Category Archives: STEVE ELLIS
Steve Ellis is one of the great and unique British songwriters who has the capability to write good songs of his own and to pick winners from other composers. In 2004 Steve recorded this Best Of Days album, which is now released as a budget priced CD. Guest musicians include Roger Daltrey and Paul Weller…Standout tracks are ‘Brand New Start’, ‘Step Inside’, ‘Nu Clear Blues’, ‘Requiem For A Tyrant’, ‘Best Of Days’ and a laid back ‘Everlasting Love’.
Bev Bevan (December 2015)
…”Step Inside” (featuring Weller) is a groovy number that proves infectious. “Requiem For A Tyrant” pulling out a stunning acoustic guitar line and marrying it to eerie piano to allow Ellis’s voice to shine in a surprisingly fragile manner. The two tracks featuring Daltrey don’t disappoint either, “Nu Clear Blues” finding The Who frontman bringing his dirtiest harmonica licks to bare in fine style, while “Yellow Rose Of Texas” is a lovely throwaway moment that induces a little grin every time you hear its twenty-five seconds or so!
However, even with that guest power elsewhere, it’s the beautifully arranged “El Doomo” which seduces in a most melancholic manner and the irresistible “As The Crow Flies” which could easily have been taken to the top of the charts if David Gray had deemed it fit to record (ironically it’s not the same cut as the David Gray song of the same name). However with the album’s title track and “Modesty” proving almost as alluring, there’s much to enjoy here. One of the forgotten, classic voices the UK has produced over the years, there’s much reason to rejoice in the music of Steve Ellis and the aptly titled Best Of Days, reissued here by Angel Air, is definitely one of them.
Sea Of Tranquility (November 2015)
As a bonus you can enjoy a live version of ‘Everlasting Love’ where the singer is accompanied by PAUL WELLER and STEVE CRADDOCK (OCEAN COLOUR SCENE) on guitars. Recorded at the Fairfield Hall Croydon, it’s a beautiful way to finish and is as successful as any other track on the album.
Highlands Magazine (November 2015)
No surprise to find Paul Weller (mod champion) featured and Steve’s old friend Roger Daltrey weighing in on ‘Nu Clear Blues’ with a great harmonica part. It’s (for me) songs like Steve’s ‘Little One’ and the title track ‘Best Of Days’ that stand out, the latter being genuinely uplifting. Elsewhere minor hit ‘El Doomo’ gets a reworking, again to great effect. Overall a class album that rewards and deserves multiple listens.
SMART – Seventies Music And Retro Talk (October 2015)
Down to earth, the prairie pining is what ‘Requiem For A Tyrant’ gets high on for Steve’s vocals to show their lucid transparency, but the drift gets warm in ‘Turn To Stone’ which fathoms the passing of years in the miles of intimate gratitude to life itself. That’s what the whole of this album is all about, the songs’ joie de vivre spilling over into its follow-up “Ten Commitments”: that’s the everlasting love. 4/5 Stars
DMME.net (October 2015)
‘Everlasting Love’ is simply sublime, it’s a far more acoustic version than the original. We also get a live version of this number which Paul Weller contributes. Furthermore, other songs that Steve now presents in a completely different way are “Requiem For A Tyrant”, “Modesty” and a very short version of the classic “Yellow Rose Of Texas”.
Keys and Chords (October 2015)
…this appealing 2008 package features not one but two fine versions of ‘Everlasting Love’ with an understated acoustic re-vamp rubbing shoulders with a much more heartfelt live rendition recorded with Paul Weller during the latter’s ‘Wings of Speed’ tour in 2001.
Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (October 2015)
Several of the compositions carry ‘Ellis’ writing credits, and they include a re-working of his previously recorded ‘El Doomo’. Meanwhile, ‘Step Inside’ has Paul Weller on guitar and keyboards (with Ellis also covering the Jam man’s song ‘Brand New Star’). Roger Daltrey’s on another cut, and Ellis (sometimes sounding here like early Rod Stewart) is clearly respected by Daltrey and Weller – and not just for his ‘mod’ affiliations.
The Beat (October 2015)
…even with that guest power elsewhere, it’s the beautifully arranged “El Doomo” which seduces in a most melancholic manner and the irresistible “As The Crow Flies” which could easily have been taken to the top of the charts if David Gray had deemed it fit to record (ironically it’s not the same cut as the David Gray song of the same name). However with the album’s title track and “Modesty” proving almost as alluring, there’s much to enjoy here. One of the forgotten, classic voices the UK has produced over the years, there’s much reason to rejoice in the music of Steve Ellis and the aptly titled Best Of Days, reissued here by Angel Air, is definitely one of them.
