All By Myself Volume 2 (Dover, 1991)

All By Myself 2

All By Myself 2 r

Review
With the success of All By Myself, the Cokell brothers brought out a sequel in February 1991. It was developed by James Grant Management with QD Design taking care of the sleeve.The inlay thanks BMG, Castle Communications, Charly, Chrysalis, EMI, Polygram, Sony and Warner Music for their help in compiling the album. The “As Seen On TV” blurb is in purple & gold and reminds me of the Cadbury’s Eclair wrapper. A note: “The design of the wrapper and the trademark Cadbury’s Flake are the property of Cadbury Limited.”

Like rival compilation EMI’s Missing You, All By Myself Volume 2 opens with Roxette’s It Must Have Been Love, a track that had serious airplay during those times. Wrapped up in bits of silver, it’s Deacon Blue’s lesser-spotted Chocolate Girl. Lifted from the timeless Raintown, one of the most accomplished debut albums of all time. We go right back to 1975 for the next number, the Eagles’ Take It To The Limit – the only 45 where Randy Meisner sings lead. And in a bonus, it’s the 7″ mix here. His memories: “The line ‘take it to the limit’ was to keep trying before you reach a point in your life where you feel you’ve done everything and seen everything, sort of feeling, you know, part of getting old. And just to take it to the limit one more time, like every day just keep, you know, punching away at it … That was the line, and from there the song took a different course.”

The Shirelles’ Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow dates from 1960 but got a serious lease of life when it appeared on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. And Go West’s King Of Wishful Thinking is fondly remembered from Pretty Woman. Elsewhere, Rick Astley rises to the occasion with the gospel soul of Cry For Help, a wonderfully sung tune that appreciates over the years. Johnny Nash updated his 1972 hit I Can See Clearly Now for the youth of 1989 but it stalled at #54 in the UK charts. It’s followed by the languid Rio album version of Save A Prayer; if you want the more concise single mix then check out the fantastic best-in-class Now That’s What I Call Music 1982: The Millennium Series. Still fresh (then and now), The Beautiful South’s second album Choke was preceded by A Little Time, a nice duet between Brianna Corrigan and Dave Hemingway. Round and round goes the circle of love. George Merrill (Boy) meets Shannon Rubicam (Girl) and they wait for their star to fall. Originally written for Whitney Houston. She passed. And briefly Boy Meet Girl and that saxophone shone brightly, not unlike Mazzy Star. “Our love is a miracle now.”

There’s another 1960 number in the form of So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad) by The Everly Brothers. Pure devastation – life is a vapour, we’re just passing through. In a rather neat piece of sequencing, the shimmer of Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere follows, then enveloped by Don McLean’s thoughtful, soothing Vincent which makes use of accordion, marimba and strings. To 1974 and Maria Muldaur’s saucy Midnight At The Oasis (not to be confused with Rainy Night In Georgia). Zip left to 1965 and the psychedelic strains of Go Now, the Moody Blues’ evocative chart-topper. I remember it from a late ’80s Spitting Image. Still carrying a torch, Tom Jones’ troubled Couldn’t Say Goodbye is a genuinely forgotten single from early 1991. And then Rod Stewart’s stunning cover of Tim Hardin’s Reason To Believe. Originally released with Maggie May as the B-Side, the latter tune eventually became far more successful. Initially I found Robert Palmer’s She Makes My Day tough to love with its odd time signatures. I got there in the end. A heart-warmer.

Favourite tracks
Deacon Blue – Chocolate Girl

Rick Astley – Cry For Help

Lest we forget
Robert Palmer – She Makes My Day

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