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4.5 out of 5 stars
13
4.5 out of 5 stars
Legend
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on 31 March 2017
More easy listening - if you like it is great - i enjoy it.
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VINE VOICEon 17 December 2007
At last, Repertoire (currently the best reissue label, in my opinion) have made all three Legend albums available, leaving this, their debut, until last. It's good to see one of the band, Chris East, reviewing it. Oddly, Mickey Jupp, the only constant in the line-up, and sole songwriter, doesn't think it works. I can't see why he thinks that. Imagine an r&b band who decide to go unplugged. The result is an earthy delight and Jupp's songs have all the qualities of his later work: articulate lyrics (Elvis Costello with all the wit but a lot more grace and humour), a rocking blues sensibility that recalls Dave Edmunds at times, and some lovely melodies, especially on the gentle 'City' and 'Heather On The Hill.' Legend also make good use of backing and harmony vocals, giving songs an extra tension. Jupp adds bluesy piano to some tracks too. 'Tombstone' is reminiscent of The Byrds doing Chris Hillman's country rockers, while 'Doncaster By Pass' adds a touch of humour to the blues.

As the original LP weighs in at just short of half an hour, both mono and stereo versions of it are included. There are also five bonus tracks, however, including the marvellous electric rocker, 'Georgia George.' One wonders, listening to this, whether the album would have been even better in electric form. After this, the band broke up, Jupp recruiting a different trio for their second album, also called 'Legend' (aka 'Red Boot') which is generally felt to be their best. Even so, this and their last, 'Moonshine' are also fine collections. It's a pity so few people are aware of this music.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 29 March 2016
LEGEND was formed in 1968 by songwriter-musician Michael "Mickey" Jupp, a legend himself of England's Southend music scene, a seaside resort in the Essex area. Inspired by local legend Gary Brooker of THE PARAMOUNTS (who later morphed into PROCOL HARUM) Jupp apprenticed in THE ORIOLES (no relation to FELDER'S ORIOLES) until 1966, whose revolving line-up included future LEGEND's Mo Witham, Bob Clouter and John Bobin. After a forced sabbatical Jupp was the first British signee with U.S. based Bell Records (home of THE BOX TOPS and Merilee Rush) on the strength of his original songs. With all tracks composed by him, the new band, Jupp (Lead vocals, piano & guitar), Chris East (12-string guitar, vocals and harmonica), Steve Geere (string & electric bass and vocals) and Nigel Dunbar (drums) recorded the self-titled debut album using mostly acoustic instrumentation. The band, never meant to be a touring unit, only played one gig before disbanding. Jupp was offered a contract by Dave Knights, the ex-bassist for PROCOL HARUM, who was starting a new career in management. The new line-up, Jupp, Mo Witham (guitar), John Bobin (bass) and Bill Fifield (drums) signed with progressive label Vertigo and set about recording their next album with uber-producer Tony Visconti (David Bowie, Marc Bolan & T. REX). Confusingly self-titled again, the album became know as 'RED BOOT' because of the startling fiery footwear display courtesy of artist Karl Stoecker. Before the recording of third and final album 'MOONSHINE' drummer Bill Fifield was poached by Marc Bolan to anchor his new electric version of T. REX, bestowing upon him the moniker Bill Legend. The final puzzle piece was added when ex-ORIOLES mate Bob Clouter took over the drum seat. After losing all their money and drummer Clouter during a disastrous tour of Italy, undertaken to exploit the popularity of their surprising Italian hit "Life," they disbanded. After another sabbatical, of his own choice this time, Mickey Jupp returned to the scene around 1975 encouraged by DR. FEELGOOD vocalist Lee Brilleaux. With LEGEND now earning their title as celebrated pub-rock forefathers, Jupp eventually signed with the hip Stiff Records and released 'JUPPANESE,' one side backed by ROCKPILE, produced by Nick Lowe, and the other roduced by old mate Gary Brooker. Stiff also release a great LEGEND compilation somewhat misleadingly titled 'Mickey Jupp's LEGEND' featuring tracks from all three albums, non-LP single tracks and Jupp's first solo single, "Nature's Radio" recorded for Arista in 1977. After successive albums for Chrysalis,Line and A&M, Jupp has sporadically toured and released albums on his own schedule, another "should've been" who at least remains a legend to his fellow musicians and fans......

