Various Artists – Scratch My Back – Pye Beat Girls 1963-1968 (2016)

FrontCover1Located in London’s West End, Pye Records boasted a super stable of female talent. Released hot on the heels of our recent Love Hit Me! Decca Beat Girls collection, Scratch My Back! Pye Beat Girls comprises two-dozen peachy selections from Pye and sister label Piccadilly’s 1960s output. The compilation is titled after the opening track by Jan Panter, a Mark Wirtz-produced must-have for those who prefer their girl-pop records beefed up with a dose of fuzz guitar. Tony Hatch, the most successful of Pye’s in-house producers, is represented by cherry-picked titles by the Breakaways, Petula Clark, cult favorite Sandra Barry, the Baker Twins and Julie Grant. ‘Heart’ has to be the rocking-est track Petula ever recorded, so much so that it was covered in the USA by garage band the Remains.

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During the swinging sixties, Pye Records and its sister label Piccadilly Records were housed in London’s West End. Both labels had an enviable roster of artists. This included some of the top British female pop singers. Two of the biggest names were Petula Clark and Sandie Shaw. They were enjoying commercial success at home and abroad. However, they were just two of many British female pop singers signed to Pye Records and Piccadilly Records.

Among their other signings were Billie Davis, Sandra Barry, Dana Gillespie, Barbara Ruskin and Sharon Tandy. Then there were groups like The Breakaways, The Satin Bells, The Baker Twins, Jeannie and The Big Guys and Pat Harris and The Blackjacks. All these artists and groups were signed to the Pye Records and Piccadilly labels, and were among the finest purveyors of pop in Britain. They all feature on the Ace Records’ new compilation Scratch My Back! Pye Records Beat Girls 1963-1968.

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The twenty-four tracks on Scratch My Back! Pye Records Beat Girls 1963-1968 are walk down memory lane, during the swinging sixties. Listeners are introduced to eclectic selection of pop from familiar faces and new names that were part of the soundtrack to the sixties. They make a welcome return on Scratch My Back! Pye Records Beat Girls 1963-1968, which I’ll pick the highlights of.

Opening Scratch My Back! Pye Records Beat Girls 1963-1968 is Jan Panter’s Scratch My Back. It was released on Pye Records in 1966, just as the psychedelic era was dawning in Britain. Although Scratch My Back was written by Len Vandyke, his lyrics incorporates parts of the children’s nursery rhythm Jack and Jill. They’ve been rewritten, are delivered with a mixture of sass and attitude by Jan Panter. Along with harmonies and horns, they player their part in this glorious slice of fuzz guitar driven freakbeat.

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Val McKenna’s career began in 1965 when she was just sixteen. By July 1965, the Whitley Bay born singer was signed to the Piccadilly label and about to release Mixed-Up Shook-Up Girl as a single. On the B-Side was one of Val’s compositions Now That You’ve Made Up Your Mind. It’s something of a hidden gem, and shows that Val was a talented singer and songwriter. Sadly, commercial success eluded Val McKenna and she ended up working as a session singer.

In 1965, Petula Clark was still basking in glow of the success of her worldwide hit Downtown. TheTony Hatch penned single had transformed the fortunes of Petula Clark in 1964. She was already a successful singer when Downtown became a hit across the world. However, Downtown took her career to another level. By 1965, Petula Clark had released several other singles.

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This included You’d Better Come Home in 1965 which was released on the Pye Records label. It reached just forty-four in the UK charts. Hidden away on the flip side was Heart, which Petula and Georges Aber cowrote with Tony Hatch. He arranged and conducted this heartfelt ballad, which allows Petula’s vocal to shine, as she combines power and emotion. It’s a reminder of why in the sixties, Petula Clark was regarded as one of Britain’s finest female vocalists.

Another of the great British female vocalists of the sixtes was Sandie Shaw. She released the Chris Andrews penned Run as a single on Pye Records in 1966. Run reached just thirty-two on its release in August 1966. This was disappointing considering the quality of the single. It’s like a kitchen sink drama, with Sandie delivering the lyrics as if she’s experienced them. Her vocal is best described as an outpouring of memories and emotions.

