Aug 10, 2009

IAN MATTHEWS - IF YOU SAW THRO' MY EYES (VERTIGO 1971) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve




In late 1970, shortly after his band Matthews Southern Comfort hit number one in Great Britain with its version of Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock," Ian Matthews decided that he needed more creative freedom and left for a solo career. The subsequent album, If You Saw Thro' My Eyes, his fourth and best release since leaving Fairport Convention in 1969, was recorded and released within the next few months. It also reunited him with former Fairport bandmates Sandy Denny, who had left the band in late 1969, and Richard Thompson, who would depart by the time of this album's release. Both would bring their distinctive personalities to the proceedings without ever overwhelming Matthews' own vision. As a bandleader and songwriter, Matthews' growth is quite evident here, guiding a stellar cast through seven excellent new originals and three well-chosen covers (also included is the a cappella "Hinge" and its instrumental reprise). Throughout, Matthews' sweet yet evocative tenor is perfect for the material, which succeeds in its blend of British and American folk, rock, and pop. Furthermore, he once again shows a keen eye for the work of others, while also proving his prowess as a first-rate interpretive singer. A pair of songs written by the late folksinger Richard Farina -- "Reno, Nevada" (resurrected from Ian's days with Fairport) and "Morgan the Pirate" -- are given fresh, inspired readings, highlighted by Thompson, Tim Renwick, and Andy Roberts' superb guitar interplay, providing a real folk-rock edge. But it's the beautiful, prayerlike title track that is the record's crowning moment. Joined simply by Denny's piano and breathtaking second vocal, along with a tasteful backwards guitar interlude by Renwick, Matthews' quiet plea for guidance is as moving and personal a song as he's ever recorded. A number of other highlights, such as "Hearts," "Southern Wind," "It Came Without Warning," and "You Couldn't Lose," make If You Saw Thro' My Eyes one of the best efforts by a Fairport alumnus...
Here

11 comments:

Saoirse said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Sara

http://pianonotes.info

Anonymous said...

Hi Georgie Hirezola,
Thanks to post this great album of this excellent english singer-songwriter.
Juan

David Federman said...

I lived through the years your blog celebrates and missed an awful lot of the music you have resurrected. This Ian Matthews album is wonderful and I wonder how I ignored since I was an avid Fairport Convention fan. Thanks for giving me a second chance.

vincent the soul chef said...

Hey Georgie...

looks like the whole blogging game is getting a little crazy these days. It wasn't nearly this bad a couple of years ago... I do applaud you for your hard work, and I wish you nothing but the best.

Peace and blessings.

Copacetic47 said...

many many thanks ... had this album in the 70's but lost track of it ... great to have it back!
Thanks for your hard work.

Anonymous said...

Hi from Cy
Often dismissed as inferior, but when was the music press ever correct.
This little diary of an album is best appreciated on repeat listens.
What a joy to hear Ian sounding young but with that certain cutting edge that life's experiences bring.
Cy from Pck.

aldo said...

I always wondered about Ian Matthew’s stuff and I admit this is the first time I hear it.
The production here is at times a bit too slick, already too 70s for my liking, especially on “Reno, Nevada”.
The first time I heard it was thanks to “Heyday” the 1987 LP that collected Fairport Convention BBC Sessions from 1968-69.
Years later I finally got to hear Mimi & Richard Fariña records and became immediately a fan!
Still, Fairports version, like several others on “Heyday” is arguably better than the original!
I love the early Fairports, in fact I prefer their early more American stuff than the most applauded British Folk-Rock stuff, especially once Sandy Denny was gone.
I always liked Ian’s voice and the blending with that of Sandy’s or Judy Dyble’s from the very beginning.
This is definitely an underrated record and a “grower” as far as I’m concerned.
Extra points for covering Richard Fariña! On a first listen“Morgan the Pirate” comes across better than “Reno” in its updated 1971 version…
I will have to investigate the previous post.
THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

Is there any chance that you post this CD in a lossless format, such as FLAC? It would be much appreciated.

bail out said...

I have been listing to him for 40yrs He has a new live version hard to find cd 2005 just as good as 1970s his voice out standing check his new jazz group iain mathews searing quartet

bail out said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
zappahead said...

Ia(i)n Matthews...whichever way it was spelt always had a glorious voice...harmonies etc and solo excellent stuff...thanks for the share...cheers....