PC 34154 Cardiff Rose
Produced by Mick Ronson
Released on May 1976
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
PC 34154 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

I f you think Bob Dylan is a genius, well, Roger McGuinn also thinks so. Apparently. How else do you explain the desire to keep the mystery man’s show rolling with this studio album? Produced by Mick Ronson, Cardiff Rose is the Rolling Thunder Revue Part Deux, with David Mansfield, Rob Stoner and Howard Wyeth all on board, plus lyricist Jacques Levy (Desire) heavily engaged. It’s not a bad thing to be the Bard’s little brother, of course. The opening “Take Me Away,” which recounts the Rolling Thunder road shows with Dylan, reveals a re-energized Roger McGuinn. What follows are poetic sea chanties (“Jolly Roger”), Desire-era Dylan (“Friend”), a narsty Ian Hunter impersonation (“Rock And Roll Time”) and a loopy ode to Abbie Hoffman (“Partners In Crime”). It closes on a Joni Mitchell original, “Dreamland,” that sounds like her experimental heiness filtered through the Dead. (Mitchell later covered the track on Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter.) Not everything on Cardiff Rose is gold. The Dylan original, “Up To Me,” is essentially “Shelter From The Storm” in its Rolling Thunder rendition with new lyrics, and the two tracks that follow (“Round Table,” “Pretty Polly”) might have been better given that there are only 9 tracks on here. However, song for song this is a strong effort with nice production from Ronson. Oddly, a clear image of McGuinn never emerges on Cardiff Rose. Is he a rocker, a folk historian, a Dylan disciple or a Byrd in restless flight? You won’t find the answer here, but you will find a lot of good music. The expanded CD reissues include a live version of “Dreamland” and a cover of the old Ziggy nugget, “Soul Love” (very cool).

PC 34154 back cover
PC 34154 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. TAKE ME AWAY    (Roger McGuinn/Jacques Levy)    3:00
  2. JOLLY ROGER    (Roger McGuinn/Jacques Levy)    4:56
  3. ROCK AND ROLL TIME    (Roger McGuinn/K.Kristofferson/B.Neuwirth)    2:46
  4. FRIEND    (Roger McGuinn)    2:07
  5. PARTNERS IN CRIME    (Roger McGuinn/Jacques Levy)    4:52
  6. UP TO ME    (Bob Dylan)    5:36
  7. ROUND TABLE    (Roger McGuinn/Jacques Levy)    4:05
  8. PRETTY POLLY    (arranged & adapted by Roger McGuinn)    3:17
  9. DREAMLAND    (Joni Mitchell)    5:20

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  10. SOUL LOVE (DEMO)
  11. DREAMLAND (LIVE)

CREDITS

ROGER McGUINN --
DAVID MANSFIELD --
MICK RONSON --
ROB STONER --
HOWARD WYETH --
Kim Hitchcroft --
Timothy Schmit --
Ron Coro -- art direction
John Kehe -- design
Ethan Russell -- photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US May 1976 Columbia LP PC 34154 lyric sleeve
UK/NET 1976 CBS LP S 81369 lyric sleeve
NZ 1976 CBS LP SBP 234850 lyric insert
  2002 Sony CD 510582 digital remaster
US October 19, 2004 Sundazed CDX SC-6204 w. bonus tracks
UK 2007 Beat Goes On CDZ BGOCD-774 repackaged w. ROGER McGUINN & BAND
JPN 2007 Sony CDX SICP-1546 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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