JanPanterWhile many of the artists on Scratch My Back! Pye Records Beat Girls 1963-1968 enjoyed long and successful recording careers, Nina Rossi’s career was all too brief. Her career began in her hometown of Bournemouth, where she sang in clubs and hotels. Nita was also a regular in the town’s talent shows. With no sign of a record contract, Nita decided to send a demo to Tom Jones’ manager Gordon Mills.

He realised that Nita had talent, and contacted Piccadilly Records. They signed Nita and she went on to release four singles for Piccadilly Records. This includes the Gordon Mills penned Here I Go Again. On the B-Side was another Gordon Mills’ composition Something To Give. When Here I Go Again was released in 1966, the single flopped. Maybe things would’ve been different if Something To Give had been chosen as a single? It comes complete with a big, orchestrated arrangement which accompanies Nita, as she showcases a heartfelt, hopeful and sometimes needy vocal. Together, they play their part in what’s a hidden pop gem that’s since become a collector’s item.

Before embarking upon a musical career, Sandra Barry had been a star of stage and screen. Her stage debut came when she was four, when she appeared alongside Bud Flanagan of Flanagan and Allen. By the time Sandra was ten, she was offered the chance Dana Gillespieto head to Hollywood. However, her mother decided that it would be best if she stayed in Britain. Despite this, Sandra went on to appear in film, radio and television. Then in the sixties, Sandra embarked upon a career in music.

Sandra signed to Pye Records, and in 1966, released We Were Lovers (When The Party Began) as a single. This was a cover of Lloyd Price’s oft-covered song. Again, a big, orchestrated arrangement and also harmonies from The Breakaway accompany Sandra’s rueful, hurt-filled vocal. This proves a potent and hook-laden combination, as Sandra Barry gives a familiar song a makeover. Fifty years later, and it’s stood the test of time.

Not many denizens of Essex would christen their daughter after a member of the French royal family. That’s what the Daly’s did, when christened their newly-born daughter Marie-Antoinette. By 1964, Marie-Antoinette was thirteen and had embarked upon a musical career, her name had been shortened to Antoinette. However, Antoinette’s career was short-lived, and lasted just three years and five singles for Piccadilly. Her swan-song was a cover of Tami Lynn’s Why Don’t I Run Away From You? It was released on Piccadilly Records in 1966. Unfortunately, Kiki Dee released a cover of Why Don’t I Run Away From You? the same week. In the battle of the cover versions, Antoinette came second. That’s despite keeping her best single until last.

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Dana Gillespie was only sixteen when she signed to Pye Records Records in 1965. Two years later, Dana was preparing to release her third single. The song that had been chosen was a cover of The Hollies’ Pay You Back With Interest. Despite The Hollies setting the bar high, Dana rises to the challenge, and released an irresistibly catchy and melodic cover of Pay You Back With Interest. Since then, Dana Gillespie’s career has blossomed, and she’s released in excess of sixty albums.

The name Dee King might not mean anything to most people. Diane Keen is another thing. She’s been a star of British television since the seventies. However, before that, Dee had a brief musical career.

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On her return home from Kenya, Dee got a job with The Ivy League fan club. This resulted in Dee getting the chance to record her one and only single Sally Go Round The Roses. On its release on Piccadilly Records in 1966, the single failed commercially. Those who bought the single, and flipped over to the B-Side It’s So Fine were richly rewarded. It’s So Fine which was written by John Carter and Ken Lewis, is a quite beautiful, tender ballad. It shows another side to the future star of the The Cuckoo Waltz and Rings On Their Fingers.

Before embarking upon a career in music, Glo Macari was a student of the Aida Foster Stage School. By 1965, Gio was signed to Piccadilly Records, and was about to release a cover of Goffin and King’s He Knows I Love Him Too Much. It was arranged by Ivor Raymonde, who was responsible for an arrangement that references Phil Spector’s early sixties sound. Gio’s vocal even sounds as if it belongs on one of the girl groups that Phil Spector produced. Despite the Spector-esque sound, Gio’s cover of He Knows I Love Him Too Much wasn’t a commercial success. However, she went to enjoy a successful career as a songwriter in the seventies, when Gio worked closely with musical impresario Mickey Most.

