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4.8 out of 5 stars
13
4.8 out of 5 stars

on 5 February 2017
Superb CD. Lots of instantly memorable songs with poignant lyrics. I would expect nothing else from David Ford.
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on 22 November 2010
Opener 'Panic' leads us straight into the world of David Ford who comes across lyrically angry and determined to get his point across, it's as bouncy as it is lyrically and musically impressive. The bass line reminds me a bit of the Jam's 'Start!' The Very Best Of The Jambut let this take nothing away from an awesome song. 'Making up for lost time' takes us into the American singer song writer more laid back style, where you can hear some of his idles shining through. He really tells a story and versus and choruses flow smooth;y and it reminds me a little of the bluetones The Singles (Plus Bonus CD)swagger on their later songs. 'Waiting for the storm' is even more laid back harmonica and piano american country, maybe a little bit of Eagles The Complete Greatest Hits in there. Hopefully that won't offend too many people. :) 'Surfin Guantanamo Bay' is proper blues, nice steel guitar and raw vocals. Love it!! 'To Hell with the world' is my stand out song on the album, almost sounds like a 'Songs For The Road' Part 2 with amazing lyrics and simple but massively effective piano play. This one brings me to tears whenever I hear it. My favourite line is 'Maybe the greatest of heroes inhabit the stories that nobody hears' (sounds like it's about David Ford in terms of his songs, not that he would be so modest). 'Stephen' is a sad sad song about the murder of policeman Stephen Carroll who was shot dead by terrorists in Northern Ireland. A heartbreaking song about a tragic event and situation in the country. 'Nothing at all' is probably my least favourite song on the album, it's short and does not really go where but is still outstanding in comparison to most artists album tracks today. 'Sylvia' is another piano bouncy track with sweet lyrics and a great chorus, again a bit of a cheeky bluetones sound about it. 'Meet me in the middle' slow paced and bluesy American sound which sounds like the kind of track you prop up the bar singing along too. 'Missouri' slide guitar and a million gorgeous voices ring out, simply gorgeous!!! 'She's not the one' superb and bouncy, piano and slidey blues guitar and cheeky, it's like an anti 'She's the one' remember that rubbish robbie williams song. This isn't it!! :) 'Hurricane' This one is another stand out piano track that would fit in with 'Song For The Road' Pure brilliance the way this builds to a huge chorus. Makes me sad at the start and brings your head up high by the chorus. 'Calls to arms ' is the song everyone will sing along to and raise a glass up high at the end of the night. The perfect ending to a pretty much perfect album on songs written by quite possibly the best songwriter this little land of ours has ever exported who is appreciated in the USA far more than over here. Bit scared he may run away forever there, so we really should lift him up and appreciate him before it's too late. Bring on Milk and Cookies in a few weeks time! :)
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 29 March 2014
Eastbourne-based David Ford is, without doubt, the greatest artist that has never quite made it into the big time. Cutting his musical teeth in the indie band, Easyworld, "Let The Hard Times Roll" is probably my favourite David Ford album. Having a favourite Ford album is quite a difficult and contentious thing, because every one of his studio albums have been nothing less than excellent and every one of them has a distinctly different character, so it's very possible to love them all equally, but in different ways. Released in 2010, his third solo album came after parting ways with his major record label, Independiente, and the artistic freedom which came from not having people telling him how his music should sound and be marketed shines through on one of his most ambitious and creatively rich collection of songs. Add the fact that virtually everything you hear on this record, with a few exceptions, is the insanely talented multi-instrumentalist Ford himself, the level of accomplishment is nothing short of genius. Thinking back to when I first heard this album, I remember that it took a few plays for the material to really get under my skin, but when it did, these songs stayed in my head for months and have remained firm favourites ever since then.

I usually attempt to highlight the best songs on each album I write about, but in this instance I know I'm going to end up talking about nearly every single track, such is the quality of "Let The Hard Times Roll". The grandiose, dramatic opening bars of "Panic" resplendent with chiming tubular bells and strings immediately tell the listener that they're about to experience something truly special. "Making Up For Lost Time" is an instant classic, a melodic beauty that hints at good things to come out the ashes of a broken relationship featuring the brilliant line, "She made the craziest accusations/but everyone of them was true". "Waiting For The Storm" is an absolutely incredible song; brilliantly written, the utterly gorgeous melody performed with aching emotive vocals. It is one of the greatest songs that David has ever written and yet, as he explains in the liner notes, he wrote the song quickly and it came to him easily. "To Hell With The World" is another heartbreakingly beautiful love song, being both fragile and yet undoubtedly pretty. Ford's apolitical condemnation of senseless violence in Northern Ireland, "Stephen" is both an excellent statement and nigh impossible to disagree with as well as being a rather wonderful song and tribute to the policeman murdered for a political cause.

