1. Nine O’clock
SNIPS had previously been lead singer in SHARKS, singer and songwriter with GINGER BAKER and then he decided to launch his own solo career with “La Rocca”.
Originally released in 1979 and now available on CD for the very first time, “La Rocca” is an album that oozes class, with a unique tone which is down to CHRIS SPEDDING who not only plays guitar throughout but also produced the album.
Also included as bonus tracks are the single’s A and B sides that supported the release.
SNIPS, CHRIS SPEDDING, BILL NELSON, JACKIE BADGER, DAVE MATTACKS, CLEM CATTINI
'Backs Of Millions' evokes DEVO, 'Happy Sometimes' resembles SPARKS. This is unmistakably the guitar of Chris Spedding that can be heard on 'Tight Shoes', also powered by the bass of Jackie Badger. The last track of the original album: 'What Is Pop?', is ironic because I think Mr. Snips certainly knows what pop is! Following that, we have several unreleased tracks. The first is 'You're A Wonderful One' with a tenacious swing, perfectly orchestrated with saxophone. 'Tight Shoes' is a single version but still delicious with lively guitar by Spedding. 'Lolita' revives the SPARKS sound and the last title evokes DEVO. The Bill Nelson synthesizer is judiciously used.
Highlands Magazine (September 2016 - translated)
Angel Air's reissue spruces up the recording with a nifty remastering job along with a brace of bonus tracks, to shine a light on a 'lost classic' of its period. An accomplished album of slick Roxy-ish new wave pop, 'La Rocca' was sadly to prove Snip's last fling as a pop performer, instead forging a successful career in soundtracks...
Vive Le Rock (September 2016)
An elegant bounce to the album's title cut can push its clipped groove towards dub but still keep on the rockabilly side of the tracks, in the private heaven Parsons envisaged for Brian Jones. The Stone is also glorified in "Skies Of England" which has turned the anger of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" inside out to reach for his, and Snips', romantic essence; that's why, perhaps, the voice in the wilderness of "Backs Of Millions" doesn't sound revolutionary and "Happy Sometimes" taps into the same soul vein as a cover of Marvin Gaye's "You're A Wonderful One" in the bountiful bonus section of this CD. So although the singer is asking "What Is Pop?" at the record's finale, the answer is obvious: it's the edge Snips could have ridden for ages if his ego was as big as his talent. Thankfully, he's back with those big fish now. ***1/3
DMME.net (August 2016)
A sharp-rocking album that unites early 70's pop, new wave and 80's synth pop in glorious fashion. Steve 'Snips' Parsons had sung in pre-punk supergroup Sharks (alongside Free's Andy Frazer and guitar hero Chris Spedding) as wells as, curiously, the Baker-Gurvitz Army...Six bonus B-sides and outtakes complete an album that so deserved to crack it...
Record Collector (August 2016)
Really, this album should have been much more popular than it probably was but it's still not too late thanks to our friends at Angel Air Records. Hopefully, this rerelease will catch some well-deserved attention. Highly recommended for fans of pop and new wave music of the late '70s/early '80s.
Sea Of Tranquilty (July 2016)
This album was originally released way back in 1979 but we're only now hearing it thanks to the folks at Britain's Angel Air label (this is the first time the album has ever been issued on CD).
Snips (whose real name is Steve Parsons) was originally in the band Sharks and also worked for a while with Ginger Baker. In 1979 he began his solo career with the release of La Rocca! Produced by Chris Spedding (who also plays guitar on the album), this disc is one entertaining spin.
What's interesting here are the songs themselves. Although the vocals are markedly different than either, the songs on La Rocca! remind us very much of mid-career stuff from Sparks and Devo (!?). As is almost always the case with Angel Air's reissues, this disc includes all the tracks from the original album plus six additional bonus tracks. After spinning this a few times, we can't help but feel that it's a shame this album didn't produce at least one or two hits. The songs certainly have that sort of appeal. Plenty of upbeat catchy pop cuts here including "Nine O'Clock," "Skies of England," "Happy Sometimes," and "What Is Pop?"
babysue (June 2016)
This interesting period piece dates form 1979 and found vocalist Steve "Snips" Parsons working in close collaboration with guitarist and producer Chris Spedding in a revival of the partnership which had proved so creatively fruitful during the pair's stint in short-lived supergroup Sharks earlier in the decade. The bulk of this stylish set was self-penned with the notable exception of Larry Wallis' 'Police Car', with Bill Nelson's distinctive interjections on synthesiser lending added impetus to the proceedings on tracks such as 'Happy Sometimes', 'Dark Outside' and 'La Rocca'.
Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (June 2016)
A pleasantly nostalgic 'of-its-time' feel pervades on an LP that should perhaps have had more impact than it did, and which is now appended by six additional tracks. Nearly all the pieces are Parsons originals - and perhaps unsurprisingly he's developed a successful later career in music for TV and film.
The Beat (June 2016)