Georgie Fame

Seventh Son/Going Home

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During the late '60s and early '70s, Georgie Fame was pursuing a different path than most of his British peers -- Clapton, Van Morrison, Stevie Winwood. Instead of loosening up, with longer jams and bluesier, earthier playing, Fame was actually tightening up, with the charts and jazz players to match. (Recording with big bands was about the closest he got to excess.) Thus, the stardom and acclaim he'd received during 1964-1965 quickly evaporated, and he failed to make the popular transition from AM pop to FM rock. That, of course, doesn't mean he didn't record quality material during that time -- it was just that those who appreciated him tended to be over 35 instead of under 25 (the same audience who could recognize and appreciate references to '50s jazzbos like Lambert, Hendricks & Ross or Mose Allison). The BGO two-fer that combines 1969's Seventh Son with 1971's Going Home is a good example of his work of the period. The recordings are great, and the charts are tight and well-played by Fame's horn section. The former has plenty of Fame originals, with the same laid-back, jivey delivery as his earlier material, even if the songs themselves can't match the candle-power of his earlier hits "Sunny" or "Sitting in the Park." The latter is all covers, but they aren't perfectly picked -- a few more with the same broad appeal of "Sunny" may not have continued to endear his fans, but they could possibly have paid the bills for long enough to keep Fame going as a top-flight act.

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