Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Plainsong "In Search of Amelia Earhart"
(Ian Matthews' Band 1972)

In just under three years, Ian Matthews split from Fairport Convention, went solo, formed Matthews' Southern Comfort - with whom he scored a number one U.K. hit - left the group at the height of its popularity, recorded three more records on his own (only two were released at this time) and in early 1972 started Plainsong, his fourth band in five years. And while his track record led one to believe that Plainsong may be just another short stay, the subsequent album, In Search of Amelia Earhart, proved to be worth the venture. Ian Matthews was of course the obvious draw, but Plainsong seemed to be formed as more of a collective effort, with lead guitarist Andy Roberts, who shares the lead vocal duties, the other focal point in the band. On the other hand, Matthews, whose folk and country-tinged tunes set the tone for the record, is the only member to contribute original material. Included among these is the thematic "True Story of Amelia Earhart," which along with the haunting "For the Second Time," leads a pack of five Matthews compositions that range from good to excellent. Elsewhere, Paul Siebel's heartbreaking "Louise," the dulcimer and harmony driven Appalachian gospel of "I'll Fly Away," and Roberts' readings of the playful "Yo Yo Man," Jim & Jesse's "Diesel on My Tail" and the mournful 1939 tale of "Amelia Earhart's Last Flight" are all highlights. Its title and artwork, along with notes by Charles Goerner on the flight and disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Frederick Noonan, gave In Search of Amelia Earhart the feel of a concept album, even though the title is nowhere to be found on the outside jacket and there are only two songs related to the subject contained within. It wasn't really a surprise when a follow-up, though recorded, failed to materialize, with the band parting ways on less than amicable terms, and Matthews going on to record two more records for Elektra. Still, In Search of Amelia Earhart fits nicely alongside the rest of his terrific early-'70's catalogue. ~ Brett Hartenbach, All Music Guide

01. For the Second Time
02. Yo Yo Man
03. Louise
04. Call the Tune
05. Diesel on My Tail
06. Amelia Earhart's Last Flight
07. I'll Fly Away
08. True Story of Amelia Earhart
09. Even the Guiding Light
10. Side Roads
11. Raider


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only a short question. Has this the same tracklist as the vinyl LP?

23 August, 2006 17:06  
Blogger Lizardson said...

Yes, it's same as LP.

23 August, 2006 17:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally unrelated to this album, but thought I'd mention that your blog doesn't render at all well in my browser (I've tried both firefox and IE) - the body text is fine, but certain names of people appear coloured dark grey and are almost invisible against the black background. It's all a bit difficult, and I often cut and paste the text into Word to read it if it looks interesting.. I'm sure some people don't bother.

23 August, 2006 19:13  
Blogger Lizardson said...

Thanks to your mention.
I'll fix them from next post.

23 August, 2006 20:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the music of Ian Matthews very much and so still looking for some albums. This one was still missing.
So: gratefully thanks for sharing :-)

24 August, 2006 10:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Iain Matthews' voice and am looking forward to hearing him with Plainsong. Keep up the good work. Many thanks.

31 August, 2006 01:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The follow up album has been available as additional tracks on the CD re-release of "Amelia". It is sadly awful, although, if I am not being too kind. some of this appears to be because the record was stopped before production was finished.

30 January, 2007 01:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found this, any chance of a repost, as I've been after this for a while. Great Site

08 February, 2007 17:40  
Blogger amusicalguy said...

Any chance of a repost on this? Thanks! Your blog is GREAT!!

07 February, 2011 11:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A repost does not seem likely - note the takedown notice on the front page of the blog - but look here:

01 March, 2011 04:28  

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