Samstag, 12. Mai 2018

Al Stewart – Love Chronicles

Al Stewart – Love Chronicles


Al Stewart – vocals, guitar


Jimmy Page – guitar on “Love Chronicles“
Simon Breckenridge (pseudonym for Simon Nicol) – guitar
Mervyn Prestwyck (pseudonym for Richard Thompson) – guitar
Brian Brocklehurst – bass
Harvey Burns – drums
Martyn Francis (pseudonym of Martin Lamble) – drums
Brian Odgers – bass
John Paul Jones – bass on “Love Chronicles“
Ashley Hutchings – bass

Label: Warner Music

Erscheinungsdatum: 1969

Stil: Folk


1. In Brooklyn (3:43)
2. Old Compton Street Blues (4:26)
3. The Ballad Of Mary Foster (8:02)
4. Life And Life Only (5:49)
5. You Should Have Listened To Al (3:02)
6. Love Chronicles (18:04)

Gesamtspieldauer: 43:09

„Love Chronicles“ heißt das zweite Album des Engländers Al Stewart und es ist gleich in mehrerer Hinsicht eine bemerkenswerte Platte geworden. Das Album erschien im September des Jahres 1969 auf dem Plattenlabel CBS Records und war das erste und einzige der ersten vier Alben des englischen Musikers, welches auch in den USA veröffentlicht wurde. Dazu hatte sich auch die Instrumentierung deutlich gegenüber dem zwei Jahre zuvor erschienenen Debut-Album „Bedsitter Images“ verändert. Es gab kein Orchester mehr, welches den Sound stark beeinflusste. Zu hören sind jetzt Al Stewart mit seinem Gesang und seiner akustischen Gitarre. Dazu erklingen Bass, zumeist ein sanftes Schlagzeug, der Sound einer E-Gitarre, die Soli spielt und damit Lücken füllt sowie ab und an eine Orgel.

Beim Einspielen der Platte erhielt Al Stewart tatkräftige Unterstützung bekannter Musiker. So spielt Jimmy Page die E-Gitarre beim Titellied „Love Chronicles“. Des Weiteren sind vier Mitglieder der Fairport Convention auf dem Album zu hören: Bassist Ashley Hutchings, Gitarrist Simon Nicol (aufgeführt als „Simon Breckenridge“), Schlagzeuger Martin Lamble (angegeben als „Martyn Francis“) und Gitarrist Richard Thompson (aufgeführt als „Marvyn Prestwick“). Ansonsten hat sich wenig geändert an der Musik des Al Stewart. Es gibt britischen Folk zu hören, der sehr melodiös und sanft klingt. Dabei sind die Lieder an jeder Stelle eingängig, alles klingt harmonisch und geht ins Ohr. Wer allerdings „Abrocken“ möchte, ist definitiv schlecht mit „Love Chronicles“ bedient. Die Musik fließt dahin, ohne jegliche Aufregung zu erzeugen. So manche Hörerin oder Hörer könnte dies auch mit „langweilig“ umschreiben.

Nun, schließlich kommt der letzte Titel des Albums. Es ist das Titellied „Love Chronicles“, gleichzeitig mit über achtzehn Minuten Spieldauer auch die längste Nummer der Platte. Das Lied ist aus zweierlei Gründen erwähnenswert. Zum einen ist da der Text. „Love Chronicles“ ist angeblich das erste Lied, in dem ein Sänger oder eine Sängerin das Wort „fucking“ in den Mund nimmt. Dies alleine sorgte schon mal für einen Eklat Ende der 60er Jahre. Zum anderen ist dieser Titel ziemlich einfach strukturiert und wiederholt fast nur ein einziges kurzes Thema über eine Laufzeit von über achtzehn Minuten. Dies in Kombination mit der wenig variierten Stimme des Al Stewart erfordert viel Durchhaltevermögen und Toleranz von der Hörerin beziehungsweise vom Hörer. Beim Hören hat man zwischenzeitlich wahrlich das Gefühl sich selbst Ohrfeigen zu müssen, nur um festzustellen, ob man noch wach ist oder gar noch lebt. Al Stewart erzählt in diesem Lied von seinen gemachten Erfahrungen zum Thema „Liebe“ – und dies in epischer Breite. Da braucht man wahrlich Sitzfleisch, um dies durchzustehen. Unglaublich auch, wie er diesen Text auswendig lernen konnte, den ich hier mit angeführt habe. Allerdings entzieht es sich meiner Kenntnis, ob der englische Musiker dieses Lied jemals live auf der Bühne spielte und ob er dabei nicht den Text vom Blatt ablas.

I can remember the first girl that I did love
It was Stephanie
In kindergarten arithmetic classes she used to
Sit next to me
I'd pass her sticky sweets under the table
Where the teacher couldn't see
Although she wouldn't remember me now
Sometimes I wonder where she can be

I can remember the first girl I kissed
It was Christine when I was ten
I'd been told we were moving away
I thought I'd never see her again
Oh don't forget me
I'll be back when they let me
Before you learn how to lie when you're leaving
Love is so much easier then

And at school would you believe three hundred boys
And no girls at all
But you're a fool if you should leave
Just think of the joys of rugby football
And prep in the morning and Brylcreem and acne
And cross-country running to kill evil thoughts
I'm surprised that I survived
I ran ten thousand miles with my back to the wall

