Jack Green – Humanesque (1980)

FrontCover1Jack Green (born 12 March 1951 in Glasgow, Scotland) is a Scottish musician and songwriter.

Green played with T. Rex between 1973 and 1974, then with Pretty Things between 1974 and 1976, recording Silk Torpedo and Savage Eye. After Phil May walked out on the Pretty Things he carried on with Peter Tolson, Gordon Edwards and Skip Alan in Metropolis. He also was a member of Rainbow for three weeks in late 1978.

He launched a solo career with the album Humanesque in 1980, followed by Reverse Logic in 1981, Mystique in 1983 and Latest Game in 1986.

He joined with former T-Rex members Mickey Finn and Paul Fenton in Mickey_Finn’s_T-Rex (1997-1999).

Green is now living in Ryde, Isle of Wight, where he teaches guitar, and owns a budget film production company.

A new album The Party At The End Of The World is scheduled for release on 3rd February 2020. (by wikipedia)

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Known to UK rock and pop fans through his involvement with the Pretty Things, Green relocated to Canada to build his solo career. Though now regularly consigned to the ‘where are they now?’ columns in the country of his birth, a sequence of albums for RCA Records in Canada have produced a cult following in that territory. Humanesque, which featured Ritchie Blackmore of Rainbow on one track, and Essential Logic are two collections that married melodious pop hooks with Green’s own rock guitar licks. Latest Game saw him move to FM/Revolver, but distribution of the record in the UK failed to excite much critical interest despite Green’s reputation and stature in Canada. (by allmusic.com)

And Humanesque is Jack Green’s debut album. The track “I Call, No Answer” features Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple as a guest artist on lead guitar. (by wikipedia)

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I’ve never heard of Jack Green before, but the albums looked like fun, and the date is 80, so these are most definitely going to be guitar driven singer/songwriter tunes, but how good will they be? I don’t know if they will lean toward new wave or Americana folk guitar. But I’m game to hope for the first. Just from the design from Humanesque, it looks angular and fun. I like his style on the back too.

“Murder” starts as a bass-heavy70’s rock song, like foreigner or something a bit smoky with a touch of danger. It is a good album starter, because the whole song feels like it is building to something, but it never quite gets there. So, in effect, it’s building up the rest of the album.
“So Much” is introduced with a new wave sounding organ and drums. The vocals make PromoPosterthe song feel like a Tom Petty track. But in the chorus, the vocals take on more of an Elvis Costello or Graham Parker feel. And the energetic vocal outburst of ‘alright’ reminds me of Mike Viola, but the comparison really ends there.
“Valentina” is a slower, smooth guitar ballad. The style of the slide guitar in short bursts; a technique not used as much anymore, dates the song, and gives it a bit of a confident and dangerous mood.
“Babe” simplistically bounces and rocks out from the get go with its use of complex but light guitar hook and simple drum beat. It is an immediately fun, catchy song, and then first small taste you get of the chorus solidifies the song as a rollicking pop song, very similar to Elvis Costello’s style. It is repetitive, but a fun melody is still a fun melody. The verse is just a build up to get to the exceptional chorus, which then becomes all you want to hear in a loop.
“Can’t Stand It” has an angry Bryan Adams-like presentation in the chorus. Again, the drums and instrumental usage is sparse, but efficient. The songs feel like they have a lot of empty space, which is actually a positive nod to the production, as the songs still feel complete.

“I Call, No Answer” continues with the smoky, mysterious and confident guitar play, and the vocals are no different in their urgency or Bryan Adams, “Run To You” tone.
“Life on the Line” slows the record down a bit with its reggae rhythm. It still has a solid JackGreen02electric guitar presence in the verse, but the tempo is relaxed, despite the high anxiety title. “’Bout the Girl” takes the stripped down guitar rock song to the extreme. It has a catchy upward tempo for the verse, and the chorus takes the opportunity to rock out a bit more, Big Star harmonic style.“Though It Was Easy” is a slower reflective song. It still feeds a bit of a punch with the parallel and layered bass and guitar, but the vocals give it that reminiscent feel. “Factory Girl” has a start stop guitar that makes me think of “867-5309/Jenny.” But there is not that much energy in the song. In fact, the tempo is much slower and the song struts along at its own, hurry-free pace.
“This Is Japan” ends the album as sparse and relaxed as the opening track offered an insurmountable build. After the title is spoke/sung, a tacky oriental keyboard plays in repeat a couple of times, and here and there throughout the slow struggling song. The song does finish off the album nicely though. (thriftstoremusic.blogspot.com)

In other words: Pretty good Power-Pop-Rock from this period.

And in 2020 he released another solo-album called “The Party At The End Of The World”.

BackCover

Personnel:
Brian Chatton (keyboards)
Mel Collins (saxophone)
Andy Dalby (guitar)
Ian Ellis (bass)
Jack Green (guitar, vocals, bass)
Mac Poole (drums)
Pete Tolson (guitar)
+
Ritchie Blackmore (guitar on 06.)

Inlets
Tracklist:
01. Murder (Green/Adey) 3.19
02. So Much (Green/Adey) 4.50
03. Valentina (Green/Adey) 4.22
04. Babe (Green) 3.30
05. Can’t Stand It (Green/Adey) 3.36
06. I Call, No Answer (Green) 3.27
07. Life On The Line (Green/Adey) 4.03
08. ‘Bout That Girl (Green) 2.59
09. Thought It Was Easy (Jack Green/Jackie Green) 2.45
10. Factory Girl (Green/Adey) 2.54
11. This Is Japan (Green/Adey) 3.13

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Jack Green in 2020

 

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