Secret Service – Oh Susie (1979)

FrontCover1.jpgSecret Service was a Swedish new wave/pop band, popular in the early 1980s.

In 1979, Ola Håkansson, former vocalist of Ola & the Janglers and then a publishing manager at Sonet Records, teamed up with Tim Norell and Ulf Wahlberg as Ola+3 to write a few songs that they submitted to the 1979 Melodifestivalen, a popular contest which is the Swedish qualification to the Eurovision Song Contest. Ola+3 did not win but the members decided to continue working together and changed their band’s name to Secret Service. Besides Ola Håkansson (vocals), Tim Norell and Ulf Wahlberg (keyboards), the original lineup also included Tony Lindberg (guitars), Leif Paulsen (bass) and Leif Johansson (drums).

Norell, who along with Björn Håkanson penned most songs of the band, did not however appear with them on stage or on the album covers. Secret Service’s first single “Oh Susie” became a hit in Sweden and several other countries in Europe, in South America and Australia. Their album of the same title included another hit, “Ten O’Clock Postman”, which went gold in Sweden. Other successes followed, with their synthpop number “Flash in the Night” in 1982 (their greatest success) hitting charts all over continental Europe. In the mid-‘1980s, Norell and Håkansson started writing and producing songs for other artists. Ola Håkansson’s duet with ex-ABBA’s Agnetha Fältskog, “The Way You Are”, became a gold single in Sweden.

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In 1987, Håkansson, Norell and Wahlberg released Aux Deux Magots, their last album as Secret Service. The other members of the band had quit by then and were replaced by multi-instrumentalist Anders Hansson and bassist Mats A. Lindberg. Håkansson would become Norell’s partner with Army of Lovers’ Alexander Bard in what would be known as the Megatrio, a Swedish equivalent to Stock-Aitken-Waterman known as Norell Oson Bard. In 1992, Håkansson and his associates established Stockholm Records as a joint venture with PolyGram. They produced such artists as Army of Lovers and The Cardigans, among others.

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In 2012 Secret Service released “The Lost Box” , an album with forgotten and unreleased recorded songs from the 80’s and the 90’s, such as “Different” and “Satellites”. (by wikipedia)

The Swedish pop band with their debut album ‘Oh Susie’, first released in 1979!

Although the band’s first single, “Oh Susie” was released without any prior promotion or video clip, “Oh Susie” became the first single ever to enter the Swedish charts straight in at No. 1. It stayed there for 14 consecutive weeks!

Service Secret was only successful on the European continent, not in “first league” countries (either US or UK). Not a one hit wonder, though – they had at least several more sizeable cross-European hits before and after. A great pop band, by the way – not really heard of in the UK, say, but deserved of wider recognition for their masterful blend of various music styles and influences.

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This song in particular was obviously influenced by the great success of the first wave of synth bands from the UK, like Ultravox and Visage, and helped pave the way for synth sound in Europe. It had such a widespread appeal that it even crossed the Iron Curtain, becoming a smash (if that’s the right word) in the USSR – to this day it’s a staple on retro-oriented radio stations and people still talk about it very fondly. Also, being from Sweden they for a long time in the 1980s were the most successful after ABBA internationally until the Swedes mastered the art of pop music later in the decade. (ukmix.org)

But … this is not my kind of music, really not … but you know: Many fantastic colors …

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Personnel:
Ola Håkansson (vocals)
Leif Johansson (drums)
Tonny Lindberg (guitar)
Leif Paulsen (bass)
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Tim Norell (keyboards)
Ulf Wahlberg (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Ten O’Clock Postman (Håkanson/Norell) 3.39
02. Hey Johnny (Håkanson/Norell) 4.21
03. Give Me Your Love (Håkanson/Norell) 3.39
04. Oh Susie (Håkanson/Norell) 4.37
05. Darling, You’re My Girl (Håkanson/Norell) 3.43
06. She Wants Me (Håkanson/Norell) 3.07
07. Why Don’t You Try To Phone (Håkanson/Norell) 3.26
08. Angel On Wheels (Håkanson/Norell) 3.03
09. Family Delight (Gårdebäck/Håkanson) 3.24

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The Shadows – Hits Right Up Your Street (1981)