Listening to LEGEND today, it's obvious from the star that Mickey Jupp was a talent to be reckoned with and easy to see why Bell Records signed him on the strength of his songwriting alone. There's really nothing you could call a dud in the bunch, Jupp's talent for melody and a turn of phrase is evident throughout this strong debut. Almost every song creates a different mood, according to Mickey in the insert, "The different moods of each song reflect the lifestyle of the travelling musician..." The clever wordplay of album opener "Natural Gas" could sound trite in the hands of another artist, but Jupp's vocals have a conversational quality that makes the listener feel part of a private conversation. The wistful "Heather On The Hill" and "City," a tale of leaving home for the city, were chosen to represent the album on the Stiff compilation. "Tombstone" could be described as folk-a-billy, "Come Back Baby" and "Bartender's Blues" are piano-based blues excursions, lyrically on opposite ends of the spectrum. The lyrical gist of "Doncaster By-pass" is similar to protagonist's interior monologue within "Winchester Cathedral," and "Twenty Carat Rocker" and finale "Shindig" point to the future more-rockin' and electric version of LEGEND to come......

Repertoire has done a fine job of remastering, tracking down both the stereo and mono mixes of the album plus the bespoke mixes of the "Natural Gas"/"Would'nt You" single as part of the Bonus Tracks. The non-LP single A-side "Georgia George, Part 1," also included on the Stiff LP with incorrect musician credits, is a first cousin of Nick Lowe's "They Called It Rock." Both it and B-side "July" are electric rockers produced by Robin Trower, with Mo Witham on guitar and PROCOL HARUM's Matthew Fisher and B.J. Wilson assisting on bass and drums. The final bonus track "Foxfield Junction" sounds like an acoustic demo, and was released on the U.K. Vertigo records Sampler 'HEADS TOGETHER FIRST ROUND.' Everything's wrapped up in a cardboard mini-LP sleeve with a fold-out insert and picture CD. LEGEND did a fine job introducing the talent of Mickey Jupp to the world, unfortunately not many were listening, but his stature and support from fellow musicians who knew quality when they heard it helped Jupp to reform the band and sign with Vertigo. The LEGEND was about to spread......
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 29 March 2016
LEGEND was formed in 1968 by songwriter-musician Michael "Mickey" Jupp, a legend himself of England's Southend music scene, a seaside resort in the Essex area. Inspired by local legend Gary Brooker of THE PARAMOUNTS (who later morphed into PROCOL HARUM) Jupp apprenticed in THE ORIOLES (no relation to FELDER'S ORIOLES) until 1966, whose revolving line-up included future LEGEND's Mo Witham, Bob Clouter and John Bobin. After a forced sabbatical Jupp was the first British signee with U.S. based Bell Records (home of THE BOX TOPS and Merilee Rush) on the strength of his original songs. With all tracks composed by him, the new band, Jupp (Lead vocals, piano & guitar), Chris East (12-string guitar, vocals and harmonica), Steve Geere (string & electric bass and vocals) and Nigel Dunbar (drums) recorded the self-titled debut album using mostly acoustic instrumentation. The band, never meant to be a touring unit, only played one gig before disbanding. Jupp was offered a contract by Dave Knights, the ex-bassist for PROCOL HARUM, who was starting a new career in management. The new line-up, Jupp, Mo Witham (guitar), John Bobin (bass) and Bill Fifield (drums) signed with progressive label Vertigo and set about recording their next album with uber-producer Tony Visconti (David Bowie, Marc Bolan & T. REX). Confusingly self-titled again, the album became know as 'RED BOOT' because of the startling fiery footwear display courtesy of artist Karl Stoecker. Before the recording of third and final album 'MOONSHINE' drummer Bill Fifield was poached by Marc Bolan to anchor his new electric version of T. REX, bestowing upon him the moniker Bill Legend. The final puzzle piece was added when ex-ORIOLES mate Bob Clouter took over the drum seat. After losing all their money and drummer Clouter during a disastrous tour of Italy, undertaken to exploit the popularity of their surprising Italian hit "Life," they disbanded. After another sabbatical, of his own choice this time, Mickey Jupp returned to the scene around 1975 encouraged by DR. FEELGOOD vocalist Lee Brilleaux. With LEGEND now earning their title as celebrated pub-rock forefathers, Jupp eventually signed with the hip Stiff Records and released 'JUPPANESE,' one side backed by ROCKPILE, produced by Nick Lowe, and the other roduced by old mate Gary Brooker. Stiff also release a great LEGEND compilation somewhat misleadingly titled 'Mickey Jupp's LEGEND' featuring tracks from all three albums, non-LP single tracks and Jupp's first solo single, "Nature's Radio" recorded for Arista in 1977. After successive albums for Chrysalis, Line and A&M, Jupp has sporadically toured and released albums on his own schedule, another "should've been" who at least remains a legend to his fellow musicians and fans......

