Get this crazy baby off my head!


Alan Hull


Alan Hull - Back To Basics - 1994 - Mooncrest

Recorded live at the Mean Fiddler and Blackheath Concert Halls in London during January of 1994, this record is very much a best of Alan Hull, and virtually indispensable to any fan of Lindisfarne. Cut with Kenny Craddock backing Hull on keyboards, accordion, second guitar, and vocals, this hour-long release features Hull singing in a grittier, more immediate style than one normally associates with his music, his rough, expressive voice bringing a new level of involvement to the music, even beyond what one would expect from the leader of Lindisfarne. The songs include "Lady Eleanor," "Poor Old Ireland," "January Song," "All Fall Down," "Run For Home," and "Fog On The Tyne." "Run For Home," in particular, gets about the best performance it has ever received, and has to be heard in this "unplugged" version. All can be counted among the best of many live versions of these numbers, unless high wattage and heavy amplification are a special concern. Not only a great showcase for Hull, but also a superb example of modern singer-songwriter style folk-rock, and it's great fun, too. © Bruce Eder, All Music Guide © 2010 Answers Corporation http://www.answers.com/topic/back-to-basics-alan-hull-album

Lindisfarne, founded in 1970 and fronted by Alan Hull were one of the great British folk rock groups of the '70's. By 1972 they were one of the biggest names in British rock music. Much of the Tyneside band's music had a melancholic beauty, and many of the songs' lyrics expressed a deep love and pride for their N.E England "Geordie" roots. Although the band's music had a strong element of humour, songs like "Meet Me On The Corner","Run For Home", "We Can Swing Together", "Fog On The Tyne" and the beautiful, almost ethereal "Lady Eleanor" expressed the band's passion and love for Newcastle and the surrounding areas. In the early '70's, when Lindisfarne released the great "Nicely Out of Tune", and "Fog on the Tyne albums, Alan Hull was being compared to artists like Bob Dylan for his evocative songwriting skills. Lindisfarne split in 1975 but at the end of 1977 the band's original line-up reformed after an acclaimed Christmas concert in Newcastle's City Hall. "Back To Basics" is a wonderful live acoustic set recorded in January 1994 at the Mean Fiddler and Blackheath Concert in London. The late Kenny Craddock on keyboards, accordion, second guitar and vocals backs Alan. This great recording features 15 great Alan Hull songs which cover the years from 1970, up to his death in 1995, and includes some of his great compositions with Lindisfarne. The album is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Alan's outstanding "Phantoms" album, and Lindisfarne's classic "Nicely Out of Tune", and "Fog on the Tyne" albums. Kenny Craddock's "Mad as the Mist and Snow" album is also a rewarding listen


1. United states of mind
2. Poor old Ireland
3. All fall down
4. Lady Eleanor
5. Winter song
6. Walk in the sea
7. Mother Russia
8. This heart of mine
9. Mr. Inbetween
10. January song
11. Breakfast
12. Day of the Jackal
13. O no, not again
14. Run for home
15. Fog on the Tyne

All songs composed by Alan Hull, except "This Heart Of Mine" by Alan Hull, and Kevin Phillipson


Alan Hull (Guitar), (Piano), (Keyboards), (Vocals), (Producer)
Ken Craddock (Guitar), (Accordion), (Keyboards), (Vocals)