FrontCover1.jpgHits Right Up Your Street is the fourteenth rock album by British instrumental (and sometimes vocal) group The Shadows, released in September 1981 through Polydor Records and Pickwick Records. The majority of the album is in the form of covers by popular artists at the time. Cover versions of songs by The Tornados, Ennio Morricone, Cliff Richard, John Lennon, Randy Crawford, Ray Stevens, Shakin’ Stevens, ABBA, Rod Stewart, Leo Sayer, Anton Karas & B. Bumble and the Stingers. (by wikipedia)

After the release of “20 Golden Greats” this was possibly the most popular instrumental album by Shadows. Not only the choice of tunes, but the arrangements and production were flawlessly executed. The opening track “Telstar” with multilayered drum tracks was a preamble for a set of equally beautiful and catchy tunes. Alan Jones’ attractive and punchy bass riffs have added to the overall experience, the type of playing generally not heard on earlier Shadows recordings. Before Jones, the set of bass innovation was introduced by John Rostill. This album is not intended for casual listening. In order to fully appreciate the mastery of Shadows arrangements and performance one must sit down and spend some time listening to this album. (by a guy called Peter)

This is inded one of the finer album by The Shadows including pretty nice cover versions of popular tunes like “Telstar”, “Imagine” (John Lennon), “Sailing”, “More Than I Can Say”, “The Third Man” (the title track from the legendary movie) and “Nut Rocker”.

We can even hear the jazz tune “Misty” from Erroll Garner, written in 1954.

Without any doubts … if you listen to the leadguitar of Hank Marvin you´ll will known from which Mark Knopfler was very impressed. He was really influenced by Hank Marvin.

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Personnel:
Brian Bennett (drums, percussion)
Cliff Hall (keyboards)
Alan Jones (bass)
Hank Marvin (lead guitar)
Bruce Welch (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Telstar (Meek) 3.06
02. Chi Mai (Morricone) 3.39
03. We Don’t Talk Anymore (Tarney) 4.25
04. Imagine/Woman (Lennon) 3.36
05. Hats Off To Wally (Marvin/Welch/Bennett) 3.02
06. One Day I’ll Fly Away (Jennings/Sample) 4.15
07. Summer Love ’59 (Marvin/Welch/Bennett) 3.12
08. Misty (Garner/Burke) 3.00
09. This Ole House (Hamblen) 3.26
10. The Winner Takes It All (Andersson/Ulvaeus) 3.54
11. Sailing (Sutherland) 4.51
12. Thing-Me-Jig (Marvin/Welch/Bennett) 2.56
13. More Than I Can Say (Curtis/Allison) 3.30
14. Cowboy Café (Marvin/Welch/Bennett) 2.50
15. The Third Man (Karas) 3.12
16. Nut Rocker (Tchaikovsky/Fowley) 2.15

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China Crisis – What Price Paradise (1986)

LPFrontCover1.JPGWhat Price Paradise is the fourth studio album by English new wave group China Crisis. It was released on CD, LP and Cassette in 1986. The CD version featured one bonus track: “Trading in Gold”, originally released on the B-side of the “Arizona Sky” single. (by wikipedia)

After making a bid to become the ’80s version of Steely Dan on the delightful Flaunt the Imperfection, China Crisis offered a fuller and more pop-oriented follow-up the next year. With the duo of Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley (replacing Walter Becker) sharing the producer’s chair, the songs on What Price Paradise feature warm, intricate arrangements and prominent brass and strings. But while more than one Langer/Winstanley offering of this era overwhelmed its subject with such treatment — Elvis Costello’s ill-fated Goodbye Cruel World is a good example — the sophisticated and melodic songs here prosper from the attention to detail.

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The Motown-ish bounce of “Worlds Apart” and “June Bride” is made even more infectious by punchy horn charts, while “Hampton Beach” offers sweeping melodrama, as Gary Daly’s delicate vocals are surrounded with just the right touches. Even the songs that hint at the previous album’s jazzy complexities, like disc opener “It’s Everything,” are more accessible and inviting here and, on “Arizona Sky,” China Crisis seemed to have the big American hit that singles like “King in a Catholic Style” didn’t quite deliver. Released at a time when many of the group’s U.K. new wave contemporaries were being flushed off the charts — most for good — What Price Paradise was yet another strong outing from this too-often underrated band. (by Dan LeRoy)

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Okay … this is another album from this series “not my kind of music”, but this blog should show all the different sides of music … many fantastic colorus, you know ?

