Bram Tchaikovsky – Strange Man, Changed Man (1979)

Strange Man, Changed Man is the debut studio album by English power pop musician Bram Tchaikovsky, released in 1979 by record label Radar.

At the height of their popularity, Bram Tchaikovsky left The Motors to form his own band. Feeling unable to express himself in a band dominated by Nick Garvey and Andy McMaster, Tchaikovsky decided to strike out on his own. What appeared to be a foolhardy move resulted in one of the finest power pop/pub rock albums ever released. Comparable to Dr Feelgood or Steve Gibbons at their best, Strange Man, Changed Man was a revelation.

I don’t really understand what it is that makes the album work. The guitars are very one paced, fluctuating little from fast paced strumming, whilst the vocals – mainly Tchaikovsky and Micky Broadbent in tandem – never vary in pitch. But work it does.

From the opening bars of “Robber” to the final thrash of “Turn On The Light” the band pound out a blistering series of high-class power pop which only relents for the dull “Lady From The USA” (without which I would have awarded this a 5 star review). “Girl Of My Dreams” is one of the finest rock songs of the period – even tempting Mike Oldfield to join in on tubular bells – and is joined by the equally brilliant “Sara Smiles”, “Lonely Dancer”, “I’m The One That’s Leaving”, “Nobody Knows” and a classy version of “I’m A Believer”.

Tracklist

1.  “Strange Man, Changed Man”  (Written-By – B. Tchaikovsky) – 4:01
2.  “Lonely Dancer”  (Written-By – R. Thomas) – 3:58
3.  “Robber”  (Written-By – B. Tchaikovsky, M. Broadbent) – 3:06
4.  “Bloodline”  (Written-By – B. Tchaikovsky, M. Broadbent) – 3:48
5.  “I’m The One That’s Leaving”  (Written-By – B. Tchaikovsky, M. Broadbent) – 3:27
6.  “Girl Of My Dreams”  (Written-By – R. Thomas) – 4:06   Bells [Tubular] – Mike Oldfield
7.  “Nobody Knows”  (Written-By – B. Tchaikovsky, M. Broadbent) – 4:32
8.  “Lady From The U.S.A.”  (Written-By – B. Tchaikovsky) – 3:28    Bass – Nick Garvey
9.  “I’m A Believer”  (Written-By – N. Diamond) – 3:46
10.  “Sarah Smiles”  (Written-By – B. Tchaikovsky) – 3:37
11.  “Turn On The Light”  (Written-By – B. Tchaikovsky) – 2:49

Companies, etc.

Credits

Personnel

  • Bram Tchaikovsky – guitar, bass, vocals
  • Mick Broadbent – bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals
  • Keith Boyce – drums, percussion
  • Nick Garvey – backing vocals; bass on “Lady From The USA”
  • Mike Oldfield – tubular bells on “Girl of My Dreams”
  • Producer(s) – Bram Tchaikovsky, Nick Garvey, Peter Ker

Notes
Released: 1979
Studio: Pebble Beach Studios, Worthing; Basing Street Studios, London
Genre: Power pop
Length:  40:35

Label – Radar Records