Danny Kirwan – Only You / Caroline (1979)

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Hello There Big Boy! is an album by British blues rock musician Danny Kirwan, who was a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1968–72. Released in 1979 on the DJM Records label, this was his last solo album. It was eventually released on CD in February 2006, albeit only in Japan.

In comparison with Kirwan’s other albums, few of the tracks on the album were written by Kirwan himself, though Randy Edelman’s “You” was the only song written by an artist not involved with the recording of this album. Backing vocalist Tony Rivers provided one song; guitarist Kirby Gregory another, and Dana Gillespie co-wrote one with manager / producer Clifford Davis (under his usual pseudonym of Clifford Adams) as well as singing a duet on one of Kirwan’s own songs.

“Only You” was an old Fleetwood Mac song given an update, and was released as a single. Fleetwood Mac’s version had not yet been released at that point, though it can now be found on the Volume 1 of the triple Live in Boston set and the Live at the BBC 2CD set released in 1995. “Caroline” was the single’s B-side, written by Kirwan about his ex-wife (although her name was not Caroline), and a sad insight into his state of mind at the time.

It is not clear how much of the guitar on the album was played by Kirwan, with Gregory and Bob Weston playing on several tracks, although a press release for the album states that Kirwan took the acoustic guitar solo on “Summer Days and Summer Nights”. Producer Davis added the work of 87 outside musicians to the recording, after Kirwan had laid down the basic tracks. On hearing the finished album, Kirwan told Davis that he thought it was “the best thing” he had done. Davis said of the album some years later that it was “so bad…he had to finish it for contractual reasons. I even picked the songs.”

Oh caroline you haunt me so
This tangled heart of mine
Wants to be free of you
To start my life anew

You took your lips to other guys
Those lips that once touched mine
Why don’t you set me free
Don’t go on hurting me

Oh devil lady with a heart of steel
And flashing eyes of youth
Don’t make it hard on me
Become a memory

You’re worlds away is a constant high
Please spare a thought for me
You let your love run wild
How sad i feel inside

Written by Danny Kirwan and Clifford Davis.


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