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Jerry Lordan - All My Own Work (2012)
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1. A House, A Car and a Wedding Ring
2. I've Waited So Long
3. Leave Me Alone
4. First Romance (Instrumental)
5. Man on My Tail
6. Love Where Can You Be?
7. I Want to Fall in Love
8. All Night Long
9. Apache (Instrumental)
10. I'll Stay Single
12. The World's Loneliest Man
13. I'll Stay Single (Single Version)
14. Can We Kiss
15. Who Could Be Bluer?
16. Do I Worry?
17. Sing Like an Angel
18. Ev'ry Time
19. Ring, Write or Call
20. I've Still Got You
21. You Came a Long Way from St. Louis
22. Let's Try Again
23. One Good Solid 24 Carat Reason
24. Second Hand Dream
25. Diamonds (Piano/Vocal Demo)
26. Scarlett O'Hara (Piano/Vocal Demo)
If for nothing else than writing "Apache" (a huge early instrumental rock hit for the Shadows in the U.K. and Jorgen Ingmann in the U.S.), Jerry Lordan made an important contribution to pre-Beatles British rock. He also wrote hits for Cliff Richard ("A Girl for You"), Shane Fenton ("I'm a Moody Guy"), Louise Cordet ("I'm Just a Baby"), Jet Harris & Tony Meehan ("Diamonds"), and other Shadows smashes ("Atlantis" and "Wonderful Land"), though these didn't replicate their U.K. success across the Atlantic. He also recorded quite a bit as a solo artist between 1959 and 1962, issuing numerous singles and the 1961 LP All My Own Work, which gives this CD compilation its title. In addition to all 12 tracks from that album, it also includes a dozen from non-LP singles, and previously unreleased piano/vocal demos of his compositions "Diamonds" and "Scarlett O'Hara" (both of which were big British hits for Jet Harris & Tony Meehan). In spite of the fine, moody instrumentals he penned for the Shadows (and ex-Shadows Harris and Meehan), as a solo artist, Lordan was a surprisingly mediocre crooner whose recordings bore little resemblance to the best rock songs he composed for others. A few of them ("I'll Stay Single," "Who Could Be Bluer?," and "Sing Like an Angel") were mild U.K. hit singles in 1960, but these and most of his other sides very much reflect the usually tepid state of pre-Beatles pop/rock. He favored innocuous teen idol-type pop songs (including "A House, A Car and a Wedding Ring," which had been covered for a small U.S. hit by Dale Hawkins before appearing on All My Own Work) that almost seem to be striving not to offend or exude much energy, with only slight rock trappings in the arrangements and bland, contained vocals rooted in pre-rock/pop and music hall. Some hints of the Shadows' haunting melodies surface in "Man on My Trail" and "I've Still Got You," and All My Own Work does have his own version of "Apache," though it's burdened with strings and is far inferior to the Shadows' classic interpretation. The rudimentary demos of "Diamonds" and "Scarlett O'Hara" (on which Lordan wordlessly sings-hums the melodies) contain some historical interest, and the liner notes give an excellent account of his life and career. But his main significance lies in covers of his best work, not his own work. ~ Richie Unterberger