reviewed by Les Berger
OU may have at some time wondered what kind of sound individual members of a band, freed from the con-straints of the group, would make. Listening, for instance to George Harrison's solo albums, one finds a very distinctive style quite different from that of the Beatles. This does not imply that an artist is unhappy being part of a group - simply that there is also an individual voice waiting to be heard. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that Eddie Baird's new album "Also..." bears little resemblance to the classic Amazing Blondel sound or style though there are similarities to the later albums featuring Eddie and Terry. If anything it is a development of these. To do it justice, however, it needs to be listened to with ears recep-tive to a variety of musical styles as well as to something new.
Eddie is joined discreetly on the disc by Tony Ilkiw on bass and Pete Clarke on keyboards though he is clearly the guiding light and this comes across as very much a solo album. The overriding first impression is of music in pastel shades, ideal for late evening listening. It has a quietly lyrical, reflective quality, remarkably attractive. On closer acquaintance one becomes aware of a wide range of styles from latin rhythms on the first track, "Love Bite" to the influences of Jazz and Blues and even semi-classical ("4.4.82" is reminiscent of Stanley Myers' "Cavatina" in its gentle lyricism).
Any creative artist likes to feel that his creations have their own identity marked with the stamp of their crea-tor, so if I say that at times some of the tracks are remi-niscent of other artists I h01)e it will not be seen as a back-handed compliment: the songs and instrumentals remain Eddie's even if occa-sionally I was reminded of Sting ("Friend of Mine" has a superficial similarity to Sting's "Mercury Falling") Where there are reminders of others they bring a smile of half-recognition before they are gone and pure Eddie takes over again.
I feel privileged to have heard this album as it is not yet available through the shops. I enjoyed it so much on first hearing that I played it three times straight off. The songs are easy to enjoy and they are interspersed with some lovely solo guitar tracks. My only criticism is the fact that the whole thing lasts for only 39 minutes; but then quantity isn't everything -which would you prefer, a glass of a rare vintage wine or a litre of Vino Mucho Collapso?