14th November 1980
Chrysalis (UK LP - CHR 1304)
Recorded at Sawmill Studios, Golant, Cornwall
Producer - Gus Dudgeon
Engineer - Jerry Boys
With the return of the Classic line up the band for the first time released an album of mainly original compositions. As Maddy said: "What we came up with reflected traditional themes, yet sounded contemporary". Not least due to Peter playing more keyboard than fiddle. When the band first practised Gus Dudgeon (Elton John's producer) thought they had only had 1 1/2 songs (Let Her go Down and verse of Tell Me Why) and the others needed to have more contemporary arrangements, and so sent them off to write some more or alter them. He gave them 2 weeks! Gus had suggested that they couldn't go back and do what they had done before, that they had to move to a more contemporary sound, which the band broadly agreed with. Bob said at first they had taken a more nostalgic approach and thought they would just pick up from where they left off. Tim said that they were at one point one track short and so he went off into a little studio to finish 'My Love' so they could add it to the Album, Rick did the same with 'Where are they now', sitting up all night to finish. Bob described the overall sound as too 'sophisticated' and the whole band referred to it as a transitional album.
Maddy: "Because we'd all kind of gone in different directions, all doing different things, with different ideas, that certainty that we'd had before, we'd lost. We were so in disarray, and we didn't have the material we were confident with. So Gus [producer Gus Dudgeon] had a lot more input, and I think that's why it sounds very sweet and rounded and nothing offensive in it, you know. And that wasn't what we were known for, and it isn't what we do, what we're good at." Still, she insists, it's not a bad album, really. " I actually think it's quite a jolly album. And very accessible."
Bob described it as more American sounding with a glossy sheen (talking about the influence of Gus).... (Johan's Interview)
The Park Records CD reissue had 3 bonus tracks.
Thomas the Rhymer (Live)
Recorded in March 1997
My Johnny was a Shoemaker (live)
The Lark in the Morning (live)
Both recorded in December 1996 when they supported Status Quo
Sadly no other live tracks from either concert have ever been released.