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Personnel:
Gary Daly (vocals)
Gary “Gazza” Johnson (bass)
Eddie Lundon (guitar, vocals)
Brian McNeill (synthesizer, vocals)
Kevin Wilkinson (drums, percussion)
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Gary Barnacle (saxophone, flute)
Martin Ditcham (percussion)
Stuart Nisbet (guitar)
Pete Thoms (trombone)
Luke Tunney (trumpet, flugelhorn)
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background vocals:
Davie Dover – John Lewis
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David Bedford (string arrangements, conductor)

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Tracklist:
01. It’s Everything 5.09
02. Arizona Sky 5.25
03. Safe As Houses 4.26
04. Worlds Apart (Daly, Johnson, Lundon, McNeill, Wilkinson, Kevin Kelly) – 3:35
05. Hampton Beach 4.47
06. The Understudy 5.45
07. Best Kept Secret 4.08
08. We Do The Same 4.21
09. June Bride 3.50
10. A Day’s Work For The Dayo’s Done 4.17
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11. Trading In Gold 4.29

All songs written by Gary Daly – Gary Johnson – Eddie Lundon – Brian McNeill – Kevin Wilkinson

except 04, which was written by China Crisis with Kevin Kelly

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China Crisis

Madonna – Music (2000)

FrontCover1.jpgMusic is the eighth studio album by American singer Madonna, released on September 18, 2000 by Maverick and Warner Bros. Records. Following the success of her previous album Ray of Light (1998), she intended to embark on a tour. However, her record company encouraged her to return to the studio and record new music before going on the road. Her collaboration with producers Mirwais Ahmadzaï and William Orbit resulted a more experimental direction for the album. Music has an overall dance-pop and electronica vibe, with influences from rock, country and folk. The album was mostly recorded at Sarm West and East Studios in London, England. Elaborating a country theme for the album, Madonna reinvented her image as a cowgirl.

Music was generally acclaimed by most critics and earned five Grammy Award nominations, ultimately winning one for Best Recording Package given to art director Kevin Reagan. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it number 452 on the magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The record was also a commercial success, debuting at number one in over 23 countries across the world and selling four million copies in its first ten days of release. In the United States, Music debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with first week sales of 420,000 units, making it her first album to top the chart in more than a decade since Like a Prayer (1989). It was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for three million units shipped in the United States and has sold over 11 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling albums during the 2000s century.

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The album was promoted with her concerts at Brixton Academy and Roseland Ballroom, as well as several television performances such as the 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards and the 43rd Grammy Awards. It was also supported by the Drowned World Tour, which grossed over US$75 million, making it the highest-grossing tour by a solo act of 2001 (the fourth overall). Three singles were released from the album. The lead single, “Music”, topped the record charts in 25 countries worldwide and became Madonna’s 12th number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100. It was followed with another Hot 100 top-five hit “Don’t Tell Me” and “What It Feels Like for a Girl” which attained the top-ten position in several countries worldwide. “Impressive Instant” was released as promotional single, peaking at number one on the Hot Dance Club Play chart.

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For the artwork for Music, Madonna wore a blue shirt, jeans, red boots and a blue cowboy hat. In it, she faces the camera, while in the background a car and a gas station are seen. The country was a constant theme throughout the design, as the album’s title, which was a logo that simulated a buckle, showing the silhouette of a cowboy while riding a horse and a yellow background; the bright colors give a sharp contrast compared to the photograph. Photo sessions were conducted by Jean Baptiste Mondino, who had worked previously with the singer on photoshoots and music videos.[25] According to Fouz-Hernández, the artwork is “a complete celebration to the field” western United States. He also added that it “is camp, notably Madonna’s combination of Western clothing with expensive shoes and bright red high heels. In particular, there is a clear evocation of Judy Garland – a major gay icon – in the artwork”. The art direction and design for the album were done by Kevin Reagan.