Sea Of Tranquility (October 2015)
The song selection and style is sure to please his fans and proof that if you look after your voice you can still ‘wow’ the listener. ***1/2
Jason Ritchie, www.getreadytorock.com (September 2011)
Ellis has returned with an album that once again displays his talent for marrying hard edged rock vocals to sweet pop tunes.
Martin Townshend, Sunday Express (October 2011)
…the pure upbeat soul of ‘Thank You Baby For Loving Me’ and the infectious, anxious reggae of ‘War Train’…see him reign on his own terrain, his voice as young as in the times of LOVE AFFAIR. Ten dedicated cuts have this fine artist in the spotlight. Good this album happened to be – and to stay.
DME Music Site (October 2011)
…’We Got It’ is once again full of raw emotion and performed with the right combination of passion and musical skill, without ever going into overblown schmaltz. A fabulous backing chorus only adds to the sheer brilliance of the song. You got it, Steve.
Music-News.com (October 2011)
…61-year-old Ellis has returned with an album that once again displays his talent for marrying hard-edged rock vocals to sweet pop tunes. Healing Touch, and Ellis’s own Perfect Sunday, are sublime, and the singer shows his talent for picking cover material with a sparkling
version of Neil Young’s On The Way Home.
Sunday Express (October 2011)
Steve’s ever-soulful vocals are backed by the Big City Allstars, an ensemble incorporating guitars, sax and keyboards. The CD includes a video – viewable on computer – of studio footage that was shot during the recording of ‘Please Please Me’.
The Beat (November 2011)
As an album, this is a prime example of how a renowned singer who is reaching a more mature age can grow old gracefully…at this stage of his career Steve Ellis has no right to be producing albums as captivating and convincing as ‘Ten Commitments’. Thankfully for us, he has!
Fireworks Magazine (January/February 2012)
The former Love Affair singer proves that old rock stars don’t necessarily die if they have a sweet enough voice and still understand what makes an astoundingly good pop song.
The Sunday Express (December 2011)
With a mix of originals and hand-picked covers, Steve Ellis has got himself another class album. Steve does a fine version of Buffalo Springfield’s On The Way Home, turns Lennon and McCartney’s Please, Please Me into a soul smoothy and gives a storming rendition of Eddie Hinton’s We Got It. Even at sixty, Steve Ellis could teach most of the young wannabes out there a lesson or two. Terrific album.
Maverick Magazine (November 2011)
Ten Commitments builds slowly with moments like Frogman Curtis’s sax solo on ‘Hit The Spot’ that lift it another notch. By the end Steve is in full-on Rod Stewart mode with tonsil-rasping white soul vocals on ‘We Got It’.
I have the feeling that Steve made this album just because he could and sometimes that’s the best reason to make music.
…never less than interesting
Music Week (May 2011)
These orchestrated pop compositions have that ultra stylish sound that was very popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Steve’s voice lends itself incredibly well to this style of music…which is probably why these recordings have had such staying power. In addition to Steve, the album also features the talents of Clem Cattini, Herbie Flowers, Big Jim Sullivan, Madelline Bell, and Doris Troy. If you like the sound and vibe of music from the Austin Powers films you owe it to yourself to check this one out. This is not an imitation or a rehash…it’s the real thing…
www.babysue.com (June 2011)
…some powerful tracks masterminded by Keith Mansfield whose creative arranging had been so crucial to the Love Affair sound…the soundtrack carries many…pleasures.
The Beat (June 2011)
Clem Cattini’s drum rolls and Big Jim Sullivan’s guitar interjections keep it all sharp…there’s many a nice moment to this short curio ripe for rediscovery
www.dmme.net (June 2011)
Long forgotten by most everyone – bar a handful of nouveau mods and Acid Jazz evangelists – the soundtrack to the 1970 film of Joe Orton’s Loot turns out to have been quite the little repository of Hammond-hauled cool grooves. Brownie points to Angel Air for retrieving it from the attic and blowing the dust off with a full digital remaster.