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Julie Grant released fifteen singles for Pye Records. Her tenth single was Up On The Roof, which was released in 1964. By then, Julie was only seventeen. Despite that, Julie was had long been appearing on the stage and screen. Music was a natural progression. Sadly, only two of the singles Julie released charted. This includes Up On The Roof. On the B-Side I Only Care About You which would’ve made a good single. It’s uptempo track with a good hook and a commercial sound. Alas, Up On The Roof was chosen as the single, and only gave Julie a minor hit. It was another case of what might have been.

My final choice from Scratch My Back! Pye Records Beat Girls 1963-1968 is Pat Harris And The Blackjacks’ original version of the Hippy Hippy Shake. It was released on Pye in 1963, but never caught record buyer’s attention. That’s despite having a rawer, more energetic sound than The Swinging Blue Jeans’ cover.

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Their cover was released later in 1963, with an almost Beatles-esque arrangement. That’s no surprise. The Swinging Blue Jeans were just one of a number of Merseybeat groups who hoped to follow in the Fab Four’s footsteps. Hippy Hippy Shake went on to give The Swinging Blue Jeans the biggest hit of their career. Very few of the people that bought the single, were even aware of Pat Harris And The Blackjacks’ original version. That’s until the recent release of Scratch My Back! Pye Records Beat Girls 1963-1968 by Ace Records.

Scratch My Back! Pye Records Beat Girls 1963-1968 is a reminder of the quality of music the Pye and Piccadilly Records were releasing during the swinging sixties. Both labels had an enviable roster of artists. This included some of the top British female pop singers. Two of the biggest names were Petula Clark and Sandie Shaw. They were enjoying commercial success at home and abroad. However, there were many more talented female pop singers signed to Pye Records and Piccadilly Records.

Among their other signings were Billie Davis, Sandra Barry, Dana Gillespie, Barbara Ruskin and Sharon Tandy. That’s not forgetting groups like The Breakaways, The Satin Bells, The Baker Twins, Jeannie and The Big Guys and Pat Harris and The Blackjacks. Just like Petula Clark and Sandie Show, they all feature on Scratch My Back! Pye Records Beat Girls 1963-1968.

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Sadly, not all these artists and groups enjoyed the commercial success their talent deserved. Sometimes, commercial success was fleeting for artists. Other times, commercial success eluded artists. This lead to careers that’s were all too brief. The songs on Scratch My Back! Pye Records Beat Girls 1963-1968 are mixture of hits, near misses and B-Sides. Each of these songs have one thing in common…quality. Even the B-Sides ooze quality, and rival and surpass the quality of the single. These hidden gems are just among the twenty-four reasons to add Ace Records’ new compilation Scratch My Back! Pye Records Beat Girls 1963-1968 to your collection. (by Derek Anderson)

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Tracklist:
01. Jan Panter: Scratch My Back (Vandyke) 2.36
02. Billie Davis: Ev’ry Day (Davis) 2.03
03. Kim D: Come On Baby (Blackwell/Smith) 2.20
04. Val McKenna: Now That You’ve Made Up Your Mind (McKenna) 2.44
05. The Breakaways: He Doesn’t Love Me (Hawker/Raymonde) 1.58
06. Petula Clark: Heart (Aber/Clark/Hatch) 2.35
07. Glenda Collins: It’s Hard To Believe It (Meek) 3.00
08. Sandie Shaw: Run (Andrews) 2.37
09. Nita Rossi: Something To Give (Mills) 2.17
10. The Satin Bells: Da-Di-Da-Da (Colombier/Delanoe/Fishman) 2.26
11. Sandra Barry: We Were Lovers (When The Party Began) (Fisher/Powers) 2.17
12. Tawny Reed: I Got A Feeling Baby (Washington) 2.50
13. Antoinette: Why Don’t I Run Away From You (Berns) 2.41
14. Tammy St John: Nobody Knows What’s Goin’ On (In My Mind But Me) (Force) 2.19
15. Sheila Carter & Episode Six: Incense (Fallon/Miller) 2.44
16. Dana Gillespie: Pay You Back With Interest (Clarke/Hicks/Nash) 2.47
17. Barbara Ruskin: Well How Does It Feel (Ruskin) 2.39
18. Sharon Tandy: I’ve Found Love (Kimber) 2.15
19. Dee King: It’s So Fine (Carter/Lewis) 2.20
20. Glo Macari: He Knows I Love Him Too Much (Goffin/King) 2.39
21. The Baker Twins: He’s No Good (Hatch) 2.20
22. Jeannie And The Big Guy: Don’t Lie To Me (Dawson/Ford/Hiller) 2.18
23. Julie Grant: I Only Care About You (Powell) 2.24
24. Pat Harris And The Blackjacks: Hippy, Hippy Shake (Romero) 2.23

