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August 11, 2017

Al Stewart – 24 Carrots (1980) – Lp

by Record Facts

Alastair Ian Stewart (born 5 September 1945), known professionally as Al Stewart, is a Scottish-born singer-songwriter and folk-rock musician who rose to prominence as part of the British folk revival in the 1960s and 1970s. He developed a unique style of combining folk-rock songs with delicately woven tales of characters and events from history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artist:  Al Stewart
Title:  24 Carrots
Year:  1980
Format:  LP
Label:  RCA Records
Catalog#  PL-25306

24 Carrots is the ninth studio album by Al Stewart, released in 1980. This was Stewart’s first album with his new band Shot in the Dark. Tracks 1-4 are co-written with Peter White. The single “Midnight Rocks” reached the top 30 on the Billboard charts in 1980, reaching #24. Two other singles were released from the album: “Mondo Sinistro” and “Paint By Numbers”.

The pun of the title of 24 Carrots — the first overt signal of humor Al Stewart has displayed in years, possibly ever — illustrates that a lot has changed since 1978’s Time Passages. The loosening of his wit is perhaps the most evident, but the most significant is the departure of producer Alan Parsons, who collaborated with Stewart on his mid-’70s triptych of masterpieces. In truth, 24 Carrots isn’t far removed from those high points, because he is indeed still writing at a remarkably consistent pace. No, this record isn’t quite at the high standard of the previous three albums, but it does have a number of brilliant moments, from the opening “Running Man” through the silly but effective “Mondo Sinistro” and the gorgeous “Midnight Rocks.” Though there are some songs that don’t quite click (something that did not happen on the aforementioned trio), overall the record coheres nicely, thanks not just to the uniform classiness of Stewart‘s songs, but to his production with Chris Desmond. Although the production does hint at the antiseptic cleanliness that sank many of his latter-day recordings, here, it is just a perfect balance of audio precision and elegant studiocraft.

 

Side one
1.  Running Man  (5:10)
2.  Midnight Rocks  (4:00)
3.  Constantinople  (4:50)
4.  Merlin’s Time  (2:42)
5.  Mondo Sinistro  (3:04)

Side two
1.  Murmansk Run / Ellis Island  (7:17)
2.  Rocks In The Ocean  (5:15)
3.  Paint By Numbers  (5:30)
4.  Optical Illusion  (3:27)

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