John Simon's Album

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Producer John Simon did a pair of albums of his own during the 1970s, starting with John Simon's Album 1970, which was two years in the making and featuring many of the musicians with whom he'd been working over that period, including Cyrus Faryar, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko, Delaney Bramlett, Leon Russell, Jim Gordon, Carl Radle, Jim Price, and Rita Coolidge, Bobby Whitlock, and Jean Millington. Perhaps not surprisingly, John Simon's Album mostly resembles the first two Band albums, with a clear, sharp, brittle sound rooted in a multitude of popular music strains. The strangest song here is the first, "Song of the Elves," a surreal, psychedelic song derived ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Producer John Simon did a pair of albums of his own during the 1970s, starting with John Simon's Album 1970, which was two years in the making and featuring many of the musicians with whom he'd been working over that period, including Cyrus Faryar, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko, Delaney Bramlett, Leon Russell, Jim Gordon, Carl Radle, Jim Price, and Rita Coolidge, Bobby Whitlock, and Jean Millington. Perhaps not surprisingly, John Simon's Album mostly resembles the first two Band albums, with a clear, sharp, brittle sound rooted in a multitude of popular music strains. The strangest song here is the first, "Song of the Elves," a surreal, psychedelic song derived from an R&B source and beat with a strong '50s New Orleans feel that calls to mind both Randy Newman and Brian Wilson -- the strange chorus with its deliberate distortion evokes the late '60s and the peculiar brand of psychedelia generated by the Beach Boys. And speaking of the latter, the bluesy "Did You See" sounds like some magnificent lost piece of the Wild Honey sessions, Wilson suddenly trying his hand at piano-and-guitar blues. The album also encompasses stripped-down gospel in "Nobody Knows," but the real jumping off point comes early, in the horn-driven "Tannenbaum," which sounds for a moment like the original Blood, Sweat & Tears jamming with the Band, and "Davey's on the Road Again" co-authored with Robbie Robertson could be a lost Band track in its playing and texture, though Merry Clayton's soaring backing vocal adds a special wrinkle and recalls Simon's arrangements on Leonard Cohen's first album. Much of the rest, regardless of who's playing, moves between intimate Newman-like or even Wilson-like quirkiness and the lean, rocking sound of the Band -- though the piano tends to be the lead instrument, somewhere in there most notably on "Don't Forget What I Told You" the guitar mostly played by John Hall comes in along with the bass and drums, all sounding like part of the Music From Big Pink of The Band sessions. Anyone seeking a kind of stylistic/textural extension of either of those first two albums need look no further, and Simon's music holds up as well -- it's difficult to see what would have been the single off of this album maybe "Railroad Train Runnin' up My Back"?, though "Annie Looks Down" or "Did You See" could and should have gotten FM play. Out-of-print for decades in the United States, John Simon's Album was re-released on CD in Japan in the early twenty-first century, and reappeared in America in 2006 on the Water label.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/26/2005
  • Label: Water
  • UPC: 646315714524
  • Catalog Number: 145

Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Simon Primary Artist, Piano, Horn, Vocals, Mandola
Rita Coolidge Vocals
Leon Russell Guitar
Marvin Stamm Trumpet
Grady Tate Drums
Delaney Bramlett Tambourine
Rick Danko Bass, Electric Bass
John Hall Guitar
Jim Price Trumpet
June Millington Bass
Jim Gordon Drums
Cyrus Faryar Vocals
Barry Beckett Organ
Harvey Brooks Bass
Merry Clayton Vocals
Gary Coleman Percussion
Paul Harris Organ
Roger Hawkins Drums
Levon Helm Drums
Eddie Hinton Guitar
David Hood Bass
Garth Hudson Soprano Saxophone
Wells Kelly Drums
Bobby Keys Tenor Saxophone
Richard Manuel Drums
Sherlie Mathews Vocals
Jean Millington Bass
Peter Pilafian Violin
Paul Prestopino Dobro
Carl Radle Bass
Bobby Whitlock Vocals
Paul "Blind Man" Harris Organ
Alice DeBohr Drums
Technical Credits
Marlin Greene Engineer
John Simon Composer
Roy Cicala Engineer
Don Hahn Engineer
Bill Halverson Engineer
Bob Kovach Remixing
Tony May Engineer
Shelly Yakus Engineer
Lee Hirshberg Engineer
Pat Thomas Reissue Producer
Mark Keresman Liner Notes
Eugene Gregan Paintings
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