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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 6 March 2015
I've always like Dean Friedman so it was great to be able to update to a CD - sounds brilliant, love his music.
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on 27 October 2003
I first heard Dean's music when I was ten as I searched through my dad's record collection.
Twelve years on I still regaurd "Well well said the rocking chair" as possibly the best album ever made.
Songs such as "The Deli Song" captured my imagination as a child.
His music is straight from the heart and the lyrical content is outstanding.
His vocal range has always amazed me. I have never heard anyone with the range and tonality of Dean, with possibly the execption of Kenny Loggins
His work is truely genuis and would recommend this album to everyone
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on 26 December 2004
I discovered "Ariel" by Dean Friedman early in 2004 on volume 20 of the excellent series "Super Hits of the 70's." I was washing dishes when "Ariel" came on and I had to stop and listen, and it hasn't gotten out of my head since. In my opinion, it is one of the two or three best pop records, ever. What glorious layered vocals on the choruses, and such an original storyline. You'll think of it every time you say "Hi" to someone again.
Through Dean's website I obtained all five of his CD's. While they all have good songs, I can particularly recommend this twofer set that contains his first two albums. The first, "Dean Friedman," shows a developing talent - but "Ariel" alone is worth the price of the whole disc.
I agree with a couple of other reviewers, however, that "Well, Well, Said The Rocking Chair" is Dean's crowning achievement. Here he comes into his own with a unique perspective and complex, rich characters. Take the relationship between the loser with a heart of gold and the codependent woman in "Lydia." Or the excitement of first love on "The Deli Song." Or the man who finds hope in his everyday belongings in "Rocking Chair." All nine tracks are brilliantly written, and sung beautifully in Dean's unique voice.
It's a shame that Dean didn't achieve greater success (two Top 40 hits in the UK and only one in the US), but not a surprise, given that his music is hard to categorize and wholly original. Treat yourself to this excellent twofer and enjoy some great writing and singing whose quality has stood the test of time.
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on 15 January 2006
Dean will admit himself that he is an acquired taste! However, his very unique style of songwriting is clever and witty, melodic and in the case of some songs very profound. He is very much an unsung hero of his day. He still appears from time to time in the UK; if he does make it to your local drinking establishment (a cosy pub somehwre is the best environment), go along and be entertained. And ye, I am another saddo who knows all the words to Lucky Stars!! Enjoy!
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on 21 April 2003
Fantastic offering from the 70's. Title track says it all - bit silly on one level but gets you right in the heart on another, just like Lucky Stars:
"What are you crazy? How in the hell can you say what you just said?
I was talking to myself. Shut the door and come to bed.
By the way, I forgot to say, your endearing mother called today.
Did you see Lisa? Yes I saw Lisa.
Is that why you're angry? I wasn't angry.
Maybe a little. Not even maybe.
Must be the weather. Now don't be a baby."
Terrific stuff.
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on 4 October 2004
This double album truly shows that Dean Friedman, for all his magic, will forever be unknown to the general population. While having a number of successful singles in the 70's, the two albums here are the finest quality, showing Freidman's beautiful voice and penmanship.
The first half of the album is Friedman's eponymous debut. It features such songs as the folk styled 'Company', and hit single 'Ariel'. His writing style hasn't developed to its fullest here, and the music takes most influence from folk and pop. The second half of the album is the phenomanal 'Well Well Said the Rocking Chair Album'. I have loved this album since I was 4 years old and would say all but one song on this album is a perfect example of pop at its best. Here the influence is clearly pop, with key ballads including 'Lydia' and hit single 'Lucky Stars'. Other favourites include the title track 'The Deli Song' and 'S&M'
I urge any budding songsmith to buy this album as it an unearthed gem of music. Thoughs who own it will agree this a fantastic album worthy of anybodys cd player.
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on 8 November 1999
i have had this album 10 years and it is still my most listened to,the song lyrics are a passage through your weekly routines.
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on 27 July 2001
From the opening chords of the first track the memories come flooding back after more than 20 years. This double-album CD is unlikely to appeal to anyone under 30 but if you were there in the 70s you might well love it.
Dean Friedman bears inevitable comparison with Paul Simon - he's not an easy guy to categorise but he IS an American singer/songwriter, so that'll do. No, file him with Paul Simon if you will, there are songs here that fit the comparison - Shopping Bag Ladies for one. Why not go for the passion and virtuoso modern loungeroom jazz vibes of Humor Me or Funny Papers and slot him in near Joe Jackson. Or there again, go for the humor of S & M or the quirkiness of Aerial and keep this CD alongside then likes of Jonathan Richman or Jona Lewie.
There are songs here that are funny, songs that are melancholic - Song for my mother, songs that are sweetly naif - Deli Song (corned beef on wry), songs that are optimistic - Lucky Stars.
If Leonard Cohen had been born in New York of an age to sport an affro and a major league moustache, he might well have made music like this. The lyricism is all there, the sentiment is all there, the musicianship and logic defying rhyming are all there. This is an album to file under F for Friedman in a category all its own and, once filed, take it out and play it again and again. Wonderful stuff!
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Back in the late 1970s Dean Friedman was praised by BBC Radio One as if he were a new God of pop music. He was compared to established singer songwriter Billy Joel because of his New York, New Jersey, Singer Songwriter roots. His debut album "Dean Friedman" was heavily pushed by the station and singles like "Ariel" had a lot of air play. I also remember that despite all their efforts the singles and the album were not massive hits but the faith in Dean Friedman was well founded since the debut album has some fine and strong original songs. There are good arrangements of pop and acoustic American folk style songs. The song "Ariel" has a strong pop hook in the chorus but lyrically it is has a lot to say. And "Woman of mine" is just wonderful.
The proof of the faith in Dean Friedman was also justified with the release of his second album "Well, well said the rocking chair". This was a more successful album and the singles "Lucky Stars", "Lydia" and "Rocking Chair", were all reasonable hits in 1978.
I had this second album and tracks like "Lydia" and "Lucky Stars" were a strong part of the soundtrack to one of my teenage years of 1978.
It would be 1981 before the next album "Rumpled Romeo" and by that time radio stations seemed to have lost interest. I also seem to remember that during the successful 1978 period Dean was interviewed everywhere and the demand for him was incredible. And sometime in 1979 I seem to remember hearing a DJ saying that the attention had been too much and Dean deliberately took a rest or semi retirement from the media spot light and that there may not be another album. I don't know if this claim was true and if that is why it took so long to release the next album or if it was a creative break, but the absence from the spot light saw the end of his brief chart success.
Certainly Dean Friedman had much more to offer and he has created some fabulous recordings since. It is a shame that he did not continue with his spotlight success beyond these two albums but it is worth exploring the recordings he made since them.

