Fireworks

Steve Ellis - 'Loot' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/75/7a/1c/1592_steveellisloot_1316202049.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 16, 2011    
 
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Unlike most sought after releases 'Loot' lives up to its reputation.

Having recently parted with the band Love Affair after the media revealed that only he had actually performed on the band's biggest hits (including the classic track 'Everlasting Love'), singer Steve Ellis found himself trying to decide how to continue his career. With a Steve Ellis solo album in the offing and the offer to form some bands being mulled over, Keith Mansfield who had overseen the arrangements of many of Love Affair's songs asked Ellis to sing on the soundtrack to the movie 'Loot', which he had just been commissioned to record. After discovering that the band who would record the album would contain the top session musicians of the time Clem Cattini (drummer on no less than 44 UK numbers 1's!), Herbie Flowers (bassist on 500 hit recording including some with Elton John, Lou Reed as well as Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds) and Big Jim Sullivan (guitarist on number one singles with everyone from Frankie Vaughn to Pilot as well as Benny Hill and Rolf Harris!) Ellis accepted. The resultant film starring Richard Attenborough and Hywel Bennet was reasonably well received if never hailed as a classic, however unhindered by that the soundtrack album has grown in stature as the years have passed, with vinyl copies selling for three figure sums on the internet. So having sat in the vaults for 41 years, Angel Air have reissued the album with a snazzy looking booklet with excellent liner notes so we can check out what all the fuss has been about.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Featuring a Hammond heavy sound and a hefty sack full of brass, it has to said that 'Loot' sounds remarkably of its time while still somehow being an album that is completely engaging and convincing. Ellis proves himself to be a soulful, but rocking singer with a stunningly passionate voice and while the music is impressive in its own right, it is the vocals that continually steal the show. Like so much music recorded for film and TV during this era, the songs on this album stand up on their own merits and the likes of 'Loot's The Root' and 'More, More, More' are genuinely excellent early seventies styled rock songs, that with the added brass instruments and clips of the dialogue from the film itself contain barrowloads of atmosphere. In fact even without ever having seen the film, it is easy to picture what is going on simply through the songs themselves. What 'Loot' also shows is just how throwaway most modern day soundtracks are compared to specially commissioned pieces like this and for example Roger Daltrey's 'McVicar' soundtrack which works in a similar, if musically heavier way to this album. Yes it may sound decidedly dated and yes there's no denying that this is "film" music, but I just can't stop playing these excellent songs and on top of that everyone I've played them to can't stop singing them either. Unlike most sought after releases 'Loot' lives up to its reputation and really is an excellent album that anyone who has even a passing interest in this style of music will cherish.

Steven Reid

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