Ian Matthews Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Guy E, Aug 6, 2005.

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  1. Guy E

    Guy E Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Antalya, Turkey
    Listening to the eponymous debut of Plainsong at the mo'... and what a wonderful album it is. He really did no wrong for about eight albums there and from what I've heard of more recent efforts scattered across the decades he never really "lost it" either.

    His voice might have even made me a Steely Dan fan if that partnership had materialized as originally planned. Let's hear it for Ian (or Iain as it were).
     
  2. Blair G.

    Blair G. Senior Member

    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    I hadn't heard of Ian Matthews until a local label (Mushroom in Vancouver) released Stealin' Home in '78.
    Have since picked Siamese Friends on vinyl but have never ventured farther back.

    I know BGO has at least three two-fers and Water records has released a two-fer of Valley Hi & Somedays You Eat the Bear....

    Where should I start?
     
  3. Guy E

    Guy E Senior Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Antalya, Turkey
    Of stuff that's easily found at a reasonable price in the US, those two are fine, especially Somedays You Eat the Bear.

    I like the two albums he did on the Vertigo label - If You Saw Thro' My Eyes & Tigers Will Survive and have seen used LP's around NYC in recent months.
     
  4. vanmeterannie

    vanmeterannie Forum Resident

    Siamese Friends and Stealin' Home are just awful compared to the earlier Elektra and Vertigo LPs, I think. It's a whole different vibe, and not necessarily a good one.
     
  5. eelkiller

    eelkiller Not one of the first 100 members

    Here's a updated discography for this highly prolific artist. The Watermelon CD's are worth getting as well as Journeys From Gospel Oak and the A Tiniest Wham/ Live Wham discs. It is sad that most people omly know him for the Shake It single.


    http://www.iainmatthews.com/disco.htm


    Also Tigers will Survive is now out on CD (finally)
     
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  6. d.r.cook

    d.r.cook Forum Resident

    There's a jpn press of valley hi for 15 locally. Any idea if it's appreciably better than original u.s. press? I like the LP quite a bit, but "so. comfort", stealin' home, and the
    all-webb song LPs are all i have by him.

    thnx,
    doug
     
  7. MikeM

    MikeM Senior Member

    Location:
    Youngstown, Ohio
    I really only know the Matthews Southern Comfort LPs and Ian's first couple of solos.

    Out of all of them, my favorite track far and away is "Sylvie" from the Comfort's Later That Same Year. What a beautiful song! Lovely vibraphone backing, a plaintive lead vocal, and harmonies to die for.
     
  8. eelkiller

    eelkiller Not one of the first 100 members

    Dirty Linen's Orphans and Outcasts series are very nice (great version of Woodstock on one volume).

    There is also a 5 CD box set in the works according to the Matthews web page.

    ...And we can't for get the DCC Nights In Manhattan mastered by some one whose name you may recognize.
     
  9. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Non-essential

    Location:
    OH
    He was also a lead singer for Fairport Convention's first two albums, in case anyone didn't know that. Both are worth getting (Fairport Convention and What We Did on Our Holidays)
     
  10. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City!

    Location:
    Fonthill, Ontario
    I really liked his 2 Columbia LPs as well, but as far as I know they have never come out on CD. I hope that BGO eventually gets to them.
     
  11. Wow. Didn't know there were any other fans here. I recently downloaded some of the Matthews Southern Comfort and album an Iain's If You Saw Thro' My Eyes album from Emusic.com. And, coming back from the Edmonton Folk Music Festival the other evening I was chatting with one of the heads of the Calgary Folk Music Festival who is a big Iain fan. We discussed possibly checking out Iain for a future festival.
     
  12. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    Location:
    ohio

    which 2 are those?

    renny
     
  13. Blair G.

    Blair G. Senior Member

    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Go For Broke '76
    Hit and Run '77
     
  14. Reiki Master

    Reiki Master Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    I am also a big fan, since the Fairport days.

    I now have the following CDs:
    The best of Matthews Southern Comfort
    Later that same year (MSC)
    The Seattle Years 1978-1984
    The Elektra Years 1972-1974
    God Looked Down
    The Dark Ride
    Shook
    Walking a changing line
    Some days you eat the bear
    Dark side of the room (Plainsong)

    And I used to have the following LPs:
    Valley Hi
    Tigers will survice
    Go for broke
    If you saw thro' my eyes
    Stealing Home
    Hit and run
    Siamese Friends
    In search of Amelia Earhart (Plainsong)

    I like everyone of them. He has one of the most wonderful voice in Pop/Rock music.
     