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The pictures were shot in Los Angeles, California, in April 2000. In an interview with CNN’s Style with Elsa Klensch, Mondino said that he was the one who had the idea of the western themes for the album, and also stated: “[Madonna] wasn’t sure at first, but I told her that if she didn’t like it I won’t charge her. But she loved the final result!”. Madonna also decided to use her new country style during her public appearances for Music’s promotion; including jeans, shirts and cowboy hats. On her next tour in 2001, Madonna included a segment based entirely on this ambient. Meanwhile, Fouz-Hernández explained that “in this appearance Madonna may be parodying and criticizing Country, which symbolizes among other things, the supremacy of the white man, the ambition of the European pioneers and the American Dream. However, we do not realize that while recognizing the importance that the country has in American popular culture, and joins a long list of artists who have done this previously. Despite this, the cowgirl image of Madonna has become one of her most recognized reinventions. (by wikipedia)

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Filled with vocoders, stylish neo-electro beats, dalliances with trip-hop, and, occasionally, eerie synthesized atmospherics, Music blows by in a kaleidoscopic rush of color, technique, style, and substance. It has so many layers that it’s easily as self-aware and earnest as Ray of Light, where her studiousness complemented a record heavy on spirituality and reflection. Here, she mines that territory occasionally, especially as the record winds toward its conclusion, but she applies her new tricks toward celebrations of music itself. That’s not only true of the full-throttle dance numbers but also for ballads like “I Deserve It” and “Nobody’s Perfect,” where the sentiments are couched in electronic effects and lolling, rolling beats. Ultimately, that results in the least introspective or revealing record Madonna has made since Like a Prayer, yet that doesn’t mean she doesn’t invest herself in the record. Working with a stable of producers, she has created an album that is her most explicitly musical and restlessly creative since, well, Like a Prayer.

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She may have sacrificed some cohesion for that willful creativity but it’s hard to begrudge her that, since so much of the album works. If, apart from the haunting closer “Gone,” the Orbit collaborations fail to equal Ray of Light or “Beautiful Stranger,” they’re still sleekly admirable, and they’re offset by the terrific Guy Sigsworth/Mark “Spike” Stent midtempo cut “What It Feels Like for a Girl” and Madonna’s thriving partnership with Mirwais. This team is responsible for the heart of the record, with such stunners as the intricate, sensual, folk-psych “Don’t Tell Me,” the eerily seductive “Paradise (Not for Me),” and the thumping title track, which sounds funkier, denser, sexier with each spin. Whenever she works with Mirwais, Music truly comes alive with the spark and style. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

Okay, that´s really not my kind of music … but I can recommend her version if the Don McLean song “American Pie” … one of the finest ballads in the history of Rock … Even her video-clip is a good one.

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Personnel:
Mirwais Ahmadzaï (keyboards, programming)
Madonna (vocals)
Guy Sigsworth (guitar, keyboards, programming)
Sean Spuehler (programming)
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Mirwais Ahmadzaï (guitar on 04. + 07.)
William Ørbit (keyboards, guitar on 03. 05. + 10., background vocals on 03. + 05.)
Steve Sidelnyk (drums on 03., 05. +  10.)
Paul Stacey (guitar on 10.)

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Tracklist:
01. Music (Madonna/Ahmadzaï) 3.45
02. Impressive Instant (Madonna/Ahmadzaï) 3.37
03. Runaway Lover (Madonna/Orbit) 4.47
04. I Deserve It (Madonna/Ahmadzaï) 4.23
05. Amazing (Madonna/Orbit) 3.43
06. Nobody’s Perfect (Madonna/Ahmadzaï) 4.59
07. Don’t Tell Me (Madonna/Ahmadzaï/Henry) 4.40
08. What It Feels Like For A Girl (Madonna/Sigsworth/Torn) 4.44
09. Paradise (Not For Me) (Madonna/Ahmadzaï) 6.33
10. Gone (Madonna/LeGassick/Young) 3.29
11. American Pie (McLean) 4.36
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12. American Pie (A Long Long Time Remix) (McLean) 6.08

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A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a while

But February made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step
I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
Something touched me deep inside
The day the music died

So bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
And them good ol’ boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

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Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Now, do you believe in rock ‘n’ roll
Can music save your mortal soul
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

Well, I know that you’re in love with him
‘Cause I saw you dancin’ in the gym
You both kicked off your shoes
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues
I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died

I started singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol’ boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

Now, for ten years we’ve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone
But that’s not how it used to be
When the jester sang for the king and queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and me

Oh, and while the king was looking down
The jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned
And while Lenin read a book on Marx
A quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died

We were singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol’ boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

Helter skelter in a summer swelter
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast
It landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast

Now, the halftime air was sweet perfume
While sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance
‘Cause the players tried to take the field
The marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?

