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RICHARD RILEY – NOT IF BUT WHEN LIMITED EDITION OF 125
RELEASED: March 2016
Every now and then an album comes along that really make you sit up and listen. You can’t explain what it is or how this thing happens but like Bob Marley said “one good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain”. Richard Riley’s “Not If But When” is such a record. Released in 2006 on Richard’s own label Alsatia Music, the album sold poorly on release and following a serious accident, Richard didn’t get the opportunity to promote this record, more’s the pity. Take some great catchy well crafted songs, superb fluid guitar playing, influences as diverse as The Beatles, ElO, Nick Drake, Robert Kirkby, Ray Davies, throw in empathetic strings and a great band, you’re half way there. All the tracks are written by Richard and he’s joined by many players in and around the Bath/Bristol area. This is a real analogue album and how brave was it to release a new vinyl album in 2006 long before it became trendy.
Richard is joined by his sister, Audrey on cello on Kissing Doesn’t Count and she also did the string arrangements on the track. The track is exceptional, reminiscent of The Beatles in places with quite stunning strings driving the track on and on. “Nothing” (To Write Home About), is a sad yet uplifting song about a failed relationship with guitar licks that Steely Dan would die for. This makes it one of the album highlights, of which there are many. To find an album with so many superlatives in this day and age is hard, repeated listens keep revealing new depths to this great music. This album is very hard to find on vinyl. Essential if you can find a copy. Those who have heard have it have snapped it up. Pressed on heavy gauge black vinyl with replica Atlantic labels. Gatefold sleeve with very detailed sleeve notes and lyrics/players etc. Make no mistake, this is a masterpiece.
Geoff Dolman – Static Caravan “There is good craft at work here”
Chris Twigger (Reviewer) – “Across the 10 tracks we have on this disc Richard comes across as an insightful and poetic lyricist. A couple of songs e.g. “Mr. X” reminded me of aspects of “The Wall” and “The Final Cut” by Pink Floyd. Reflection and soul searching permeate the lyrics and the musical arrangements perfectly complement his words. A very special LP indeed by an artist who truly deserves re-discovery.”