POP ALBUMS Outlook: Fog in the chart
Copied from Melody Maker 30.01.1971 (provided by Derek Walmsley)
LINDISFARNE: "Fog On The Tyne."
Of all the the new groups that I have heard in the past 12 months, Lindisfarne remain in a class of their own.
My opinion, I know, is shared by many, and their second album goes a long, long way to proving the point. I've been playing it for a week, and each time the needle picks up the strains of track one [Meet me] I sit back and listen.
It's been a long time coming and it's well worth waiting for. The group defy categorising: it's almost the perfect blend of folk/rock, mixed with subtle melodies, occasional blues and lyrics that really mean something. If nothing else, the album brings out Alan Hull's undisputed talents as a song and lyric writer.
From the absurd alliterations on the title track "Fog On The Tyne" - surely everyone knows that off by heart now - to the romantic "January Song" and his three solos on the second side, you can tell he's in a class with Paul Simon and the rest. "Alright On The Night," for example, is so commercial it could be a massive single hit.
Then there's Ray Jackson, pulling at the harp through his moustache like a blues hero. I played "Train In G Major" to Bob Hite and he loved it. So you will. And his singing on "Uncle Sam", a song by guitarist Simon Cowe, has the feel of the press gang days it reflects.
Simple, effective drumming by Ray Laidlaw, whose packing case sound is not unlike Ringo, and bass runs that occasionally belie the ears left me wondering just how long it will be before Lindisfarne become one of the top attractions they deserve to be.
I tried to fault the album, but couldn't. It was produced by Bob Johnston, who has
brought in all the techniques of his Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel and Cohen days, to make
the guitars sound so crisp and the vocals so clear that my speakers ring with delight. It
stands high among the year's best albums.
C. C. [Chris Charlesworth]