Mick Greenwood

Midnight Dreamer

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This record could only have been made in 1974, a time when record companies were making money hand over fist and had production budgets to burn, but the business was not yet in the hands of the bean counters. By the '80s, the likelihood that a singer/songwriter like Mick Greenwood -- who is frankly no great shakes on either half of that equation, the sort of amiable but uninspired guy who the third tier of the music industry has always been lousy with -- could even get a recording contract with a label like Warner Bros. was slim to none; that he would then be handed what must have been a remarkable amount of money and studio time, based on the ultra-slick and detailed sound of this album, is simply unthinkable. Midnight Dreamer is a classic cast-of-thousands album in the grand mid-'70s tradition: strings, horns, female backing vocalists, and some dude playing kitchen sink are all present and accounted for. The sound is remarkable; arrangers Richard Hewson and Steve Hamilton earned their keep, and Greenwood and co-producer Victor Gamm caught every glistening note clearly. The problem is that Greenwood is an utterly anonymous singer, a keyboardist who sounds as if he's listened very carefully to Elton John's early albums, and a perfunctory songwriter at best. On the surface, Midnight Dreamer sounds wonderful in a sort of extremely dated and slightly silly way, but upon closer inspection, the entire album dissolves.

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