'La Passione' 2 CD and 4 DVD earbook release 2015

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Re: 'La Passione' 2 CD and 4 DVD earbook release 2015

Post by jlandon033 »

Hey everybody,

This is really good dialog we have going here. To piggyback off of what Andrew said I too do not care much for the latest release either. I don't paint with quite a big a brush though because I thoroughly enjoyed Blue Guitars (& The Hofner Bluenotes to a lesser extent). However the Santo Spirito Project was a complete wash out for me. The movie's are ok but I dare say I'll never watch them again, the soundtrack's where very underplayed with only one song I really like (Somewhere Between the Moon and Stars), and the regular songs cd was absolute re-tread. I think someone said the CD took 4 days to record and it sure sounds like it.

There is a part of me that thinks Chris kind of suffers from an inferiority complex and that the overall acclaim that he richly deserves but often does not receive really bothers him. I seem to remember way back in the day right after the Road To Hell and Auberge albums that Chris in an interview stated he was really frustrated that the opportunities for collaborations and soundtrack work just never materialized. I think this may have been part of his motivation to start writing his own movies so he could do soundtrack work. It's kind of like he is trying to create his own reality instead of letting it come to him naturally. It seems forced. It's kind of like when he was a rock guy he would always name drop Joe Walsh as his original inspiration. Now that he has made the blues his forte he names Charlie Patton as his original inspiration.

I listen to a sports talk radio station here in Dallas a lot and they talk about other stuff too. One of the subjects they talk about is music and whether once a band/artist gets to a certain age do they have it in them to make another good album. Has Chris reached the tipping point? What do you guys think? I'm kind of a music collector so I have so much music to listen to. My point is my most recent way of judging if I am really digging on an Album is if I just want to listen to it over and over (like I did when I was young). The only albums I've done that with lately are the last two Noel Gallagher albums and the last War On Drugs album. I've not felt that way about a Chris Rea release in some time.

Joe

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Re: 'La Passione' 2 CD and 4 DVD earbook release 2015

Post by MRB »

Santo Spirito Project is quite a letdown for me as well. Album should have been recorded by a band, not Chris by himself. Soundtracks have few moments but all in all I don´t really care them as I´m not soundtrack fan in general.

The Return of the Fabulous Hofner Bluenotes was ok, but only ok. Sound production could be much better.

Blue Guitars has many great songs for my taste but such a huge collection of songs has also songs which doesn´t work. Also Blue Guitars could have had better and more authentic sound production. Once again drum sound is one thing to complain.

Drum sound has been poor for the last two decades or so. Think the last time it was good was in song "You must follow" in original La Passione album.

Also it could be said, not so sure is it wise to try to do too many things, talking about movies.
Maybe Chris should concentrate on music and make solid album.


jlandon033 wrote:Hey everybody,

This is really good dialog we have going here. To piggyback off of what Andrew said I too do not care much for the latest release either. I don't paint with quite a big a brush though because I thoroughly enjoyed Blue Guitars (& The Hofner Bluenotes to a lesser extent). However the Santo Spirito Project was a complete wash out for me. The movie's are ok but I dare say I'll never watch them again, the soundtrack's where very underplayed with only one song I really like (Somewhere Between the Moon and Stars), and the regular songs cd was absolute re-tread. I think someone said the CD took 4 days to record and it sure sounds like it.

There is a part of me that thinks Chris kind of suffers from an inferiority complex and that the overall acclaim that he richly deserves but often does not receive really bothers him. I seem to remember way back in the day right after the Road To Hell and Auberge albums that Chris in an interview stated he was really frustrated that the opportunities for collaborations and soundtrack work just never materialized. I think this may have been part of his motivation to start writing his own movies so he could do soundtrack work. It's kind of like he is trying to create his own reality instead of letting it come to him naturally. It seems forced. It's kind of like when he was a rock guy he would always name drop Joe Walsh as his original inspiration. Now that he has made the blues his forte he names Charlie Patton as his original inspiration.

I listen to a sports talk radio station here in Dallas a lot and they talk about other stuff too. One of the subjects they talk about is music and whether once a band/artist gets to a certain age do they have it in them to make another good album. Has Chris reached the tipping point? What do you guys think? I'm kind of a music collector so I have so much music to listen to. My point is my most recent way of judging if I am really digging on an Album is if I just want to listen to it over and over (like I did when I was young). The only albums I've done that with lately are the last two Noel Gallagher albums and the last War On Drugs album. I've not felt that way about a Chris Rea release in some time.

Joe

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Re: 'La Passione' 2 CD and 4 DVD earbook release 2015

Post by ace of hearts »

To be fair I've enjoyed the main Hofner Blue notes Cd (Not so much the Delmonts Cd's shadows style) And the main CD in Santo Spirito, but the soundtracks didn't do it for me.

