The first time I heard of Gilbert O’Sullivan was back in the mid-90’s, when one of Sweden’s biggest telephone companies used the song 'Alone Again (naturally)' in one of their TV commercials. Being a big Beatles fan, I thought I had heard a new Paul McCartney song, and was surprised when I found out that it was an old 70’s song by a man called Gilbert O’Sullivan. A few months later, I found the album 'Back to Front' in a second hand shop and liked it, but I soon forgot about him. Until now, that is.

The ever productive label Salvo is now re-releasing thirteen of his albums, and they are naturally starting off with the debut, 'Himself', originally released in 1971 (which means that it’s the fourtieth anniversary this year).

Apart from the original fourteen tracks, we are treated to eight bonus tracks, including some singles, B-sides and, more interestingly, some home demo recordings from 1967, all re-mastered of course. And we also get a lot of information in the booklet, with lyrics, photos, track-by-track comments etc.

Looking at the track list again, it includes some of Gilbert’s most famous songs, among them of course 'Nothing Rhymed' and 'Matrimony', but strangely enough they have chosen to omit the aforementioned 'Alone Again (naturally)', a single that was included on the original album, but was released between “Himself” and the follow-up 'Back to Front', and was also included on the original US release of 'Himself'. Weird, if you ask me. But maybe Salvo intends to include it on the 'Back to Front' reissue instead.

To sum it all up, this is a good album, and a very nice re-issue. I think it’s great that there are labels like this, which re-releases albums that the major labels would never dream of doing. So, thanks!

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