The Magic Highway


Christie's first album was hailed as a fine debut, but the change of direction on the second album had critics in two minds.


ChristieAlbum: CHRISTIE

(From UK paper Disc and Music Echo, October 1970)

CHRISTIE are by far the most uncomplicated, simple and pleasing British group to emerge this year.
     They're not trying to be heavy — they're not in fact trying to be anything except commercially successful, and here they do succeed brilliantly.
     Christie is also the album's title, featuring of course Yellow River and the anticipated follow-up hit San Bernadino. But Jeff Christie is a proficient writer and there's plenty more good tunes here — like Country Boy and Johnny One Time.
     Every song is melodic and the best use is made of limited instrumentation. Just have a listen .. you should be happily surprised.

(The album was the only one rated the maximum four stars (Outstanding) in the paper that week.)


billboardAlbum: CHRISTIE

(From US paper Billboard Magazine, November 1970)

TOP 40 radio can look forward to plenty of hit records from Christie, whose Yellow River disc hit high on both the British and US charts.
     Led by Jeff Christie on vocals and bass guitar, the trio cover the AM sounds like virtual impressionists, rocking in the the 2-minute-plus pop bracket on I Gotta Be Free, I’ve Got A Feeling and Mississippi Line.
     Pseudo-Creedence, but Christie has a bead on that pop groove.



(From UK paper Record Mirror, October 1970)

LOOK not for progressive pretensiousness from this group of three.
    Look instead for rhythmically simple rock music, which drives often like the clappers — specially considering that there are only three of them. But they can relax too, musically speaking .. as on Country Boy, which is in a sort of home-grown country rock idiom.
    Tight but uncompromising drumming, solid supporting bass figures from Jeff Christie, and Vic Elmes showing unsuspected power on lead.

    Maybe the best sampler is Put Your Money Down, which powers along at a helluva lick.
    No one-hit wonders, Christie. Not even two-hit wonders. They look to have staying power, mainly because they are both adaptable and consistent.


nravoAlbum: CHRISTIE

(From German paper Bravo, October 1970)

STRICTLY speaking, Christie are a one-man band, with Jeff Christie the big chief. He composes nice melodies without effort and writes great lyrics.
    He's a singer with a great personality, and he plays excellent piano, organ, bass and guitar.
    He's an impressive all-round talent, but ... he isn't perfect!
    His first album is worth the money, but it could have been better. I think it was made too quickly and as such, the production has suffered a little. And I think it would have sounded better if the band's sound had been augmented by more studio musicians.
    On the other hand, I think it is sensible for Christie not to sound too progressive.
    Christie's strength is their catchy songs, which you can listen to every day and never get tired of, for example Yellow River and San Bernadino, the melodic Country Boy, and the rocking Johnny One Time.
    In short, it's not exactly record of the year, but it's definitely record of the week.



Jeff and Vic's reviews



(From UK paper New Musical Express, July 1971)

THIS album, coupled with their live gigs, has shown that Christie have a lasting potential which may not have been all that evident in their brace of international gold-plated singles Yellow River and San Bernadino. Indeed, Christie are one of the few British bands to have achieved an enviable worldwide acceptance in the past few years.
Christie     But it could well be that this success has slightly inhibited the thinking of the group's namesake Jeff, for on this new album it appears that he is striving to encompass both the commercial and heavy markets — a commendable but also dangerous line to follow.
     It is still the immediacy of pop which is the mainstay of the industry. There is absolutely no disgrace to sell millions of singles and keeping an equal number of people entertained.
     Christie have made the first inroads, and this album shows that collectively they have the ability to exploit this asset to their utmost advantage. It would be a pity if they allowed their judgement to be swayed by the inverted snobbery of others who are perhaps less successful.
     For All Mankind is perhaps the first time Christie have recorded to their own personal satisfaction, and is an album which should gain them a degree of respect to add to their reputation for discovering the secret of commercial success.
     With a bit of thought, more experience and careful production, their next album could well prove to be a blinder, for between them, Jeff, Vic Elmes and Paul Fenton produce some excellent instrumental work.
     The plaintive title track and If Only are commendable and make a good contrast to the hardness of Martian King and Magic Highway.



(From UK paper Record Mirror, June 1971)

ESTABLISHED almost overnight on singles, Christie are rather better than some of the cynics would have us believe.
     There's a tightness in the band which creates substantial drama — not to mention volume for a mere three-piecer.
     Lead guitarist Vic Elmes contributed a couple of numbers herein, but the rest are from Jeff Christie himself, who works on keyboard and bass. All three sing, which helps.
     Some of the lighter numbers come out exceptionally well — but the best samplers are Man of Many Faces and the title track For All Mankind, which demonstrates light and shade.
     Not a great album but better than most.