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Dana Gillespie & Joachim Palden – Boogie Woogie Nights (1991)

FrontCover1“I believe the blues should be sung by an older person because it’s about emotions and experience. I couldn’t do”I believe the blues should be sung by an older person because it’s about emotions and experience. I couldn’t dojustice to it when I was younger because my voice didn’t have the edge it needed to convey the emotion, nor did Ihave the first hand experience to sing about blue themes convincingly.”

But after 45 years in music and over 60 albums Dana Gillespie is well qualified to sing the blues. A career that combined radio, theatre, film and sport (she was once British junior water-skiing champion) with music, Dana has been in the public eye since recording her first album at the age of 15. Her music has evolved from folk in the 60s through 70s Bowie-esque glam-rock to the raunchy in-your-face blues she performs today.

Dana Gillespie has been dedicated to the blues from an early age: “I discovered the blues when I went to the American Folk Blues Festival in 1962 and also to see the Yardbirds at the Marquee Club. I was in my early teens and hadn’t heard anything like it before – blues wasn’t easily available in the UK back then”. Bessie Smith especially inspired her because of her combination of sly, funny and bawdy lyrics. “Blues was my first musical love because it’s earthy, spiritual and honest.”

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In 1964 she recorded for Pye, with Donovan on guitar and became a regular on the folk circuit. She recalls: “[at that age] I was doing folk because I couldn’t afford a band and I hadn’t found my musical niche”.In those early years Dana got to know many of the top bands and people in the music business. Most shared her love of blues, and played their own version of it. Bob Dylan who was an old friend of Dana from the 60s  showed interest in her music in 1997, when he invited her to support him on his UK tour, which included a   sell-out show at Wembley. After a swathe of singles on Pye and two LPs for Decca, she moved to RCA and   made WEREN’T BORN A MAN in 1973, some titles being produced by David Bowie, whose management,   Mainman, also took care of her career.

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While her career in music was simmering away, she became better known for her appearances in London’s   West End theatres, in shows such as the first run of Jesus Christ Superstar (playing Mary Magdalene), The   Who’s “Tommy” (playing the Acid Queen) and the rock Othello, “Catch My Soul”. She also appeared with   Dudley Moore in the film version of “The Hound Of The Baskervilles” and starred in Ken Russell’s “Mahler”   among other movies. Her second RCA LP, AIN’T GONNA PLAY NO SECOND FIDDLE was just beginning to take off when her management company decided she should move to the USA, where she played and toured extensively for two years. Dana hosted a radio blues show in New York at the same time, which gave her the opportunity to learn more about the roots of the music.

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She has continued her interest in radio in Austria where she recently completed a 11-year stint hosting a weekly, international world music show on Blue Danube Radio called”Globe Trotting With Gillespie”. In the 80s, Dana toured Europe several times with the “Stars Of Boogie Woogie” tour,  singing either with the Mojo Blues Band or with Axel Zwingenberger. Her time with the  Mojo Blues Band, a purist outfit that backed all the American blues musicians visiting  Europe, lasted three years. “I lived, slept and breathed blues, because that was all they did.  It was a great experience.” She also developed her interest in Indian and Arabic music,  recording the single “Move Your Body Close To Me”, an Indian-influenced song with  synthesiser backing. It shot to #1 in Europe. (from the DG website)

But here you can hear Dana Gillespie as one of the finest female blues singers (like Maggie Bell) together with the Austrian musician Joachim Palden and his group Mojo Blues Band.

