THE BEST OF

THE LOVE AFFAIR AND STEVE ELLIS

THE BEST OF THE LOVE AFFAIR AND STEVE ELLIS

Sometimes album reviews can be a little flippant, this can generally be for a few of reasons. First the reviewer is asked to review an album that he or she would have no interest in, second the album itself could be not worth reviewing or third the artist has reached their sell by date and really should be ‘letting the young’uns have their turn’! Either way the review generally falls short of the artists expectations and not wanting to hurt the artists feelings reviewers will find ways to ‘pad out’ the review with niceties and gloss over any cracks that show in the artists own masterpiece….

I can say this with a hand on heart as I have written many reviews over my years, from being sent promo records and having to fill in reaction sheets to writing war and peace on some of the worst musical inspirations known to man, I’ve heard them all and written my fair share of crack covering ramblings to help nurture what could be very bruised egos.

Thankfully as I’ve got older I’ve learnt to politely say no to things that don’t interest me or could be of little interest to our readers and have positioned myself in a musical area which I love, it’s taken a while but I got there in the end.

It’s with age wisdom comes and having the ability to look back at the splendours of life I can reflect on what has gone before and truly appreciate what the present has to offer. This, can also be said for the world of music and for some of the artists that live within it’s realms. Being able to create great music over a period of decades is a mammoth task and few manage it with any sort of style or grace with a lot of artists falling into the third category of reviewer’s nightmares, but the ones that do it right deserve all the plaudits they receive and their ‘Best of’ albums become collector’s items in their own right rather than end up in a charity shop bargain bucket.

By this time you may be wondering why the long intro into an album review, well reader generally when someone offers me a ‘Best of’ album to review it sends shivers down my neck and the offer ends up in the politely declined pile BUT NOT THIS TIME!!

This is one of the few occasions where being sent an album of best bits has been an absolute pleasure to review, because the man behind the music is very much loved in our scene and his music has spanned generations from the sixties right through to today, still going strong, still recording and working with great artists and has a musical history that makes for some incredible reading. We are talking about the legendary Steve Ellis.

Steve’s personal story has seen him partying with close friend Keith Moon, producing music with Daltry, working with Zoot Money, Touring the states playing alongside The Who and ELO, helping organise tributes of The Small Faces for charity, appearing as part of the Steve Marriot memorial concert, working and playing with Paul Weller and Steve Cradock, voted into the Hall of fame in Brighton, performed at the Ronnie Lane memorial concert at the Royal Albert hall in London and is currently looking forward to a huge tour later this year. Not bad for a lad who at 15 was gate crashing weddings and youth clubs to play. Steve has also played at legendary venues The Marquee and The Flamingo as well as other cool mod haunts back in the day. My favourite story comes straight from Steve’s own website about a night with the legendary Who drummer….

"One night, Moon was in his room, all quiet. We kept banging on the door. Keith, we`re going down the pub. Hang on, boys. Eventually, he came out in full drag - gloves, the rings, the wig, the make-up. We fell about laughing. C`mon, let`s go, he says. Keith, you can`t go out like that. He said, yeah, I`m DJ`ing for the Beach Boys at Alexandra Palace tomorrow - so he was having a dress rehearsal. We walk in the pub and there`s two old boys. We were a bit wary but one of them turns and says `it`s alright, it`s only Keith`!

This album, The best of The Love Affair and Steve Ellis is a 12 track overview of some of Steve’s finest work from his early offerings as the frontman of the Supergroup Love Affair who dominated the charts with tracks Everlasting love, Rainbow love and Bring back the good times  to his solo work  as well as penned tracks Lonely no more and Cry me a river ably assisted by Mr Paul Weller. the whole album is carefully crafted and shows off the undeniable talents of this true mod/rock legend who has skilfully learnt his craft over a long period of time, Steve’s soulful sometimes gritty voice working beautifully over fantastically produced arrangements, his recent musical masterpieces equally as catchy and mesmerising as of his early work. It’s an album that stays with you and will enjoy many a revolution on cared for record players, shiny CD players or a car playlists. It’s an album that definitely needs no padding out as each track is wonderfully performed by a truly established artist.

Steve Ellis, take a bow sir, the ‘Best of The Love Affair and Steve Ellis’ is a great body of work worthy of any music lover’s collection. I would recommend this album 100% it’s utter brilliance…..

TRACK LISTING

1  Everlasting love

2. Bringing back the good times

3. A day without love

4. Rainbow Valley

5. One road

6. Time hasn't changed us

7. El Doomo

8. Good to be alive

9. Evie

10. Rainy night in Georgia

11. Lonely no more

12. Cry me a river

Available on gold vinyl with signed print order now from HERE

DETAIL MAGAZINE HAS A FANTASTIC ARTICLE ON STEVE COMING UP IN ISSUE 2 IN MARCH – PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY HERE

For more information and tour dates check out Steve’s website - www.steveellis.co.uk

Reviewed by Cris Davies 2021

© Suit Yourself Modernist Culture 2020