Neil Diamond – The Jazz Singer (OST) (1980)

FrontCover1Neil Leslie Diamond (born January 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and actor. He has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time. He has had ten No. 1 singles on the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts: “Cracklin’ Rosie”, “Song Sung Blue”, “Longfellow Serenade”, “I’ve Been This Way Before”, “If You Know What I Mean”, “Desirée”, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”, “America”, “Yesterday’s Songs”, and “Heartlight”. 38 songs by Diamond have featured in the Top 10 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts.

Diamond was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, and he received the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. In 2011, he was an honoree at the Kennedy Center Honors, and he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

LobbyCard01

The Jazz Singer is an album by Neil Diamond from 1980, which served as the soundtrack album to the 1980 remake of the film The Jazz Singer. The soundtrack was released in November 1980 originally on Capitol Records, instead of his then-usual Columbia Records, because the film was produced by EMI Films, owned by the parent company of the label for which the soundtrack was released. The soundtrack was re-released in February 1996 on Columbia Records in the United States and Sony elsewhere. After Diamond signed with Capitol Records, this album was reissued by Capitol globally in 2014.

The film’s reviews were negative, earning Diamond the first Razzie for Worst Actor at the 1st Golden Raspberry Awards, but made a modest profit at the box office, grossing almost double its budget. However, its soundtrack was a huge success and became Neil Diamond’s biggest selling album in the United States, selling over 5 million copies there and reaching #3 on the pop albums chart. This would mark the second time a Neil Diamond soundtrack outperformed the movie it came from (after Jonathan Livingston Seagull). Three songs from the album became top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100, with “Love on the Rocks”, “Hello Again” and “America” reaching Nos. 2, 6, and 8, respectively. (wikipedia)

LobbyCard02

Neil Diamond’s 1980 screen turn as a charismatic singer torn between Jewish tradition and pop music stardom spawned this phenomenally successful soundtrack album — six million copies and counting. Diamond’s 21st century resurgence as a walking item of kitsch has sparked renewed interest in the bombastic melting-pot jam “America,” as well as his signature late-career ballad “Hello Again.” In addition, the lite FM favorite “Love on the Rocks” is classic, raw-throated Neil. But beyond these notables, The Jazz Singer is an album of passable pop songs that stand on the edge of disco and in the grip of melodrama. The hyper “You Baby” is dressed up with an audio clip marking the film’s embarrassing black face sequence, while the album’s midsection sags with songs that shine like Sunset Strip billboards, yet lack any real substance.

LobbyCard03

Swelling strings and lovely lyrics abound, but it all seems directionless, as if Diamond’s just going through the motions. Similarly, Jewish traditionals like “Kol Nidre/My Name is Yussel” are important as thematic elements. But removed from the film and in the context of open-collared, glitzy numbers like “Hey Louise,” their reverence is off-putting. As it’s aged, The Jazz Singer has come to mark the moment when Diamond fully embraced his soft rock audience and completely turned his back on the ambition and spine-tingling vocal presence of his early career. That decision certainly proved to be an economic winner, but it ignored the fact that his most resonant performances really tear into a song with true mirth. The Jazz Singer’s big hits have this quality — a fact not lost on a new generation of listeners who revel in Diamond’s powerful voice and showmanship. But the album’s bulk is as wooden as Neil’s acting. (by Johnny Loftus)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Richard Bennett (guitar)
Vince Charles (percussion)
Neil Diamond (vocals, guitar)
King Errisson (percussion)
Tom Hensley (keyboards)
Dennis St. John (drums)
Alan Lindgren (synthesizers, piano)
Reinie Press (bass)
Doug Rhone (guitar, background vocals)
+
background vocals:
Donny Gerard – Marilyn O’Brien – Linda Press – H.L. Voelker – Luther Waters – Oren Waters
+
choir:
Timothy Allan Bullara – Jeremy C. Lipton – Dale D. Morich – Yoav Steven Paskowitz – Boyd H. Schlaefer – Mark H. Stevens – David Teisher – James Gregory Wilburn

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. America (Diamond) 4.17
02. Adon Olom (Traditional) 0.33
03. You Baby (Diamond) 2.59
04. Love On The Rocks (Diamond/Bécaud) 3.38
05. Amazed And Confused (Diamond/Bennett) 2.53
06. On The Robert E. Lee (Diamond/Bécaud) 2.03
07. Summerlove (Diamond/Bécaud) 3.17
08. Hello Again (Diamond/Lindgren) 4.03
09. Acapulco (Diamond/Rhone) 2.49
10. Hey Louise (Diamond/Bécaud) 2.59
11. Songs Of Life (Diamond/Bécaud) 3.33
12. Jerusalem (Diamond) 3.04
13. Kol Nidre/My Name Is Yussel (Traditional) 1.38
14. America (Reprise) (Diamond) 2.20

LabelB1

*
**

Poster

 

Crispian St. Peters – You Were On My Mind + What I´m Gonna Be (1966)

FrontCover1Crispian St. Peters (born Robin Peter Smith, 5 April 1939 – 8 June 2010) was an English pop singer-songwriter, best known for his work in the 1960s, particularly hit songs written by duo The Changin’ Times, including “The Pied Piper” and Ian & Sylvia’s “You Were on My Mind”.

