Band members Related acts
- Matthew Fisher -- vocals, keyboards
- Rod Argent -- backing vocals (1980)
- Steve Bingham -- bass (1980)
- Barry De Souza -- drums (1980)
- James Dewar (RIP) -- backing vocals (1980)
- Mo Foster -- bass (1980)
- Mick Grabham -- rhythm guitar (1980)
- Dil Katz -- bass (1980)
- Dave Mattacks -- drums, percussion (1980)
- Tim Renwick -- lead guitar (1980)
- Henry Spinetti -- drums (1980)
- John Verity -- backing vocals (1980)
- Paul Westwood -- bass (1980)
- Peter Zorn -- backing vocals (1980)
- Matt and the Deputies
- The Society Five
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: Matthew Fisher
Grade (cover/record): VG / VG
Comments: promo stamp on back cover
GEMM catalog ID: 5657
Signed by A&M, 1980 saw keyboardist Matthew Fisher release his third solo album in seven years. Co-produced by Fisher and Graham Preskett, the cleverly-titled "Matthew Fisher" came as a major surprise to my ears. Call me shallow, but I was expecting to hear a pretentious set of rambling keyboard experiments. (Can you tell I own lots of solo efforts by keyboard players?) Wrong ... Showcasing nine Fisher originals and backed by an all-star cast including Rod Argent, James Dewar and Tim Renwick the set underscored Fisher's knack for writing surprisingly commercial AOR material.
1980 A&M promo photo
- Clearly written with an ear for commercial exposure, 'Can't You Feel My Love' was a near perfect AOR ballad. Easy to imagine this one on the soundtrack for some chick flick, or teen comedy.
- Kicked along by a jittery keyboard, a f*ckoff lyric, and weird stuttering melody 'Give It a Try' was very different from the rest of the album. The new wavy-feel was actually very nice and served as one of the more energetic tracks on the LP. Nice Tim Renwick solo ...
- 'Back In Your Arms Again' may have been the album's prettiest ballad. Guess he missed the wife/girlfriend while touring.
- Fisher purposely seemed to avoid his signature Procol Harum-sound on the album. In fact, at least to my ears that instantly recognizable sound only popped out three, including the nice mid-tempo rocker 'Only a Game'.
- And the AOR ballad 'Why'd I Have To Fall In Love with You' was the second time that instantly recognizable sound came to the fore. Perhaps my favorite song on the album.
- The flip side opened with a C&W flavored ballad. Pleasant, but I could live without it.
- Intended as the collection's big ballad, 'Anna' was certainly pretty, but struck me as overkill. The song sounded calculated and cold and much less likeable than some of the other ballads.
- The second country-flavored number, 'Miss Suzie' had the same feel as Paul McCartney and Wings' 'Sally G.' - in other words country for folks who don't really like country.
- Ah, that keyboard song reappears on the spare sounding ballad 'Joust How Blind' and saves what was otherwise a bland and forgettable song.
- Nice move closing the album with a rocking number - 'Running from Your Love'. Always liked the horn and string arrangement.
Elsewhere I was surprised by how much I liked Fisher's voice. Yeah, he wasn't Gary Brooker, but that wasn't a necessarily a bad thing. Like Brooker, Fisher didn't have the most versatile voice you've ever heard, but his light upper register instrument was quite pleasant and well suited to mid-tempo material like 'Can't You Feel My Love' and 'Only a Game'. In fact, the only real misfires were a pair of side two country-flavored efforts - 'Looking for Shelter' and 'Miss Suzie'. Future career suggestion - don't go there. Bottom line was that in my world this one would easily make the top-5 Procol Harum alumni solo list. Well worth looking for.
A&M didn't do a great deal to promote the album in the States but did release a single:
- 1980's 'Can't You Feel My Love' b/w 'Can't You Feel My Love' (A&M catalog number AM-2226)
Throughout Europe the album was released by Mercury where a pair of 45s were released:
- 1980's 'Can't You Feel My Love' b/w Only a Game'' (Mercury catalog number 6000 415)
- 1980's 'Running from Your Love' b/w 'Can't You Feel My Love' (Mercury catalog number 6831 044)
Fisher" track listing:
1.) Can't You Feel My Love (Matthew Fisher) - 4:22
2.) Give It a Try (Matthew Fisher) - 3:34
3.) Back In Your Arms Again (Matthew Fisher) - 3:27
4.) Only a Game (Matthew Fisher) - 4:16
5.) Why'd I Have To Fall In Love with You (Matthew Fisher) - 4:52
2.) Anna (Matthew Fisher) - 4:39
3.) Miss Suzie (Matthew Fisher) - 2:56
4.) Just How Blind (Matthew Fisher) - 4:15
5.) Running from Your Love (Matthew Fisher) - 4:18
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