Review - Zabadak magazine 2010
SANDY NEWMAN 'Golden Years' Table 51 Records 2010: Having been lead singer of Marmalade now for more than 35 years, then (after all this time) this is actually Sandy Newman's first solo album. It opens with the up-tempo & pretty 'Hold Me' which is actually pure Marmalade 'Rainbow' style complete with harmonica. Then follows a real highlight in 'The Blind Man'. Originally done in the mid 70s by Sandy & Marmalade though never could understand why this was never released as a single way back then as is quite brilliant with some moving lyrics "they say I'm a blind man working 10 years or more...not really sure of myself...while you are the rich man...you take me for everything"...and here it is less sugary (now without the 50 piece backing orchestra) & more raw with some attractive acoustic mandolin.
The trio of 'History Repeating' (nice slide), 'Golden Years' (melodic country rock) & 'You're In Heaven Now' (slow deliberate & pretty) keep the mood for the stark and beautiful 'Wichita Lineman'...the genius of Jimmy Webb "I am the lineman for the county and I drive the main roads..." – with sparse piano & acoustic guitars played by Sandy. The strong 'Over The River' (gentle fiddle/violin prominent here) which grows with each listen, the plodding rock'n'rollish 'Listen To My Heart' (originally used as flip of Marmalade's 1986 7"'Heartbreaker') tends to fit slightly uncomfortably into proceedings, but then we are driven 'Homeward Bound', a well chosen 60s folk rock classic given a fine treatment – top track. The discovery here though is 'Daisy' which is more experimental & folkish (like the violin parts - the respective piano, accordion, mandolin & violin flourishes adding to the various tracks) - great number! Sandy wrote (or co-wrote) 7 of the 12 tracks including this one & in fact reminds closest to Colin "Honeybus" Hare's recent work.
Written by Chip Hawkes 'The More I Look' is a delicate gentle outing whilst 12th & final track 'Oh My Lord' provides a pretty & beautiful finish on what has been a poignant emotional album. The backing instrumentation throughout is pure & real - there are over dubs sure, but not a thousand, and one could imagine that Sandy & his supporting musicians (Damon Sawyer, Pete Hamilton, etc) could have knocked these up fairly quickly (even if they didn't), which is good as the album has a positive spontaneous "real" feel about it. Sandy has remained often in the shadows of popular music, but his work not only with Marmalade but with Dave Dee (i.e. 'It's Over', 'The Wall' & 'Scirocco') deserved much greater recognition, and so hopefully with this release this will finally happen.
A highly enjoyable & uplifting affair. (8½/10) (R.C.)
Review - Maverick Magazine April 1010 IssueSandy Newman - Golden Years
For the last 36 years Sandy Newman has been the lead voice of pop group Marmalade. Now, at the ripe old age of 58 he has finally got round to recording his debut solo album.
Suitably titled GOLDEN YEARS, in many ways this is a reflective collection, both in his own excellent self penned originals and a few chosen covers. Neat revivals of Homeward Bound and Wicheta Lineman sit comfortably alongside the folk-tinged Over the River with its catchy chorus and the rootsy Daisy with its Deep South vibe.
Self produced with the majority of instruments played by Sandy this is a low-key album that stands up well to repeated listening.
Review - Rock & Reel Magazine January 2010For the past three decades, this fifty-eight-year-old singing guitarist's income had depended chiefly on leading Marmalade through their ancient smashes on the nostalgia circuit. Yet another Sandy Newman keeps a lower but more inventive profile as a songwriter, in-demand record producer and interpreter of frequently tough material, notably 'Voir Un Ami Pleurer', nestling among contributions by Robb Johnson, Barb Jungr, Attila The Stockbroker and like cult celebrities on 1998's acclaimed Ne Me Quitte Pas CD celebration of Jacques Brel.
As a measure of his talent, apart from drums plus various bits and pieces on specific tracks, every note on an overdue solo album has been hand-tooled by the man himself, largely in the privacy of his own home studio. Into the bargain, he's endeavoured to avoid a blinded-by-science approach to the general sound - and thus it's easy to perceive that 'The Blind Man', 'Over The River', the rapt title theme and another five self-penned numbers would stand as tall in essence if reduced to the acid test of just voice and piano. Newman is also most discerning in a choice of non-originals, ranging from tender 'The More I Look' by Len Hawkes, once of the post-Brian Poole Tremeloes, to a daring 'Wichita Lineman' on a collection that's been worth the long wait.
Author & Rock Biographer
Coming SoonSandy’s new album is almost ready for sale! He is just putting the final touches to the sleeve design now, the album is due out in March/April 2010.
If you can’t wait that long please have a look on the Music Page where you’ll find a couple of tracks to keep you going.
Or you can pre-order a copy by sending him an email.