Thursday, December 28, 2017


For a guy who has been making records for something like forty-five years and has a long and complicated discography, Peter Blegvad manages to maintain a fairly low profile. His new CD, Go Figure, has been released by ReR in anticipation of a full bells-and-whistles Blegvad retrospective boxed set promised for early 2018. By my count a little shy of half of the 17 tracks on Go Figure are new songs, the others being new versions of tunes that originally appeared on earlier Blegvad or Slapp Happy records or that were premiered on the Radio Free Song Club. The band is made up of usual Blegvad confederates Chris Cutler, John Greaves, Bob Drake, and Karen Mantler, the CD package features various Blegvad doodles, and the whole thing was produced and engineered by Drake in the south of France, though not on the Côte d'Azur, a locale that prompts these typically frivolous Blegvadesque lines:
We're so rich
we're out of reach.
We're at the top of the heap
at the bottom of which
people sleep on the beach.
The new version of "God Detector" doesn't seem like an evident improvement on the one included on Choices under Pressure, and nothing here strikes me as on a par with Blegvad compositions like "King Strut," "Hangman's Hill," or "How Beautiful You Are," but it's all tuneful and fun and it might grow on you. In the meantime there's that boxed set to look forward to.

Update (March 2018): After living with Go Figure for a few months, I think my favorites here are "Had To Be Bad," "Simon at the Stone" (a tribute to Blegvad's late friend, the photographer Simon Marsden), and the cheeky "Way To Play The Blues." The boxed set is still in the offing.

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