(1974 Album) Deke Leonard – Kamikaze

Kamikaze is another album sleeve that deserves to be seen in all its glory..

I waxed lyrically about “Iceberg”, Deke’s debut album, back in August.

Whilst “Iceberg” is undoubtedly one of my all-time favourites, Kamikaze falls a little short of a similar high-falutin’ status. However, that’s not to say it isn’t without its standout cuts…

Cool Summer Rain is an instrumental introduction which segues into Jayhawk Special, an infectious piece of no-nonsense boogie featuring Deke’s signature guitar work

Broken Glass and Lime Juice is, quite simply, a lovely little layered song about the loss of childhood innocence. Deke takes the “Cool Summer Rain” riff he intro’d the album with and expands on it, turning it into something very special indeed.

Best cut on the album though is the sumblimely wonderful In Search Of Sarah and Twenty Six Horses

Watching that live performance of it – which must be relatively recent – I am reminded that none of us are getting any younger and whilst Deke still has ‘guitar chops’, it would seem his voice – bless him – is completely shot to shit?

I’m probably being a bit unfair on “Kamikaze” here. I think it just fell foul of the fact that I LOVED “Iceberg” so much – and played it so much – that any follow-up was almost destined to be a comparative disappointment.

When both albums turned up on CD in the early 90’s, the label responsible – the excellent Beat Goes On – packaged them both onto one disc, which was, in my humble opinion, a masterstroke. I always get nostalgic for my youth when a cut from the set shuffles up on my iPod.



Filed under 1974 Diary Entries

2 responses to “(1974 Album) Deke Leonard – Kamikaze

  1. Unlike you, I do not know “Iceberg” but I do know “Kamikaze” having picked it up in a cut-out bin either in Debenham’s, Guildford, or the VIrgin Megastore on Oxford St. in the mid-70s.

    Like you, I am also a transplanted mid-50s Brit in the American Midwest so I was little tickled to find your appreciative review of this record (that I’m listening to digitally after transcribing from my own LP). It may not be a masterpiece – and Leonard’s voice was no great shakes to begin with (although more enjoyable in person when I saw him play Sussex University in 1778 or 79) – but I still like this record a lot. I may have to pick up the BGO double now.

    Anyway, having lived here twenty five years or so, I find much of Americanophile music of 70’s British artists (post “BIg Pink”) both quaint and charming. Like an almost convincing American accent thrown off by some decidedly British vowel sounds. This record is a prime example.

  2. Crossyrocks

    Back in 1973, laying in a hospital bed with a crushed spine and a few other severe injuries, doped up to numb the pain, listening to Deke Leonard helped me in my sanity.
    I still hear the tunes in my head on a balmy summer night. To me that’s staying power.

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