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This is a live recording … the show was recorded at the legendary Jazz-Land Club (December 1990) in Vienna.

If you like Blues & Boogie Woogie … then you should listen …

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Personnel:
Dana Gillespie (vocals)
Helmut Mejda (drums)
Joachim Palden (piano)
Christian Plattner (saxophone)
Martin Wichtl (saxophone)

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Tracklist:
01. My Man Stands Out (Yates) 3.43
02. Boogie Woogie For Spann (Instrumental) (Palden) 4.19
03. St. Louis Blues (Handy) 7.27
04. Blues Train (Instrumental) (Wichtl) 3.56
05. One Track Mind (Gillespie/Palden) 3.23
06. Empty Bed Blues (Smith) 6.21
07. I Want You To Be My Baby (Jordan) 3.59
08. Cry To Me (Russel) 5.17
09. No One (Gillespie/Palden) 5.43
10. You’re Moving Me (Benton/Otis) 3.11

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Dana Gillespie – Methods Of Release (1993)

frontcover1Dana Gillespie (born Richenda Antoinette de Winterstein Gillespie, 30 March 1949) is an English actress, singer and songwriter.[3] Originally performing and recording in her teens, over the years Gillespie has been involved in the recording of over 45 albums, and appeared in stage productions (Jesus Christ Superstar) and several films. Her musical output has progressed from teen pop and folk in the early part of her career, to rock in the 1970s and, more latterly, the blues.

Gillespie was born in Woking, Surrey. She was the British Junior Water Skiing Champion for four years, in 1962.

She recorded initially in the folk genre in the mid-1960s. Some of her recordings as a teenager fell into the teen pop category, such as her 1965 single “Thank You Boy”, written by John Carter and Ken Lewis and produced by Jimmy Page. Her acting career got under way shortly afterwards, and it overshadowed her musical career in the late 1960s and 1970s. After performing backing vocals on the track “It Ain’t Easy” from David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, she recorded an album produced by Bowie and Mick Ronson in 1973, Weren’t Born a Man. Subsequent recordings have been in the blues genre, appearing with the London Blues Band. She is also notable for being the original Mary Magdalene in the first London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar, which opened at the Palace Theatre in 1972. She also appeared on the Original London Cast album. During the 1980s Gillespie was a member of the Austrian Mojo Blues Band.
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She is a follower of the Indian spiritual guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba. She performed at his Indian ashram on various occasions, and has also recorded thirteen bhajan-based albums in Sanskrit.

Gillespie is the organiser of the annual Blues festival at Basil’s Bar on Mustique in the Caribbean, for fifteen days at the end of January and it is now in its eighteenth year.[1] The house band is the London Blues Band, which consists of Dino Baptiste (piano), Jake Zaitz (guitar), Mike Paice (saxophone), Jeff Walker (bass), and Evan Jenkins (drums) but there are also many other acts. In 2005, Mick Jagger appeared as a guest and sang songs such as: “Honky Tonk Women”, “Dust My Broom” and “Goin’ Down” but also many other Blues artists have appeared there through the years, such as Big Joe Louis, Joe Louis Walker, Billy Branch, Shemekia Copeland, Ronnie Wood, Donald Fagen, Rolf Harris, Ian Siegal, Larry Garner, Eugene Bridges, Big Jay McNeeley, Earl Green, and Zach Prather. (by wikipedia)

And here is the other side of Dana Gillespie … not a blues, but a rock album … And maybe all the blues fans of her may be disappointed … but … it´s time to give this album a chance, because it´s a real good and intensive album !

