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Kid In a Big World

Rate It! Avg: 3.5 (5 ratings)
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Kid In a Big World album cover
01
Goodbye Suzie
4:26
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02
Family Man
3:01
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03
The Flame
4:06
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04
Maybe Someday In Miami
2:07
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05
Gone Away
3:49
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06
Missing Key
3:32
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07
Spellbound
2:48
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08
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
3:34
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09
Deadly Nightshade
2:29
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10
Kid In a Big World
3:55
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11
Third Man
2:04
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12
Small Town, Big Adventures
3:00
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13
Pearl Parade (For Fred and Ginger)
2:41
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14
Party Deux (Demo Version)
3:11
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15
Werewolves (Demo Version)
4:33
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16
Cue Dream Sequence (Demo Version)
3:06
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17
Goodbye Suzie (Alternate Mix)
4:24
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 17   Total Length: 56:46

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Much Acclaimed '70s Treasure Finds Its Place

runnicles

This was Howard's debut album, released by CBS in early '75. Recorded at Abbey Road and Apple Studios, produced by Tony Meehan and Paul Phillips, engineered by Beatles chaps Peter Bown and Phil McDonald. It's an eclectic mix of styles, full-on tragi-ballads like Goodbye Suzie and Gone Away, camp renditions of Ferry/Coward-esque numbers Maybe Someday In Miami and Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, the naughty postcard Family Man, lovely pop cabaret like the title track, the jazz-inflected Spellbound and the Bee Gees-like Missing Key. The demos are interesting, especially Pearl Parade, Werewolves and the divine Small Town, Big Adventures, nice additions to a much-overlooked at the time album and now much acclaimed '70s treasure.

They Say All Music Guide

John Howard’s rare mid-’70s album is a modest, quirkily British, singer/songwriter effort. There’s a lot of similarity to Elton John’s early-to-mid-’70s work, in the combination of pop melodies with finely wrought lyricism, and occasional theatricalism, the mid-tempo keyboard base, and Howard’s vocals, which can leap from mid-range to Beach Boys-influenced (or is it Elton John-influenced?) falsetto. He’s given to oddly sad, knowing observational pieces, like the resigned jauntiness of a town going about its business as a girl commits suicide by walking into the ocean (“Goodbye Suzie”), a “Family Man” who cheats on his homely wife in a wholesome sort of fashion, and the epic-toned orchestrated title cut. “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” with weird synth swoops by Rod Argent, is a relative standout that switches from almost Al Stewart-sounding suave verses, to more boisterous, highly Elton John-ish choruses. It being the mid-’70s, perhaps there are tinges of David Bowie’s most pop-oriented stuff, and maybe a less commercial Leo Sayer. All this might be making the album sound more interesting than it is; it doesn’t have the flagpole hooks of Elton John, and is ultimately not nearly as memorable, though it’s humbler and less slick than the likes of John or Sayer. The 2003 CD reissue on RPM adds seven bonus cuts, including the jazzy, 1974 B-side “Third Man,” an alternate mix of “Goodbye Suzie,” and some 1973 outtakes and demos (three of them with only piano accompaniment). – Richie Unterberger

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