CD Kid in a Big World (CD 1266283),
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Kid in a Big World

  • 1. Goodbye Suzie
    2. Family Man
    3. Flame, The
    4. Maybe Someday in Miami
    5. Gone Away
    6. Missing Key
    7. Spellbound
    8. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
    9. Deadly Nightshade
    10. Kid in a Big World
    11. Third Man
    12. Small Town, Big Adventures
    13. Pearl Parade
    14. Party Deux
    15. Werewolves
    16. Cue Dream Sequence
    17. Goodbye Suzie - (Alternate Mix)
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 271

  • Credits
    ProducerJohn Howard; Tony Meehan; Mark Stratford (Reissue); John Howard (Reissue)
    EngineerPete McDonald; Peter Bown

    KID IN A BIG WORLD is a semi-obscure little gem. Released in 1974, it features the piano-based singing and songwriting of John Howard, which demonstrates a knack for pop hooks and clever storytelling.
    The UK reissue puts the album back in print and includes seven bonus cuts.
    Recording information: Apple Studios, London, England; Chappell; EMI Abbey Road Studios, London, England.
    Arrangers: Harry Gold; Nicky Graham ; John Howard; Pete Zorn; Rod Argent; Tony Meehan.
    John Howard's rare mid-'70s album is a modest, quirkily British, singer/songwriter effort. There's a lot of similarity to Elton John's early-to-mid-'70s work, in the combination of pop melodies with finely wrought lyricism, and occasional theatricalism, the mid-tempo keyboard base, and Howard's vocals, which can leap from mid-range to Beach Boys-influenced (or is it Elton John-influenced?) falsetto. He's given to oddly sad, knowing observational pieces, like the resigned jauntiness of a town going about its business as a girl commits suicide by walking into the ocean ("Goodbye Suzie"), a "Family Man" who cheats on his homely wife in a wholesome sort of fashion, and the epic-toned orchestrated title cut. "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," with weird synth swoops by Rod Argent, is a relative standout that switches from almost Al Stewart-sounding suave verses, to more boisterous, highly Elton John-ish choruses. It being the mid-'70s, perhaps there are tinges of David Bowie's most pop-oriented stuff, and maybe a less commercial Leo Sayer. All this might be making the album sound more interesting than it is; it doesn't have the flagpole hooks of Elton John, and is ultimately not nearly as memorable, though it's humbler and less slick than the likes of John or Sayer. The 2003 CD reissue on RPM adds seven bonus cuts, including the jazzy, 1974 B-side "Third Man," an alternate mix of "Goodbye Suzie," and some 1973 outtakes and demos (three of them with only piano accompaniment). ~ Richie Unterberger

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