Best known as the co-founder, leader, and principal songwriter of the Newcastle folk-based rock band Lindisfarne, Alan Hull also pursued a successful career as a solo performer, specializing in original songs. At one time, amid Lindisfarne's early successes, Hull was being hailed as the most innovative songwriter since Bob Dylan, and although Lindisfarne's subsequent albums didn't remotely achieve this level of promise, his solo material was consistently strong. Hailing from Newcastle, where he was born in 1945, Hull took up the guitar as a boy, and became a member of the band the Chosen Few alongside keyboard player (and future Ian Dury alumnus) Mickey Gallagher, in 1962. That band, which specialized in Tamla-Motown covers, was signed to Pye Records for a time and Hull first emerged as a songwriter of considerable promise within their ranks, generating some very strong original numbers including the single "Today Tonight and Tomorrow." Hull exited the group in 1966 and gravitated toward a more folk-oriented sound in his playing, singing, and songwriting, which brought him into a band called Downtown Faction, who eventually evolved into Lindisfarne; he supported himself one year by working as a nurse at a mental hospital, before Lindisfarne came together. As author of many of their most popular songs as well as one of their principal singers, Hull came to be regarded as the de facto leader of the group, which may have contributed to its splintering in 1973. He recorded solo albums periodically beginning with 1973's Pipedream on the Charisma label, which included the services of second-generation Lindisfarne guitarist/keyboardman Ken Craddock as well as original members Ray Jackson and Ray Laidlaw. His second album, Squire, was released in 1975 by Warner Bros., while his third, Phantoms (1979), was done for Elton John's Rocket Records label. At its best, Hull's songwriting featured fluid, deceptively catchy, and pleasing melodies, and rich, deeply evocative phrasing and imagery. His "Fog on the Tyne" remains a classic, a Dylanesque account of life in Newcastle in the late '60s, and he has also written in a more popular vein, with songs such as "Run for Home" (which, with its achingly beautiful chorus, ought to have been an international hit), which sounds almost more like Bruce Springsteen than Bruce Springsteen did. In 1994, he recorded Back to Basics, a live all-acoustic survey of the best of his songwriting from 1970 onward. On November 17, 1995, while working on a new album, Hull died suddenly of what was determined to be a heart thrombosis. Lindisfarne has continued to perform in the years since, and recordings of Hull's have continued to surface from various sources, including radio performances going back to the early '70s. Bruce Eder © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:j9ftxqu5ldke~T1


Kenny Craddock (18 April 1950 - 30 May 2002) was an instrumentalist, composer and producer. Throughout his career he worked with artists including Ringo Starr, Ginger Baker, Billy Bragg and Gerry Rafferty. He collaborated with Alan Hull and Lindisfarne and acted as musical director for Van Morrison and Mary Black. Craddock began touring with Van Morrison in the early 1980s, playing keyboards until around 1985. Craddock, though, had a written a song based upon a W.B. Yeats poem called "Before the World", which Morrison said he would like to record. "Before the World Was Made" was adapted by Morrison with music by Craddock, and appeared on the 1993 album Too Long in Exile. In the nineties, he provided, with Colin Gibson, the incidental music to Steven Moffat's sitcom Joking Apart. Craddock himself performed the show's theme song, a cover version of Chris Rea's "Fool (If You Think It's Over)". Around this time, Craddock toured with Paul Brady. Craddock moved to Portugal in 2001, where he died in a car crash after completing his first solo album, Mad as the Mist and Snow.


