“Long Lonely Days Of Winter”

A dark and beautiful landscape of loneliness

This album was a two quid purchase from a charity shop in Birtley last week. The cover shot of Duane Eddy wearing his hillbilly jacket and carrying a guitar in a jaunty manner made my mind up. Buy the record!

I thought this would be Duane in folk-rock mode but in reality it’s kinda cornball schmaltz with what appears to be a female backing choir ruining almost every number. Duane’s guitar is twangin’ away upfront but it’s as if he was playing his instrument(s) after the backing tracks had already been recorded.

Take away the unnecessary orchestration and backing choir and the album wouldn’t be bad. As it stands I’m finding it terribly difficult to focus on one particular cut from the set to make an audio file.

Back cover liners:

This is a strange and beautiful album. its story is deeper than the blues. This is a lonely guitar wailing its heart out against a deep-purple choral-orchestrated background that is a melancholy masterpiece of arrangement and orchestration.

Duane Eddy, one of the country’s top pop guitarists whose frenetic beat has been the pipes of the Pied Piper to a whole generation of fans, plays in a style so simple and affecting that it literally touches the heart.

In a way, this is a new Duane Eddy, but that great twangy guitar sound is still here, richly subdued but still as satisfying and penetrating as always. The masterful arrangements are by the great West Coast arranger-conductor Marty Paich.

The repertoire cuts across every type of popular music – from folk and blues to country, to straight pops, TV themes and the music of movies. But all done with a difference. The chorus is not used in a conventional manner, but phantom-like seems to appear and reappear when the mood of the music summons it.

Duane’s guitar is incredibly, deceptively simple in the technique he employs, but if there was ever a deep-down feeling of loneliness and heart, here it is.

A wonderful album for your melancholy moods – a dark and beautiful landscape of loneliness.

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