27 Nov 2011

Alastair Riddell - Space Waltz - Obscure Classics ( Review )

Great albums you might have missed.

Alastair Riddell - Space Waltz ( 1975 )

New Zealand is not the first place many people would think to look for a great lost album from the original seventies glam movement, so Alastair Riddell's Space Waltz project should be a very pleasant surprise for you glitter fiends out there.
Released after winning a national TV talent quest,  Space Waltz's lone release is required glam rock listening which was briefly huge here in New Zealand, and totally unknown overseas.
Ziggy Stardust era David Bowie is obviously Riddell's key influence at this point and while this is admittedly completely derivative it's carried off with such conviction and attention to detail that you can't help but get caught up in the enthusiasm. Indeed if subjected to a blindfold test you could be forgiven for thinking this was a lost Bowie album recorded between Ziggy and Aladdin Sane.
Out on the Street was the big local hit and the one song people seem to remember, but there's a much deeper vein to be tapped here.
Fraulein Love & Beautiful Boy are shoulda been hits that are as immediate as anything coming out of the UK at the time.
Seabird's lyrical guitar licks are pure Mick Ronson ( think Width of a Circle ) and Love The Way He Smiles is an epic closer in the vein of Moonage Daydream.
Naturally Riddell's vocal delivery and mannerisms are highly theatrical which does date this somewhat, but those with a taste for the genre are generally fairly forgiving in this regard.
For such a well known movement there are surprisingly few classic glam rock albums, so a find like this is invaluable.
Fans of Jobriath and similar artists need to investigate immediately.

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