PHIL CORDELL Hearts On Fire - An Anthology Angel Air SJPCD239 (2008)
Phil Cordell is an enigma, and if you donít know his name, chances are you know his music. With the help of Ray Fenwick (Spencer Davis, Ian Gillan et al) and others, Phil had hits during the 70s, under his own name as well as Dan The Banjo Man and, most importantly, Springwater.
The aforementioned Springwater hit the top ten in the early 70s with the instrumental hit 'I Will Return', which opens this collection. Reading this CD it came as a shock to find Phil had passed away last year, having previously interviewed him for the 2-on-1 Springwater reissue a couple of years back. A genuinely lovely guy, his angle may have been odd the wall, but he knew a good melody or three.
Like many of the tracks here, the production and recording quality both leave a lot to be desired, with tracks from the mid 70s sounding like they were recorded 10 years earlier. But even the tracks with vocals mix 60s garage with 70s pop/rock. The influence ranges from psychedelia to pub rock and beyond.
The work with some instruments and tape effects allows for an innovative approach to recording, allowing 1 or 2 people to sound like a full band.
Recording quality aside, this is a good experiment into sound in the 70s as well as a good and well annotated insight into the man behind a hit or two and more. Several previously unreleased numbers bolster the set.