Rex Smith - Rock And Roll Dream 1976-1983 album review

Sweet dreams are made of this

Cover art for Rex Smith - Rock And Roll Dream 1976-1983 album

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Rex Smith? Me neither. But apparently the mere mention of his name to any American lady in their late 40s/early 50s will produce a dreamy reverie as they recall his sparkling eyes, finely chiselled boyish face framed by tousled curls, the perfect torso… and his starring role in the 1979 made-for-TV movie Sooner Or Later, where he plays a guitar tutor who falls for his 13-year-old pupil (not a script that would get far today).

They’ll also remember his wide-ranging voice, and the scene where he performs the soft-rock ballad You Take My Breath Away that gave Smith his first US Top 20 hit.

That and the other songs from the film can be found on the third of this six-CD set of his albums – each housed in its miniaturised original sleeve – also called Sooner Or Later. The album’s melodic emphasis is in contrast to the lively power pop of the first two mid-70s albums that Smith recorded as the singer in a band called Rex, which include a cover of The Who’s Can’t Explain.

Not surprisingly, the followup to Sooner Or LaterForever, released later in 1979 – took careful aim at the soft-rock market, with more ballads like the title track and Let’s Make A Memory to the fore. But it was the uptempo cover of Everlasting Love in 1981, recorded as a duet with Rachel Sweet, that gave Smith his next chart action. By 1983’s Camouflage, you can tell he’s focusing on his acting career.

Hugh Fielder

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.