Billy Nicholls

Forever's No Time at All: The Anthology 1967-2004

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The collected works of Billy Nicholls may well prove essential listening, not just for fans of the 1960 cult favorite -- whose entire Would You Believe album, complete with outtakes, is present on the first half of the first disc -- but also for admirers of Pete Townshend, who produced and recorded Nicholls during the 1970s. That work is also here, and if it isn't quite as ornate and flowery as Nicholls' '60s work, it also compares favorably with the music that the Who was putting out circa 1974. That's all augmented by tracks off of the previously released compilation Penumbra Moon, which is gorgeous in its own right as singer/songwriter-style material. The latest tracks here, dating from the 21st century, are not quite as pretty as some of what's come before, but the music is still valid, enjoyable rock in a somewhat heavier (or, more heavily produced) vein, more self-conscious in its approach but not without interest. He still writes great lyrics and melodies that if they're not wholly dazzling, dress up nicely. Anyone who owns Would You Believe will find a lot here to keep himself busy and happy.

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