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Non-Prog CD Reviews

David Essex

Rock On

Review by Gary Hill

I’d have to say that most people in the Western world have probably heard the title track to this album. That makes it the most well-known David Essex album. I’d have to say that it’s one of the best, too. The range of sounds is fairly wide, and there is some great material here. This new reissue really shines. If you are only going to own one album from David Essex (and it’s not going to be compilation) this should be the one. It’s really the best known for a reason.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 3 at

Track by Track Review

This cut is bouncy and a lot of fun. It’s tastefully strange. It has a definite bit of psychedelia in the mix.

Turn Me Loose
This is very much an old time rock and roller. It makes me think of Little Richard to no small degree.
On and On
A mellower mainstream musical concept is the idea here. I love the saxophone and the echoey kind of trippy vibe, too.
There is a healthy dosage of blues rock built into this beast. It has a lot of the tasteful psychedelic rock inspired sound one expects from Essex, too.
Rock On
If you’ve only ever heard one song by David Essex this is it. I have to say that I’ve always loved this song. It’s such a catchy slab of the kind of trippy rocking sound Essex created.
Ocean Girl
Coastal sounds start this. As the first verse is heard, it’s a pretty mellow one. After that it gets a bit more sound and energy added to the mix. It’s sort of Island music with some real psychedelia in the mix. I can make out hints of Donovan in some ways here.
Bring in the Sun
The early parts of this song are quite mellow. The tune works out to more powered up territory after a time. This one is actually pretty close to being progressive rock in a lot of ways. I like the female vocals in the mix. I also dig the symphonic elements.
For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her
Another cut that has definite prog leanings, this is fairly complex. It’s also a nice combination of psychedelic rock with symphonic stuff. If I had to land this in a genre, though, I’d really consider it prog rock. I like the balance between mellower and more rocking territory.
We All Insane
This rocker is another with a lot of prog in the mix. It’s suitably crazed at times and includes a percussion work out.
Tell Him No
This is a mainstream rock tune. It’s more of a ballad, but has some rocking edges to it.
Sept. 15th
This piano ballad is short, but evocative and quite pretty. The strings add a lot to it.
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