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Gilbert O'Sullivan Could Have Been Britain's Randy Newman

Source: Word

Writer: Paul Du Noyer

Date: October 2003


"GILBERT O'SULLIVAN COULD HAVE BEEN BRITAIN'S RANDY NEWMAN"


At the opposite ends of several spectrums from Jewel sits the curious figure of Gilbert O'Sullivan.  I'd nearly forgotten him. But he's back and perhaps in reaction to the glossy nothingness of Jewel's album, I want to applaud him.  Admittedly his new album Piano Foreplay has a terrible title, and it's cover photo - a naked model apparently climbing out of a piano - is an idea that should have been quietly shown the door.  It's full of those wry, downtrodden everyman songs - with typically Gilbertesque titles like "It Never Rains But It Pours", "Barking Up The Wrong Tree (Such Is Life)" and "What's Its All Supposed To Mean?" - that remind you that he could have become Britain's Randy Newman. The songs sound no different actually, from the hits he had in the 70s.  But you don't want Gilbert O'Sullivan announcing he has gone all drum 'n' bass, do you?  There is a Best of Gilbert O'Sullivan coming out next year and it will be an occasion to celebrate an oddly under-celebrated talent. As he puts it himself.  "You can say all the like about goodbyes, they boost tissue sales at least."