1994 – Connoisseur Collection
Dave Edmunds has always been a bit of a Zelig like figure for me. He is associated with and hangs out with a lot of artists I love. But I have never explored his music.
I, of course, know two songs. Both were hits and written for Edmunds – Girls Talk by Elvis Costello and I Knew The Bride (When She Used To Rock N Roll) by Nick Lowe. He is scattered on various compilations (Live Stiffs, the Stiff Records box set, etc) I own, and guested on other records that I his name didn’t front.
I guess what kept me away from Edmunds was that he wasn’t a songwriter, and he didn’t have a special point of view. He just sang cool songs of others. Listening to this compilation, it is very compilation-y. This is a classic 90s best of where they just filled the disc to capacity.
This album is filled with familiar songs. They are all covers – John Fogerty’s Almost Saturday Night, the classical piece Sabre Dance (heard in lots of films) and more. The songs sound pretty good, Edmunds is a fine player and singer. I drift towards the less produced stuff like Crawling From The Wreckage.
In the end, I already had better versions of these songs. And for me, these songs are OK – they all seem to touch upon good time 50s rock n roll, which is not my favourite genre. It’s riff heavy, simple lyrics – I know people who love it, and they are the biggest Dave Edmunds fans I know. It is nice to have a great version of Girls Talk. The version of I Knew The Bride is fine.
After this, I’m not rushing out to buy a whole lot of Rockpile or Dave Edmunds albums. This pub rock era of British music was full of filler, and if this is the best, then I’ve heard it before. It ticks a box, solves a mystery. I’m sure he’s a blast live, he looks neat and has a good voice. His frequent collaborator Nick Lowe talks about Cruel To Be Kind (which Edmonds plays on), saying it was simply his turn to have a hit. Edmunds, he just kind of had a turn.