There are many songs that I can relate to on "Let The Hard Times Roll" and, when it was released, it tied in with many things that were happening in my life, some rather astonishingly so. However, "Nothing At All" probably resonates with the vast majority of people who listen to it - certainly those the wrong side of thirty, anyway. I have to admit that when I first heard "Sylvia", I thought it was a bit of a Ford throwaway, but it has an effortless charm that bounces along brilliantly and it is impossible not to love. "Meet Me In The Middle" is a weary composition about a person who is all but dead inside which leads me nicely onto "She's not The One", a tumbling country-rock song about Margaret Thatcher, pithy and amusing in equal measure ("She's got a perfect smile/It's all yellow teeth and villainy") - it's fantastic. The penultimate song, "Hurricane" is one of David's greatest compositions, a personal account of a society "doomed to be torn apart by greed and short-termism" (according to the liner notes), featuring some of the most powerful lyrics Ford has ever written ("God bless America, God save The Queen/God kill my enemies and keep my hands clean"). The album finishes with a simple, but profoundly moving, love song, "Call To Arms" and if you can get to the end of the song without at least the hint of a tear in your eye, then your heart is most likely made of granite.

I don't toss terms like "masterpiece" around lightly, but I think you can easily discuss this album in those kind of terms because, simply put (and in my opinion, of course), "Let The Hard Times Roll" is one of the greatest albums ever made. There are only a couple of slightly lesser tracks ("Surfin' Guantanamo Bay" and "Missouri") that prevent it from being perfect, but I wouldn't choose to delete them from the album as they both add to the overall character and there would definitely be something missing from the record without their presence. One of the album's many strengths is the vast range of subjects dealt with and the fact that David very rarely offers any answers. He comments, he philosophises and he wears his humanity on his sleeve, but this is a record both magnificent in stature and humble in tone. This is an intelligent album, passionately delivered, with as much attention to detail in the lyrics as there is in the music and the delivery of the songs. I'm not sure whether this is the best piece of work David Ford has ever created, but all I can say is that he has yet to release anything better. Every home should have a copy.
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on 1 March 2013
While there is some great performance talent showing up on the various "X-Factor" like shows, I still feel theirs nothing like the real thing, which is gutsy singer-songwriters performing their own stuff. The title of the album, says what that can mean however. Its a tough road to follow and the music makes that clear, in a "sit down, open a beer, and have a good listen" sort of way. I play this again and again....something about original music does that.
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on 22 July 2010
David Fords third solo album is as good as his first (and second for that matter) which is all you should need to know. If there was any justice in the music world David would be a household name he has mastered the art of song writing and has consistently achieved levels others can only dream of. Sadly this isn't the case and his albums languish ignored on the shelves and buried in bargin bins which is such a waste.

You've looked at this page so you are obviously considering buying this album, my suggestion is simple buy it love it and come back for more from this truly talented individual.
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on 29 September 2011
A fine album from a fine artist who deserves more recognition. Great to see live, see makes a big sound for one guy.
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on 7 July 2010
Following on from the superb "Songs For The Road" comes a well balanced mix of upbeat and "folky" songs which grab the listener on the first listen. Not so much a grower of an album - more an instant classic. You won't be disappointed. Great album for any mood. 5*
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on 17 January 2014
Ford himself rates this as his finest, most coherant and mature album (see his really good book "I Choose This") and he's not far wrong with this assessment. It is easily his best album (which is not a comment on his other albums at all). From the planned chaos of the opening track "Panic" to the rousing "Call to Arms", this is a great ride. There are some lovely personal moments on this album, as well as th heartbreaking "Stephen", which I still haven't got out of my head. This one is a keeper, and has stayed in the care pretty much all the time since my wife bought it for me.
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on 9 October 2016
Brilliant
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on 17 May 2016
Love it
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