Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ian Matthews

"If You Saw Thro' My Eyes" (1971)
"If You Saw Thro' My Eyes - LIVE" (2003)


In late 1970, shortly after his band Matthews Southern Comfort hit number one in Great Britain with its version of Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock," Ian Matthews decided that he needed more creative freedom and left for a solo career. The subsequent album, If You Saw Thro' My Eyes, his fourth and best release since leaving Fairport Convention in 1969, was recorded and released within the next few months. It also reunited him with former Fairport bandmates Sandy Denny, who had left the band in late 1969, and Richard Thompson, who would depart by the time of this album's release. Both would bring their distinctive personalities to the proceedings without ever overwhelming Matthews' own vision. As a bandleader and songwriter, Matthews' growth is quite evident here, guiding a stellar cast through seven excellent new originals and three well-chosen covers (also included is the a cappella "Hinge" and its instrumental reprise). Throughout, Matthews' sweet yet evocative tenor is perfect for the material, which succeeds in its blend of British and American folk, rock, and pop. Furthermore, he once again shows a keen eye for the work of others, while also proving his prowess as a first-rate interpretive singer. A pair of songs written by the late folksinger Richard Farina -- "Reno, Nevada" (resurrected from Ian's days with Fairport) and "Morgan the Pirate" -- are given fresh, inspired readings, highlighted by Thompson, Tim Renwick, and Andy Roberts' superb guitar interplay, providing a real folk-rock edge. But it's the beautiful, prayerlike title track that is the record's crowning moment. Joined simply by Denny's piano and breathtaking second vocal, along with a tasteful backwards guitar interlude by Renwick, Matthews' quiet plea for guidance is as moving and personal a song as he's ever recorded. A number of other highlights, such as "Hearts," "Southern Wind," "It Came Without Warning," and "You Couldn't Lose," make If You Saw Thro' My Eyes one of the best efforts by a Fairport alumnus. ~All Music Guide

32 years after its initial release, A funny thing happened on the Matthews tour 2003. The opportunity came up and the idea was fresh and the recording studio was available so this ground-breaking concept came to pass. Matthews and band recorded the entire album that we all know and love, "If You Saw Thro' My Eyes" - LIVE.

15 Comments:

Blogger TBA said...

Thanks for the post. I've been wanting to hear more of his solo stuff - not easy to find in the states. Thanks, too, for updating your links. Would I be presumptuous to ask you to add me? Please? I'm a big fan, after all.

23 September, 2006 11:31  
Blogger Lizardson said...

Thanks for your comment as usual, you are one of the biggest supporter of my blog.

23 September, 2006 11:49  
Blogger Laruchis said...

A big ... BIG thanks for the music you're sharing.
And a very Special Thx for uploading my requests.
Laruchis.

23 September, 2006 23:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're posting great music & therefore much apprciated of course. I especially dig the Ian Matthews stuff. I used have his albums on vinyl. Lost them over the years much to my chagrin,...and then your blog comes along! I noticed the "thro' my eyes" album is a CD rip. Did they really left off both versions of "Hinge"? Did I do spmething wrong?
Anyway, thanks for all the beautiful music!

24 September, 2006 03:12  
Blogger Lizardson said...

This is from 2(If You Saw Thro' My Eyes/Tigers Will Survive) in 1 CD.

http://www.answers.com/If%20You%20Saw%20Thro'%20My%20Eyes

"Hinge" is cut off at this Edition.
and I don't have other CD.

24 September, 2006 03:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for fillng me in lizardson. I just knew that it wasn't a mistake on your behalf.
Forgot to tell you thatI admire your impeccable taste!

24 September, 2006 06:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Outstanding post!!!!
Thank you very much for these great albums.

Greetings

Frank

24 September, 2006 06:27  
Blogger vinylhed said...

I love the duet with Sandy Denny (the last song on "If You Saw Thro' My Eyes").
Truly lovely

Thanks Lizard

24 September, 2006 10:34  
Anonymous The Hammer said...

Thanks for the re-post.
This is a very, very fine album.
I always loved Matthews in Fairport, and the M.S.C. stuff.
This one I had not been able to obtain on vinyl when it was technically in-print.

Does anyone have Ian Matthews' very first solo album post-Fairport Convention,
"Matthews Southern Comfort" - from which he took the name to form the band MSC
for their albums? That would be a nice one to obtain!!

Fairport would have done well to try and get Ian back after he was so unceremoniously pushed out during the recording of "Unhalfbricking." But, I don't know if he would have seen eye-to-eye with the rocked-up trad material direction they had begun to pursue ...

07 November, 2006 03:47  
Anonymous McPhisto said...

The link on the live album is dead...timed out it looks like.
Ani chance of a re-post?
Happy New Year

31 December, 2006 20:28  
Blogger ashaw953 said...

Thanks so much for all this wonderful music! I've found some stuff that I've long had on (now-scratchy) vinyl, so it's great to hear again.

Ian Matthews in particular is a real treat.

-- andy --

20 January, 2007 02:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great album. Unfortunately two songs are missing:
Hinge 1 and Hinge 2 (instrumental). Why? Thanks anyway

24 January, 2008 09:38  
Anonymous Osibisa said...

Here are the missing songs (Hinge 1 and 2), extracted directly from the original vinyl. And thankyou for the posting, of course.

rapidshare.com/files/111060825/
06_-_Hinge_-_If_You_
Saw_Thro__My_Eyes_-_Ian_Matthews.mp3.html

rapidshare.com/files/111060826/
07_-_Hinge__Reprise__-_If_You_
Saw_Thro__My_Eyes_-_Ian_Matthews.mp3.html

to lizardson: I don't know how to post the url, system keeps saying "the url contains illegal characters" and the url is too long, so i splitted each one in three (maybe you could fix this and delete this explanation, thx)

29 April, 2008 01:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. For this. For everything

06 February, 2009 10:48  
Blogger salvi said...

Congratulations!

22 June, 2009 02:15  

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