Steve Ellis - A Sort of Innocence - 2004
Steve Ellis will forever carry the millstone that is 'Everlasting Love'. It seems to crop up with worrying frequency on most of his albums, and on this new solo offering it is featured twice. Ageing rockers and pop pickers will recall that it was Ellis who fronted teen sensations Love Affair and scored a No.1 hit with that song in 1968.
Fortunately the two versions are different to the original, the live version recorded when Ellis was a guest at a Paul Weller gig in 2001 and featuring the Modfather on guitar.
Following a low-key career revival and spurred on by recent CD and DVD releases, this album is very good. Ellis not only has Weller guesting on a couple of studio tracks, including Weller's own composition, the opening track "Brand New Start", but he managed to pull in Roger Daltrey for a spot of harp blowing in "Nu Clear Blues" and "Yellow Rose Of Texas".
That's where big-name support ends, but with an excellent backup band and featuring two songs by newcomer Sam Smith, Ellis doesn't really need the bunk-up. Ellis' own songs are a mixture of nicely-styled pop-rock with blues and soul overtones.
Whilst an album like this will always remain niche with limited mass appeal, it is good to hear Ellis again. In general the songwriting and playing is top-draw and will appeal to ageing rockers and those for whom the letters AOR provoke unashamed anticipation.
This CD has been withdrawn from the market in 2008 and is replaced by "Best Of Days".
01. Brand New Start
02. Step Inside
03. Everlasting Love
04. As The Crow Flies
05. Requiem For A Tyrant
06. Little One
08. Yellow Rose Of Texas
09. Nu Clear Blues
10. Turn To Stone
11. Heaven's Word
12. El Doomo
13. Best of Days
14. Everlasting Love (Live)