Lindisfarne barely command more than a footnote in most rock reference books. During the early '70s, however, Lindisfarne were one of the hottest folk-based rock bands in England, with chart placements on two of their albums that rivaled Jethro Tull, and had them proclaimed one of the most important groups of the decade. With a sound that mixed plaintive folk-like melodies, earthy but well-sung harmonies, and acoustic and electric textures, the group seemed poised for international success, when a series of unfortunate artistic decisions, followed by a split in their lineup, left them bereft of audience and success. Singer/guitarist Alan Hull (b. Feb. 20, 1945), guitarist Simon Cowe (b. Apr. 1, 1948), mandolin player Ray Jackson (b. Dec. 12, 1948), bassist/violinist Rod Clements (b. Nov. 17, 1947), and drummer Ray Laidlaw (b. May 28, 1948) all hailed from Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, and the surrounding area. At some point, they were known as Downtown Faction, but they took their familiar musical form under the name Brethren. The band became a very popular act on the college circuit, playing what was known as "good-time" music, singalong numbers resembling (or directly derived from) pub songs in which audiences could luxuriate, usually with Jackson's harmonica honking along. Alan Hull had a background in folk music that enabled him to freely incorporate that influence, and he was the major songwriter and singer in the band. In 1968, they discovered that an American group was already using the name Brethren, and the Newcastle group rechristened itself Lindisfarne, taken from the name of an island off the coast of Northumberland in Northern England — the island Lindisfarne (also known as Holy Island) is most famous for its early medieval monastery and castle and the ancient "Lindisfarne Gospels" medieval manuscript. The new name fit the times and the group's sound, which was evolving in the direction of folk-style music. The group was signed to Tony Stratton-Smith's Charisma Records, England's premiere progressive rock label, in 1970. They released their first (and best) album, Nicely Out of Tune, that same year. Their debut album captured the group's best attributes, a rollicking, upbeat, optimistic collection of hippie/folk music, somewhere midway between Fairport Convention and the early Grateful Dead, with a peculiarly urban, English working-class ambience. Their "Englishness," coupled with the occasionally uneven quality of their songwriting, may explain one major reason why Lindisfarne never achieved more than a tiny cult following in the United States. Nicely Out of Tune contained one wistfully romantic number, "Lady Eleanor," which became a favorite number in the band's concert repertoire, and seemed destined to find an audience. The album and the "Lady Eleanor" single failed to chart, but Lindisfarne's live shows only grew in popularity — by the end of 1970, they were able to ask for £1500 a night from promoters, a far cry from the £300 they had been getting on the college circuit. Their second album, Fog on the Tyne, released in 1971, marked their commercial breakthrough — a collection of earthy, folk-type pub songs, Fog on the Tyne entered the British charts in October of that year and began a slow climb into the middle reaches. In February of 1972, however, the group's label belated issued a single from the album, "Meet Me on the Corner." That record was number five on the charts the following month, while Fog on the Tyne suddenly rose to the number one spot. Within a matter of weeks, Nicely Out of Tune entered the charts for the first time and eventually hit number eight; "Lady Eleanor," reissued in June of 1972, made it to number three. That was when the media hype kicked in, raising expectations and aspirations for a group that, until four months earlier, had been a pleasant folk-rock outfit with a solid cult following. Alan Hull was referred to in the press as the most important new songwriter since Bob Dylan, and Lindisfarne were saddled with the designation as "the 1970s Beatles." Up to this time, the group had played in England and Wales, but, apart from one show in Scotland and individual forays to Paris and Holland, its members hadn't even pondered the notion or implications of an international career. It all seemed too good to last, and it was. Later in 1972, after a frantic period capitalizing on one massive success after another, the band released its third album, Dingly Dell. The album was troubled from the start. The record's producer was Bob Johnston, the American who had worked on Bob Dylan's John Wesley Harding, among many other records, and who had also produced Fog on the Tyne. The bandmembers had a falling out with Johnston over Dingly Dell, and remixed the album themselves immediately prior to release. The resulting record had a very crisp sound, very up-front, and more of a mainstream hard rock sound than their previous two long-players. Unfortunately, this was not the move that the critics had wanted or expected of the band — they wanted a richer, more progressive folk-type sound, in some ways closer to Fairport Convention, not the harder, more basic sound that they found here. Additionally, the songwriting didn't match the prior two albums, and nobody was drawing comparisons between Alan Hull and Dylan over the songs on Dingly Dell. Ironically, this album came out at just about the time Lindisfarne were in the process of gaining a small following in America, although they never really had much chance of succeeding. Their association with Charisma Records meant that they were afforded a listen by the American progressive rock audience, and to some limited extent their mixture of folk and rock was "progressive." In reality, Lindisfarne were closer in spirit and music to such hard-rocking bands as Brinsley Schwarz, Bees Make Honey, and Eggs Over Easy, utterly lacking the pretensions needed for a prog rock band. Under other circumstances, the album would have been passed over by most critics as nothing more than a slightly disappointing lapse, but reviewers and journalists seemed bent on revenge for Lindisfarne's failure to rise to the praise and hype lavished on them over the previous year. The record and the group were universally savaged, although Dingly Dell still got to number five on the charts and yielded one modest hit, "All Fall Down." They toured America, but discovered that American listeners and critics found their sound too peculiarly English — in the wrong ways — to really accept Lindisfarne. The group was never remotely as popular as its Charisma labelmates Genesis, who were eagerly snapped up by Atlantic Records once their Charisma contract was up. Cowe, Laidlaw, and Clements exited the band in early 1973 and formed a new group called Jack the Lad, which specialized in a harder, more basic pub rock sound, and went on to release three albums on Charisma. A live Lindisfarne album, featuring the original lineup and songs mostly from the first three albums, was issued by Charisma in 1973, but it was at best a holding action. Later that year, Alan Hull and Ray Jackson were back leading a new Lindisfarne lineup, featuring Ken Craddock on guitar, keyboards, and vocals; Charlie Harcourt on guitars; Tommy Duffy on bass and vocals; and Paul Nichols on drums. Their first album, Roll on Ruby, was a critical and commercial failure. Hull embarked on a solo recording career at around this same time, which seemed to draw away still more of the band's original audience. As the principal songwriter and voice of the group, and one of two original members, he held Lindisfarne's public better than the new Lindisfarne did. The band switched to Warner Bros. for its next album, Happy Daze, which fared no better. By 1977, Jack the Lad had called it quits and Cowe, Clements, and Laidlaw were back with Lindisfarne. Hull also recorded with Laidlaw and Craddock under the group name Radiator on the Rocket label, releasing a single album, entitled Isn't It Strange. Lindisfarne switched labels again to Mercury and debuted with a double live album, Magic in the Air, with songs drawn from the group's first three albums. The band remained intact and on Mercury for two more long-players, released to little lasting commercial avail: Back and Fourth (1978), which yielded a pair of modest hits in Alan Hull's "Run for Home," a song that sounds more like Springsteen than Springsteen does, and "Warm Feeling"; and The News (1979). They remained a reasonably popular concert attraction — especially in Newcastle and the surrounding area — into the early '80s, and have continued to record and reunite for concerts periodically in the years since. During the early '80s, they organized Lindisfarne Musical Productions and began releasing their work on the LMP label, including a live album cut in 1983. Their live recordings, featuring new renditions of their classic early-'70s material, seem to draw the greatest enthusiasm. Alan Hull has also maintained a separate solo career, and fans of the group should definitely own his Back to Basics CD, on which he does live acoustic versions of his best songs from 1970 onward. © Bruce Eder © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:09fexqu5ldte~T1


