C3S6CD1 Stereophonics are a band that nobody admits to liking, and yet they have sold millions of records, can sell out any 8000+ capacity arena in most main cities in the UK and if you ever put their Greatest Hits CD on I can guarantee that most people in the room will be singing along. Funny that for a band that nobody likes!
Kelly Jones is the lynchpin of the Stereophonics and this album came to fruition whilst recording their sixth album and one track (Jayne) was tested out live as a band track as it appears on the album, Live From Dakota. The premise of the album is 10 tracks, all girls names, that were recorded over 2 days, some being written there and then in the recording booth. The songs are Jones and his electric guitar and on a couple some strings, but that’s it. A complete detachment from the rock tunes of the Stereophonics although Jones' voice is still the gravel laden constant. As the title alludes Only The Names Have Been Changed, which intimates that Jones knows the girls he is singing but this isn’t confirmed but from some of the lyrics it’s unlikely, but I suspect that somewhere between fact and fiction is where the story behind most of these lyrics lie.
The liner notes say that Jones didn’t record this album for commercial success and in truth it doesn’t have the hooks which make Stereophonics so popular. Ten tracks, 34 minutes and some of the songs feel like mere sketches of songs that could be developed into fuller songs if given time. It works on the whole although as mentioned some songs were written on the spot and song like that. Favourites of mine are Rosie, Katie and Jean. The album is a bit patchy at times my attention wavers at bit but overall it’s a decent album.
If anybody reading this has this album in the deluxe packaging that looks like a book keep it clean as it’s selling on the internet for £59 at the minute!