Album Review – RICK PRICE & JACK JONES – California Dreaming (Sony)
Review by Geoff Jenke
California Dreaming is Rick Price & Jack Jones tribute to the west coast Californian sounds of the 60’s & 70’s. Both men share a love for the music and sound of this period, recording the album in Nashville.
Rick Price says about the album, “I felt we needed to pay homage to these songs and be respectful to the melodies and arrangements and not drift too far off the reservation. But, at the same time we wanted to add some things here and there that made a difference”.
The album covers the obvious songs by The Mamas & Papas, The Byrds, Neil Young and of course The Eagles and more.
Opening with California Dreaming (originally by The Mamas & Papas), it is obvious from the start the album is going to be faithful reproduction of the songs, lovingly recorded. The vocals are superb and the guitar work magnificent. We get another Mamas & Papas song in Monday Monday as well as The Eagles Desperado, and Take It Easy Jackson Browne’s Running on Empty, Neil Young’s Heart of Gold and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s Teach Your Children.
While all beautifully recorded, obviously with a passion for the songs, the problem is they are so faithful to the originals, it has you wanting to drag the originals out and play them. Rick and Jack don’t mess with the formula to make them, their own songs. I thought this may happen with the start of Light my Fire originally by the Doors, but after the intro it just becomes another direct copy of the song. The other alternative would have been to find and record some less well-known songs by these artists.
Maybe it is a small quibble as this is still a stellar set of songs beautifully recorded. Ideal for any dinner party at home. I just wanted to hear something done slightly different.