I can remember the first girl that I made love to
It was in a park
In the lower pleasure gardens in Bournemouth
In summer just after dark
My mind was reeling: Oh what a feeling.
I missed the bus and walked twelve miles home
And it really didn't seem far

And all through my seventeenth summer
Running together from crowds and ties
Taking our clothes off and feeling each other
With fingers and senses and mouths and eyes
Incurring the glances of old disapproval
From elderly local inhabitant's eyes
Oh time, time we hardly even knew you
You didn't touch us with your lies

In the halcyon days of my late adolescence
My goal seemed clearly in sight
Playing electric guitar with a beat group
We set the ballrooms alight
Camping it up for the dyed blonde receptionists
Who told us we were al-ri-yi-yight
On an ego trip for a teenage superstar
On thirty shillings a nigh-yight

And so it fell that I came up to London
To look for fortune and fame
Starry eyed in my seaside successes
And much too sure of the game
First girl I met there I thought I'd get there
But the first girl was nearly the last girl
She left my eyes in the drain
She sat on my floor in the dead of the night
Rolling a joint and looking round for a light
Her clothes were so black and her face was so white
How could I know what was right?

And I sat all huddled upon my bed
Watching her in my innocence
And it was no sense at all, but too much sense
That took me to the bridge of impotence
Oh Artaud's anthology lay spread on the floor
And the thoughts that she gave me,
I'd not met before
And stranded half hypnotised,
I watched her in awe 
Of everything that she stood for

And I wanted more than anything to be like her with every sense
But it was no sense at all, but too much sense
That took me to the bridge of impotence
She came over to me and kissed me in play
Taking my hand between her legs as she lay
And she looked in my eyes but I turned them away
Finding no words fit to say

And I hated myself, but could not move
Shattered in my confidence
But it was no sense at all, but too much sense
That took me to the bridge of impotence
Now the stare of the lightbulb tore holes in my brain
As she got up in the silence that hung like a stain
And I wanted to speak, or to call out her name
But how could I begin to explain?

And my prosecuting room still holds
A strand of her hair in evidence
But it was no sense at all, but too much sense
That took me to the bridge of impotence
Oh I still think about her when the night fills with rain
And speaks in its voices uneasy and vain
And I think were I maybe to find her again
Oh I'd probably see her more plain

And I should have known she was just like me
It was after all only common-sense
But it was no sense at all, but too much sense
That took me to the bridge of impotence
But it was no sense at all, but too much sense
That took me to the bridge of impotence

At first I didn't go out much at all
I just stayed at home in my chains
Picking over the threads of my confidence
And searching for the remains
And when I couldn't stand any more of it
Going down to a club
Mixing in with the sounds and the crowds
I let the music cover me up

And only, lonely, the harlequins and painted phonies
Pick their ways, through the haze
Of highs and lows and blues
And all that I could do was to pick my way to you
Though I didn't tell you
You were just a thing to prove
I was hungry when found you, but I'm alright now

They sigh, they lie, the refugees and superheroes
On ice, so nice to see you, what's your name?
And all that I could do was to say the same to you
Take you for the moment, though the moment wasn't true
But I was hungry when I found you and I'm alright now

Though the street lamp cut through the curfew
It shed no light on our mind
It would have been so easy to love you
At any other time
Only, lonely, you came to me the night hung coldly
In your eyes, some other time I might have stayed with you
But all that I could do was to turn around to you
Thanks for what you gave me now it's time to say "Adieu"
I was hungry when I found you but I'm alright now.

Ba ba ba alright now

And so it came that I stood disillusioned
By everything I'd been told
I just didn't believe love existed
They were all just digging for gold
Widows and bankers and typists and businessmen
Loved each other they said
But all it was though was just a manoeuvre
The quickest way into bed

And so I followed the others' example
And jumped into the melee
In the hunting grounds of Earls Court and Swiss Cottage
I did my best to get laid
Beer cans and parties, deb girls and arties
Bouncing around in the social confusion
Missing and making the grade

The very first time I must confess
I thought you'd be like all of the rest
And we'd be strangers once again
By the time we were dressed
But when you'd smoked your cigarette
And talked of some people that we'd met
I found myself asking was it set,
did you have to go yet

And so you laughed and then kissed me
And stayed for the whole weekend
Although the bed was so narrow
We had to sleep end to end

And so the weeks passed through my brain
In their dadaistic chain
I found myself seeing you again, and again and again
And all you gave you gave it free
Asking for nothing back from me
You gave yourself unselfishly as a part of me
And where I thought that just plucking
The fruits of the bed was enough
It grew to be less like fucking
And more like making love 

Of all the girls I ever knew
some loved and some denied me
And all the words I ever said
have been no use to hide me
And all the songs I ever sung
each one of them untied me
And all the girls I ever loved
have left themselves inside me

Fazit: Auch wenn man Folk mag, diese Platte des Al Stewart stellt einen auf eine Geduldsprobe. Die Musik ist melodiös und sanft, geht durchaus ins Ohr. Jedoch wird dabei ein Thema immer wieder ausgewalzt, bis es einem zu den Ohren herauskommt. Dies ist nicht nur beim achtzehn minütigen Titellied der Fall. Ein wenig mehr Abwechslung hätte der Platte definitiv gut getan. Zudem hätte ich niemals geglaubt, dass ich einmal behaupten würde, ein gekürztes Lied wäre an dieser Stelle besser gewesen. Doch es ist so, „Love Chronicles“ ist definitiv zu lang geraten. Acht Punkte.

Anspieltipps: Life And Life Only