We started singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol’ boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again
So come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
‘Cause fire is the Devil’s only friend

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in Hell
Could break that Satan spell
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

He was singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol’ boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play

And in the streets the children screamed
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken
And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died

And they were singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
And them good ol’ boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

They were singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol’ boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die”

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The Marmalade – There’s A Lot Of It About (1968)

FrontCover1.jpgAt a time where a lot of bands were going for otherworldly psychedelic ‘mind-crashers’, Marmalade went another direction. They had a very commercial sounding aura about them, and after four failed singles, they finally made the top 10 of the U.K. Charts. Fortunately for them, unlike massive bands like the Small Faces and The Move, Marmalade actually had a top 10 hit in the United States with “Reflections of my Life”, making them a one hit wonder in that country.

What Marmalade captures to do is create commercially sounding pop songs, without going over the top with or sounding too corny (most of the time!) Lead singer Dean Ford really puts them in control with a fantastic voice, and one that is synergistic with the songs themselves. It is too bad that he never never made it big as a solo artist after he left the group in 1974, after doing four albums with them.

As for the songs themselves, lets start with the covers. There is a total of five of them included on here, and I would say three of them were worth recording. Their version of Big Brother & Holding Company’s “A Piece of my Heart” could have made it big itself. It perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the 60’s. Look up some live BBC songs on Youtube. There are many songs there that have that same feeling as “Piece of my Heart”. It’s easy to get lost in a magical rush of serotonin when Ford sings on this one. The Bob Dylan cover of “I Shall Be Released” might not be for everybody, but for a lot of people it will serve as a song you might listen to constantly for months. So smooth, and includes astounding horns that will make you reverse the songs a few times to hear it again.

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Their cover of “Hey Joe” starts a bit boring for sure, the first verse is a little lazy. However, it picks up speed quickly and the last 2/3 of the song is definitely worth it. Their version of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the City” is a song that I can take or leave it…Not bad, but not exceptional either. Now, as for the originals, you will mostly be happy with;

There are two particularly psychedelic songs on the album, one of them being the incredible “I See The Rain”, reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix. Ironically, Hendrix stated that “I See The Rain” was the the best song of 1967 for him. Crunchy guitar riffs, and parts of “Hey Joe” noticeable throughout it. I have never read or heard anybody say that, but there is a guitar part in this song that is identical to parts of Hendrix’s version.

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The other psychedelic song, “There ain’t no use in Hangin’ on”, is a groovy piece of musical art that will captivate you with its catchiness and impressive guitar parts by lead guitarist William Junior Campbell. Then, we get to tracks like “Station on Third Avenue” and “Chains” both stylistically different, but they will each get you into music mode. “Chains” especially will grab you, with its Rubber Soul sounding maturity.

The opening track, “Lovin’ Things” got them into the charts. Not a bad song, but the non album single “Wait for me Mary-Anne” is much better and should have replaced “Lovin’ Thing”. However “Lovin Things” did get them their first hit in the UK, peaking at number six.

I would also recommend their follow up album, Reflections of the Marmalade, and 1974’s Our House is Rocking which features a much harder sound from them. If you enjoy pop, I would totally advise you check this album out. Not perfect by any means, but there are enough songs on here by this Scottish band that should make it on your on your miscellaneous playlists. (by Matt Kessler)

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Personnel:
William Junior Campbell (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Patrick Fairley (vocals, bass, guitar)
Dean Ford (vocals, guitar, harmonica)
Graham Knight (bass, vocals)
Alan Whitehead (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Lovin’ Things (Schrock/Loring) 3.05
02. I Shall Be Released (Dylan) 4.04
03. I See The Rain (Campbell/McAleese) 3.48
04. Hey Joe (Roberts) 4.02
05. Summer In The City (J.Sebastian/M.Sebastian/Boone) 2.12
06. There Ain’t No Use In Hanging On (Campbell/McAleese) 1.59
07. Piece Of My Heart (Ragovoy/Berns) 3.56
08. Wait For Me Mary Anne (Blaikley) 3.23
09. Mr. Tambourine Man (Dylan) 3.16
10. Chains (Campbell) 2.33
11. Mr Lion (Campbell/McAleese) 3.02
12. Station On Third Avenue (Vandor/Young) 3.21
13. Mess Around (Campbell/McAleese) 3.14
14. Man In A Shop Campbell) 3.20
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15. It’s All Leading Up To Saturday Night (Stevens) 2.20
16. Wait A Minute Baby (Campbell/McAleese) 2.12
17. Can’t Stop Now (Wood/Fitzpatrick/Kellaher) 2.09
18. Laughing Man (Campbell/McAleese) 3.24
19. Cry (The Shoob Doroorie Song) (Campbell/McAleese) 2.40
20. Ob La Di Ob La Da (Lennon(McCartney) 3.03
21. Baby Make It Soon (Macaulay) 3.03
22. Time Is On My Side (Campbell/McAleese) 2.41
23. Butterfly (R.Gibb/B.Gibb/M.Gibb) 3.48
24. Otherwise It’s Been A Perfect Day (Westlake/Wood) 2.42
25. Clean Up Your Heart (Armstead/Ashford/Simpson) 2.32