Robin Peter Smith was born in Swanley, Kent, and attended Swanley Secondary Modern School. He learned the guitar and left school in 1954 to become an assistant cinema projectionist. As a young man, he performed in several relatively unknown bands in England. In 1956, he gave his first live performance, as a member of The Hard Travellers. Through the late 1950s and early 1960s, as well as undertaking National Service, he was a member of The Country Gentlemen, Beat Formula Three, and Peter & The Wolves.

While a member of Beat Formula Three in 1963, he was heard by David Nicholson, an EMI publicist who became his manager. Nicholson suggested he use a stage name, initially “Crispin Blacke” and subsequently Crispian St. Peters, then promoted his client as being nineteen years of age, shaving off five years from his actual age of 24. In 1964, as a member of Peter & The Wolves, St. Peters made his first commercial recording. He was persuaded to turn solo by Nicholson and was signed to Decca Records in 1965. His first two singles on this record label, “No No No” and “At This Moment”, proved unsuccessful on the charts. He made two television UK appearances in February of that year, featuring in the shows Scene at 6.30 and Ready Steady Go!

SheetMusicIn 1966, St. Peters’ career finally yielded a Top 10 hit in the UK Singles Chart, with “You Were on My Mind,”a song written and first recorded in 1964 by the Canadian folk duo, Ian & Sylvia, and a hit in the United States for We Five in 1965. St. Peters’ single eventually hit No. 2 in the UK and was then released in the US on the Philadelphia-based Jamie Records label. It did not chart in the US until after his fourth release, “The Pied Piper,” became known as his signature song and a Top 10 hit in the United States and the UK.

Although his next single, a version of Phil Ochs’ song “Changes,” also reached the charts in both the UK and US, it was much less successful. In 1967, St. Peters released his first LP, Follow Me…, which included several of his own songs, as well as the single “Free Spirit”. One of them, “I’ll Give You Love,” was recorded by Marty Kristian in a version produced by St. Peters, and became a big hit in Australia. St. Peters’ album was followed by his first EP, Almost Persuaded, yet by 1970, he was dropped by Decca. “You Were on My Mind” was featured in the 1996 German film Jenseits Der Stille (Beyond Silence).

Later in 1970, he was signed to Square Records. Under this new record deal, St. Peters released a second LP, Simply, that year, predominantly of country and western songs. Later still they released his first cassette, The Gospel Tape, in 1986, and a second cassette, New Tracks on Old Lines in 1990. His third cassette, Night Sessions, Vol. 1 was released in 1993.

CSP1964

Several CDs also came from this record deal, including Follow Me in 1991, The Anthology in 1996, Night Sessions, Vol. 1 in 1998, The Gospel Tape in 1999, and, finally, Songs From The Attic in 2000. He also performed on various Sixties nostalgia tours, and continued to write and arrange for others until his later ill health.

From 1969 to 1974, St. Peters was married to Collette. The marriage produced a daughter, Samantha, and a son, Lee.

On 1 January 1995, at the age of 55, he suffered a stroke. His music career was severely weakened by this, and in 2001 he announced his retirement from the music industry. He was hospitalised several times with pneumonia after 2003.

St. Peters died on 8 June 2010, after a long illness, at the age of 71. (wikipedia)

Acetate:
Acetate

And here´s is very sucessful single … a soft Folk-Pop version of the classic song written by Sylvia Fricker.

CSP02

Personnel:
Crispian St. Peters (vocals)
+
a bunch of unknow studio musicians

CSP03

Tracklist:
01. You Were On My Mind (Fricker) 2.42
02. What I´m Gonna Be (St. Peters) 2.23

LabelB1

*
**

CSP01
Crispian St. Peters (5 April 1939 – 8 June 2010)

Abba – Arrival (1976)

FrontCover1ABBA is a Swedish pop supergroup formed in Stockholm in 1972 by Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The group’s name is an acronym of the first letters of their first names. They became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music, topping the charts worldwide from 1974 to 1982. ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest 1974, giving Sweden its first triumph in the contest. They are the most successful group to have taken part in the competition.

