ian78Stealin´Home, west coast album from Ian Matthews…

Ian Matthews (born Ian Matthews MacDonald — he changed his last name in 1968 and then the spelling of his first name in 1989 to reflect his Celtic roots).

Following two less than thrilling releases for Columbia, Stealin’ Home is somewhat of a return to form for Ian Matthews. Recorded for Rockburgh Records in the U.K., and co-produced by Matthews, along with label owner and former cohort Sandy Roberton, the album veers away from the tepid jazz-tinged pop of its predecessor, continuing what seemed to be a natural progression that was hinted at with Some Days You Eat the Bear in 1974, and then to a greater degree with the lackluster Go for Broke two years later.

The pop and light R&B of the disappointing Go for Broke is more fully realized here, showing Matthews in a much more flattering light. Once again he chooses a handful of good covers, including songs by Robert Palmer, John Martyn, and Terence Boylan, to round out and complement his own material. It’s a nice, pure pop treatment of Boylan’s “Shake It,” that gave Matthews his first Top 40 hit in over seven years (number 13), but it’s a pair of pre-rock & roll numbers that are responsible for two of Stealin’ Home’s most inspired moments.

A warm a cappela arrangement of Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Carefully Taught,” from the musical South Pacific, evokes both the beauty and depth of the song, while the interpolation of Richard Stekol’s contemporary “Yank and Mary” with the old standard “Smile,” has a sort of melancholy sweetness. Elsewhere, cuts such as Palmer’s “Gimme an Inch,” Boylan’s “Don’t Hang Up Your Dancing Shoes,” and Martyn’s “Man in the Station” are appealing enough, but seem a bit diluted when placed next to the original versions. Released by Mushroom Records in North America, Stealin’ Home, though not necessarily essential, is still worth a listen.

Words from allmusic.com

Discography

Stealin´Home “Reissue”

Omnivore Recordings 2014

Tracks are: Gimme An Inch, Don´t Hang Up Your Dancing Shoes, King Of The Night, Man In The Station, Let There Be Blues, Carefully Taught, Stealin´Home, Shake It, Yank & Mary (Smile), Slip Away, Sail My Soul, Tigers Will Survive (live), Stealin´Home (live), Shake It (live), Just One Look (live), King Of The Night (live), Man In The Station (live), Don´t Hang Up Your Dancing Shoes (live), Call The Times (live) & Payday (live).

Musicians on the Stealin´Home Reissue album: Ian Matthews, Bryan Haworth, Phil Palmer, Jim Russel, Rick Kemp, Pete Wingfield, Mel Collins, Duffy Power & Simon Morton.

Stealin´Home/Siamese Friends

BGO Records 2005

Tracks: Gimme An Inch, Don´t Hang Up Your Dancing Shoes, King Of The Night, Man In The Station, Let There Be Blues, Carefully Taught, Stealin´Home, Shake It, Yank & Mary (Smile), Slip Away, Sail My Soul, You Don´t See Me, Survival, Heatwave, Home Somewhere, Crying In The Rain, The Baby She´s On The Street, Hearts On The Line, Anna, Lies & Runaway.

Musicians on the Stealin´Home/Siamese Friends album: Ian Matthews, Bryan Haworth, Phil Palmer, Jim Russel, Rick Kemp, Pete Wingfield, Mel Collins, Duffy Power & Simon Morton.

Stealin´Home

Mushroom Records 1978

Tracks: Gimme An Inch, Don´t Hang Up Your Dancing Shoes, King Of The Night, Man In The Station, Let There Be Blues, Carefully Taught, Stealin´Home, Shake It, Yank & Mary (Smile), Slip Away & Sail My Soul.

Musicians on the Stealin´Home album: Ian Matthews, Bryan Haworth, Phil Palmer, Jim Russel, Rick Kemp, Pete Wingfield, Mel Collins, Duffy Power & Simon Morton.

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