Chris is a good songwriter and his chord progression and changes in songs are fabulous. Chris has the ability to allow a song to build up and progress into a full crescendo of music and lyric. Just listen to Ace of Hearts as a demonstration of what I mean or Winter song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjmaoacTPjM (Ace of hearts)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu4xnyOz9bk (Winter Song)

Chris has a knack of hitting a spot that takes you on a ride that you do not want to stop. Most certainly he has great songs and albums left in him, no doubt. I just hope his health allows him to do so. A Chris Rea album as I've said before is a highlight of any year and I am longing for another one anytime soon :-) :D
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Re: 'La Passione' 2 CD and 4 DVD earbook release 2015

Post by andrew fischer »

jlandon033 wrote:It's kind of like he is trying to create his own reality instead of letting it come to him naturally. It seems forced. It's kind of like when he was a rock guy he would always name drop Joe Walsh as his original inspiration. Now that he has made the blues his forte he names Charlie Patton as his original inspiration.
Joe
Hi Joe,

thanks again for your comments, the thing with Chris's inspiration also has been puzzling me a lot. Prior to 2000 Chris almost never mentoned Charlie Patton, at least not as his inspiration. The story with his mom's alarm clock that went on suddenly with Charlie Patton on the radio only appeared after his 2000 illness.

Before that he would have always mentioned Joe Walsh and Ry Cooder as his very first heroes. The trick is that Joe Walsh songs that Chris claims to have inspired him, Turn to Stone and Rocky Mountain Way, were released in 1973, while Chris started playing in 1972 and had his 1st single released in 1974. So the new story about Charlie Patton seems to be closer to the truth.

I think Chris invented the story about Joe Walsh and Ry Cooder partially on request by his management, so that for the people listening to his interviews it could be easier to understand his music roots, as relatively many people know Joe Walsh as he still plays now and only a few remember who Charlie Patton is, as his music comes from so long ago and is very hard for many people to understand. When Chris escaped from the dictation by his management, he revealed his real roots and told the real stories. I still believe Joe Walsh and Ry Cooder played a huge role in Chris's life and music, but they were not those who stood behind in the very beginning.

best regards
Andrey
Last edited by andrew fischer on 02 Jun 2015, 07:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 'La Passione' 2 CD and 4 DVD earbook release 2015

Post by andrew fischer »

Drum sound has been poor for the last two decades or so. Think the last time it was good was in song "You must follow" in original La Passione album.
Hi MRB,

do not you consider the sound of real drums on Stony Road, Blue Jukebox and most of the Blue Guitars CDs good enough? I do understand you do not like combination of real drums and drum machines that Chris often tends to use in late 90s and late 2000s, but most of the abovementioned CDs feature decent work by Martin Ditcham solely on real drums. I remember only 2 songs from Stony Road / Blue Jukebox with drum machines: Burning Feet (indeed bad drum and bass sound) and Speed (good sound to me).

best wishes
Andrey
Last edited by andrew fischer on 02 Jun 2015, 08:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 'La Passione' 2 CD and 4 DVD earbook release 2015

Post by andrew fischer »

ace of hearts wrote:To be fair I've enjoyed the main Hofner Blue notes Cd (Not so much the Delmonts Cd's shadows style) And the main CD in Santo Spirito, but the soundtracks didn't do it for me.
Chris is a good songwriter and his chord progression and changes in songs are fabulous. Chris has the ability to allow a song to build up and progress into a full crescendo of music and lyric.
As I mentioned before, for me it is the other way around: I value The Delmonts CD and Santo Spirito soundtracks as something really innovative for Chris and I consider The HBN 2 CDs and Santo Spirito songs CD just a cheaply made addition to the cores of these projects to make them seem more commercially attractive.

I agree with you about Chris's prolific songwriting, but I really doubt he would ever write a song like Ace of Hearts or even Winter Song again, considering not only the structure, but the overall sound and freshness. The closest of recent examples is The Chance of Love and I did not like it, as it sounds too much "I heard it all before"...

Thanks for sharing your opinion nevertheless,

best regards
Andrey
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Re: 'La Passione' 2 CD and 4 DVD earbook release 2015

Post by jlandon033 »

Hello all,

Interesting comment by Andrey in that he doubts that Chris would or possibly even could write a song like Ace of Hearts ever again. You may have a point here. If any of you have ever walked into a guitar store or guitar expo you will walk past a vast sea of guys playing blues licks. This may sound like heresy but playing the blues is so much easier than composing a catchy pop and rock song. It's a very easy habit to get into when you sit down to play guitar to just start knocking off blues runs. This may be where Chris's head is now and he would have to strip back quite a few layers to arrive back to a place mentally where he could compose some of those pop/rock masterpieces of the past. Secondly he may not even want to compose songs like that ever again. I'm not sure based on a litany of comments by Chris that he has much regard for those songs. I think he sees a lot of them as compromises. It is very weird that Chris spent most of his career creating music he sees as a compromise which is the very music the most of us love the most. Very enigmatic.