During the band’s main active years, it was composed of two married couples: Fältskog and Ulvaeus, and Lyngstad and Andersson. With the increase of their popularity, their personal lives suffered, which eventually resulted in the collapse of both marriages. The relationship changes were reflected in the group’s music, with latter compositions featuring darker and more introspective lyrics. After ABBA disbanded, Andersson and Ulvaeus achieved success writing music for the stage, while Lyngstad and Fältskog pursued solo careers.[5][6] Ten years after their disbanding, a compilation, ABBA Gold was released, which became a worldwide bestseller.

In 1999, ABBA’s music was adapted into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that toured worldwide. A film of the same name, released in 2008, became the highest-grossing film in the United Kingdom that year. A sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, was released in 2018. That same year it was announced that the band had recorded two new songs after 35 years of being inactive.

Abba03

Estimates of ABBA’s total record sales are over 380 million, making them one of the best-selling music artists of all time. ABBA were the first group from a non-English-speaking country to achieve consistent success in the charts of English-speaking countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. They had eight consecutive number-one albums in the UK. The group also enjoyed significant success in Latin America, and recorded a collection of their hit songs in Spanish. ABBA were honoured at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005, when their hit “Waterloo” was chosen as the best song in the competition’s history. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2015, their song “Dancing Queen” was inducted into the Recording Academy’s Grammy Hall of Fame.

Abba04

Arrival is the fourth studio album by the Swedish pop group ABBA. It was originally released in Sweden on 11 October 1976 by Polar Records. Recording sessions began in August 1975 and continued until September 1976 at Metronome and Glen studios in Stockholm, Sweden. It became one of ABBA’s most successful albums to date, producing three of their biggest hits: “Dancing Queen,” “Money, Money, Money” and “Knowing Me, Knowing You.” Released as a single earlier the same year (in March 1976), the track “Fernando” was included on the Australian and New Zealand versions of the album. Arrival was the best-selling album of 1977 in the United Kingdom and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The album was first released on compact disc (CD) in 1984 and then re-issued in digitally remastered form a total of four times; first in 1997, then in 2001, 2005 as part of The Complete Studio Recordings box set, and again in 2006 (as a special Deluxe Edition).

Abba01

By the time ABBA began working on their fourth album in August 1975, they had achieved a modest level of success around the world. It was with Arrival however, that they would achieve global superstardom. The first song to enter the studio was a track called “Boogaloo” on 4 August. Taking inspiration from the current disco sound (and in particular George McCrae’s “Rock Your Baby”), the backing track was laid down.[2] The group knew that they had something big on their hands, as member Agnetha Fältskog remarked: “We knew immediately it was going to be massive.” With re-written lyrics, the song became known as “Dancing Queen,” and would go on to be ABBA’s biggest ever hit. Work on the song continued intermittently until December 1975 as the group’s activities were increasing in the latter half of the year as they saw a sudden surge in popularity in the United Kingdom and Australia. During this time they also recorded a song (in Swedish) for member Anni-Frid Lyngstad’s solo album, “Fernando.”

Abba05

In March 1976, with “Fernando” re-written with English lyrics, it was released as an ABBA single, becoming the group’s biggest hit to date – hitting No.1 in many countries, including a 14-week stay at No.1 in Australia. It was featured as the brand new track on their Greatest Hits album which was selling in huge numbers around that time, becoming the biggest-selling album of the year in the UK (in Australia, it was featured on the “Arrival” album placed between “Why Did It Have To Be Me” and “Tiger”). In the midst of this success, the group finally found time to return to the studio in late March. The next song they began working on was “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” which was to become yet another major hit worldwide. Member Benny Andersson has said that it is “one of our five best recordings.”

By the end of April two other songs had been laid down: “That’s Me” and “Why Did It Have to Be Me.” The latter was reworked into “Happy Hawaii” before ultimately arriving back at its original title with completely different lyrics and member Björn Ulvaeus on lead vocals as opposed to Faltskog and Lyngstad (“Happy Hawaii” would later be released as a B-side). A similar situation occurred with the next recording when a song entitled “Money, Money, Money” became “Gypsy Girl” and then back to its original title. “Money, Money, Money” would also be released as a single and become a major hit some months after the album’s eventual release.

Abba07

In June 1976, a TV special dedicated to the group (entitled ABBA-dabba-dooo!!) was filmed. Around the same time they recorded a song called “When I Kissed the Teacher,” which would become the opening track on their new album. Late July saw the next two tracks, “Tiger” and “Dum Dum Diddle” recorded. Considered by biographer Carl Magnus Palm as the “complete antithesis” of each other, the former being a hard rocker against the pure pop of the latter, both Lyngstad and Ulvaeus have expressed dissatisfaction with “Dum Dum Diddle,” with Ulvaeus admitting that it was a nonsense lyric he’d come up with in desperation. The next song to be recorded was “My Love My Life.” Originally titled “Monsieur Monsieur” and more upbeat, the song soon became a lush ballad with backing harmonies inspired by 10cc’s hit “I’m Not In Love.”

