Zaragon's no
paragon

JOHN MILES: immaculate
JOHN MLES: 'Zaragon' (Decca TS-R 126)

JOHN MILES was the first person I interviewed for RECORD MIRROR. Pre-perm posturing days in his nebulous check cap identity. 'Remember Yesterday' was on the verge of failing, there was a slight hint of desperation............
A six month sojourn ensued followed by the unlikely hit 'Slow Down'. That record finally ascertained the lack of depth in Miles showbiz charisma. Solo singers - yeah, despite the resident band Miles is a performer alone - need cast iron images. In the past Miles has had the unfortunate knack of attracting cardboard ones.
That is the one factor separating him from mainstream success. No way could you argue that musical ability alone promotes the kinda favour that every boy deserves, Miles has both attributes - and look where they got him.
'Zaragon' does nothing to change the cold climate. Oh sure, curls can tempt, but without a preponderance of style you're back to square one. However, musically Miles is as immaculate, as fertile, as all embracing as ever.
Initially it appears the diversification of his previous two albums has been overwhelmed by a desire to paint too many pretty pictures. Medium pace mania in a sub 'Music' mould. But continuous listening brings its rewards. Each song DOES possess its own identity. Honest. The musty gutsy 'Borderline, shamelessly nice 'I Have Never Been In Love Before' the curious action packed sale of Jack The Ripper 'Nice Man Jack', the smokeless zone,~ 'Zaragon' itself. The guy definitely knows what he's doing on record. It's off record he gets a little lost . . . .

++++ BARRY CAIN