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TIM STAFFELL 'Amigo' (2003)

Tim Staffell was the vocalist/bass player in the pre-Queen band Smile, a band that also featured Brian May. This is album covers what Tim Staffell has been up to over the past thirty years. Its an album of mellow jazz rock with some great melodies like ‘Country Life’, a song that also features neat slide guitar. The title track features Staffell’s finest vocal performance on the album, a real heartfelt vocal. There are some well-known guests including ex-Mott the Hoople keyboard player Morgan Fisher and ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Snowy White. But the star turn goes to Queen’s Brian May who guests on two re-workings of Smile numbers. ‘Earth’ is very Queen, complete with May’s trademark guitar sound and it’s a majestic track, with Staffell’s vocals complementing May’s well. Morgan Fisher also pops-up on this track as well. ‘Doin’ Alright’, one of my favourite early Queen tracks, actually appeared on Queen’s debut album and gets a radical overhaul here. It has a more country style, rather than the stark ballad on Queen’s debut, and it works well.

Very enjoyable album, with a mellow vibe running throughout - a good album to wind down too. Queen fans will want this album as well for the Brian May connection and Morgan Fisher, who was Queen’s live keyboard player on the ‘Hot Space’ tour.




Review by Jason Ritchie

***** 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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