Wednesday, September 10, 2014

In Search of Iain Matthews: Woodstock

Iain Matthews only had two American Top 40 hits in his career. His biggest release came in 1979 with his remake of Terrance Boylan’s “Shake it” from his “Stealin’ Home” LP. It charted at #13 – a respectable position for a relatively unknown artist in the US. Unfortunately, I won’t be featuring “Shake It,” as I had featured it in 2012.

The other hit came about in 1970 and it was a remake of the Joni Mitchell composition “Woodstock.” Matthews Southern Comfort version is remarkable as it was released during the same year as Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young’s hit version that charted at #11. Matthews and company hit #23 on the Hot 100 and it was probably released as a single in the US as it achieved #1 status for three weeks in the UK during October. The song features a nice laid back pedal steel lead by Gordon Huntley.

Although “Matthews’ Southern Comfort” was the name of his first solo album, Iain Matthews later used the name Matthews Southern Comfort for his band that released two albums. Unlike the solo album, the group’s name official contained no apostrophe; however, the apostrophe mysteriously appears on pressings of the “Woodstock” single.

Both Matthews Southern Comfort albums were released on Decca in the US (UNI in the UK); “Woodstock” came from second LP, “Later that Same Year,” which was later re-released on the budget Phoenix label in the latter 1970s. This is the version of the LP that I have in my collection.

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