This is really a tough one. After leaving Manfred Mann in late 1966, lead singer Paul Jones attempted a brief acting career. The film Privilege was based around a pop singer turned politician, a concept liberally (and less successfully) borrowed for the American International film Wild in the Streets. Anyway, the film has definitely achieved well-deserved cult status. The music, though, is another matter. Jones was an incredible stylist. Just listen to his vocals on Manfred classics such as "Pretty Flamingo," "Do Wah Diddy Diddy," and others. He was also an effective songwriter, as "Tired of Trying, Bored with Lying, Scared of Dying," "The One in the Middle," and other songs show. On this album, though, you get the strange feeling that Jones was really being manipulated. He obviously had more serious things on his mind than to cover lame material such as "Lady Godiva" and "My Way." It all smells of a film contract. There are some excellent moments here, though, such as the title piece and "Free Me," both with swirling Mike Leander arrangements. One of the highlights is Jones' original "Can't Hold Out Much Longer," a great laid-back blues that recalls the best efforts of Harry Nilsson. Overall, a bit disappointing, as Jones was clearly a major talent, especially at this stage of the game.
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AllMusic Review by Matthew Greenwald