Thursday, September 07, 2006

Ian Matthews

"Valley Hi" (1973)
"Some Days You Eat the Bear & Some Days the Bear Eats You" (1974)

Ian Matthews recorded a pair of solid albums for Elektra during the early '70s: Valley Hi, produced by Michael Nesmith, and Some Days You Eat the Bear and Some Days the Bear Eats You, which was self-produced. While it may seem less obvious in 2004, at the time country-rock hadn't been completely co-opted by groups like the Eagles. When Nesmith and Matthews combined an eclectic singer/songwriter set list with country-flavored arrangements on Valley Hi in 1973, it sounded fresh and exciting. The element that sticks out most today is the high quality of familiar songs chosen for the album, including Steve Young's "Seven Bridges Road," Jackson Browne's "These Days," and Richard Thompson's "Shady Lies." The only element that dates the music here is the pop sheen that's been added to Matthews' fine tenor, creating a mismatch between the album's vocal and instrumental approaches. Perhaps this is the reason why Some Days You Eat the Bear balances out better overall. On lovely cuts like Danny Whitten's "I Don't Want to Talk About It," the steel guitar and fiddle have been traded for a more straightforward production that works better with Matthews' vocals. For a real comparison between the albums, all a listener needs to do is check out the two versions of "Keep on Sailing," the first with piano and dobro, the latter with pedal steel and saxophone. Even if the latter album gets the slight nod, both work together well as a package and provide a satisfying snapshot of a fine singer as he developed into a songwriter in 1973-1974. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr., All Music Guide

10 Comments:

Blogger Laruchis said...

Thx again M8!
Your blog is really great!
Excellent music.

08 September, 2006 00:03  
Anonymous yann said...

Ian Matthews is my favourite singer. So, many thanks to shed him light on.
Greetings from France.

08 September, 2006 09:32  
Blogger Donno said...

Thanks muchly for Sometimes You Eat The Bear, Matthews is a fabulous singer.
Cheers
Donno

08 September, 2006 19:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks - an endless supply.....

09 September, 2006 04:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

many thanks for an excellent blog - matthews a favourite of mine

11 September, 2006 06:05  
Blogger Spider Lady said...

Thank you. I waw waiting for.
Gracias!!!

23 October, 2006 03:30  
Blogger alvega said...

I love Ia(i)n Matthews since I first listened to 'If You Saw Thru' My Eyes' back in the day. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

any particular reason for ripping this beautiful musics of yours at such a low bitrate ? Sounds so much better at APX-V0 or even at APS...

23 October, 2006 17:57  
Blogger ttsxii said...

Thank you. I have been looking for Somedays You Eat the Bear for a long time.

26 December, 2006 23:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found your site, it's overwhelming.
A big thanks from Germany.

31 March, 2007 06:04  
Anonymous Dave said...

Excellent site and a great eclectic choice of rare albums. Many thanks for the posts.

11 March, 2009 18:54  

Post a Comment

<< Home

2006 - - - - - - 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2007 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2008 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2009 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2015 - - - - - 5 6