Del Shannon

The Further Adventures Of Charles Westover - Liberty 1968

Tracks: 1. Thinkin' It Over / 2. Be My Friend / 3. Silver Birch / 4. I Think I Love You / 5. River Cool / 6. Colour Flashing Hair / 7. Gemini / 8. Runnin' On Back / 9. Conquer / 10. Been So Long / 11. Magical Musical Box / 12. New Orleans (Mardi Gras) / 13. What's a Matter Baby / 14. Early in the Morning / 15. In My Arms Again / 16. She / 17. Runaway '67 / 18. Stand Up / 19. House Where Nobody Lives / 20. You Don't Love Me


Del Shannon had his heyday in the early 1960s, but he continued to make fine albums up through this decade. This, "The Further Adventures of Charles Westover", was his last album released in the decade, and here he is obviously very much inspired by The Beatles and their "Sgt Pepper" album. Especially some of the ballads have been given a grandiose and somewhat pompous treatment. The strongest among the 4-5 tracks in this category is probably his own composition "Gemini" which somehow tends to linger in the ear.

Otherwise, I think that Shannon is best on the more upbeat numbers; On this album especially opening track "Thinking it Over" stands out - perhaps the strongest track among the original twelve tracks.

The long final track "New Orleans" is also significant; a fine composition with a long and weird outro.

Among the eight bonus tracks there are several gems to find. "What's a Matter Baby" is a cover version of an old 1962 Timi Yuro hit. I actually thought that it was the Small Faces, who first launched the song. Either way, I think Shannon's version outshines the other versions I've heard. It really sounds like a Shannon original; I was also surprised that the recording is from 1972; the sound is very 1960's.

"She" is a Boyce / Hart song, which many might remember from the Monkees; again I think Shannon's version is the strongest.

The remake of "Runaway" is also fine; a strong number that is difficult to ruin. Also the originally unreleased "Stand Up" is great - classic Del Shannon from the best drawer.

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