Monday, January 22, 2024

Michael Dinner - The Great Pretender (1974 us, nice country soft rock, 2021 korean remaster)

Although the intriguingly-named Michael Dinner (born May 20, 1953)  began his career as a country singer, he subsequently moved into film production, finally finding success in that area. His first album (of two), 1974's The Great Pretender, is a proper, trad country release, of the kind that can sell millions with the right promotion. However, given that he was signed to the same label as Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fantasy, maybe we shouldn't be too surprised that this record effectively sank without trace. It occasionally deviates from the country template, notably on the rocking Tattooed Man From Chelsea and the country/blues of Woman Of Aran, its best tracks probably being the aforementioned Tattooed Man... and epic country closer Texas Knights.

Michael Dinner came from the same school as Jackson Browne & The Eagles. His musical worth was not a fluke his albums were excellent.  John Boylan plays Mellotron on two tracks, with string parts on Icarus and Texas Knight, that sound, although the album features names of the calibre of Linda Ronstadt, Andrew Gold and pedal-steel god "Sneaky Pete" Kleinow, like an attempt to substitute for a real string section.
1. The Great Pretender - 3:32
2. Jamaica - 4:02
3. Yellow Rose Express - 4:10
4. Sunday Morning Fool - 4:10
5. Last Dance In Salinas - 4:10
6. Tattooed Man From Chelsea - 2:50
7. Woman Of Aran - 3:51
8. Pentacott Lane - 4:06
9. Icarus - 2:58
10.Texas Knight - 6:11
All songs by Michael Dinner

*Michael Dinner - Guitar, Vocals
*Ed Black - Steel Guitar 
*Ronee Blakley - Vocals
*Michael Bowden - Bass
*John Boylan - Keyboards
*Gail Davies - Vocals
*Nick DeCaro - Accordion
*Don Felder - Guitar
*Andrew Gold - Piano
*Robert Grinnedge - Drums, Steel Guitar
*Jon Douglas Haywood - Vocals
*Milt Holland - Percussion
*Sneaky Pete Kleinow - Pedal Steel
*Larry Knechtel - Piano
*Russ Kunkel - Drums
*Gary Mallaber - Drums
*Mickey McGee - Drums
*Herb Pedersen - Vocals
*Linda Ronstadt - Vocals
*Mike Utley - Organ
*Dr. Robert Warford - Guitar