He’s now a venerable, retired 76-year-old, but Dave Edmunds was a pioneer. He was only an occasional songwriter, but he was a production perfectionist who adored uncomplicated rock’n’roll.
This collection takes in four studio albums and the live (but studio-enhanced) I Hear You Rockin’, which includes rip-roaring run-throughs of Girls Talk and Queen Of Hearts.
Keith Moon suggested the title for 1975’s Subtle As A Flying Mallet, which Edmunds played, engineered and produced himself in a bid to become the Welsh Phil Spector.
On glorious trawls through Baby I Love You and Let It Be Me he almost manages it. Also self-produced, but much less adventurous, 1982’s awkwardly titled D.E. 7th featured From Small Things (Big Things May One Day Come), a song Bruce Springsteen gave to him, but it paved the way for Jeff Lynne to sprinkle a little songwriting and production magic on 1983’s Information and, a year later, Riff Riff.
Both albums would have benefitted from more Lynne, but Information’s glorious Slipping Away was the peak of their collaboration, and Riff Raff’s synthesisers upped Edmunds’s game.
Unfortunately the package is without extras, and Edmunds would never quite shed his penchant for pub rock, but there’s enough here to stake a claim for near-greatness.