The Shadows

Tasty

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1977 probably wasn't a good year for any returning heroes to be trying to make an impression, especially if they wanted anyone to remember what they'd done. In a year that was devoured by punk rock, and which history recalls only for that monster's most fiery antics, a group like the Shadows wasn't even an irrelevance. They weren't noticed. And so Tasty came and went, the Shadows album that time forgot, and it was only if you really, really cared about the band that you hunted it down, dropped the needle on the vinyl, and wondered why you'd bothered. Firmly into easy listening territory now, the Shadows had so thoroughly perfected their signature sound that nothing could break through it. The sweetly chiming guitar lead, each note resonating in its own musical universe; the gentle rhythms percolating behind it; they could have recorded any song in the world, and it would have sounded just like you'd expect. So "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" bleeds into "Walk Don't Run," "Superstar" dances the "Cricket Bat Boogie," and even "Honky Tonk Women," a song that really shouldn't have easily succumbed to their charms, becomes just another gentle drift. None of which is to say Tasty is not a tasty treat. Play it, and you can feel your body melting into the moods; you don't even need to think about it, it just takes you over and does what it will. Which was a remarkable achievement in 1977, and is still a surprise today. Nobody would ever rate Tasty in their Top 20 Shadows albums. But it's certainly one of the most archetypal of them all.

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