David Essex – Rock On

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From 1973, probably the only David Essex album I would ever consider buying, on account of the title track – Dave’s debut hit – which I still believe was a really excellent single. I guess I was hoping that the album might be littered with songs of similar strange invention. Plus it was produced by Jeff ‘War Of The Worlds’ Wayne and features some great session players like Alan Hawkshaw on Moog and keyboards and Herbie Flowers on bass, plus some fella called John Morton playing the Ondes Martinot (early electronic keyboard).

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Regrettably, most of the album fails to live up to “Rock On”s early promise, with the notable exception of “Streetfight” which is a similarly excellent slice of self-penned bluesy experimental pop, featuring the line “I was looking back to see if you were lookin’ back at me to see me lookin’ back at you”, which sounds awfully similar to 3D’s lyrics on the Massive Attack hit “Safe From Harm”, though I notice they never gave Dave a song writing credit. Thieving bastards.

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Published in: on March 1, 2010 at 10:00 am  Comments (8)  
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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Also love Rock On – the single – classic stuff !!

  2. Perhaps inevitably, the album also features Ray Cooper. Though best known for a long association with Elton John, he is to the 70s British classic rock album that Uziah “Sticky” Thompson is to JA roots reggae.

  3. The “lookin’ back to see if you were lookin’ back” conceit is a relatively well-known, though relatively recent in historic terms, country/folk commonplace, i.e. a phrase or idea that crops up regularly. Jim Ed Brown is responsible for a 1954 hit (with the Browns) which includes the lines: “I was looking back to see if you were looking back to see/If I was looking back to see if you were looking back at me/You were cute as you could be standing looking back at me/And it was plain to see that I’d enjoy your company.”

    So Messers Essex and Del Neja could well send remunerations Nashville way–though my guess is that it’s as likely Brown swiped from another musician.

  4. now that’s the kind of in depth background knowledge we need around here!

  5. Hmmm…now there’s a thought.

  6. love Rock On but, despite my mum playing the album in the car, the rest of the album escapes me; maybe his time will come… a sudden arrest when everyone will be Essexed…

  7. Loki’s mum played David Essex tapes in the car…now that has its own reality

  8. […] Man in Orbit Kenny Everett – Captain Kremmen (Extract) Biddu – Chic Chica Chic Chica Chic David Essex – Street Fight Mikis Theodorakis – Penia Los Dourados – Jungle Fantasy Sarr Band – Double Action Russ […]


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