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JULIE FELIX ‘The Rainbow Collection’ (2004)

Julie Felix, Track Records, the Isle Of Wight festival. What a heritage. The very name Julie Felix conjours up distant memories - long since buried - of the late 1960s and early 1970s. But hold on. Wasn’t Julie Felix a Mums and Dads favourite - a regular on the David Frost show and the star of her own primetime family variety show?

And what was that hit single? Ah yes, El Condor Pasa - ‘I’d rather be a sparrow than a hawk, yes I would, yes I would’. Blimey, I’ve come all over nostalgic. Julie Felix. Yes, a regular on every family’s Ferguson Radiogram - you must have had one in your house (or known someone who did). A record player disguised as a sideboard. Size mattered in the 1970s.

How times have changed. Or so we thought. Off most people’s radar since the 70’s Julie took a break during the 1980s before returning to the UK, establishing the first ‘New Age Folk Club’, Remarkable Records and releasing her first album in a decade.

Putting the Rainbow Collection on is like stepping through a time warp. The world may have changed but here we have, in essence, a folkie protest album.

It represents the best of Julie's output over the last ten years including a number of Cohen (Hallelujah) and Dylan (Mr Tambourine Man, I Shall be Released, Masters Of War and Hard Rain) covers. And it sounds just like a 1960s recording - minimal acoustic backing, but none of the crackle and pops you used to get on a well-worn piece of vinyl.

What can I say? If you liked protest albums then (and by chance still like them now) then you’ll like this. But it’s not revolutionary. In some ways it’s a bit like meeting an old friend you haven’t seen for decades, only to discover you’ve nothing left in common. Apparently it features John Paul Jones, Danny Thompson and Kiki Dee. But you’d never guess.


Review by Pete Whalley

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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