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Personel:
Mel Collins (saxophone)
Tim Cross (keyboards)
Pandit Dinesh (percussion)
Gordon Gaynor (guitar)
Mel Gaynor (drums)
Dana Gillespie (vocals)
Rolf Harris (digeridoo)
Charlie Hart (fiddle)
Nick Hoghart (keyboards, strings, drums)
David Malin (drums)
Guy Pratt (bass)
Tim Renwick (guitar)
Bill Sharpe (piano)
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background vocals:
Rolf Harris – Durga McBroom – Laura Pallas – Andy Kaine – David Malin

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Tracklist:
01. The Politics Of Ecstasy (Malin) 4.25
02. Overseas Male (Gillespie) 3.28
03. Oh What A Night (Gillespie) 3.31
04. Your Love Is In Me (Gillespie) 4.37
05. Method Of Release (Gillespie/Malin) 4.09
06. Love Is A Strange Thing (Gillespie) 3.51
07. Sun Arise (Harris) 4.00
08. Let’s Get Wet (Gillespie/Abu) 3.36
09. Divine Romance (Gillespie) 3.37
10. Still Around (Gillespie/Malin) 3.55
11. Circle Is Complete (Malin) 4.54

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Dana Gillespie – Ain’t Gonna Play No Second Fiddle (1974)

FrontCover1Dana Gillespie is a prolific artist who deserves more from the recording industry, and Ain’t Gonna Play No Second Fiddle is a superb effort from the songstress. Included in the gatefold of the album with the lyrics to her originals are the places and dates for where and when the songs were written. The elegant and passionate “Really Love the Man” was written March 31, 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal. The song is blues in a rock setting, but it is really hard to put a handle on it, Gillespie’s vocals smooth as silk, the musicianship equally mellow, and the performance stretching the genres with playful precision. Where David Bowie stepped in on the previous album, Weren’t Born a Man, Roxy Music’s John Porter takes control here, co-producing with Dana Gillespie and playing guitar on every track. “Hold Me Gently” reminds one of Genya Ravan’s They Love Me, They Love Me Not album from around the same time period; the blues edge starts turning into a Delaney & Bonnie-style Southern rock/gospel number. There may be comparisons to Kathi MacDonald and Maggie Bell, but Gillespie puts her own stamp on things, being more of a singer/songwriter than the aforementioned interpreters. “Don’t Mind Me” with Big Country’s Simon Phillips on drums brings things back to the Bowie world that is the forte Adof her former management company, Mainman. Dana Gillespie wrote this in Klosters, Switzerland, April 28th, 1970; her performance on 12-string and synthesizer make it a Roxy Music-gone-jazz piece, and it is really exquisite. “No Tail to Wag” is another clever blues composition which the singer wrote in London, July 1, 1973. It has some of the fun from the previous album, and comes from that time period, creeping along with a sultry sax. “Ain’t It a Drag, I Got No Tail to Wag” might be the highlight of this disc. “Pack Your Bags” is a product of the West Indies, written December 7th, 1973; it combines funk and a full chorus. Throughout it all, Gillespie is in great voice and is a dominating presence. Jon Hall, author of Janis Joplin’s classic “Half Moon,” along with his other half, Johanna Hall, provide “Wanderlust.” This title sounds like Sheryl Crow with Lou Reed’s Sally Can’t Dance band backing her up. Gillespie’s choice of music is excellent, as are her originals, and from Spain to London, Portugal, the West Indies, and Switzerland, she flavors this album with impressions from her travels. The title track would be great for Etta James, and a duet with Etta and Gillespie on the sexy “Get My Rocks Off” would be a real treat. (by Joe Viglione)

