite of this superstar line-up, the single failed to chart but an LP of Jackie's own songs was recorded, again produced by George Harrison and with the same line-up on some of the tracks. Other tracks came out of sessions Jackie and George recorded with the cream of LA session players: Hall Blaine on drums, Larry Knechtel on keyboards and Joe Osborn on bass. The LP, entitled IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT?, was released in March 1969 but there was no concerted effort to promote the album or to highlight the incredible group of musicians involved and it didn't sell enough to enter the charts in Britain or America. Two singles later he was lost in the black hole at Apple Records created by the break-up of the Beatles, and he had to move on to other things on other labels like Warner Brothers and Capitol. This CD has all the tracks he recorded for Apple, and there's not a bad one amongst them. There's SOUR MILK SEA with Eric Clapton and George Harrison on double lead guitars, the beautiful FALL INSIDE YOUR EYES, the hit-that-never-was HOW THE WEB WAS WOVEN and - as they say - many, many more. Great songs, great playing, great singing... it's been one of my favourite albums for 35 years and it will be one of your favourites as well - to know it is to love it. This re-release will stop people having to pay up to £100 for the CD on Ebay. THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...Rolls Royce...A Golden Voice...Does It Make You Happy?", 4 Nov 2010
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Is This What You Want? (Audio CD)
Monday 25 October 2010 has seen 14 of the 'Apple' label albums remastered and reissued alongside "Come And Get It" - a first-time-ever label 'Best Of'. This reissue is one of them.

Apple 5099990825521 breaks down as follows (60:09 minutes - STEREO MIX):
Tracks 1 to 12 are the LP "Is That What You Want?" released 14 March 1969 in the UK on Apple APCOR 6 (Mono)/SAPCOR 6 (Stereo) and on Apple ST-3354 in the USA (Stereo only). There are 5 extra tracks available via Digital Download from iTunes or Amazon as an extra payment (see either site for details).

Tracks 13 to 15 were the 3 bonus tracks given with the 1991 reissue, while 16 to 18 are previously unreleased and exclusive to this 2010 issue. Using both album and bonus tracks, this CD will allow to sequence his 3 Apple UK 7" singles as follows:

1. "Sour Milk Sea" b/w "The Eagle Laughs At You" [Tracks 5 and 9]
(Released 31 August 1968 in the UK on Apple APPLE 3)
2. "New Day" b/w "Fall Inside Your Eyes" [Tracks 13 and 6]
(Released 2 May 1969 in the UK on Apple APPLE 11; the A-side is a non-album track and is a MONO mix)
3. "How The Web Was Woven" b/w Thumbin' A Ride [Tracks 15 and 14]
(Released 6 February 1970 in the UK on Apple APPLE 23. Both sides are cover versions, the A-side by Clive Westlake and David Most while the B is a Coasters song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It is also the only single on the Apple catalogue produced by a Beatle on each side - George Harrison on the A and Paul McCartney on the B. Both songs were non-album at the time of release)

BOOKLET/PACKAGING:
Noted writer and music lover ANDY DAVIS does the new liner notes for the disappointingly weedy booklet (they all appear to be this generic length - 12 pages - EMI pushes the boat out again people). But with what little text he has been afforded, Davis does at least fill it with properly informative details - and it's peppered with some very tasty black and white photos of Lomax in Hyde Park in 1969 (two more adorn the inner gatefold) - and colour portraits of Jackie with George Harrison and Paul McCartney in the studio. It's cute, but you do wish there was more...

PLAYERS/CONTENT:
Like so many of the sessions of the time, the recordings included three of The Beatles and many famous and talented friends - George played Guitar, Ringo was on Drums, Paul McCartney and Klaus Voormann contributed Bass - others musicians included ERIC CLAPTON on Guitar, NICKY HOPKINS on Keyboards and TONY NEWMAN of Sounds Incorporated on Drums. Although the liner notes don't state it - the backing vocals are probably DORIS TROY and MADELINE BELL. Excepting "Sour Milk Sea" - written by George Harrison - the other 11 tracks on the album are Jackie Lomax originals.

SOUND:
The same team that handled the much-praised 09/09/09 Beatles remasters have done this - GUY MASSEY, STEVE ROOKES, PHIL HICKS and SIMON GIBSON. The audio quality is BEAUTIFUL - a massive improvement. It also makes you reassess a lot of the songs and especially the musicianship involved.

The album opens strongly with "Speak To Me" - strings, vocals, guitars - all sounding great. It's followed by the 'possessions are corrupting' title song (lyrics above) with a lovely Oboe floating over the loaded lyrics. In fact a lot of the album reflects a thinking-man's Rock 'n' Roller - "Little Yellow Pills" warning against doctor's helpful prescriptions and the plaintive album finisher "I Just Don't Know" ruminating about chasing dreams and girls - neither of which appear attainable to the dapper Jackie. Some of the slower songs don't work for me - a little forced and even twee in places - "Fall Inside Your Eyes" and "Baby You're A Lover"

But like the other issues in this series, the best is kept until last. What the 3 new bonus tracks lack in recorded finesse are more than made up for with heart and raw talent - "You Got To Be Strong" and "Can You Hear Me" are co-written with fellow label mate DORIS TROY - and they're excellent. Sort of hybrid Soul-meets-Rock songs, they suit his guttural vocals so well. "Can You Hear Me" is even moving in a slightly Northern Soul way - a truly lovely melody.

