"Long Time No See" (SJPCD036)
Verden Allen was a founder member and keyboard player of Seventies legends Mott The Hoople. His distinctive Hammond organ was an integral part of the Mott experience and he also contributed several songs to this fine band. Verden left the band in 1973 to concentrate on his solo career but unfortunately this did not really take off. Long Time No See was originally released in 1994 and this re-release sees all fourteen tracks of the original album joined by three bonus tracks. This is good time rock and roll that hints at the Seventies but is not out of place in the Nineties. Once again, the Hammond sound is very distinctive and Verden Allen has enlisted some very talented musicians to further his cause. Former Mott The Hoople colleagues Overend Watts and Dale Griffin help out on two of the tracks and the album also features the Mott tracks Death May Be Your Santa Claus and Soft Ground. There is even a track about the Channel Tunnel that has got to be a first. Given the current interest in Mott The Hoople this could be an ideal time for a re-release. Once again, it's superbly packaged by Angel Air with extensive and informative liner notes.
Terry Craven, "Wondrous Stories"
Just A Buzz
...this reissue on Angel Air is to be welcomed...This album is packed with good songs and the arrangements and production are tight...There are some strong rockers on this album, as well as some slower "power" ballads...Of the bonus tracks, 'Hypnotized' dates from 1975 and is the only surviving recording of The Cheeks (Verden's 1974-1976 band with James Honeyman-Scott and Martin Chambers; they both went on to form The Pretenders)...
Sleeve notes are by Campbell Devine, and are excellent and informative, providing a thorough overview of Verden's career, a comprehensive Verden Allen discography, and full musician credits...
This CD is an essential purchase not just for Mott The Hoople fans but for all fans of good rock music.
Adrian Perkins, Outsider
The original 14 track album 'Long Time No See' released in l994 by Spinit gets reproduced here in full...plus there's 3 bonus. Verden Allen is best known for his keyboard playing with Mott The Hoople and as you'd expect the music here fits nicely into that groove.. .Verden sings not unlike Ian Hunter (With a dash of Dylan and Joe Brown) . . . and that organ sound that so characterised early Mott comes through. . .but there's more.
Performed by Verden's early 90's group Thunderbuck Ram they play a sort of 80'; AOR... suffering slightly from a musical sameness but there are enough highlights to keep one Snippy... 'Soft Ground' (fine organ sound), 'This Way Now' (brilliant), 'Hold On To This' (exquisite guitar break) 'Come On Back' 'Small Change' 'Knocking On Those Old Back Doors'. Great notes by Campbell Devine...Verden Allen quit Mott in January '73 and his career after that (and before) makes interesting reading. A good release and was pleasantly surprised...
Upon listening this journalist was struck by Allen's importance to the sound of Mott The Hoople, with the swirling Hammond B-3 organ, and stately chord style he added. While there's a fair amount of rockers present as well, Allen's work on the CD's ballads is most impressive, and it's uncanny how much he sounds like Mott's vocalist Ian Hunter when he opens his mouth. All told, Long Time No See is a worthwhile listen, and really much better than I expected-a very pleasant surprise, in fact.
The River Reporter, USA (April 1999)
...a very enjoyable album containing as it does a good mixture of rockers and ballads
Keith Smith, Two Miles From Heaven (May 1999)
"For Each Other" (SJPCD040)
...his undoubted keyboard skills, notably organ work, are well to the fore...The songs themselves are generally well-written and enjoyable MOR rock...The best "A New Way" and "Loving You" will find themselves on Mott-related and other compilations shortly...
David Pearson,Wondrous Stories (November 1999)
...the first two tracks 'A New Way' and 'If Only' are like new-wave country - beautiful swilling organ dominating them both...'Loving You' has a more determined sound and is a showcase for Verden's funk organ...Star track is 'All Over You' with its cunning coupling of two quite different organ sounds and plaintive vocal!
Allen's strength, as you would expect, is his keyboard playing and his lovely organ work is by far the outstanding feature throughout this album
Steve Ward, Wondrous Stories (March 2002)
"20 Year Holiday" (SJPCD110)
an interesting mix of eclectic rock and power-pop Imagine the poppier end of Buggles or Hawkwind, mix in the 'Hoople. and you get a set of strange yet enjoyable pop-rock tracks.
Joe Geesin, Record Collector (September 2002)
if this album was listened to without any knowledge of who was playing I am sure the listener would pick out many similarities with his old band
Feedback (August 2002)
A great rock album with, of course, distinct Mott overtones, its 10 songs are all recent Allen originals and won't disappoint anybody enthralled by the earlier Long Time No See and For Each Other albums or even by his long-ago contributions to Mott's own songbook.
Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine (September 2002)
...quite a laid back approach with some lovely melodies
Modern Dance, (Issue 41 November 2002)
the kind of adult contemporary rock record that needs to be heard. His confident brand of mid-tempo organ and piano driven tunes are of the brand that only requires a few listens to carve a niche in your musical memory.
Jeff Monks, Mohair Sweets (November 2002)
it is a showcase, not only for his keyboards and song writing skills, but also his rather distinctive singing...
Bernard Law, Classic Rock Society (Nov/Dec 2003)
My Mashochistic Side (SJPCD294)
If Hunter has always proudly worn Dylan's locks on his sleeve, the singer's ertswhile colleague's love for His Bobness has never been more obvious than on this, the organist's fourth solo album.
www.dmme.net (July 2009)
...Mott The Hoople fans will enjoy this one, and it's well-timed if they're craving new material in the band's style in anticipation of the reunion shows.
www.e-gear.com (July 2009)
Allen handles all the instruments on this ten song outing and the atmosphere surrounding these tracks is generally lighthearted and fun. Standout tracks include ďApollo 09Ē a song dealing with the reunion shows in which he proclaims that all he wants to do is "Get pissed and just get stoned and enjoy myself". Ok fair enough so no lofty ambitions here but Iím sure his tongue is planted firmly in cheek...
Ryan Sparks, http://www.classicrockrevisited.com (August 2009)
...it's his organ playing that drives his song writing and he can write songs...there's a lot of Mott in this album... Any Mott the Hoople fan should like this...
Amplifier (September 2009)
...serves to remind that his Hammond organ...and wail of a voice...played a key part in trademarking (Mott the Hoople's) sound...
Peter Muir, Rock N Reel (September 2009)
The sound is full bodied and Allen's vocals are reminiscent of founding Mott vocalist Ian Hunter
www.mwe3.com (September 2009)