10/3/15

Alex Harvey - The Soldier On The Wall LP (1983)


Feel guilty not to have re-up this one before but there is still some important missing stuff so it won't be the last time I'll feel guilty. All about this posthumous Alex Harvey LP below. Catch it here.

OK, it's hard to deny that this posthumous LP from the great Alex Harvey is a disappointing affair and I even hesitated to post it, but felt it was relevant to the "forgotten songs" option of this blog since some of the songs in it are worth to be saved and not punished to belong to a weak album. Difficult to say who is responsible for the weakness of the project. The production is rather bad, the band's not the best Alex was backed by (don't know if they are the Electric Cowboys Alex was touring with in 1982) and the songs sometimes not reaching the level of quality according to the Alex standards. One indication of the problem of inspiration facing Alex is that the best song of the whole is the one that is driven from the Roman Wall Blues album, released 15 years before, the eponym "Roman Wall Blues" song. But I wonder if the main responsability of the deception are not the keyboards, mainly the moog and other awful synth sounds that destroy some of the best ideas. Terrible years where this kind of sound could be considered as a credible enbellishment of the sound. Makes me throw up listening to that now (and made me at the times). It's difficult to know how much Alex was involved in this LP, death taking him by surprise whilst waiting for the ferry in Zeebrugge, in Belgium. He was 47. Since my 47s, I always feel a candidate for sudden death and it modified my way of seeing life. So, it's a little hommage to this great man I do here in proposing this last LP under a nicer sleeve cover than the ones used for the vinyl and the CD versions, both mediocre. I did my best to imagine something he would have liked but I know it's a subjective ambition.

















Roman Wall Blues. Over the heather the wet wind blows Lice in my tunic, a cold in my nose The rain comes falling out of the sky I'm a soldier on the wall and I don't know why The mist is lying on a hard grey stone My woman is gone, and I'm sleepin' all alone There's somebody else hangin' 'round her place I don't like him, I don't like his face! I saw a Christian worshipping a fish There would be no kissin' If he had his wish She gave me a ring, I gambled it away And I want my woman, and I want my pay When I'm old, and I only got one eye There'll be no more soldiering, just lookin' at the sky I'm a soldier on the wall, I'm a soldier on the wall, A soldier on the wall, and I don't know why! Over the heather the wet wind blows Lice in my tunic, and a cold in my nose The rain comes falling out of the sky I'm a soldier on the wall and I don't know why The mist keeps lying on a hard grey stone My woman is gone, and I'm sleepin' all alone There's somebody else hangin' 'round her place I don't like him, I don't like his face!


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2 comments:

allan moncrieff said...

Love Alex Harvey but never heard this before. Amazing......

Dave Heasman said...

I have "Roman Wall Blues" an album from 1969 I think. Another track is "Midnight Moses". The title track lyrics are a poem by Auden.