Rockin’ Horse “Yes It Is”

Jimmy Campbell was perhaps the most talented “unknown” musician to come out of the early 60s Liverpool scene.  One of his earliest bands, the Kirkbys, played Beatles’ influenced beat music and folkrock, releasing a few respectable singles in the mid 60s.  When psychedelia became the trend, Campbell put together the 23rd Turnoff, who released just one single, the excellent “Michaelangelo.”  In the middle of Campbell’s solo career (he released 3 albums) he took some time off and with the help of ex-Merseybeat Billy Kinsley put together Rockin’ Horse.  Most of the tracks on Yes It Is were written by Campbell with Kinsley contributing just 3 tunes.

Yes It is, released in 1970, is a mixture of power pop and Band influenced rural rock.  The Band influenced ditties are the weakest numbers (there’s just three) on the album with the notable exception of a very good rural track titled “Son, Son.”  The remainder of Yes It Is is first class power pop and probably the most powerful music of Campbell’s career.  Tracks such as “Biggest Gossip In Town” and “Oh Carol, I’m So Sad” hark back to Campbell’s early British Invasion roots.   These two gems characterize a unique album that has a  ragged, ramshackle feel – very intriguing.  Others songs like “Delicate Situation”, “Don’t You Ever Think I Cry”, “I’m Trying To Forget You” and the title track recall late period Beatles – think Abbey Road or Let It Be.

So with the exception of two duds, this is an excellent set of early 70s rock n roll by one of rock’s forgotten (albeit eccentric) talents.  Other notables:  the whimsical but tuneful “You’re Spending All My Money” and the rocking “Stayed Out Late Last Night.”  Rev-Ola reissued Yes It Is in 2004 with plenty of worthy extras.

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“Stayed Out Late Last Night”

:D Reissue | 2004 | Revola | get it here ]
:) Original | 1970 | Philips | search ebay ]


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8 Comments.

  • Wow, neat! One of my favorite British psychedelic songs is the b-side to “Michael Angleo” — the rollicking, acoustic-guitar-on-the banks-of-the-Thames “Leave Me Here.” You can find it on the first See-For-Miles “British Psychedelic Trip” compilation.

  • phil spector

    one of the greatest english pop albums from the 70s!! Unfortunatly it is almost impossible to find these days (the CD reissue is worth 70$ and an original copy has been sold today on ebay for 350$!!!
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250867117637&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT )

    I hope revola will re-reissue their CD version or that maybe some great european label, like guerssen, will reissue it on vinyl…. i keep my fingers crossed

    and also don’t forget about the Jimmy Campbell’s solo Lps (specially “Half Baked”)

    keep up the good work friends

  • Jason

    Wow, these blokes want an arm and a leg for that copy on ebay…it looks like a clean copy though….

  • Louder than Milk

    After viewing this, I did the usual online search of Jimmy Campbell. I thought to myself – why on earth have I never heard of this guy?! Have ordered his Son Of Anastasia first solo. Then it’s pretty much onward from there, it would seem. Rockin’ Horse does sound an investment. Nice post.

  • phil spector

    i really prefer the Rockin’ Horse Lp and his second solo Lp “Half Baked”…. there’s too much kazoo for me on his first solo Lp (even if some songs are beautiful, specially the acoustic “Michaelangelo”)

  • Len Liechti

    Very enjoyable. A really distinctive vocalist and some fine jangly guitar work (Kinsley)? A good further writeup on Campbell and on the genesis and reincarnation of this album can be found at http://mersey-beat.com/a-z/jimmycampbell.shtml .

  • Jeff Koster (omaha)

    I wish I never heard this album so I could listen to it and experience it all over again!! Fantastic! Jimmy Campbell was truly an excellent songwriter with catchy Paul McCartney hooks and a voice eerily reminiscent of John Lennon. Jimmy Cambell also has a third and more hard to find solo album which is untitled and more stripped down. Judging by the cover and lyrics the record label probably had a lot to do with his departure from music. My favorite track is the very last track “When you’re coming home”. It’s a perfect conclusion by one of the most over-looked artists from the 60s

  • Giorgio

    Amazing artist.. I would really like to find this album on vinyl.. I do have his 3 solo lps.

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