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Personnel:
Roger Ball (horns)
Rabbit Bundrick (keyboards)
Phillip Chen (bass)
Frank Collins (background vocals)
Mel Collins (saxophone)
Molly Duncan (horns)
Micky Gallagher (piano, background vocals)
Dana Gillespie (vocals, guitar, synthesizer)
Bryn Hayworth (guitar, slide-guitar)
Eddie Jobson (violin, synthesizer)
Jody Linscott (percussion)
Paddie McHugh (background vocals)
Simon Phillips (drums)
John Porter (guitar)
Dave Skinner (piano)
Robin Sylvester (bass)
John Turnbull (guitar, background vocals)
Bob Weston (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Ain’t Gonna Play No Second Fiddle (Bradford) 4.39
02. Really Love The Man (Gillespie) 4.32
03. Hold Me Gently (Gillespie) 3.16
04. Don’t Mind Me (Gillespie) 6.05
05. Pack Your Bags (Gillespie) 3.45
06. No Tail To Wag (Gillespie) 4.48
07. Get My Rocks Off (Silverstein) 4.26
08. Wanderlust (Hall) 4.09
09. Getting Through To Me (Gillespie) 4.00
10. Never Knew (Gillespie) 5.18

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Dana Gillespie – Weren’t Born A Man (1973)

FrontCover1Dana Gillespie produced this excellent album along with Robin Cable, the engineer who failed to properly produce Boston band Private Lightning. If only he had procured some of the direct sounds evident on Weren’t Born a Man. David Bowie and Mick Ronson produced the Gillespie original, “Mother Don’t Be Frightened,” along with a version of Bowie’s “Andy Warhol.” The inclusion of Rick Wakeman, Rolling Stones sax player Bobby Keyes, and Elton John percussionist Ray Cooper adds to the festivities, but it is Gillespie who shines through as a genuine artist. “All Cut Up on You” is a song to covet; Gillespie’s definitive vocal and lyrics get right to the point. She changes hats with “Eternal Showman,” where she’s as tender as Mare Winningham, emotive as Grace Slick. The album shifts moods, and the musicians seem to enjoy the transitions. Where Lou Reed’s Berlin album was a dense nightmare, Gillespie showcases her artistry in a more subtle and musical way. “All Gone” could have been the inspiration for Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years.” With DanaGillespielines like “Can’t drink the same holy water,” it concludes the album on a pretty but down note, just as it started with the Marianne Faithfull-styled “Stardom Road Parts I & II.” That seven-minute track could have been written about all the artists signed to Mainman, the company that managed Gillespie. As Lulu sang on her minor hit “I Could Never Miss You,” Gillespie comes right to the point that she’s “Backed a Loser.” This album is more about despair than optimism, though she keeps her head above water while the aforementioned Berlin dragged everything down in its undertow. Majestic in her despair, it is the title track, with its sexual ambiguity, that is the most poignant. It seems to be a love song to a woman who wants her, and who is everything Gillespie wishes her men could be. “I lost my teddy bear/He just vanished in the fog/You love like a lady/You walk like a sailor/It’s so sad/You weren’t born a man.” It’s so sad that this excellent album didn’t make bigger waves.(by Joe Viglione)

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John “Rabbit” Bundrick (keyboards)
Ray Cooper (percussion)
Terry Cox (drums)
Barry DeSouza (drums)
Pat Donaldson (bass)
Dana Gillespie (vocals, guitar, synthesizer)
Ray Glynn (guitar)
Rosetta Hightower (background vocals)
Paul Keogh (guitar)
Bobby Keys (saxophone)
Ronnie Leahy (keyboards)
Mike Moran (keyboards)
Brian Odgers (bass)
Chris Ray (guitar)
Frank Ricotti (percussion)
Jim Ryan (guitar)
Liza Strike (background vocals)
Rick Wakeman (keyboards)
Joanne Williams (background vocals)
Dave Wintour (bass)

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01. Stardom Road, Pt. 1 & 2 (Stamp/Avery) 7.19
02. What Memories We Make (Gillespie) 5.13
03. Dizzy Heights (Gillespie) 3.38
04. Andy Warhol (Bowie) 3.05
05. Backed A Loser (Gillespie) 4.52
06. Weren’t Born A Man (Gillespie/Liber) 4.08
07. Mother, Don’t Be Frightened (Gillespie) 4.17
08. All Cut Up On You (Gillespie) 4.00
09. Eternal Showman (Gillespie) 3.27
10. All Gone (Gillespie) 5.03

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