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All the Fun of the Fair

David Essex

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Album Review

When David Essex was at the height of his popularity in 1975, he released an album called All the Fun of the Fair, a ten-track LP featuring his current (at the time) number one single, "Hold Me Close," and two further hits from 1975, "Rolling Stone" and "If I Could." That album is not to be confused with this 2008 compilation, released by UMTV from the stage show musical based on David Essex hits, even though it opened with the title track just as the earlier album had done. The 21st century was fertile ground for hits-based musicals, the most successful being We Will Rock You and Mamma Mia for Queen and ABBA, respectively, although there had been lesser successes among musicals based on hits by Boney M., the Four Seasons, Rod Stewart, and Billy Joel, among others. All the Fun of the Fair had a story threaded through it of a man working at a traveling fair who has recently lost his wife and is struggling to deal with his rebellious teenage son. It deals with the darker side of fairground life with "Jack the Lad" characters operating the rides and various con artists whom this sort of life is notorious for attracting. The show and the album featured most of Essex's major hit singles from "Rock On," his first hit in 1973, to "A Winter's Tale" at Christmastime 1982. His two number ones, "Gonna Make You a Star" and "Hold Me Close," are of course included, as well as a whole host of album tracks that suit the story line of the musical. However, this should not be regarded as a standard greatest-hits compilation, as several major hits were missing and could easily have found their way into the story, including "Stardust" and "Rolling Stone" from the original All the Fun of the Fair album. Also missing was "Oh What a Circus," David Essex's song as Che Guevara from another musical, Evita, which — although on a similar topic — may have been too closely associated with Evita to be considered for another musical. There was also no room for the song "Tahiti," his final Top Ten hit from Mutiny in 1983, but those hits that were included served as a reminder of what an innovative and expressive singer David Essex was, all those years ago.

Customer Reviews

Not the musical cast recording?

I bought this album because i went to see the David Essex musical 'All the fun of the fair' I believed this was the musical recording because the album cover is the photo featured in advertisment for the musical as well as on the programme. The information suggested that this would be the musical recording, as all of the song titles have been altered to match those in the musical (then the David Essex song it is based on is in brackets.) for example: Alice (Stay young and free) I do love the songs, but this album was not what i expected! The songs are from the musical but are actually sung by David Essex himself.

I saw this musical

I saw this at the theatre and the cast and the show were amazing! Infact they should make a film of it and put it up at the cinema!

I'm gonna see this

I can't wait to see this on Saturday

Biography

Born: 23 July 1947 in Plaistow, London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The mention of the name David Essex — at least to Americans — usually invokes a wave of '70s nostalgia, not just of his own monster hit "Rock On" and the movie That'll Be the Day, but also of such British pop/rock exports of the period such as Godspell, Rock Follies, color episodes of Doctor Who, and Rula Lenska. For most of that decade, Essex was a pop culture institution in England, and he produced the music and entertainment in enough different media to fulfill the role admirably....
Full bio
All the Fun of the Fair, David Essex
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  • Partial Album
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Pop, Pop/Rock, Teen Pop, Soft Rock
  • Released: 15 September 2008

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