Bobby Valentino

The Electric Bluebirds

Diamond Records, the label that released the “best of” Electric Bluebirds’ CD was owned by Roger Dopson who had been a fan of the band during the early eighties and he also wrote these sleeve notes for the release: (You can read Bobby's own sleeve notes here.)

Back in the summer of ’86 it seemed that the Electric Bluebirds were just about everywhere. Their evocative logo was plastered up on walls throughout London and other major cities in one of the heaviest, most visible flyposting campaigns known to modern man – all urging us to hasten out and purchase their debut album, as it was “Probably the best album you’ll buy this year” – whilst the weekly music mags were awash with adverts and reviews of the said album. Yep, it appeared that the Bluebirds had finally arrived, those years on the road, all that hard grind, and those hundreds of gigs had at last paid off … they were about to break the Big Time.

But in truth, it was already too late: the fat lady was well into her final verse. To put it bluntly, they’d peaked and gone – for although they were still one of the biggest live draws on the pubs/clubs circuit, with a strong, noisy and loyal grass-roots following, they’d been around for some five or six years and had lost much of their earlier impetus. Furthermore, by this stage bassist Richie Robertson and fiddler Bobby Valentino had flown the coop and become part-timers, alternating the occasional Bluebirds’ gig with their “new” roles in Hank Wangford’s band, and as they’d barely played with the band for months their subsequent appearances promoting the new album virtually amounted to “comebacks”.

Worse was to follow, with all the usual nonsense with Radio 1 over a “suitable” single. The first track culled from the album – the band’s choice, a fine revival of Aaron Neville’s “Tell It Like It Is” – had proved wholly resistible to R1 (“you can’t dance to it …” quoth one R! worthy), who then, in their infinite wisdom, also turned their noses up at the album’s standout track “Back On The Train”. This was in turn withdrawn and “The Money’s All Gone” – another excellent Paul Astles original – was rushed out in its place, surprise, surprise, that also failed to attract R1 airplay, and that was just about it. Click here to see the album artwork for back on the train.

Electric Bluebirds Reviews

Electric Bluebirds -Review
Electric Bluebirds - Time Out Jan 1997

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