Niggles - the gatefold card sleeve is nice to look at for sure, but the booklet and overall packaging feel lightweight (what EMI could get away with). The CD should have one of those gauze inner bags to protect it - a problem that no record company seems to want to acknowledge (scuffing and damage). They're minor points I know, but worth making...

Lomax went on to make "Home Is In My Head" and "Three" for Warner Brothers in 1971 and 1972 (both of which featured ace UK slide-guitarist Bryn Haworth - they've been reissued by Rhino with extra tracks) - but this forgotten and underrated album is where it all started proper.

Recommended - especially given the massive improvement in sound quality and those excellent bonus tracks.

PS: see also my reviews for other releases in this October 2010 series:
"That's The Way God Planned It" (1969) and "Encouraging Words" (1970) by Billy Preston, "Doris Troy" (1970), "James Taylor" (1968), "Is This What You Want?" (1969) by Jackie Lomax, "Magic Christian Music" (1969), "No Dice" (1970), "Straight Up" (1972) and "Ass" (1973) by Badfinger
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Apple slice of history, 20 Aug 2004
By 
Mr. R. B. Ager "Ronald Ager" (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Is This What You Want? (Audio CD)
Until now my experience of Jackie Lomax had solely been through the purchase in 1970 of the Paul McCartney produced single "How The Web Was Woven" c/w "Thumbin' A Ride", the A-side of which got good radio play at the time, but, alas, was not a hit, and the B-side was a Lieber/Stoller chugger originally done by the Coasters. These two songs, included on this collection as "bonus tracks" are in truth the most commercial of the tunes he recorded with the Apple label.
The radio and press at the time mentioned the earlier album, but it appeared to have already disappeared from record stores and I've had to wait until now to get my hands on this CD (which, I notice, may have had a release in 1991, but they were certainly as quiet about it then as they had been 22 years earlier!).
As to the music, Jackie Lomax has what you would call a white soul/R&B voice, similar to Chris Farlowe and Colin Blunstone (but not as high); it's quite unusual. Lead track "Speak To Me" with its string backing is particularly reminiscent of Farlowe, and it's a strong opening number. This and most of the other songs were written by Jackie, though I suspect that there was some input from his Beatle mentors; the title track echoes "Walrus" in its alliterative lyric, and there are traces of "Prudence" and various other Northern Songs in others. "Sour Milk Sea", which was lifted off as a single, is a George Harrison song, but one which perhaps wouldn't have met his bandmates' quality control; "The Eagle Laughs At You" employs the fuzz-box to both voice and guitar. And there are a couple of ballads, of which "Fall Inside Your Eyes" is embarassingly corny, lyric-wise.
The backing band, which reads like a Who's Who of the time, play faultlessly, but the sound as a whole to my ears lacks body and warmth, a symptom of the time I suppose - it is very late sixties, when even four track recording was a luxury (most of it was done on two). Despite this I'm generally pleased with this CD - it's a piece of history, and some of the tracks, not just the "Web" single, are beginning to grow on me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How could he not reach the top?, 27 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Is This What You Want? (Audio CD)
I must admit I'd never heard of Jackie Lomax, although I had heard the Undertakers from the 60's, while at boarding school in Dublin I did manage to go to an all night session at the Cavern in 1964 didn't see the Undertakers just The Big Three and a group called the "Clayton Squares" among others!Sadly I came across the interesting story of Jackie Lomax on reading his obituary in the Telegraph; died 15 Sep 2013 aged 69. Bought the Cd and very impressed with him, great voice and you've got to wonder how was this guy not a star. As explained in other reviews the backing is top class and understandedly quite Beatle-ish, even Jackie's phrases and style is very Beatle -like in parts. "Sour Milk Sea" (written by Harrison) could pass as a Beatles' Lp track - but not one of the better ones; it just lacks that magic or something- it didn't help that Apple released it as a single (the First Four!) along with Mary Hopkins "Those were the days" and "Hey Jude"! However this Cd is a real find for me and I'm very pleased with it. I think it's very sad that jackie Lomax didn't get the recognition he clearly deserved.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The return of an over-looked 60s classic!, 31 Jan 2011
This review is from: Is This What You Want? (Audio CD)
Star-pick from the recent Apple back catalogue remasters/re-releases, 'Is This What You Want?' is a hidden gem just waiting for true rockers everywhere to champion. Lost at the time of release amidst the machinations surrounding the future of The Beatles and Apple itself, Jackie Lomax's solo debut deserves to reach as wide a public as possible second time around. Although best known for the George Harrison tune Sour Milk Sea which was the record's lead single, Lomax had been employed by Apple as the label's in-house songwriter. 'Is This What You Want?' lets you know why. He was - and still is (check out 'The Ballad Of Liverpool Slim' on Angel Air Records)- a terrific tunesmith who understood all about hooks, middle eights and memorable melodies. So while Beatlenuts will be slavering over 'Sour Milk Sea' which features George, Paul, Ringo and Eric Clapton there's plenty of Lomax songs here that will excite and impress: 'The Eagle Laughs At You', 'Speak To Me' and 'Fall Inside Your Eyes ' to name but three. That Lomax is enjoying a belated revival is great news - Marianne Faithfull has just cut Jackie's 'No Reason' for her latest album 'Horse And High Heels' - here's hoping it may tempt him into touring and treat us all to the really fine rock 'n' roll he's been serving up since the early Sixties as bassman with Liverpool's beat kings The Undertakers.
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