ALMOST the entire output of the Outer Limits, including
some demos, has been captured on one disc of this double CD set. The
only missing item is a song called Writing On
The Wall, for which no known recording exists. The only version
can be heard in part on the documentary Death
of a Pop Group.
The second CD in this set consists of all the songs
planned for Jeff Christie's aborted solo album of the 70s.
The set has been released to immense
critical acclaim (see some of the reviews below).
1. When The Work Is Through
2. Just One More Chance
3. Help Me Please
4. Great Train Robbery
5. Sweet Freedom
6. The Dream
8. Everything I Touch
9. Anyday Now
10. See It My Way
11. Funny Clown
13. Paper Jake
14. Days Of Spring
15. Epitaph For A Nonentity
16. Man In The Middle Of Nowhere
17. It's Your Turn Now
18. Dancing Water
19. Look At Me
20. Run For Cover
21. Mr. Magee's Incredible Banjo Band
22. Tomorrow Night
|For reviews of tracks 1-5, see
For reviews of tracks 6-22, see here.
1. Turn On Your Lovelight
2. Both Ends Of The Rainbow
3. You've Got The Love
4. Midnight Express
6. Back On The Boards
7. Another Point Of View
8. You And Me
9. On The Same Side
10. Saints And Sinners
|11. Take Me As You Find
13. Somebody Else
14. In A Rich Man's Shoes
16. Shine On
17. Turning To Stone
18. It Aint Easy
19. Shake Off These Chains
20. Back In The Jungle
21. Yuletide Lights
|For reviews of these tracks, see here,
here and here.
ONE of Britain's finest composers
known as the frontman for early 70s hitmakers Christie, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist
Jeff Christies career long predated that band.
In fact, his earlier group, Outer Limits should have been
just as big, if not bigger than Christie themselves.
Formed in the dying days of 1963, the band released three
singles, gigged incessantly, and took part in the legendary package
tour featuring Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd and Amen Corner.
Yet they never managed to land a hit or record an album.
However the Outer Limits did leave behind a slew of demos before folding
in 1968, 22 of which features on the first disc of this 2CD set.
An incredible songwriter, Christie penned all the band's
numbers, and his strong ear for a pop melody and a way with a catchy
chorus is self-evident.
Recorded between 1966-1968, the songs are stylistically
diverse, encompassing R&B, British Invasion pop, and psychedelia.
It's a soundtrack of the age, and while certainly influenced by the
stars of the day, notably but not unsurprisingly The Beatles, still
Outer Limits were no mere copyists, having a sound very much their
The rambunctious Help Me Please
could have been contender, while Great Train
Robbery should have shot up the chart along with the acid-washed
The tough Anyday Now, the
harmony drenched Funny Clown, the bouncy
Look at Me, the California dreaming of
Dancing Water, and the pumping Run
for Cover are just some of the other highlights found on this
Christie now beckoned, and upon its demise, the singer/songwriter
launched a solo career, although his projected debut foundered in
the mid-70s, and a second go begun later in the decade also ended
up being shelved.
It was these aborted that comprise most of the second
disc, with another half a dozen tracks culled from later in his career.
The enclosed booklet provides all the background, taken
from discussions with the artist himself. Finding himself out of musical
fashion, Christie continued doing what he did best, writing strong
songs and pushing his own stylistic envelope.
Midnight Express is a case
in point, pomprock on amphetamines driving straight into the discos.
Sixties pop infuses Both Ends of the Rainbow,
a surprising punk edge cuts through Tightrope,
jazz, classical and pop harry Saints and Sinners,
a tinge of funk flutters across Back
on the Boards, and new wave sweeps over Somebody
And while the later numbers are not so adventurous, Christie
has yet to lose his touch. All told this is a sumptuous set, and a
superb tribute to one of Britain's finest composers."
Jo-Ann Greene: www.allmusic.com
ONE of THE re-releases of the year
"EVERY now and then, a whole new wonderworld behind the one
hit wonder tag pops up on the kaleidoscopic horizon of the swinging
sixties, unveiling a side of the author that is much more adventurous
than the one suggested by the hit in question.
Jeff Christie might not be just a one hit wonder, but
its perfectly clear that in most cases the only thing being
mentioned alongside his name is Yellow
No less than 22 examples (five single sides, along with
17 unreleased demos, all from 66-68) included on the first
of this two CD set, stretch out sometimes even way beyond of what
you might consider for an outer limit, every single one
of them written by the the pre-fame Christie himself.