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

guinea pig said...


A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks also, guinea pig. TTU soon, my friend

diamonddave said...

This guy should be held up with the greatest songwriters the UK has produced. Vastly overlooked. Never seen this one before, so thanks for sharing, keep on rockin in the free world!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Howzitgoin'diamonddave ? He has always been overlooked. Often compared to Dylan, he was as good as Dylan. Had the guy lived, can you imagine what he could have achieved? Thanks dd, and TTU soon

kodak ghost said...

Never seen this before, and was a big fan of ( early L'Farne and Jack the Lad. What a find. Great to hear the songs as perhaps he imagined them. Many thanks for the informative blog. Always something interesting!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, kodak ghost! It's probably Alan Hull's least known album....but a good one. Great to get comments about Lindisfarne posts. A neglected band now, but a musically brilliant group. Thanks a million & keep in touch

Mike said...

What serious music lover hasn't heard 'Lady Elanor' and 'Day of the Jackal' by now? Good stuff. I also like 'Walk in the Sea', although it should've been shorter. I find it hard to believe that Lindisfarne was considered by some to be the new Beatles in England. Sure, it's good folksy material but it's not Beatles-calibur. Me thinks they throw around the Beatles monicker too loosely.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hey, Mike! Long time, no etc. Too many serious music lovers haven't heard LADY ELEANOR, etc! There's a long list of bands who were going to be the new Beatles. Anyway, there's very little comparison with the Fab 4 and Lindisfarne. The Beatles did a folky cover of "Maggie Mae"...probably some more folky type songs. They covered every musical genre really. Any word on Jamiroquai? I won't mention those "Showbiz Kids"!!

Mike said...

Nothing much. Jamiroquai falsely led their fans to presume that a major announcement was on the way last week, only to have it be warm-up gigs for an upcoming show in London. A lot of fans criticized them on their website for misleading them, which I agree with. They know that people are eagerly anticipating the new album which is scheduled for September release. Teasing fans in that manner is senseless and stupid.

But they've been talking about it since January of '08 so I fully expect it to be ready by 2015.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Followed by S***** D** in 2020!
Cheers, Mike! TTU soon!