Joe

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Re: 'La Passione' 2 CD and 4 DVD earbook release 2015

Post by ann268 »

Something completly different, Chris Rea his Facebook site is down for all this day.
Not chrisrea.com.
Hope still for something new.
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Re: 'La Passione' 2 CD and 4 DVD earbook release 2015

Post by andrew fischer »

jlandon033 wrote:Interesting comment by Andrey in that he doubts that Chris would or possibly even could write a song like Ace of Hearts ever again. You may have a point here. If any of you have ever walked into a guitar store or guitar expo you will walk past a vast sea of guys playing blues licks. This may sound like heresy but playing the blues is so much easier than composing a catchy pop and rock song. It's a very easy habit to get into when you sit down to play guitar to just start knocking off blues runs. This may be where Chris's head is now and he would have to strip back quite a few layers to arrive back to a place mentally where he could compose some of those pop/rock masterpieces of the past. Secondly he may not even want to compose songs like that ever again. I'm not sure based on a litany of comments by Chris that he has much regard for those songs. I think he sees a lot of them as compromises. It is very weird that Chris spent most of his career creating music he sees as a compromise which is the very music the most of us love the most. Very enigmatic.
Hi Joe,

thanks again for putting forward a burning issue to discuss.

The key word in what you wrote is "compromise". Yes, Chris has been permanently insisting on that his older stuff was usually a blues/gospel/jazz/funk in the beginning, up to the demo stage and afterwards turned into a commercially viable compromise with record executives.

But aren't his latest works still compromising? I consider there is often more blues in Chris's classis works and even his biggest hits than in current allegedly all-blues stuff, but with a heap of cheap electronics (synths and drums) and all instruments played by a single man, who sees himself a jack of all trades but in fact is master of guitar only. Okay, previously he was compromising with the general public and the record companies, but who or what is he compromising with now? Health, money or simply himself?

I have recently re-listened to a great interview by Chris for a Dutch radio show, Poster, from April 2004, when he was promoting The Blue Jukebox album. He said a lot about that now he is a publically certified blues singer and guitarst and that he had broken free from the chains of executives and image things, but also tells a lot about his earlier career. And when asked about roots and popularitly of the songs like Josephine he said he is now not ashamed of them becoming pop hits because they were different as demos but he managed to keep some key things throught, like groove and swinging at the end of original Josephine version, which he and Max Middleton are very proud of. And he says: "If I ever write a song like Josephine again, I will surely record it".

I totally agree it is much easier to do something seemingly complicated than create something seemingly simple but really catchy at the same time. Chris once seemed to have found a perfect balance between this seemingly complicated and simple but catchy. This seems to be gone now. There is still many a compromise but no balance, in my humble opinion.

What do you think?

best regards
Andrey
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Re: 'La Passione' 2 CD and 4 DVD earbook release 2015

Post by elangelo »

"It is very weird that Chris spent most of his career creating music he sees as a compromise which is the very music the most of us love the most."
Yes, I often think the same, actually! But I love "Dancing down the Stony Road", which is no compromise, but pure pain and relief (as I see it). It's a beautiful album. And I love "The Blue Jukebox". So we still had a couple of years when Chris didn't make any compromise and still produced beautiful music. Not forgetting "Blue Guitars", of course.
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Re: 'La Passione' 2 CD and 4 DVD earbook release 2015

Post by tobi777 »

Hi all,

thanks for getting this forum back to live and for this most interesting discussion :D

I'm always quite puzzles by Chris' statements. If Robert Johnson and Charly Patton were his main influences back then I wonder why Chris did not use just a few licks in this style on his first records.Instead his early playing sounded a lot like Joe Walsh and Ry Cooder - and I don't think the record company demanded he should have played it like that because for them he was supposed to become a kind of West-Coast Elton John. So I really believe his first main influences back then WERE Cooder and Walsh and to me it seems he's exaggerating a bit to fit the story of the pop-musician that finally became a blues artist... when I became a Chris Rea fan his music was highly uncool to most of the people (at least in my age, I was 14...) and maybe he always had this kind of feeling, too and is desperately trying to be one of the blues guys that are getting praise from the critics.

In an old interview he stated that at the time he recorded "Tennis" he was at the helm as a producer and eventually could do what he ever wanted. As we all know this album is far from being a blues album. Not one track sounded remotely like that. Instead e.g. "No Work Today" sounds like a blueprint for a Ry Cooder instrumental.