Of the officially released stuff, Just
One More Chance is considered somewhat of a Northern Soul classic,
which is where When The Work Is Through
seems to fit just as well , before giving it a bit freakier approach
by way of the early attack in Help Me Please.
With an additonal harmony or two, what they end up with
is a genuine contender for an imaginary Bee Gees track, as heard in
Great Train Robbery, paired up with Sweet
Freedom, another upbeat piece of harmony pop with a strong
Hollies flavour to it, for their final single release in 68.
Leaving almost two LPs worth of demos behind, they couldve
easily ended up with at least one longplayer, worthy of any late60s
pop fans attention.
Naturally enough, and in accordance with the environmental
demand, Outer Limits were catching up with the less swinging and more
lysergic vibes. All British classics that never were, its the
Beatles-by-way-of-The-Move model that comes to mind most often, best
heard in Funny Clown or Listen.
Along your way out of the limit, youll also hear
the moody The Dream, the Syd-through-Blossies-like
quirky little pop number Days of Spring,
or the pair of late60s Mersey updates, Epitaph
For Nonentity and Look At Me,
both sounding not too unlike Jimmy Campbell at his Lennon best, before
youre taken on a Honeybus ride with Mr
Magees Incredible Banjo Band.
Though its obvious that Christie had still had it
by the time of the 80s, the obligatory synthetic production doesnt
really make me want to go through the second CD once again, except
for a single song, which is the Emitt Rhodes-like You
Still, it doesnt spoil my impression of this being
one of THE re-releases of the year.
Garwood Pickjon, Serbia
"THE Yellow River had a spring and an estuary. Here's where
the story began.
Remembered mostly for their tremendous hit, Christie were a mindchild
of one Jeff Christie, a songwriter of immense proportions who deserves
much more than he's been getting from the off.
The whole output of his Outer Limits days is gathered
now on CD.
Essentially a school band formed on the verge of the Beatlemania -
and Stop feels like a slow-mo re-write
of the Fabs' What You're Doing - this
combo played only original material, which was blacker than what most
of their pop contemporaries were doing at the time.
With brass-splashed When The Work
Is Through going the Stax way and It's
Your Turn Now taking it to Motown, the piano figure of Just
One More Chance, out on Deram, outlines a fine example of pre-psych
Surprisingly, none of these charted, neither did 1968's
Andrew Loog Oldham-produced cinematically infectious Great
Train Robbery that reminded the Beeb of the English crime of
a few years before and, had it hit, together with See
It My Way, could have given Ray Davies and Roy Wood a run for
If only Tomorrow Night fulfilled
its jolly promise, this singer could have been a superstar."
OUT on his own for the first time, in 1978 Jeff set to work on
his solo album, but the timing was too wrong with punk having swept
any thought of a well-crafted pop rock song such as the achingly urgent
On The Same Side, or It
Ain't Easy from Christie's former band's last sessions, so
the planned record didn't see the light of day - until now.
It's a great collection of mostly acoustic-tinged would-be
smashes like the surefire dancefloor, rather than studio floor, filler
Midnight Express riding on funky bass,
and catchingly gentle single Both Ends Of The
Elsewhere, the flute and sax-adorned buzz of You
And Me, which gains momentum during its course, could have
go down well with the folk and fusion fraternities, whereas the '60s-styled
Saints And Sinners lurches the disco-ska
Yellow River has proved to
be both a blessing and a curse, nobody taking its writer as a serious
musician, but there were a couple more attempts to re-establish Jeff
Christie as such, the cream of those included here.
The anthemic sweep of the Shine
On harmonies could have made it a great arena-chanter in 1981
and is hard to resist now as is Yuletide Lights,
that can chart any given Christmas.
Will Angel Air dare to put it out on a single to make
Christie shine anew?
"Back in the 60s for every great English rock band
like Traffic or the Moody Blues, there was a hundred other worthy
UK bands that just didnt make the grade.
One of Englands top reissue labels, Angel Air, continues
to remaster some great archival UK rock albums and they turn up gold
with a 2008 double CD set by singer-songwriter and guitarist Jeff
Christie and his band Outer Limits, entitled Outer Limits And Floored
Masters: Past Imperfect.
Back in 1967, Christie in Outer Limits shared bills with
Jimi Hendrix, The Move and Procol Harum and as their music here proves,
theres good reasons why.
Christies early work in Outer Limits evokes both
early Traffic with Dave Mason, and also music The Bee Gees were making
around that same time.
Despite some outstanding tracks, bad breaks marked the
end of Outer Limits as contenders.