But here on this great CD release we get both albums together. And where better to start in exploring the magic of Dean Friedman than at the beginning with these first two albums collected here. All of the hit singles are here and these two albums are a great example of the talent of this songwriter.
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on 30 July 2008
It's very unusual to find a perfect album, and even more unusual to find a perfect album from a relatively obscure talent. The Beatles did it often, McCartney occasionally, and Dylan, The Stones, Simon & Garfunkel and even Oasis on at least one occassion. Here, with "Well Well Said The Rocking Chair" we have another perfect album to sit alongside these luminaries.

This "twoser" contains the first two albums by New York singer-songwriter Dean Friedman. He had a huge UK hit with "Lucky Stars" (still a karaoke favourite today!) and lesser hits with "Ariel" and "Lydia", which demonstrate the wide range of his musical style. His debut contains many fine songs - especially the folky "Company" and "Woman Of Mine" along with the previously mentioned "Ariel" which surely cannot fail to cheer the stoniest of hearts.

The follow-up "Well Well Said The Rocking Chair" is stunning, a collection of great songs with no filler, a singer-songwriter at the top of his game. Exquisite melodies are matched by moving, sometimes humourous lyrics, the musicianship is first class and Dean's voice unique. I won't go through it song by song, they are all so good. If you appreciate proper songs with great tunes go and buy it now!

Dean's timing, though, is perhaps the reason this album didn't propel him to superstardom. In the UK at least, Punk and Disco were in, and there was no room for singer-songwriters. But such is the strength of Dean's music that 30 years after this pair of albums he still retains a strong and loyal fanbase across the world. He would follow up with the excellent "Rumpled Romeo" a few years later, and continues to record and tour today. This reviewer had the pleasure of catching him live recently in Glasgow, he gave a very enjoyable show to a very appreciative audience, who obviously adored him. And you know, his new songs are just as good as these oldies! Now that's talent!
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