Watersign was supposed to be Chris' last album with no backing by the record company that had lost interest completely. Why didn't he put some blues songs on it if he was so desperate? In these songs there is not the slightest hint of any blues influence...

And I really don't see why songs like "I Can't Dance To that" or "Just Passing Through" wouldn't fit to his new career. Honestly I am sick and tired of the static setlists of the past tours and Chris should be proud of his back catalogue instead of finding excuses why old songs were so awful. He could even re-arrange songs to show us how they were meant to be but this rarely happens.

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Re: 'La Passione' 2 CD and 4 DVD earbook release 2015

Post by andrew fischer »

elangelo wrote:So we still had a couple of years when Chris didn't make any compromise and still produced beautiful music. Not forgetting "Blue Guitars", of course.
Hi Elangelo,

nice to see you back here, and thanks for your comments! I love Blue Guitars very, very much, not only do I value it as a titanic work but also really love most of its stuff!

But as I see it, this thing with compromising again started out with Blue Guitars, and it was compromise between the numbers and the quality, as production and sound engineering was kind of treated as a collateral damage in order to get 11 CD release in such a short period. Morevoer, many a song on Blue Guitars' 60-70's, Texas, Motown, Celtic and Latin albums appear to me as an echo from his classic years and use a lot of compromises in arrangements and overall sound. Appoximately a half of Blue Guitars' music is a logical successor to non-compromising Stony Road and Blue Jukebox albums, and most of these songs sound great but do not always sound original. Many a time there is a feeling of "I heard it all before", and I see it a compromise as well, though I may love such tunes a lot.

I love that Chris Rea is somehow still around, but I think more and more that it could have been better for him to spend more time on Blue Guitars production (maybe 3-4 years) and they retire, really retire, as he said he would and quit with big shobiz completely. All the things like The Fireflies, the movies and the new La Passione could still have happened then as they do not contradict with such retirement, but it turned out completely different and I do not like it that way as I do not understand it.

Take care,
Andrey
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Re: 'La Passione' 2 CD and 4 DVD earbook release 2015

Post by andrew fischer »

Hi Tobias,

thank you to for sharing your point of view. There are many things in it that I would rather agree with, but:
If Robert Johnson and Charly Patton were his main influences back then I wonder why Chris did not use just a few licks in this style on his first records.Instead his early playing sounded a lot like Joe Walsh and Ry Cooder
I also had been thinking over it a lot, and I assume Chris has been trying to appear reasonable, regardless of his inclinations. He cleasly saw that nobody would understand his playing pre-war blues licks straightforwardly and he found Joe Walsh and Ry Cooder, slide-guitarists of his age or close who were long since present in the shobiz and their records were easily acessible and comprehensible while being allegedly influenced by the old blues legends that Chris took inspiration from.

In my eyes, Chris decided to play the music in the style of Joe Walsh and Ry Cooder and name them as his heroes mainly because of that, in order to fit in the general view on blues-rock music and not to be so uncool, which seems really reasonable. The same with Tennis album: he was kind of set free but still had certain duties and limits so that he could not go too far. Remember Chris's words that he was also a big fan of Motown from the beginning and there is huge influence of black soul and gospel on his 1980-1982 albums. Water Sign was supposed to be another pop-oriented album effort after Magnet rejected Smile album (maybe that unreleased album was full of blues?..) and Chris just felt it was going to be his last album after he had been refused funding to record it properly.

Me as well I started my fanship when Chris was deeply uncool among the guys of my age and even twice as older (I was 12!) and it was one of his most pop-oriented periods (1998). I can only imagine how uncool could have he been if he used R. Johnson or Ch. Patton blues patterns from the beginning and did not compromise.

I recall another interview (Hard Is the Road on ITV1 from Marh 2004, if memory serves) where Chris tells about his initial view on Ry Cooder. He says he thought Cooder was an old man who played his own blues stuff but after a while he learned that Cooder took his inspiration from long ago and played the blues classics or widely used its patterns for his own tunes. I think this is the key information for this dicussion.

Thank you once again,
best wishes
Andrey
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Re: 'La Passione' 2 CD and 4 DVD earbook release 2015

Post by veherny »

Friends! Chris has not named one of the many of his influences is a clear example is Lowel George Listen the guitar
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1AWV3F8muI

Regarding his compositions I have unfortunately heard Chris say it was already written the best song ever
I consider a pessimistic comment from him
And as for the productions I 'm expecting a CD with a orchestra style which in fact Paul
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNOvVFUSVik

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Re: 'La Passione' 2 CD and 4 DVD earbook release 2015

Post by MRB »

So, few weeks and it will be August and yet not a single word about anything related to La Passione. It sure looks like a 2016 release to me. But of course if they got all set for just pushing a release button it could get out fast during this year also, but one could wonder is that the right way to release anything.

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