Angel Airs double CD set puts together 22 Outer
Limits studio tracks released circa 1966-68 on the Deram and Immediate
labels, with 21 more tracks Christie recorded in 1978 and a couple
more from 1981.
Best known for writing and scoring big time with the 1970
Christie hit Yellow River, Jeff Christie
and company evoke a post-Beatles/Bee Gees kind of vibe, and on these
vintage Outer Limits cuts and coupled with the unearthed 1978 solo
tracks, it works just great.
Par for the course with Angel Air, the double CD set features
excellent liner notes.
"OVER the years Jeff Christie has become known almost
exclusively for the song Yellow River
that was recorded by his band Christie in the 1960s.
And that is indeed a shame because, as this double CD
set makes perfectly clear, there is so much more to his career than
that one (admittedly great) single.
Rather than include the tune that everyone is already
familiar with, these CDs shed light on Jeff's many other creative
The set is divided into two parts. The first CD features
the complete (!) recordings of Jeff's first band Outer Limits that
released a number of singles on the Deram and Immediate labels in
the 1960s. This disc is a must for anyone who ever loved great vintage
AM radio pop.
Twenty-tracks of classic unshakable pop that should satisfy
even the most demanding pop fan.
The fact that these tracks had previously been forgotten
seems absolutely criminal. There are so many quality songs on this
disc that we can't name them all here.
The second CD features a never-before-released solo album
by Jeff called Floored Master plus other solo recordings.
This disc should leave many people confused, asking themselves
"Why on earth didn't this guy's solo career take off?"
Some of Christie's solo recordings bear an uncanny resemblance
to some of Pete Ham's material (from Badfinger).
If you think Jeff was just a one hit wonder, think again.
Outer Limits and Floored Masters - Past Imperfect is proof
that this man was responsible a hell of a lot more than most folks
will probably ever realize. Recommended."
"CHRISTIE made his name in the 70s fronting his band
Christie, who had hits Yellow River and
Iron Horse. This set details what came
both before and after.
Disc One takes in the band Outer Limits, a 60s band, and
a whopping 22 tracks (some in demo form). There is some great 60s
pop here, often with a west coast feel.
Help Me Please is the kind
of psychedelic rock that influenced a lot of progressive work, and
Great Train Robbery is nicely orchestrated.
Christie here takes on lead vocals, lead guitar and some piano.
Some nice melodies here too, if a little whimsical in
The Floored Masters second disc takes in solo recordings
from the late 70s and early 80s, when finding solo success, a deal
even, was hard for Jeff Christie.
Many tracks feature ex Jethro Tull bassist John Glascock. Again, some
pop good tunes that are typical of the period, but not something that
would set the world alight.
Singles Both Ends Of The Rainbow
and Tightrope, both perky enough,
are augmented by b-sides and another 20 tracks from the aborted album
The music is good, if not startling, but it's a very complete
package, with sleeve notes that include quotes from Christie himself."
Joe Geesin , Classic Rock
"I SUPPOSE Jeff Christie will only ever be remembered for
Yellow River, which hit Number One in
1970, and the follow-up San Bernadino,
which achieved Top Ten status.
That was just about it for Christie in terms of chart
success but he continued his career to some praise but a great deal
Angel Air have decided that it is time we had another
look at Jeff Christie with the release of this commanding double CD
featuring unreleased and bonus tracks aplenty.
CD 1 sees him prior to his hits, mid to late 60s, in a
band called The Outer Limits, and this white soul-tinged album is
very much a product of that period, and maybe not that essential.
The second CD, Floored Masters Past Imperfect,
is a totally different piece of work featuring a previously unreleased
album from the late 70s, and is a pretty impressive rock album with
pop overtones that certainly is deserving of a release.
Again, the liner notes are comprehensive, making this
a pretty good starter for novices of the music of Jeff Christie.
Classic Rock Society
"I ADMITthat I'm a bit biased, being Jeff Christie's only
American first cousin and a fan of his music for the past 35 years!
I remember many of these songs, especially when I saw
him play in 1965 in a club in Britain. I got to hear some of my favorite
songs of his in person when I went to visit him three years ago and
they are just as fresh today as back then.
My favorites are You've Got the
Love, Turn on Your Lovelight,
Both Ends of the Rainbow, Another
Point of View, Back on the Boards.
it's great and you'll love his unique sound.
Jeff has diligently kept at producing music through the years and
is a truly dedicated and talented musician! "
Jeanne Lawton: amazon.com