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“Riding Free” receives a first time reissue since original release on Chapter One in 1973, with 13 bonus tracks.
Roger James’ sole LP, produced by Mark Wirtz, is a beguiling mix of 70’s soft country-rock combined with the Wirtz flair for the epic.
It includes the theme song to the cult movie Psychomania, which also gave this 1973, recorded in 1971, LP its front cover image (Nicky Henson riding free off a bridge) and title.
At times the sound and style is Glen Campbell/Jimmy
Webb, BJ Thomas, country with filmic orchestration, reverb drum sound (courtesy of Pentangle’s Terry Cox), picked guitar.
Bonus tracks bookend the album; 1974 Roger James Group tracks from the compilation LP “Up Country” (sounding almost Byrdsian (Gene Parsons/Skip Battin era)), the 1970-72 non LP Chapter One label singles, the 1968/9 NEMS label singles (Roger’s excellent big brassy pop period pieces).
Roger James’ extraordinary career leading up to this LP started when he was a guitar sideman touring with rockers Eddie Cochran, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, Joe Brown and Marty Wilde. In the mid- sixties, after being part of the Reg Calvert stable, he fronted beat group The Roger James Four. Then he played sessions for producers Norrie Paramor, Les Reed, Joe Meek, Johnny Worth, Tim Rice and Mark Wirtz. He then became a songwriter in residence for Ardmore & Beechwood and production libraries. And he played guitar on the film Girl on a Motorcycle, appeared in TV’s Z Cars. In short – a legend!
1. IT TOOK SOMEONE LIKE YOU
2. IF YOU SAY SO
3. I’M SURE THAT I’M SURE
5. THE END / SOMETHING WONDERFUL
6. HIGH INTO THE SKY
7. THE RETURN
8. THE REASON WHY
9. SUNSHINE 10. RIDING FREE BONUS TRACKS
11. SHE’S LEAVING ME AGAIN – Roger James Group
12. I WONDER IF SHE’LL SOMETIMES THINK OF ME – Roger James Group
13. OUT OF MY MIND OVER YOU – Roger James Group
14. IT TOOK SOMEONE LIKE YOU – Roger James Group
17. WHISTLING JACK
18. IF YOU SAY SO (FIRST MIX DEMO)
19. THE RETURN (FIRST MIX DEMO)
20. FACES & PLACES
21. IF YOU TRY
22. IF I DIDN’T HAVE YOU
23. I KNOW IT’S LOVE