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Clive Gregson And Christine Collister - Home And Away

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 14 / 8 / 2006



Clive Gregson And Christine Collister - Home And Away
Label: Select Label
Format: CD

intro

Re-release of long unavailable live folk/rock classic from Clive Gregson and Christine Collister, which came out originally in 1987


Thank you, Gott Discs, for getting this long unavailable classic back into the shops again. As soon as Christine Collister’s distinctive vocals come in on the first song, ‘It’s All Just Talk’, we realise just how much we have missed this exceptional singer in this setting and that a gap has been missing in our CD collections without this album. And that’s without mentioning Clive Gregson’s superb way with a melody and strong lyrics everyone can relate to ; “Monday morning blues on a Saturday night”, who hasn’t been there? The way Collister delivers those lines is heartbreaking. That song has been missing from our lives for far too long. As with many others, Gregson first came to my notice when he formed the band Any Trouble way back in the mid 70's. The band were perfect for those times, Gregson sounded like Elvis Costello, the band were signed to Stiff Records and with Gregson originals like ‘Nice Girls’, ‘Second Choice’ and covers of ‘Name Of The Game’ and ‘Baby Now That I’ve Found You’ it was obvious where Gregson was coming from. For a while there Any Trouble was one of my favourite bands. It was a sad day when the group split up. Gregson released his first solo album, ‘Strange Persuasions’ in 1985. A strong set of Gregson originals it also featured one number with Christine Collister. But it wasn’t until 1987 that the pair released ‘Home And Away’, the first of five albums they would make together. And just very possibly the best. The album consisted of new Gregson songs, a stunning version of ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ from Gregson’s first solo album, songs from the Any Trouble period and some inspired covers including Carl Perkins ‘Matchbox’ and the Motown classic ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’. The songs, with the exception of two which were recorded “live in our front room” according to the excellent liner notes by Gregson, are taken from a handful of live shows the duo performed in 1986. It’s a lot like preaching to the converted when writing about this album. ‘Home And Away’ originally sold around 75,000 copies in the UK earning a silver disc and it’s hard to imagine anyone who had the album on vinyl who hasn’t worn it white and who won’t welcome this opportunity to revisit these outstanding songs. And for those who a couple of years later didn’t invest in the Cooking Vinyl CD issue…ha! CDs…they weren’t going to take off... this has got to be one of the most important reissues of the year. Hopefully this release will also find a new audience. It’s hard to imagine that for anyone who is interested in folk/rock that the names of Gregson and Collister will be new. Gregson has had his songs covered by a number of artists from Fairport Convention to Nanci Griffith and has toured and worked with Richard Thompson, was a part of Griffith’s touring band last year and he is also touring with her again this year. He also found time somehow to release a number of solo albums as well as recording with Boo Hewerdine (The Bible) and Eddie Reader (Fairground Attraction). Collister has also been busy; she is currently on tour throughout the UK and has released a number of albums, always gaining good reviews. And all those quotes about her being able to “sing the birds down off the trees” and to having “so much soul you’d think she’d been signed to Motown” are all true. It’s debatable if any other female singer from the UK even comes close to her. Both Gregson (especially) and Collister have covered other genres with their solo releases. Gregson still hasn’t lost his ability to knock out sharp pop songs much like he started doing in Any Trouble in fact, but it’s when the two artists get together and go the acoustic folk-rock route that things really take off. And although subsequent albums from the duo have reached the heights of ‘Home And Away’ because this was the first full-length album from them it will always be special. Listen to ‘Northern Soul’, the way the voices gel, the way Gregson tells a story and pulls you into the song; it’s perfect in every way. While the covers here are never less than interesting, ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ possibly the best of them, with Collister matching both Gaye and Knight for soulfulness, it’s those Gregson originals which really shine. Gott Discs are apparently going to re-issue further Gregson and Collister albums on CD but they couldn’t have chosen a better place to start. A classic album, simple as that.



Track Listing:-
1 It's All Just Talk
2 Mama Tried
3 Home Is Where the Heart Is
4 All the Time in the World
5 Unlucky in Love
6 Matchbox
7 When My Ship Comes In
8 I Heard It Through the Grapevine
9 Chase the Dragon
10 As Lovers Do
11 All Because of You
12 Northern Soul
13 Touch and Go
14 Slow Down
15 I'm Blowin' Away
16 This Broken Home ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 1])
17 I Shake ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 1])
18 The Minute You're Gone ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 1])
19 All the Time in the World ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 1])
20 I Will Be There ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 1])
21 This Is the Deal ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 1])
22 Diamond Rings ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 1])
23 Here I Go Again ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 1])
24 Home Is Where the Heart Is ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 1])
25 This Tender Trap ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 1])
26 Touch and Go ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 1])
27 That Same Mistake ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 1])
28 The Most Beguiling Eyes ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 1])
29 Could This Be the One ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 1])
30 It's All Just Talk ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 1])
31 I Heard It Through the Grapevine ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 1])
32 For a Dancer ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 2])
33 Wash Me Away ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 2])
34 I Could Be Happy ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 2])
35 Close Down This Bar ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 2])
36 I Don't Want to Lose You ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 2])
37 Snow in Philadelphia ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 2])
38 Voodoo Doll ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 2])
39 Blues on the Run ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 2])
40 Northern Soul ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 2])
41 We're Not over Yet ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 2])
42 Slow Down ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 2])
43 When My Ship Comes In ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 2])
44 I Know Something ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 2])
45 Tryin' to Get to You ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 2])
46 How Weak I Am ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 2])
47 It's All Just Talk ((Live) [Lesser Free Trade Hall, May 1992 - Show 2])



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The Best of Clive Gregson and Christine Collister (2007)
Likeable, but not totally satisfying retrospective compilation from 80's and early 90's duo Clive Gregson and Christine Collister, which features songs from all five of their albums


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