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A Happy Hunting Ground - in most parts
on 25 April 2007
It's probably only because of my complete adolation for the splendour of the two Muff Winwood produced albums that preceded it (Propaganda was their high water mark for me) that, despite its strengths, I found this one a bit disappointing. It is a good album (It's Sparks!) and there are a number of highlights but, for me, the whole set isn't consistently strong. The major contributor to this for me was Tony Viscounti's production that seemed to dictate that the styles and arrangements should be unique to each track - great where its works, but overall I feel the set has no soul. I guess the greatest crime was the serious under-employment of the great tight rhythm unit of Diamond and Martin. Whether another Muff produced 'Kimomo Mark 3' would have been better is a matter of debate, but I for one would have liked to have heard it.
Is it worth buying this edition if you already have the CD/LP? Yes! The repackaging is really good with comprehensive notes and the extra tracks are solid as well as of interest to the completists. Strangely, the lush, schmaltsy version of I Wanna Hold Your Hand which featured in the last CD edition has chronologically incorrectly been transferred to the Big Beat reissue - although my still wife complains that Russell's vocal is decidedly out of tune. Wash her mouth out!