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Sally Oldfield

Crossover Prog

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Sally Oldfield Playing In The Flame album cover
3.04 | 8 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Playing In The Flame (5:03)
2. Love Of A Lifetime (4:08)
3. River Of My Childhood (3:57)
4. Let It All Go (2:55)
5. Song Of The Lamp (3:16)
6. Rare Lightning (4:45)
7. Man Child (3:57)
8. It's A Long Time (3:35)
9. Song Of The Being (4:41)

Total time 36:17

Bonus track on 2007 remaster:
10. Broken Mona Lisa (3:43)

Line-up / Musicians

- Sally Oldfield / vocals, piano, mandolin, composer & co-producer

- Kevin Peek / electric & acoustic guitars (1,2,5,9)
- Steve Lipson / lead guitar & backing vocals (1,6)
- Colin Green / rhythm & acoustic guitars (1,5)
- Pete Willsher / pedal steel guitar (4)
- Hugh Burns / guitar (6)
- Robert Ahwry / guitar (7,8)
- Dave Davani / organ & co-producer
- Godfrey Wang / synthesizer & piano (2,3,9)
- Betsy Cook / synthesizer, organ, clarinet & backing vocals (4,6,7)
- Andrew McCrorie Shand / synthesizer (9)
- Eddie Blair / trumpet (1,6)
- Mel Collins / saxophone & flute (7,8)
- Derek Watkins / flugelhorn (7)
- Gavyn Wright / viola (6)
- Gary Twigg / bass (1-4,6,8,9)
- Herbie Flowers / bass (5,7)
- Bob Jenkins / drums (1-4,6)
- Peter Van Hooke / drums (1,6)
- Charlie Morgan / drums (7,8)
- Frank Ricotti / percussion & cymbal (1,2,4,8)
- Wynford Evans / backing vocals (5)
- Ray Oldfield / backing vocals (5)
- Sarah Cawley / backing vocals (5)
- Sarah Franklyn / backing vocals (5)
- Melanie Howard / backing vocals (5)
- Julian Littman / backing vocals (5)

Releases information

Artwork: Bob Haberfield

LP Bronze ‎- BRON 536 (1981, UK)

CD Castle Classics ‎- CLACD215 (1990, UK)
CD Strange Days Records ‎- POCE-1120 (2007, Japan) Remastered (?) with a bonus track

Thanks to ?? for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SALLY OLDFIELD Playing In The Flame ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (38%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SALLY OLDFIELD Playing In The Flame reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars With "Playing in the Flame", Sally Oldfield moves further to the mainstream, perhaps influenced by Kate Bush's contemporary success, while trying to repeat some of the "Celebration" formula. Unfortunately, neither strategy works very well, with several tracks simply recycling hooks from the prior disk.

This is noticeable in the title cut which seems like a cross between "Mandala" and "Blue Water" but lacks any of their eeriness or urgency. "River of my Childhood" conjures "Woman of the Night" but without its sultry charm, although "Let it all Go" has at it again with better results. Here and there funky elements surface which cast an undistinguished pall over the proceedings, and the same electric pianos and saxes which soared before sound cheap now. "Rare Lightning" illustrates this tendency, while "It's a Long Time" proves that even her normally convincing sunniness is subject to scrutiny at this point

Luckily, "Love of a Lifetime" and "Song of Being" are vintage Oldfield, the latter a thoroughly successful sequel, at least musically, to "My Damsel Heart.", with some celestial string synths coating the fade out. "Song of the Lamp" may be her most reverent song to that point, thanks partially to its hymn like chorus.

"Playing in the Flame" is by far the weakest of Sally's first 4 disks, as she appears to be unwilling to completely abandon her former style even as she runs out of ideas. Broadly, the album lacks much of the energy and enthusiasm of its predecessors. Still, it's better than a lot of what went down in the very early 80s, suggesting that the creative flame was not yet extinguished

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