Suspending Disbelief by Jimmy Webb, 1993 released on Electra Records, value £50

JIMMY Webb born 1946, Elk City, Oklahoma, aspired to be a songwriter from a very early age, writes MICHAEL BROOKS. After borrowing $40 dollars from his Baptist minister father who told him, "This songwriting business is going to break your heart son," undeterred, he set off to California calling on music houses leaving demos of his songs. He met with almost immediate success: Johnny Rivers recorded By The Time I Get To Phoenix but never released it as a single, Glen Campbell recorded the song, it won a Grammy award as the Best Vocal Performance of 1967 together with with another Webb song Up, Up and Away by The 5th Dimension which also won a Grammy for Best Song By A Vocal Group. 1968/69 brought million selling hits, Wichita Lineman, Galveston, Where's The Playground Susie, all recorded by Campbell, including the melodramatic, symphonic MacArthur Park by Richard Harris. They were all written about the love of his life Susan Horton who eventually left him and married someone else, so his father's prediction proved correct. I imagine that Webb found some consolation in the songs with the royalties making him a millionaire by the time he was 21.

There is no denying that he is a romanticist. His songs have always existed, natural and pure and his way with telling a story makes others wish they had written them. He delivers emotion that is instantly recognisable, he is not afraid to open himself up and make us feel vulnerable reaching down deep to where we may also have discovered something within ourselves.

Suspending Disbelief is recorded with the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra featuring rock luminaries, David Crosby, Don Henley and Linda Ronstadt who co-produced the album. Webb refers to himself as a tunesmith, and has written a best selling book Tunesmith, about the art of songwriting. His recent autobiography The Cake And The Rain is well worth a read too. His live concerts are promoted as America's Greatest Songwriter. All his songs hark back to a time of innocence. He is a great raconteur whose reminiscences appear honest and self deprecating rather than sentimental. I Don't Know How To Love You Anymore, What Does A Woman See in A Man, Postcards From Paris, Elvis And Me and Adios are all semi autobiographical songs about his life, some are about break ups others about moving on. The 11 songs on this album are full of emotion and make for poignant listening. Do listen to it, you will not be disappointed.