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Harmony Row (Remaster)

Harmony Row (Remaster)

1 Jan 2003
4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 2003
  • Release Date: 7 April 2003
  • Label: UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)
  • Copyright: ℗© 2003 Polydor Ltd. (UK)
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 57:03
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001KWLTJI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,906 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
A marvellous album. I bought a copy in 1971, and have never tired of listening to it. Recorded in London with old pals Chris Spedding (guitar) and Jack Marshall (drums), this is Jack's finest hour, methinks.
Sandwiched between his time in Cream and West Bruce & Laing, this is like neither. Though the lyrics are by long-term friend and collaborator Pete Brown (who penned many memorable words for Cream), the music is in a category of its own. To my mind, "The Consul at Sunset" is worth the price of the album by itself. As they say, "If you like music, you'll like this...."
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Format: Audio CD
Like several of the other reviewers I bought this album back in 1971. Superb songs, fantastic singing, and Chris Spedding and John Marshall at the top of their game in support. I can't remember how well it did in the charts that year, but I knew a lot of people who owned it, and the popular support was enough to win Jack best vocalist of the year in the Melody Maker poll for 1971. All the tracks are great, but Folk Song and Consul at Sunset are particular favourites. Don't hesitate.
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Format: Audio CD
Undeservedly long out of print, Jack Bruce's third solo album remains my favorite even if it is a bit less dynamic and consistent than his second ("Songs for a Tailor" was his second album."Things We Like" his jazz-rock instrumental recording was recorded first while he was a member of Cream but released second)album, the best songs here show growth.

When I listened to this re-release (I didn't pick it up on CD when it was released before as it went out print pretty quickly)recently, I was struck with how Bruce's opening track "Can You Follow?" reminded me of Peter Gabriel (or vice versa since Bruce came first). It's a great piano based ballad (which Bruce plays). "You Burned The Tables On Me" is a driving jazz inflected rocker that dominates the album. Many of the tracks here began with Bruce playing it on piano and then having the rest of the band add their parts. Once again guitarist Chris Spedding and drummer John Marshall appear (along with a guest appearence by former Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell). Bruce's bass playing (always a highlight of any band he's been a member of)is outstanding as are his vocals. The album sounds better as well with Bruce in the producer's chair himself this time.

This reissue features extensive liner notes about the production of the album and bonus tracks. Although the bonus tracks are limited to demos and alternate mixes the reissue engineer Paschall Byrne and reissue producer Mark Powell include some first rate outtakes/alternate mixes. We get the first take of "Can You Follow This?" with just Bruce singing while accompanying himself on piano. "Green Hills" is Bruce playing the same song (which doesn't have vocals. Pete Brown also hadn't provided lyrics yet).
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Format: Audio CD
Like many of the reviewers I bought this in 1971 and loved it instantly; Harmony Row was obviously a masterpiece, a consummation of the musical and lyrical ideas Jack Bruce and Pete Brown were bringing to Cream's studio recordings at the time of their breakup. This beautifully remastered CD confirms its masterpiece status all these years later. Although not a concept album, this is not just a bunch of great songs: there is a thread of continuity that makes sitting down and listening from start to finish a hugely rewarding experience ("The Consul at Sunset" must be one of the great codas). There are moments of exquisite tenderness as well as outbreaks of astonishingly dynamic jazz/rock, which sound live despite the fact that Jack had to overdub his unmistakeably propulsive bass and other instruments, having laid down the basic tracks with Jack playing piano (and really playing!) alongside the brilliant Chris Spedding and the great John Marshall. And Jack's singing - as with his bass playing, he is unmistakeable, and not afraid to take risks which of course come off beautifully. This album really deserved to sell in vast quantities, but it didn't - a sign that Jack Bruce was destined to be a greatly revered cult figure, rather than a hugely wealthy superstar.
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By KaleHawkwood TOP 100 REVIEWER on 14 Sept. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love Jack Bruce.

I love this highly unusual, endlessly rewarding, beautifully remastered album.
I love the combination of the words by Pete Brown and Jack's music.
I love the sheer intelligence of all JB's music, over his many and diverse projects, both rock and jazz and all points between and beyond.
I love his unique, instantly recognisable, plaintive voice.
I love his sturdy, rounded, often heart-stopping bass playing.
I love his upliftingly energetic piano playing.
I love his willingness to take risks, his thrilling unpredictability.
I love the fact that Jack is still around making vital music*.
I love Harmony Row, all that went before it, and most that came after.

I love Jack Bruce.

[*Two months later: I hate the fact that Jack is not still around...]
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Format: Audio CD
For me Jack Bruce's vocals and strong melodic gifts, inspired by and fused to Pete Brown's surreal lyrics, make Cream's studio albums timeless. If you like Cream for their pop songcraft -as well as for their virtuosity- you'll want to hear Jack's first solo effort, Songs For A Tailor, and this one, his second album. As with Cream and as on Songs For A Tailor, there's a power trio at work here- with overdubs. The great Chris Spedding fills in for Slowhand, but does his own special thing, often going places Clapton didn't. The sturdy Jim Marshall is on drums, and Jack does the vocals, bass, keyboards and production. In other words, top-caliber musicianship that only the British are capable of.
Ultimately, though it's Bruce's ( and Brown's) baby, and it succeeds because Jack had the desire and abilty to push just the right distance beyond his rock, blues and jazz origins, while still making sophisticated and progressive music. Harmony Row is one of the best recordings of the 70's- or any other decade.
Jack Bruce's entire Polydor output was recently remastered and re-released, finally, after a 30 year wait, and each disc usually comes with a handful of alternate takes. Harmony Row and Songs For A Tailor are the essential purchases for fans, past present or future.
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