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Ricky-Tick… 40 Years On

Phillip Goodhand-Tait

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Album Review

Where was the likes of a Tony Secunda, a Kit Lambert or a George Martin when you needed him? The only thing standing between Phillip Goodhand-Tait & the Stormsville Shakers and success was the lack of a savvy manager/producer to make it happen. This eponymous album compiles all of the band's grand studio recordings and a trio of exuberant live numbers, 14 tracks in all, and twins it with the now re-formed band's 2005 studio album, Ricky-Tick. Storming out of Guildford, England in 1964, the Shakers were a Northern soul fan's wet dream, a rollicking R&B quartet, with a penchant for orchestral arrangements, buttressed by a pair of Memphis styled saxophones. Frontman and budding songsmith Goodhand-Taitt is a fine tenor with a pop flair, but a soulful delivery. The band would back rock legend Larry Williams on two albums, but even that didn't excite the interest of record labels. Their ska-ified take on "Long Live Love" never made it past the demo stage, songwriter Chris Andrews chose to give it to Sandie Shaw instead, but their version wipes the floor with her chart-topper. Instead, the band's career high came with a cover of "Gonna Put Some Hurt on You." By then, Goodhand-Taitt was already penning some of the band's numbers, with the incendiary "Number One" and the breezy "There You Go" spotlighting his fast maturing talent. The Shakers folded soon after Goodhand-Taitt's first success as a song-writer — Love Affair's smash hit "Gone Are the Songs of Yesterday." "Burning Rain," which opens Ricky-Tick, picks up precisely where the band left off 35 years before, but with a tighter sound and far better production. But neither Goodhand-Taitt nor the rest of the band has spent the intervening years in a cave, and more modern stylings flood across the rest of the set, from the new wavy synths that splay across "Back in the Asylum" to the hard funk that fuels "Tighten Up Your Bible Belt." Given the opportunity, his bandmembers shine, particularly on "Burning Rain," "Tighten Up Your Bible Belt," and "R.C.T.," but too often Goodhand-Taitt smothers their fire with his keyboards, overly lush arrangements, and smoothed to a shine production. No longer the Shakers, the group has been demoted to a mere backing band. Taken on its own terms, the album is a pleasing enough set, but placed against the sizzle of the group's early efforts, it pales in comparison.

Biography

Born: 03 January 1945 in Hull, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Philip Goodhand-Tait has come close to stardom as a performer on a painfully regular basis since the 1960s without ever achieving it, but still finding success. He's an established producer, songwriter, and musician whose work has benefitted artists ranging from Roger Daltrey to the Lords of the New Church, without ever quite becoming a marquee name himself — sort of England's answer to Al Kooper. Born in Hull in 1945, his father was a trade unionist and his mother taught piano. He was a natural...
Full bio
Ricky-Tick… 40 Years On, Phillip Goodhand-Tait
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  • 6,99 €
  • Genres: Pop, Music
  • Released: 12 June 2006

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