Neil Diamond – Jonathan Livingston Seagull (OST) (1973)

FrontCover1Jonathan Livingston Seagull is the Grammy Award winning soundtrack album to the 1973 American film Jonathan Livingston Seagull, recorded by singer-songwriter Neil Diamond and produced by Tom Catalano. The album was released on Columbia Records, Diamond’s debut for that label after his contract with MCA Records’s Uni subsidiary had expired, and grossed more than the film itself. It was Diamond’s ninth studio album, and his first album after his successful 1972 live album Hot August Night. It won the 1974 Grammy as Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special. (by wikipedia)
Neil Diamond puts himself into the shoes of a character, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, writing and singing music compelling and rich in texture and melody, to fit the portrait perfectly in a movie under the same name. Recorded in 1973 for CBS under the pop/rock style genre, Diamond had much help in order to make this into reality. Commend Tom Catalano for the musical direction and Lee Holdridge for the splendid and compelling orchestra and string arrangements. Though Diamond only sings on a few tracks, he does it so with the grace and smooth flair that brings enchantment only like he can. Romantic, fresh, and lively, this album fits the piece of the puzzle the motion picture needed so perfectly. A word of praise and thanks also goes out the hundred-plus musicians rallied to perform orchestral duties. (by Shawn M. Haney)

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My brother introduced me to this record just after it was first released some 28 years ago. I can remember the occasion as if it were yesterday. I was sleeping late on a Saturday morning and I was awakened by music echoing through the house. Music that was haunting, expressive, flowing. Words that were insightful, thoughtful, introspective and, most of all, moving.
Eventually, I got up and went downstairs to find out what I had been listening to, and I discovered that it was Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Neil Diamond. Well, I was captivated; truly, deeply captivated. I’d rarely heard such rich, wonderfully expressive modern music before. Yes, I knew of Neil Diamond, but this record made me see and hear him in a new light.
I bought the album and wore it out after many playings over many years. I’ve seen the film so many times I’ve lost count, but one thing still gives me shivers as I watch it is the combination of absolutely superb photography matched to the superlative soundtrack. I cannot understand how, in Britain at least, this film got relegated to art-house status and didn’t get the wide release it dererves.
Even today I find that in troubled times I can darken my lounge, lie back in my favourite chair, listen to this music and feel my worries subside. It is so relaxing. (by ch0pper)

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Personnel:
Paulo Alencar, Phil Azelton, Israel Baker, Marilyn H. Baker, Paul Beaver, Myer Bello, Arnold Belnick, Richard Bennett, Dixie Blackstone, Hal Blaine, Harry Bluestone, Samuel Boghossian, Hoyt Bohannon, Owen Wilson Brady, Larry E. Carlton, Donald Christlieb, Gene Cipriano, Gary L. Coleman, Chase Craig, William Criss, Rollice Dale, Isabelle Dashkoff, Vincent N. DeRosa, Assa Drori, Robert Dubow, David A. Duke, Jesse Ehrlich, John Ellis, Gene P. Estes, Victor S. Feldman, Henry Ferber, Ronald P. Folsom, Norman Forrest, James Getzoff, Caesar Giovannini, Philip Goldberg, Harris Goldman, Emory L. Gordy, Jr., Ralph E. Grierson, Allan Harshman, William Henderson, Thomas R. Hensley, Arthur Hoberman, Claire Hodgkins, Luella Howard, Selene Hurford, Harry Hyams, Jules Jacob, John T. Johnson, Yukiko Kanei, George Kast, Pearl Kaufman, Richard S. Kaufman, Raymond J. Kelley, Jerome A. Kessler, Louis Kievman, Lou Klass, Robert Konrad, Jacob Krachmalnick, Raphael Kramer, Bernard Kundell, William Kurasch, Carl LaMagna, Michael Lang, Diana Lee, Gayle Levant, Marvin Limonick, Abe Luboff, Arthur Maebe, Leonard Malarsky, Jack Marsh, Lew McCreary, Ida Sue McCune, Peter A. Mercurio, Joseph Mondragon, Milton E. Nadel, Wilbert Nuttycombe, Michael S. Omartian, Joe Osborn, Robert Ostrowsky, William B. Peterson, Hugo Raimondi, Sven Reher, Joseph Reilich, David B. Roberts, Nathan Ross, Johnny Rotella, Sheldon Sanov, Ralph Schaeffer, Gordon Schoneberg, David Schwartz, Sidney Sharp, Stan Sheldone, Thomas N. Shepard, Ray Siegel, Henry Sigismonti, Louis Singer, Arthur C. Smith, Clark E. Spangler, Julian Spear, Sally Stevens, Dennis St. John, Robert K. Stone, Anthony Terran, Joseph DiTullio, John DeVoogdt, Jackie Ward, Andra Willis, Tibor Zelig

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Tracklist:
01. Prologue (And here begins our story – the sky, the sea, the flock) 3.19
02. Be (Introduction of Jonathan – his flight and fall) 6.28
03. Flight Of The Gull(Jonathan is carried to the heights of ambition, and to near catastrophe) 2.23
04. Dear Father (Battered, and near death, Jonathan asks for reasons) 5.12
05. Skybird (Returning home to show what he has learned, his acrobatics only serve to anger the flock elders. He is put on trial, and forever…outcast) 1.12
06. Lonely Looking Sky (Alone and adrift) 3.12
07. The Odyssey (Be – Lonely Looking Sky – Dear Father) (And so begins a journey, an odyssey, a test of the spirit) 9.28
08. Anthem (Transcend, purify, glorious) 3.03
09. Be (Jonathan returns to teach the flock) 1.06
10. Skybird (The lesson) 2.18
11. Dear Father (Rebuked again by the elders, Jonathan attempts to rally the flock) 1.14

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Richard Bach

 The author of the book: Richard Bach

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