JOHN WALKER - "If I Promise" / "I See Love In You" (Philips BF 1612) October 1967
A sparkling disc from John Walker, which personally I prefer to his previous hit "Annabella". It's a real blues-chaser, with a bouncy Latin-flecked rhythm, emphasised by a delicious rippling guitar figure, flute and tambourine. And there's a fat, fruity brass section adding depth to the accompaniment.
A rip roaring slap happy song it receives a lively personality treatment from John, who goes up still further in my estimation as a result of this effort. Don't think the song has got what it takes to make the No.1 spot or even 2 or 3........ But it's zest, polish and uninhibited gaiety are enough to make it a comfortable hit.
FLIP: A bluesy approach to this beat-ballad, enhanced by organ, pizzicato strings and solo guitar. Sung with sincerity and deep emotion. Appealing!
(NME review - 21/10/67)
It's not often that I hear a song once and really flip over it, but that's what happened to me with "If I Promise". Tom Jones was going to do this as a single a few months ago, but he was on his ballad kick at the time, and this is not a ballad. It was once recorded in the States by Jerry Reed, but I've given it a smoother kind of arrangement. Hope everyone likes it.
(John Walker - RAVE magazine - November 1967)
Another disappointment this week is John's follow-up to "Annabella" which I thought was pretty and liked. I don't really think his voice is terribly suited to this light, fast material. He sounds vaguely uncomfortable throughout the record.
It has a lovely opening with warm guitar and a shuffling South American rhythm, and it does start off well, especially that very American trick of soft double tracking and gentle brass. But the chorus lets it down a bit. Maybe it's one of those records that insinuates itself with you.
(Disc & Music Weekly review - 14/10/67)
Guitar intro and John sings rather subtly most of the way...nice sprightly tempo and a good song, featuring parts of duetting with himself. Every bit as strong as his original solo item and a cert for the charts. Nice arrangement too and backing.
FLIP: Self-penned and moody old love song. Very well performed.
(Record Mirror review - 21/10/67)
UK Chart Position: None