Saturday, October 31, 2015

Chris Thompson - Jukebox The Ultimate Collection (1975-2015 uk, multiblended rock tints, 2015 two disc set)

Chris Thompson is known for his work as the lead vocalist and guitarist on many hits with Manfred Mann's Earth Band, including “Blinded By The Light,” “For You” and “The Mighty Quinn,” as well as being a noted songwriter himself with hits across the globe. Jukebox: The Ultimate Collection is a 2015 remastered compilation of material from the man’s career, spanning Manfred Mann and beyond.

“Dark Side” is a good opener but with a more-than- banal lyric that really can’t be forgiven. “Father of the Day,” “Hot Summer Night” and a slinky drawn-out organ-led cover of Springsteen’s “Spirits In The Night” provide some spirited live moments. The cover of “For You,” the other Springsteen song, is a magical highlight with Thompson in lockstep with an enticing piano on a more subdued studio track.

Live and expansive, Manfred Mann “Martha’s Madman” has a mostly a straight ahead beat as Thompson handles all its twists and turns. The 50s styled “Eddie Wants To Rock” has Thompson’s hoarseness actually serving the song well, while Mavis Staples duets with Thompson on “The Fire.” An organ heavy live version of “The Mighty Quinn” features a decidedly heavier punch that the enthusiastic loudly clapping and singing audience seems to respond to even over Thompson not exactly making good vocally on the choruses.

“Land Of The Long White Cloud” from the Chris Thompson and Mads Eriksen Rediscovery album is a super spirited song with a distinctive opening riff, wailing organ and Thompson rapping. An updated version of “Blinded By The Light” is here, and Thompson wails away on Marius Müller's beautiful ballad “Angel.” We also get “If You Remember Me,” Thompson’s piano ballad written for the remake of the movie The Champ.

The inclusion of “You’re The Voice,” co-written by Thompson and a huge hit for John Farnham, proves an interesting inclusion. Throughout the set, certainly in those live moments, you often hear Thompson’s voice striving to hit the note. Hearing his take on “You’re The Voice,” you are reminded of Farnham’s unreal soaring vocal. Thompson’s version, relying as it does on backing vocalists to deliver the refrain, still delivers, in maybe an even more down-to-earth soulful way simply because he does not have the pipes Farnham has. The universal solidarity message of the lyric comes across even better in a way. The remastered Jukebox: The Ultimate Collection sounds spectacular and covers a lot of Chris Thompson’s career. One spin and you won’t go away disappointed.
by Ralph Greco
Disc 1
1. Dark Side  (Chris Thompson, Inge Pans, Gunnar Bjelland, Arno Krabman) - 4:23
2. Love And Loneliness (Nick Garvey) - 4:20
3. Father Of Day (Live) (Bob Dylan) - 4:55
4. Hot Summer Night (Live) (Walter Egan) - 4:34
5. Million Dollar Wonder Hit (Chris Thompson, Inge Pans, Arno Krabman) - 4:02
6. Cold Wind Blowing Across My Heart (Tom Snow) - 4:07
7. Spirits In The Night (Live) (Bruce Springsteen) - 5:50
8. Whole Lot To Give (Chris Thompson, Mads Eriksen) - 3:37
9. For You (Bruce Springsteen) - 3:14
10.One Man Mission (Chris Thompson, Mike Slamer) - 4:15
11.Martha's Madman (Live) (Lane Teitgen) - 5:57
12.Beat Of Love (Chris Thompson, Bruce Wooley) - 4:24
13.You Angel You (Live) (Bob Dylan) - 3:25
14.A Shift In The Wind (With Brian May) (Chris Thompson, Tom King) - 4:23
15.Eddie Wants To Rock (Chris Thompson, Inge Pans, Gunnar Bjelland, Arno Krabman) - 4:14
16.Dream Away Little Girl (Chris Thompson, I.P, Arno Krabman) - 3:29
17.Don't Stop (Christine McVie) - 3:36
18.The Fire (With Mavis Staples) (Leiber, Reid) - 4:15
Disc 2
1. The Mighty Quinn (Live) (Bob Dylan) - 5:23
2. The Challenge (Chris Thompson, Inge Pans, Gunnar Bjelland, Arno Krabman) - 4:01
3. Runner (Live) (I. Thomas) - 6:01
4. Redemption Song (Bob Marley) - 3:27
5. Land Of The Long White Cloud (Chris Thompson, Mads Eriksen) - 3:10
6. Blinded By The Light (Bruce Springsteen) - 4:05
7. Angel (Chris Thompson, Marius Muller) - 4:29
8. Heart Of The Fire (Julian Litman) - 3:19
9. Don't Kill It Carol (Live) (Mike Heron) - 6:23
10.If You Remember Me (Carol Bayer Seger, Marvin Hamlish) - 3:01
11.Millie Christine (Chris Thompson, Inge Pans, Arno Krabman) - 4:33
12.You're The Voice (Chris Thompson, Andy Qunta, M.Ryder, K Reid) - 4:09
13.Davy's On The Road Again (Live) (John Simon, Robbie Robertson) - 5:56
14.Questions (Live) (M. Mann, C. Slade) - 4:46
15.Zu Leben (Chris Thompson, John van Tongeren) - 2:36
16.Thunderchild (Acoustic) (With Chris Spedding) (Jeff Wayne, Gary Osborne) - 2:48
17.What World (Chris Thompson, A.N. Other) - 3:59
18.We Are The Strong (Chris Thompson, H. Faltermeyer) - 3:21

*Chris Thompson - Vocals, Guitar
*Arno Krabman - Guitars, Bass
*Gunnar Bjelland - Keyboards
*Maarten Molema - Drums
*Anton Fig - Drums
*John Siegler - Bass
*John Van Tongeren - Keyboards
*Phil Galdston - Keyboards
*Michael Thompson - Guitars
*Zsolt Mesaros - Drums
*Frank Hovland - Bass
*Gunnar Bjelland - Keyboards
*Mads Eriksen - Guitar
*Rick Marotta - Drums
*Billy Kristian - Bass
*Nicky Hopkins - Keyboards,
*Bill Payne - Keyboards
*Robbie McIntosh - Guitars
*Ralph Salmins - Drums
*Lawrence Cottle - Bass
*Richard Cottle-  Keyboards
*Clem Clemsen - Guitars
*Steinar Krokstad - Drums
*Hungry John - Harmonica
*Mark Taylor - Piano
*Jamie Moses - Guitar
*András Sturcz - Cello
*John Lingwood - Drums
*Alan Darby - Guitars
*Helen McGrath - Bagpipes
*Chris Spedding - Guitar

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