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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

on 19 December 2005
Not one of Al's better known works, but fans won't be disappointed as there are some real gems on this cd. Personal favorites are Don't Forget Me, Peter on the White Sea, and Charlotte Corday, and even the Hipposong grows on you after a few listenings.If you're a fan and you haven't heard this, get it today ...you won't be disappointed
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on 23 November 2000
The first track immediately gets your foot tapping, as Al Stewart provides another set of lyrics that are audible and worth listening to. His songs vary from historical pieces to comedy and even whimiscal. An example of the latter is the Hipposong. Either you like that song or not (I do, but my other half does not), but that aside, the clear recording of guitars and vocals makes a welcome change from all the sampled music of the late 90's.
Peter White provides his usual support with guitar and the album that "Al Stewart" quality his fans know and love. If you have never broght one of his albums, give this one a listen to hear the 90's Al. Different to the early 70's if you remember that.
Picking tracks as examples is hard, Genie on a tabletop has the rocky feel and amusing lyrics, Feel Like and Train are other notables.
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on 20 November 2008
Having been pleasantly buoyed by fellow Al Stewart fans who have shown favourable comment on some of my previous reviews, I have been minded to look at other CDs by Al and put together my own further thoughts on each one. The decision to evaluate this particular one being in the main down to the prompting of another ardent fan.

Famous Last Words is for want of a better word.........Classy.

Just like vintage wine, one of Al's other great passions in life, this material on offer is the result of the maturing of a craft, honed by years and years of experience that can only be nurtured after a long period of time. This is the album where he put out some of his most interesting compositions ever. This is not too dissimilar to a Clifford T Ward album entitled "Both of Us". They both came at a time when they each felt on top of their game. It is a watershed of variety whereby the artist doesn't lose the essence of his core musical culture, but rather develops further into other areas. The influence of both Peter White on guitar and other instruments and Peter Wood on keyboards is very much self evident. Together, they create a wonderfully captivating feel to a very distinctive album.

As a brief overview, the tracks on offer provide a superb mix of styles and emotions:

Feel Like - Breezy floating sound that reminds you of summer spent driving around the sun kissed South of France
Angel of Mercy - Theatrical and atmospheric treat
Don't Forget Me - Melancholic Stewart at his best, with trademark sax
Peter on the White Sea - Sweeping grandeur with Peter White offering up sumptuous string arrangements and a piano score to die for
Genie on a Table Top - A syncopated romp that's a delight
Trespasser - Great track with an authentic Latin feel to it
Trains - Quintessential mini-opus from Al. A joyful journey from beginning to end
Necromancer - First rate haunting sound full of intrigue and a hint of the sinister
Charlotte Corday - Classic Al, morphing intriguing characters into a beautifully written musical history lesson.
Hipposong - Throwaway nonsense better received as a tongue in cheek ice breaker for a live audience
Night Rolls In - Great sense of the dramatic. A moody offering that gets under your skin.........and stays there.

So there you have it. A classic album that I never tire of. The use of skilled musicians offering up a wonderful variety of imagination, allied to excellent production work, enables this to succeed on all levels. It also helps if you can write and compose like Al Stewart!
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on 13 March 2002
Forget 'Year of the Cat'! Al Stewart just got better and better and it's a shame that his later work does not have the same instant recognition.
This album is probably his finest work, although I also very much like the somewhat different 'Between the Wars', which followed. 'Hipposong', whilst tuneful, is somewhat bizarre, however everything else on 'Famous Last Words' is superb, especially the magnificent 'Trains'.
Highly recommended.
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on 7 June 2010
This album came out in about 1993 but I only heard "Trains" from it a couple of weeks ago when I purchesed "The best Of Al Stewart". I've now purchesed practically all Al's albums represented on that compilation. I've got all his earlier albums from the 1970's but am estatic over his latest couple of albums. Al is actually getting better as he matures, like a good wine. "Famous Last Words" luckily isn't Al's famous last album.He has many more albums in store.I won't rest until I've got his Famous Last Album.

Peter Phillips.
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on 10 November 2010
Al Stewart is not just a great musician he is a wonderful storyteller too. In addition to enjoying the melody of each track you can learn a great deal about history and for those who know the background to the songs it is even more enjoyable. This album is a must for all the Al fans. My collection of his masterpieces is growing.
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on 27 October 2012
Order acknowledged quickly, item received on time , well packaged. Item as described. All very pleasing would not hesitate to make further purchases.
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on 22 March 2013
As a long time fan of Al ,and having a number of his albums I have to say that this one is disappointing . In truth I cannot recommend this album,he must have been a bit off when he penned these numbers. Sorry Al.
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