REVIEWS of 30 SONGS album
5 STAR***** REVIEW of 30 SONGS ALBUM in RnR (Rock ‘n Reel) magazine January 2020..
It is a mystery to me why the name Johnny Coppin is not more firmly embedded in the public consciousness, and his songs have not equalled the reach of those of, say, Al Stewart, Clifford T. Ward, or Gallagher and Lyle. As a singer-songwriter he first came to my attention in folk-rock band Decameron and has produced albums as a solo artist for over forty years. He’s toured for many years with Phil Beer, and today works in a duo with Mike Silver.
30 Songs is a retrospective of music from seventeen albums over that time, including many songs not available for years, CD One being a band/electric selection and CD Two an acoustic selection. Phil Beer, of course, features, along with electric guitarist Mick Dolan, Matt Clifford on keyboards, and variously Mick Candler and Trevor Foster on drums. From the radio-played single ‘Believe In You’ to settings of poems by Charles Causley, Ivor Gurney and others, there is not a single ‘filler’ track here.
The crystal-clear quality of Johnny’s singing, the outstanding songwriting and the polished productions in evidence on this album surely merit even greater recognition of this master craftsman. – Colin Bailey – RnR (Rock ’n Reel) magazine
REVIEW of 30 SONGS ALBUM in Living Tradition magazine Feb/March 2020
This is a compilation double album, where Johnny’s selected the best from his many solo albums. With a running time of nearly two hours, it represents value for money. Both of the discs contain 15 songs. The first, he calls Band/electric selection; the second, his Acoustic selection.
When you consider the quality musicians appearing on Disc 1, then you realise the respected place that Johnny has achieved in folk royalty. I won’t take up space listing the names, but I must mention one. And that is Mick Dolan. Not only was he recording engineer on several of the tracks, but his glorious electric guitar is in evidence on every track but one. And in May Not Be Far Away, we have a magical guitar solo from himSo sad he couldn’t share equal billing; such a loss when he died in Marmaris in 2014.
And Mick is very evident in Disc 2, since he recorded a dozen of the tracks selected, and plays on a couple. This was the disc for me, with several standout tracks. The sweetly lyrical Rydal opens it; Postcards From Cornwall make you kid people you have dust in your eyes; Come Live With Me And Be My Love is a gorgeous setting for a Christopher Marlowe poem; and it all ends with the jewel in the crown, This Night The Stars. It’s a setting of an early Leonard Clark poem celebrating the view across the Severn Vale from the Forest of Dean. Quite sublime. – Dai Woosnam