While erstwhile Love Affair vocalist Steve Ellis takes centre-stage and bags the credit, the songs were actually written by arranger Keith Mansfield (with lyrics by Richard Willing Denton) and performed by a crack squad of sessioneers including Herbie Flowers, Big Jim Sullivan, Clem Cattini and Alan Hawkshaw, not forgetting Madeline Bell and Doris Troy on bacKing vocals.
What ensues is a miniature masterclass of the kind of jazz-tinged, brass-heavy popsoul which was simply all over the UK’s film and TV output in 197O – even if, oddly, very little of it ever troubled the charts. Admittedly, excursions into knockabout silent movie mugging (Oh Fay!), mockney vaudeville (Mother’s Waltz) and supper club sleaze (We Nearly Were Lovers) are resistible to varying degrees, but Loot’s The Root, Stealth In The Night and More, More, More redress the balance with grooves you could frost a cocktail glass on.
Record Collector (July 2011)
…an interesting…period piece…aided by top-notch session-musicians.
Kevin Bryan, various UK regional press (July 2011)
Yes it may sound decidedly dated and yes there’s no denying that this is ‘film’ music, but I just can’t stop playing these excellent songs and on top of that everyone that I’ve played them to can’t stop singing them either. Unlike most sought after releases ‘Loot’ lives up to its reputation and really is an excellent album that anyone who has even a passing interest in this style of music will cherish.
Fireworks (Sept/Oct 2011)
A playground of bongos, beats and swinging style, ‘The Undertaker’, ‘Eyeball Serenade’ and the utter dance floor nirvana that is ‘Loot’s The Root’ leads me to the conclusion that all music should be this good.
Shindig magazine (August 2011)
Originally the vocalist in The Love Affair, in 1970 Steve Ellis was approach to record the soundtrack to ‘Loot’- with a screenplay by Galton and Simpson and having been on the stage prior to that it was an offer he couldn’t refuse. With music and lyrics by Keith Mansfield and backing singers including Madelline Bell and Doris Troy the album yielded a couple of singles before Ellis felt that this was not really him and moved on to a new solo band.
Unfortunately ‘Loot’ does sound like a late ’60′s soundtrack, but then again, why wouldn’t it? Tracks like ‘Loots The Root’, ‘We Nearly Were Lovers’ and ‘Eyeball Serenade’ are worth a listen but do sound a bit dated.
Nikk Gunns, www.getreadytorock.com (August 2011)
This collection catches up with the Grimes brothers during their mid-70s hard rock wilderness and is made up of half a dozen studio recordings and a blistering live set
Shindig magazine (August 2011)
The album is very bluesy in feel…Sounds a bit dated but worth a listen
Classic Rock Society (Mar/April 2011)
Still going strong after ll these years, Ellis sounds as great as ever.
Jo-Ann Greene, allmusic.com (May 2008)
…a fine sound-and-vision record of a singer whose outstanding blue-eyed soul voice had retained its quality over the years.
The Beat (May 2008)
…an essential collection to have a love affair with
www.dmme.net (May 2008)
A hard working and much under rated classic rock vocalist…a well packaged CD/DVD
Classic Rock Society (June 2008)
…a catch-all, including his shelved Humble Pie-tinged solo album…a host of bonus tracks and a live DVD
Classic Rock (July 2008)
Yet another superlative release by the dedicated team at Angel Air offers plenty of gems for fans of Steve Ellis.
The CD consists of 10 tracks plus a further seven bonus tracks. There’s plenty to enjoy here and what’s more apparent is that Ellis is perhaps one of the most experienced singers this country has produced…The sleeve notes put his whole career into context and offer some illuminating thoughts on his music. The first 10 tracks were recorded in ’77 while the bonus tracks were recorded six years later. His voice swings from wonderful Paul Rodgers style blues to softer pop and soul harmonies.
The accompanying DVD was recorded in Bradford in 2002 and comes complete with an interview with Mr. Ellis. The 10 handpicked songs on the DVD offers deep insight into his illustrious recording career.
He is most certainly genuine talent and this thoughtful collection is proof of that…****
Neil Daniels, www.getreadytorock.com (May 2008)
…his passion for music-making still remains undimmed, and this two-disc package should appeal to anyone who’s ever enjoyed his work in the past…
Kevin Bryan, Stirling Advertiser (June 2008)
…his voice has an amazing power and texture. Steve Ellis is probably the most underrated vocalist this country has ever produced.
Amplifier, Issue 99