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July 29, 2011 / rockroots

Eugene Wallace – Book Of Fool


Eugene Wallace was a songwriter and singer who was very highly respected within the music industry but unfortunately was critically overlooked because his voice was judged to have too strong a resemblance to that of Joe Cocker. Wallace grew up in Ballynanty, Co. Limerick, and as a teenager played in bands such as Sweet Street, MacBeth and The Rake N’ Ramblers, with future members of Horslips and Granny’s Intentions. He left Limerick for the clubs of the Netherlands and Denmark in 1971, before moving to London. He appeared at the George Harrison-organised charity ‘Concert for Bangladesh’ in 1971 alongside The Who, Rod Stewart & The Faces, Atomic Rooster and the Grease Band, which led to a production deal with Neptune Productions, owners of Trident Studios and the company behind Queen.

This debut album was recorded in 1972, the sessions for which featured Phil Collins (who still cites Wallace as one of his favourite singers), Tim Renwick, John Hawken, Roger Taylor and others. Apparently Neptune initially planned an album of cover versions to showcase Wallace’s voice but he then demoed some of his own original songs and these made up half the songs on the album, alongside covers of Tim Buckley, Randy Newman and Jackson Browne. The self-written title track, in particular, shows off his gravelly soulful blues voice at full force.

Book of Fool was not released until 1974, by which time Wallace’s contribution to the soundtrack album of the 1973 David Essex film “That’ll Be The Day” (recorded with Rick Grech and Keith Moon) had already become his first vinyl release. Although it had both a UK and US release, Book of Fool failed to make the hoped-for commercial breakthrough, and for the follow-up album, Wallace was encouraged to record material more in the style of Joe Cocker in an attempt to gain wider appeal. The 1975 album Dangerous, recorded with musicians including Chris Spedding and Phil Collins, was not released in the USA and was criticised for being a rip-off of Joe Cocker’s music. Apart from a single released in 1978, this was the end of Wallace’s recording career, although he played gigs in Limerick during the 1980s and found work recording voice-overs for TV advertising before his death in November 1999, aged just 49.


Eugene Wallace – Book Of Fool (192kbps):

01  The Gambler

02  Rock Me On The Water

03  Don’t You Feel It

04  Morning Glory

05  Trail Of Tears

06  The Snowman

07  The Badman

08  You Can Leave Your Hat On

09  Blind Willie Johnson

10  Book Of Fool




Leave a Comment
  1. arthdog / Sep 24 2011 10:06

    Instantly struck by the similarities with Mr Cocker and perhaps understandable to see why he suffered becuase of that. However, what a fine voice in his own right & no mean hand at songwriting (as Book of Fools testifies). Many thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  2. Jerry Christopher / Mar 12 2013 12:40

    I had the immense honour to have known Eugene as a great friend, co-writer and together we formed a band called Still Waters in 1994 and wrote what became a hit in Europe called Dreams To The Wind. This was with the Maltese singer William Mangion ( another great singer in that powerful vain) as unfortunately by that time Eugene’s health had prevented him being an active performer in our band.
    A Truly great singer and unsung star (my favourite cover of his is Rock Me On The Water) His feel and power were incredible. We used to perform at that time (’94) at The Marqee Cafe songwriters showcase and the first time we went there the staff there were almost dismissive of the performers and Euge with his casual very friendly manner was almost ignored until with Just myself on guitar and his voice he Just floored the staff and crowd with his feel and charisma.There after on following visits he was treated with the reverence he truly deserved.
    I miss him to this day always will..

    • Mike Moloney / Nov 17 2016 07:52

      He was my cousin and a rare talent.. he came to stay with me in LA around 74. He had just finished filming That’ll be the day (with David Essex and Ringo Starr)..Phil Collins, Dee Murray and so many other greats played on his albums. with his label, and top management. He was destined to reach the top.. Great writer great vocalist..

  3. Séamus / Jun 29 2013 20:31

    The only place I’d ever come across Eugene Wallace’s name before was in a Queen biography- I’m a massive Queen fan – he’s mentioned in passing because he had the same management team. Naturally I was curious when I saw him on this blog, doubly so given that he was Irish. I checked out his album and I was hugely impressed – if there was any justice, he would have been world famous. Then again, if there was any justice, Boyzone and Westlife would still be languishing in obscurity…

  4. Rich / Oct 26 2014 11:52

    Thanks again for another rare Irish record!

    • rockroots / Oct 29 2014 03:12

      Thank you Rich. Can we expect an aftersabbath Irish project??

  5. Peter / Apr 6 2016 19:01

    Thank you very much for sharing this excellent music with us! Is there any chance that the 1975 album ‘Dangerous’ will be available for download here as well?

    • rockroots / Apr 6 2016 19:14

      I don’t have a copy, but I’ll add it to the wishlist!

      • Peter / Apr 26 2016 09:47

        Just found (unbelievable as it seems) that Eugen Wallace 1975 album Dangerous can be found (and heard) at Spotify…

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