BLUE - The Blue Collection (4 CD-Rs)

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Just a simple 4 CD-R, basic track listing on the 'art'(sic) and gathers 4 releases, including the most important ones(info on each below). They are: "BLUE", "THE L.A. SESSIONS", "FOOLS PARTY", "COUNTRY BLUE"

What I wrote about the debut "BLUE": What Let me say this up front. This is one of my all-time favorite albums - ever. Just is. Always has been, always will be. For my ears, it is the strongest encapsulation of `the Badfinger sound`, featuring all the elements of post-late stage Beatles transcendence, world-weary, searching lyrics and melodies that haunt and lift the listener upward into heavenly enjoyment.

I have turned countless dozens of people onto this album(and other of their albums on this site) buying all copies of the vinyl LP I ever found, made copies of cassettes for in the 70s, 80s and early 90s, made CD-rs from then on and, finally, we have a CD of it to properly offer up. Life is good - and filled with simple, sweet pleasures. Blue was lead by Hugh MacMillan, in the final years of Marmalade, a find UK Beatles inspired pop band. This album came out in 1973 and if there was radio hit could have found an audience but the songs they wrote did not have the pure pop melodies of McCartney but the deeper introspection of Lennon. There is so little written or known by pop fans and I can not think of a more undeserving injustice than so many power pop bands not being aware of this album. It may not the ultimate desert island disc for you."

On "L.A. Sessions": After releasing 3 albums in the 70s, Blue, never lacking in ambition, packed it up and moved to Los Angeles to take their careers to the next level. Their self-titled 1973 as I mention endlessly to anyone who will listen is truly one of the great unknown pop albums of all time, for my ears. The material here on "The L.A. Sessions" is recorded from 1979-1982 is a must for most Not Lamers. While their debut mined the inspirations of Badfinger and The Beatles, this material embraces the skinny-tie power pop and emerging new wave trends and betters so many of the also-rans of the time. If they had been 10 years younger, they would have scored a deal but these late 60s/early 70s veterans were probably considered past their prime by industry lame-heads. How wrong.

"Country Blue": By the time these songs were written and recorded in 1987 and 1988, it was understatement that they were veterans. Emerging in the early 70s as a truly inspired Badfinger-styled rock/pop band, they de-volved into mid 70s pomp schmaltz, recovered to re-envigorate with the power pop sounds of the late 70s and, here on" Country Blue" going to what just felt good to do for themselves - not connecting, even remotely, to what the sounds were of the times. It is rootsy, organic and, yes, influenced by country-rock acts such as The Eagles and Poco. Many of these songs could stand proudly and strongly alongside those acts, in fact. A nice addition to a very strong catalog of under-appreciated music

"Fool's Party": After releasing their 3rd album on Elton John`s Rocket Records in 1977 called "Another Night Time Flight" they stuck around with Elton to work on a follow up(he produces some of the trax here). "Another Night Time Flight" was a huge disappointment for anyone - like myself - who had fallen in love with their 1973 debut, it was a stab at commercial, MOR sap-rock of the time and was limp as a tea-dipped biscuit and guitars were barely, nary to be found. I am sure the band were truly controlled by bad management and bad label vision. The label let them stick around and work up material for a follow up here, which was released in 1979. While not sounding anything like their early/mid 70s material, the band are more comfortable in their shoes and in the sounds of the time, asserting their inspirations and talents into the material they wrote leading to a fine, fine album of late 70s commercial pop that, while far from crucial, is enjoyable and quite good in many spots. There`s a lot to like for fans of of this, including this one. Best place to begin w/ this band is the self-titled debut(perfect!) or The LA Sessions. Completists will not be disappointed, though.

"1979`s Fools Party is a pleasant enough piece of mainstream pop/rock triangulated somewhere between Korgis, Little River Band, and late-period Badfinger. But while the album is of a piece with its better-selling predecessor Another Night Time Flight (although this time the group`s mentor, Elton John, only produced three tracks) and has a few genuinely good tracks on it - the single "Strangers Town" and the shockingly Paul McCartney & Wings-like "Without You" are particular highlights. Fools Party must have sounded dated even in 1979: the ultra-slick and heavily compressed production, along with the arrangements making use of `70s pop cliches like electric piano and George Harrison-style slide guitar, are distracting even on the good songs, which makes weaker tunes like the histrionic "Love Sings" downright annoying. Interesting as a piece of pop archeology more than as an album, Fools Party is nonetheless fitfully entertaining. "-AMG