Cleaners from Venus

Blow Away Your Troubles

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The only Cleaners project where the home production values are a serious impediment to pleasurable listening. There's lots of muffle, and too much bottom, on these 1980-81 efforts, "recorded on a hand-cranked, mud-cooled, reel-to-reel, sound-on-sound tape recorder" (from the sleeve note). As a songwriter, however, Newell was already a talent of some distinction. It's too bad these weren't recorded better, but Newell fans will appreciate the melodic strength of much of the material. "Marilyn on a Train," in particular, is about as achingly tuneful as anything he's come up with in his whole career.

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