Every song has moments of stirring beauty. Quite Splendid. – Mojo ****
Cockle-warming studio return…time has sculpted some beautiful lines into the Lennon-esque harmonies – The Times ****
The cool harmonies and endearing lyrical quirks are a delight – Classic Rock 8/10
Stackridge performing Red Squirrel at Rhythms Of The World Festival 2001
If there were any justice in the world Stackridge would be a household name by now. After all, the band had toured their native UK heavily in the early 1970s, gathering an avid following and drawing favorable critical comparisons to contemporaries like Genesis.
They then went on to attract mastermind George Martin, who recorded, in 1974, Stackridge’s third album, “The Man in the Bowler Hat”, widely regarded as their artistic peak and Martin’s finest hour outside The Beatles catalogue. But Stackridge never made it to America and split up shortly thereafter, leaving a legacy, the fountainhead of a particular kind of British music that gave us Squeeze, XTC, Blur and so many other paragons of melodic ingenuity.
All members of the band remained busy in the intervening years. Andy Davis played on such classic albums as Lennon’s “Imagine” and Tears For Fears “Songs From The Big Chair” as well as working with others including Bill Nelson and Spiritualised. He toured extensively with Tears For Fears and more recently, Goldfrapp.
Along with James Warren he formed The Korgis whose masterpiece “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime” reached No.18 in the American charts. It has since been covered by a large number of acts including Zucchero, Yazz, Baby D. and lately, the brilliant version by Beck for the soundtrack of the movie “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind”.
The other original members “Mutter” Slater and Jim “Crun” Walter also continued to play music in local bands with Mutter releasing a critically acclaimed solo album, produced by Billy Bragg.
Then in 2008, after doing a few gigs together, these original members of Stackridge, reformed to record a superb studio album that still retains their unique mix of charm, skill and intelligence.
As the title of the latest album “A Victory For Common Sense” attests, the rebirth of Stackridge is a cause for celebration for fans, old and new. Here they are as contemporary and fresh as bands half their age with a collection of songs that emphasize their talent for writing memorable melodies and playful, poignant lyrics. With the masterful production skills of Chris Hughes (Tears For Fears, Adam and The Ants, Robert Plant, etc.) and the innovative arrangements that showcase their musicianship, “A Victory For Common Sense” is not only the best album that Stackridge have ever made but also one of the most significant releases of the decade.