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The Gaylords – Let’s Have A Pizza Party (1958)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Gaylords were an American singing trio, consisting of Ronald L. Fredianelli (who changed his name for performances to Ronnie Gaylord, taken from the group name), Bonaldo Bonaldi (who also, in 1976, changed his name to Burt Holiday, at which time the group became Gaylord and Holiday), and Don Rea (who had left the group by the time it became Gaylord & Holiday).

Fredianelli was born on June 12, 1930, in Detroit, Michigan. They formed the Gaylords (originally The Gay Lords) in Detroit in 1949.

The group’s name was decided upon after a chance encounter with Marcus Wren.

In the 1950s the group had a number of Italian-flavored hits on the charts, often consisting of a song partly sung in Italian and partly in English. Their most successful release was “Tell Me You’re Mine”, which had sold over one million copies by 1958. “Tell Me You’re Mine” reached #3 on the US chart.

Gaylords01As Gaylord and Holiday, the two remaining members of the group continued to perform until 2003.

Fredianelli died on January 25, 2004 in Reno, Nevada. Bonaldi still performed with Ron Gaylord, Jr., Ronnie Gaylord’s oldest son (the other son being rock guitarist Tony Fredianelli) until his death on May 10, 2017 in Carson City, NV.

Donald “Don” Rea, keyboardist for The Gaylords, born in Detroit, Michigan, on 9 December 1928, died in Reno, Nevada, on 30 June 2017 after a short battle with cancer. (by wikipedia)

A pre-rock white vocal trio, the Gaylords had a series of hits from 1952 to 1954 with novelty flavored material and Italian-derived love songs. It’s difficult for the latter-day listener not to associate the records with the kind of background music you might hear at the average pizza parlor. In its day, however, it was not background fodder, but highly commercial fare that was cleanly executed and unreservedly sentimental, wearing its heart on its sleeve as surely as excess tomato sauce on a napkin.

Formed in Detroit, the group, featuring Ronnie Fredianelli, Burt Bonaldi and Don Rea, made number two in 1952 with their debut outing, “Tell Me You’re Mine.” Derived from an Italian ballad, the song was originally recorded as a disc to be sold at Bonaldi’s father’s store. The engineer on that session was impressed enough to help pitch the act to established labels, and the trio ended up with Mercury. After a couple more hits, Fredianelli was drafted into the Army, changed his name to Ronnie Gaylord, and began recorded for Mercury as a solo vocalist. The Gaylords decided to keep going, recruiting Billy Christ as Ronnie’s replacement.

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“From the Wine Came the Grape,” “Isle of Capri,” and “The Little Shoemaker” were all big hits for the Gaylords over the next couple of years. Ronnie Gaylord had a big hit of his own with “Cuddle Me,” and got in on the rock & roll cover game with a version of Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That a Shame.” The rock & roll revolution, however, made groups such as the Gaylords passe, although they continued to record for Mercury into the ’60s. Burt Bonaldi, after changing his name to Burt Holiday, formed the Gaylord & Holiday duo with Ronnie Gaylord. The pair even had a tiny hit in 1976 with “Eh! Compuri,” recorded for, of all things, a subsidiary label of Motown. (by Richie Unterberger)

And here´s their third album … I gues, The Gaylord was a important of the Italian-American music history …

It´s a nice lbum and I include a very interesting interview about the history of The Gaylords.