Many Mickey Jupp fans consider 'LEGEND' aka 'RED BOOT' the best of their three albums, at least Stiff Records did, they included seven of it's tracks on their LEGEND compilation. It contains my favorite Jupp composition, "My Typewriter," an ode to his "manual word processor" (for all you youngsters out there) with a great "Monster Mash" type introduction, it's beyond terrific. It's a sure bet Dave Edmunds was listening closely. You can hear the influences in opener "Cross Country" with it's tasty weaving guitar and Jordanaires-type male chorus, the unique Jupp-Witham-Bobin vocal mix should've been copyrighted. "Cheque Book," "Nothing Wrong With Me" and the single "Don't You Never" sound like a road-map from Jupp to Edmunds to ROCKPILE. Mickey's compositions were a virtual blueprint for many pub-rock and new wave bands, and you can tell they paid attention. "Goin' To" and "Anything You Do" reminds one of vintage later-period BRINSLEY SCHWARZ. "Somebody In Love" would sound right at home on a classic Fats Domino album, "Five Years" takes the tempo down a notch, and "Hole In My Pocket" is the offspring of Ray Charles' "It Should've Been Me." Rare love ballad "Lorraine Part 2" is another of Mickey's orphaned titles......

Housed in a gate-fold mini-LP sleeve with a fold-out insert, the Vertigo labeled CD's remaster does justice to producer Visconti's vision. Besides the aforementioned "Don't You Never" the four bonus tracks include it's B-side "Someday," their Italian hit"Life" (an incongruous "I (Who Have Nothing)"-type ballad) and it's flip, the bluesy "Late Last Night." After listening to this album you'll have no further question why Mickey Jupp is considered the forefather of pub-rock. If you're a fan of either/or early rock & roll, BRINSLEY SCHWARZ, KURSAAL FLYERS,DR. FEELGOOD,DUCKS DELUXE, ROCKPILE, Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe or any of their contemporaries you'll love LEGEND. You really can't compare this album to their first except for the quality of Juppy's songwriting. With only a few weak cuts (what were those Italians thinking?) 'LEGEND/RED BOOT,' whether too ahead or too of it's time, delivers on it's reputation as a pub-rock classic......

IMPORTANT NOTE! There's a LEGEND bootleg with 'RED BOOT' and 'MOONSHINE" on one CD. With the LEGEND discs reasonably priced, there's no excuse to take $$$$ from Mickey's pocket......
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VINE VOICEon 30 December 2005
I've been waiting a long time to pounce on the three Legend albums, having been familiar with them through a compilation released by Stiff in the late 1970s. The leader of this quartet was Mickey Jupp, one of the finest British R&B songwriters. He's been covered by Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe, The Searchers and Gary Brooker and been backed on record by some of these musicians as a solo artist. This 1971 album is probably Legend's best and consists of vibrant three-minute songs that lean more towards uptempo music rather than blues. Even so, there is a healthy cross-section of styles here that displays Jupp's versatility as a writer.
The delicious guitar that opens "Cross Country" hooks you from the first and this song is one of Legend's best and most representative. "Cheque Book" is leaner and incisive. It's no surprise that Dr Feelgood covered it on their classic debut album, "Down By The Jetty". Jupp's wonderful sense of humour is evident on the more rock 'n' roll "My Typewriter" which, like most of the songs, employs some solid harmony vocals. This is followed by the aching romance of "Five Years" which benefits from a beautiful melody. Though these are my chosen highlights, the songs and recordings are solid throughout and you may have different favourites.
Even the four bonuses at the end are of high quality, being singles recordings of the same period. "Life" is notable for having been a hit abroad, though it doesn't stand out particularly here. Thank you, Repertoire, for giving this album the release it deserves. Now, can we have the other two Legend albums as well?
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on 2 December 2007
This album is uncluttered, simple and, for Mick and I at least,led to us living in the Lake District near Foxfield Junction where you can see the Heather on the Hill every year. It's simply played, simply produced and inspired the new album, Never too old to Rock, some 40 years later. Good listening.
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on 23 June 2011
Be careful: this is not the Vertigo Legend album the picture of the cover shows. This is the first acoustic Legend album recorded for Bell in 1969. It's not bad, but not that one (and not that good). Anyway Mickey Jupp has been one of the finest british songwriters, at least for a while.
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on 27 July 2013
All is splendid and so pure: the lyrics, the emotions delivered by a magnificent vocalist, the delicate but also very often nervous pulsion adequately provided by the backing instruments. This first offer is to be placed in the same pantheon of quality as A salty dog of Procol or Forms anf feeelings by Dave and Love Sculpture. Indeed, this was later intronized as "creative pub rock" but it is much more than just a stand in rock gardens, to my ears , it brings vibrations as strong as the first and second album by Link Wray on Polydor (Link Wray, Be what you want to).
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on 20 September 2013
Many years ago I worked with fella who swore his cousin was the drummer in t.rex ,his stage name was now bill legend and it was the name of his previous band, checked it out and was I glad I did, t. Rex not my cup of tea but legend with the legend mr jupp are, another join in the dots is tony visconti was producer for this album and t,Rex's best output. Was never going to sell in the early 70s but hope the band get a couple of coppers 40 odd years on.
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on 28 December 2009
I'm very happy ! I only owned vinyl LPs of Mickey Jupp but couldn't play them anymore.
All the songs are very good.
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