Hilton Valentine – Listen

I only heard this song for the first time the other day. After seeking out Alan Price’s version of Randy Newman’s Tickle Me, I stumbled across some recent footage of Eric Burdon performing with a line-up of The Animals that featured original guitarist Hilton Valentine. And after looking up Valentine on Wikipedia I discovered that he recorded a solo album, All In Your Head, in 1969.

Yes, isn’t the internet marvellous?

Anyway, as his album sold next to no copies he didn’t release anything else again. Which is a real shame because, as I’ve discovered, it’s a rather delighful folk-pop record that, while obviously of its time, still sounds remarkably fresh. The lyrics are a bit soppy and his singing isn’t up to much but I reckon it’s as good as anything similar from that period. In fact, it sounds a lot like some of the stuff that the likes of Tim Hardin and Graham Nash were doing. (And actually, this particular track bears a striking resemblance to Hardin’s marvellous Don’t Make Promises which was released three years earlier.)

Listen, the album’s lead track, is a lovely song that shuffles along very nicely while boasting quite a pretty little melody. It’s all very airy-fairy and whimsical, with a sweetness and innocence that you just don’t hear these days. Which is fairly impressive, considering that Valentine was a working-class lad from North Shields who had previously played in one of the sixties’ rawest R&B bands.

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About Paul Saxton

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2 Responses to Hilton Valentine – Listen

  1. Shelly says:

    But he did indeed record more solo work. 2004: It’s Folk n’ Skiffle, Mate! and 2011: Skiffledog on Coburg ST
    Both of which can be purchased through his website or any other online source.

    • Paul Saxton says:

      Thanks Shelly. Yes, I’m aware of those. I did say ‘release’ though, not ‘record’. But yes, I should have been clearer that I meant that there wasn’t a follow-up to All In Your Head – not a major label release, that is.

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