Clifford T Ward

'Singer/Songwriter' Sleeve
1) Coathanger
2) Sam
3) Leader
4) A Dream
5) Anticipation
6) Rayne
7) The Session Singer
8) Carrie
9) God Help Me
10) The Cause Is Good
11) Sympathy
12) Circus Girl
13) You Knock When You Should Come In
14) Sidetrack  (on CD copy only)

Dandelion Label
See For Miles SEECD 418

Vocals: Clifford T. Ward
Drums and percussion: Ken Wright
Bass: Bev Pegg
Guitars: Derek Thomas
Keyboards: C.T.Ward, David Skinner
Vibes: John Sawye
Flute: Will Roper
Background vocals: Clifford T. Ward
Bev Pegg, Ken Wright.
String and brass arrangements by
Richard Hewson.
Producer: Clifford T. Ward
Recorded at Marquee Studios
Mixed at Sound Techniques
All songs composed by
Clifford T. Ward

Waves - Fanzine (Clive Winstanley) comments:

Very much 'Home Thoughts' in miniature, this patchy but thoroughly listenable self-produced debut introduced the world to CTW's pet themes of love, religion and the British way of life. Clifford's love of metaphorical wordplay is very much to the fore - "if you share my coathanger, I'll be hung on you" / "You knock when you should come in" etc. - and the perky charm of Circus Girl and Anticipation is undeniable. Carrie, inspired by Theodore Dreiser's novel, Sister Carrie, was a strange, highly uncommercial choice as the first single, even though an alternate take was issued, but Coathanger was rightly more enthusiastically received as its follow up. A lot of nice songs but nothing to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end yet. Beware of the CD version - it's beautifully re-packaged but the vocals are mixed so low that some tracks qualify as instrumentals!!

Star Rating: * * *  (out of 5)

My comments:

Released on the Dandelion label just as Dandelion folded - consequently received no media coverage and went largely unnoticed. I think Clive (above) slightly underrates this album. It is a superb collection of songs, though, admittedly, no match for its sequel - 'Home Thoughts' (what is?). It certainly deserved to be better known. The songs on this album always struck me as having a more conventional sound than the distinct 'Clifford T' style that adorns all his later albums, though traces of his unique style can be detected here and there - appearing to be in the development stage.

The recent, C.D. version is called 'Singer/Songwriter Plus': the 'Plus' being reference to the additional track Sidetrack, which originally formed the 'B' side of his Coathanger single, and was not present on the vinyl album.

Marks: 8 out of 10

Copyright © 1998 Michael Armitage

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