Album Review of Glenn Shorrock: Glenn Shorrock Sings Little River Band
I won’t delve into the Little River Band saga, but this record is a stellar collection of re-recordings by original LRB singer Glenn Shorrock. This album is a great opportunity to support a longtime favorite artist. And, perhaps because so many of the songs are already longtime favorites, this disc will quickly become a personal playlist staple.
Shorrock’s smooth, powerful, crisp vocals were ideal for Little River Band, and his voice only seems to have become richer since the original recordings seventies and eighties stints fronting LRB.
This is probably a good time to admit that I was never a knowledgeable Little River Band fan. I don’t own any of the original recordings, though a quick look at the band’s hit list will confirm that the band has recorded a plethora of songs that surely would include a few of everyone’s favorites. As will the collection of songs on this recording, which contains most of Little River Band’s top hits. At least a couple were originally sung by Wayne Nelson (“The Night Owls” and “Take It Easy On Me”), though most were originally voiced by Shorrock.
There’s not a lot of daylight between the recordings on Glenn Shorrock Sings Little River Band and the originals, but there are subtle differences, and I’m sure more avid LRB fans than I will be able to spot more. Side-by-side, you might prefer one version to the other, but I doubt it’ll be a clean sweep either way. This disc is of at least equal caliber to the original, and the variances are subtle.
The album opens with “It’s a Long Way There” and closes with “Reminiscing,” but it’s chock full of hits in-between. It’s a reminder of how really good these songs are now that they’re not particularly common radio staples anymore, so a little time has past before you’ve heard them frequently on the radio. I’ve particularly been enjoying “Help is On the Way,” “Lonesome Loser,” the hipster-cool “Reminiscing,” and the softly powerful “Take It Easy On Me,” though my favorite has to be Shorrock’s smooth, rockin’ performance of “The Night Owls” with his big vocals thriving off the song’s mid-voltage electric energy.
Probably the coolest discovery for me was “Curiosity Killed the Cat.” Since it was a hit in Australia but didn’t chart in the U.S., I wasn’t previously familiar with this song, with its kind of hip, jazzy, occasionally Motowny edge, a song that’s a little psychedelic in spots but mostly just groovin’.
In the end, whether it’s nostalgia or a desire to listen to some really cool mid-range rock (from the now-referred-to-as “yacht rock” genre), whether you’re duplicating the songs in your collection or adding them for the first time, as I’ve done, this is one sweet disc.
If you want to catch Glenn Shorrock live, his website lists several upcoming dates in Australia, the soonest a Saturday, October 10th show in Marrickville. Be sure to check out the “Shows” tab of his website for details about currently planned shows and additional concerts as they’re added.