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Personnel:
Burt Bonaldi (vocals)
Ronnie Fredianelli (vocals)
Don Rea (vocals)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. Ah Marie (Barlow) 2.17
02. Neapolitan Nights (Zamecnik/Kerr) 2.52
03. Quando Mi Bacio Teresa (Raimondo/Gianipa) 2.39
04. Ti Volgio Tanto Bene (de Curtis/Furno) 2.49
05. Sicilian Tarantelle (Balsamo/Conn) 2.16
06. La Romanina (Lazzaro/Michell) 2.33
07. Bionda Biondina (unknown) 2.04
08. Scrivimi (Frati/Raimondo) 2.02
09. Sbarazzina (Lazzaro/Frati/Bruno) 2.11
10. Pansy (Rendine/Pisano) 2.09
11. Carmela (Stone) 3.05
12. Non Ti Scordar Di Me (Say You Will Not Forget) (Wimperis/de Curtis) 2.38

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Cliff Richard – Stronger (1989)

FrontCover1.jpgStronger is the twenty-sixth studio album by British singer Cliff Richard, released in October 1989. The album was produced by Alan Tarney and includes the singles “The Best of Me”(UK #2), “I Just Don’t Have the Heart” (UK #3), “Lean On You” (UK #17) and “Stronger Than That” (UK #14). The album reached Platinum,[3] peaking at number 7 in the UK Albums Chart. (by wikipedia)

The 30th anniversary of Cliff Richard’s entry into the music industry was marked in 1988, and the year fittingly found him experiencing one of his most successful spells ever. “Mistletoe and Ivory” became the biggest-selling single of the year, while the follow-up, the number two hit “The Best of Me,” established him as the first British artist to release 100 singles. The Private Collection 1979-1988, a compilation of a decade’s worth of hits, topped the chart, and Stronger, the first new album of his fourth decade, was to spin off no less than four hit singles, including “Just Don’t Have the Heart,” a dynamic collaboration with producers Stock, Aitken & Waterman. The album itself represents one of the most eclectic of Richard’s entire career, a fact signposted by his union with British reggae band Aswad for the wonderful “Share a Dream.”

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The aforementioned “The Best of Me” stands as one of the loveliest ballads he’d cut in years, and if Stronger has any serious shortcomings, it’s the reliance on machines, not men, for the drum sounds. Even at his weakest, Richard’s records had rarely lacked for emotion, but the robotic percussion saps the soul from far too much of the music. Indeed, if the selection of songs had been any weaker, Stronger might well have collapsed altogether. Instead, the likes of “Everybody Knows,” “Better Day,” and “Lean on You” conspire to raise it so high that many fans regard Stronger as one of the strongest of all Richard’s post-Shadows albums. (Dave Thompson)

Okay … But now … I need something that really rocks !

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Personnel:
John Clark (guitar)
Mark Griffiths (bass)
Paul Moessl (synthesizer on 17., drum programming)
Cliff Richard (vocals)
Alan Tarney (guitar, keyboards, drums)
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Keith Bessey (drum programming on 03., 08. + 13.)
Dave Bishop (saxophone)
Steve Laurie (guitar on 17.)
Alan Park (piano on 17.)
Henry Spinetti (drums on 17.)
Mike Stock (keyboards, drum programming on 07. + 14.)
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background vocals:
Keith Murrell – Mae McKenna – Mick Mullins – Miriam Stockley – Peter Howarth – Sonia Morgan
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Aswas (all instruments on 12.)

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Tracklist:
01. Stronger Than That (Tarney) 4.42
02. Who’s In Love (Tarney) 4.32
03. The Best Of Me (Foster/Lubbock/Marx) 4.11
04. Clear Blue Skies (Cooke/Turner) 2.54
05. Lean On You (Tarney) 5.00
06. Keep Me Warm (Tarney) 4.26
07. I Just Don’t Have The Heart (Stock/Aitken/Waterman) 3.27
08. Joanna (Eaton) 3.53
09. Everybody Knows (Tarney) 3.47
10. Forever You Will Be Mine (Tarney) 4.22
11. Better Day (Tarney) 4.50
12. Share A Dream (Trott/Sweet/Osborne) 4.30
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13. Wide Open Space (Walmesley/Abbot) 4.38
14. I Just Don’t Have the Heart (instrumental version) (Stock/Aitken/Waterman) 4.01
15. Hey Mister (Tarney) 3.56
16. Lindsay Jane (Richard) 4.44
17. Marmaduke (Spencer/Tarney) 5.28

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