Sunday, December 03, 2006

Chris Harwood "Nice to Meet Miss Christine" 1970

Nowadays Chris Harwood is being touted as Britain's great lost female folksinger. That's understandable -- her sole record, Nice to Meet Miss Christine, launched the tiny indie Birth label in 1970. The album disappeared soon after, probably because most listeners were unable to get beyond the first track, the exceedingly self-righteous, anti-racist "Mama," whose justified anger doesn't exonerate the song's lack of melody. Or maybe it was due to the fact that Nice wasn't really a folk album at all, as the guest musician roster makes clear. Guitarist Peter Banks was a founding member of Yes, pianist/organist Tommy Eyre would soon be joining Rainbow, brass and woodwind player Ian McDonald hailed from King Crimson, drummer Pete York came from the Spencer Davis Group, and guitarist Mike Maran would eventually become Britain's top musical arranger. Not a folkie in sight, but one hell of a lineup, expanding the sound of what one assumes was Harwood's own group -- guitarist Dave Lambert, bassist Roger Sutton, and drummer J. Kay Boots. Thus the songs sound phenomenal (even if the transfer to CD creates a hollowness at the center), the musicianship is flawless, and the set is as eclectic as one would imagine with these players on board. Jazzy fusion, jammy prog rock, pomp rock, revved-up R&B, and combinations of all of the above swirl across the set. The musicians are so busy showboating that melodies are mostly ignored, most spectacularly on the covers of Dave Mason's "Crying to Be Heard" and Crosby, Stills & Nash's "Wooden Ships," a situation Harwood does little to resolve. She's best showcased on the sultry blues of "Flies Like a Bird," but elsewhere too often slides into waspishness or worse -- harangues. A musical Margaret Thatcher is no good thing, but that's how Harwood comes across, all hectoring tones and wagging finger, even on the love songs. It's no surprise, then, that the iron chanteuse never made another record, but if you can ignore her, the backing is sensational. ~ Jo-Ann Greene, All Music Guide

Sample pic: 1, 2

Download link in comments.


Blogger Lizardson said...


03 December, 2006 08:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The file don't open. Can you help me ???? There's any problem with it???
Thnak you
Loyola Brazil

04 December, 2006 05:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another gem!!!!!
Thank you very much


At Loyola Brazil: The file is working perfect for me!
I think you have to download it again.

04 December, 2006 08:03  
Blogger hooks said...

well iron lady or not i really love chris harwood but then as a finger wagging child of maggie i guess it figures, take no notice this is a strong album highly enjoyable

15 November, 2008 03:48  
Blogger chris harwood said...

thanks hooks - i was only 16 when i recorded the album .... i knew nothing ...
chris harwood

25 July, 2010 00:09  
Blogger murn1 said...

The choral backing is by the group Design, for contratc reasons using a false name "The Designettes" !

06 October, 2011 00:46  

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