  15. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    Location:
    ohio
    you are correct!

    i would like to have those also.

    renny
     
  16. Frank G

    Frank G Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oregon
    My favorite period, besides the Matthews' Southern Comfort LPs, was his rocking phase, when he teamed up with David Surkamp (Pavlov's Dog) in a band they called Hi-Fi. They played around Seattle, put out an EP and an LP (Moods For Mallards was the LP's title) on First American Records and basically disbanded when Ian signed with RSO. David and Ian worked very well together, the vocals coming from opposite sides of the planet almost, and I am fortunate enough to have been there. I guess you could have called it Hard Pop for the Pop Starved.

    Frank G
     
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  17. rene smalldridge

    rene smalldridge Senior Member

    Location:
    manhattan,kansas
    Along with If You Could See Thro My Eyes and Tigers Will Survive, Moods For Mallards is my 3rd favorite album that Matthews was involved in. Their version of Prince's "When You Were Mine" slays all competition IMO even though I am a Mitch Ryder fanatic and love his version as well. I really regret the new agey direction Ian Matthews ventured in after bailing out on HI FI.
     
  18. Frank G

    Frank G Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oregon
    Post Hi-Fi

    There is supposedly an interesting story behind the whole thing, part of it involving RSO and the demands they put on Ian. It is my understanding that it was the deal that made him turn sour on major labels on the whole. Later, of course, he avoided the trappings and had contracts written to suit his purpose. He is supposed to have a website somewhere which covers some of the releases and their background.
     
  19. AKA-Chuck G

    AKA-Chuck G Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington NC
    I only became aware of Mattews after getting into Richard and Linda Thompson and following Thompson's tree back to Fairport Convention. First CD I bought was "Walking A Changing Line" and I got "Stealing Home" on LP. I recently got the 5 CD "Complete Notebook Series" which is a great overview of his career.

    I'd be interested in the CD compilation mentioned earlier.
     
  20. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    Location:
    ohio
    getting into iain matthews can be quite the quest, especially if you are a completist.

    it is very, very hard to track down some of his albums on CD, and can get quite expensive.

    renny
     
  21. 4_everyman

    4_everyman The Sexual Intellectual

    Great thread! :thumbsup:

    My wife and i are both big fans of Iain. Between us we probably have most of his albums on CD and vinyl.

    We live on the west coast, but last fall we had cause be back east and, as luck would have it, Iain happened to be touring with Ad Van derVeen while we were in the area. We drove from Baltimore to Wilmington, Delaware (not a long drive) to see his show. It was in a small club and we ended up sitting very near the stage. Someone who had played guitar on one of Iain's records was sitting next to us and Iain came over and chatted with us all before the show and during the break. We considered ourselves very fortunate just to have had the chance to see him so far from home. When we got to speak with him, well, it added another dimension to the experience. He's a very friendly person. He's also still in great voice.
     
  22. Reiki Master

    Reiki Master Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Addition: I have the Plainsong CD "Voices Electric" too.
     
  23. ZenArcher

    ZenArcher Senior Member

    Location:
    Durham, NC
    Huh? Are you saying Iain and Steely Dan were gonna hook up? I've never heard that - got a link for more info?

    I've liked quite a few of Iain's projects over the years. The new Collector's Choice catalog lists a two-fer of Plainsong and another album (I forget which).
     
  24. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    Location:
    ohio
    matthews and fagen would have made an interesting pair.

    renny
     
  25. Reiki Master

    Reiki Master Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    I have not heard of this also, tried to google but found nothing.

    The other connection I knew of was Iain covered "Dirty Work" on his 1974 Some days you eat the bear....album, which also featured Jeff Baxter and David Lindley. While Ian had many many excellent cover versions of other artists songs in his career, like "Woodstock," "Seven Bridges Road," "Ol' 55," "These Days," "I don't want to talk about it," "Tell me why," "Louise," etc., I think the original Steely Dan version with David Palmer on vocals was better.

    The only other remote connection Ian had with Fagen was that Ian picked a couple of Terrence Boylan tunes "Shake it" and "Don't Hang up your Dancing Shoes" in his Stealin' Home album, and Boylan was classmates of Fagen and Becker in college in New York and played together in a band.
     
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