Salvo
Gilbert O’Sullivan

Back To Front
(CD / Download)

Format: CD
Cat. No.: SALVOXCD002
Barcode: 698458050229
Playing Time: 45mins

If 1971 had established Gilbert O’Sullivan as an intriguing new song writing talent with an unforgettable off-beat image, 1972 saw him become even more successful and, somewhat surprisingly, a sex-symbol. The pale, be-capped Just William character pictured on the previous album, Himself (SALVOXCD001), had become a not-so-distant cousin of manager and producer Gordon Mills’ other manly stars, Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck, and on the front of his second album he looked handsome, tanned and sexy.

Alone Again (Naturally) and Clair, the singles that preceded the album, had been enormous hits in both Europe and America. The former spent six weeks at number 1 in the US and the latter was only kept from the American top spot by Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain. Yet it wasn’t until the release of Back To Front in October 1972 that Gilbert finally got around to touring. “I wanted to concentrate on writing,” explains Gilbert. “My apprenticeship wasn’t going through clubs and small venues, it was sitting in a room trying to write songs. So I didn’t miss getting on the road. Television was easy – in and out, and I could go home to my house and concentrate on the real work.”

And the real work was now really paying off. Back To Front was also hugely popular in the UK and, alongside the aforementioned singles (and his exciting new image) it helped to propel Gilbert to international superstardom as well.

 

REVIEWS

 

Look at you, all growed up. Just like the bits in films whereby the secretary takes off her glasses and shakes off her glasses and shakes out her hair – “Why Miss Jones, you’re BEAUTIFUL” – Gilbert O’Sullivan executed  one monumental image about-face in 1972: from leper to lothario, essentially.

Thankfully, as Back To Front categorically proved, his newfound status as a shag-pile showpiece didn’t interfere with that inimitable songwriting genius – McCartney’s best bits through a James Joyce filter funnel. Admittedly, O’Sullivan’s signature breeziness might be that little bit breezier here. There’s ‘In My Hole’ with its Bacharach trumpet and skip-through-the new-town-while-the titles-roll melody, then there’s the Vaseline-on-the-lens idyll of ‘That’s Love’ and the glorious gormlessness of (bonus track) ‘Ooh-Wakka-Doo-Wakka-Day’ – banana-fingers piano in excelsis.

Conversely, ‘Alone Again (Naturally)’ matter-of-factly mines hitherto unmapped emotional depths and pulls forth a diamond, while ‘Clair’ deftly preserves a particular strain of innocence that may never pass this way again. Did I Mention genius?

Marco Rossi

SHINDIG!



CD
Tracklisting
1.
Intro
2.
I Hope You'll Stay
3.
In My Hole
4.
Clair
5.
That's Love
6.
Can I Go With You
7.
But I'm Not
8.
I'm In Love With You
9.
Who Was It?
10.
What Could Be Nicer
11.
Out Of The Question
12.
The Golden Rule
13.
I'm Leaving
14.
Outro
15.
Along Again (Naturally) [single]
16.
Save It (B-side)
17.
Ooh Wakka Do Wakka Day [single]