The final track to be recorded was an instrumental piece entitled “Ode to Dalecarlia.” Featuring Andersson prominently on keyboards, the track was renamed “Arrival” – a word that had already been decided as the title of their new album. By September 1976 work on the album was finished just as “Dancing Queen” was topping the charts all over the world. The album cover shots were taken of the group posing in and out of a Bell 47 helicopter at the Barkarby Airport, northwest of Stockholm. The now-renowned “mirrored-B” copyrighted ABBA logo, an ambigram designed by Rune Söderqvist in 1976 was also premiered on the album cover. Arrival was released on 11 October 1976.

In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, music critic Ken Tucker panned Arrival as “Muzak mesmerizing in its modality” and wrote, “By reducing their already vapid lyrics to utter irrelevance, lead singers Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog are liberated to natter on in their shrill voices without regard to emotion or expression.”In The New Rolling Stone Album Guide” (2004), music journalist Arion Berger gave Arrival four out of five stars and recommended its Universal reissue to consumers.

Inlet02A

The album became a major seller all over the world, becoming the top-selling album of 1977 in both the UK and West Germany for example. It housed three of ABBA’s biggest hits; “Dancing Queen,” “Money Money Money” and “Knowing Me Knowing You,” and in some territories a fourth with the inclusion of “Fernando” (which in most markets had featured on their earlier Greatest Hits album). “That’s Me” was released as a single in Japan only.

The album was included in Robert Dimery’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Arrival re-entered the UK album charts at #94 for the week of August 3, 2018, for the first time since 1979. (wikipedia)

Singles

Widely considered the Swedish foursome’s first classic album — and historically important as the first to use the now-famous mirror-B logo — 1976’s Arrival contains three huge hit singles, the dramatic “Money Money Money,” the downcast “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” and quite possibly the band’s finest four minutes, the absolutely perfect pop classic “Dancing Queen,” a combination of Spector-ian grandeur, McCartney-esque melody, and the indescribable vocals of Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The rest of ABBA’s fourth album is strikingly consistent and accomplished, from the sly, bouncy “When I Kissed the Teacher” to the atmospheric title track, making room in between for the three excellent singles and five other substantial pop tunes. Although three LPs and a greatest-hits compilation preceded it, Arrival is aptly titled, as this album announces the band’s move beyond bubblegum. (by Rovi Staff)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Benny Andersson (synthesizer, piano, accordion, chimes, marimba, background vocals)
Agnetha Fältskog (vocals)
Anni-Frid Lyngstad (vocals)
Björn Ulvaeus (guitar, vocals on 08., background vocals)
+
Ola Brunkert (drums, strings)
Lars Carlsson (saxophone)
Anders Dahl (strings)
Malando Gassama (percussion)
Anders Glenmark (guitar)
Rutger Gunnarsson (bass)
Roger Palm (strings, drums)
Janne Schaffer (guitar)
Lasse Wellander (guitar)

Inlet01A

Tracklist:
01. When I Kissed The Teacher (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus) 3.02
02. Dancing Queen (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus)  3.52
03. My Love, My Life (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus/S.Anderson) 3.53
04. Dum Dum Diddle Ulvaeus (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus) 2.55
05. Knowing Me, Knowing You (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus/S.Anderson) 4.02
06. Money, Money, Money (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus 3.07
07. That’s Me (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus/S.Anderson) 3.16
08. Why Did It Have to Be Me? (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus) 3.21
09. Tiger (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus) 2.56
10. Arrival (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus) 3.02
+
11. Fernando (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus/S.Anderson) 4.15

LabelB1

*
**

Abba02

The perfect Pop song of the Seventies:

You can dance, you can jive
Having the time of your life, ooh
See that girl, watch that scene
Dig in the Dancing Queen

Friday night and the lights are low
Looking out for a place to go
Where they play the right music, getting in the swing
You come to look for a king

Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the music’s high
With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
You’re in the mood for a dance

And when you get the chance

You are the Dancing Queen
Young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen
Feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah
You can dance, you can jive
Having the time of your life, ooh
See that girl, watch that scene
Dig in the Dancing Queen

You’re a teaser, you turn ’em on
Leave them burning and then you’re gone
Looking out for another, anyone will do
You’re in the mood for a dance

And when you get the chance

You are the Dancing Queen
Young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen
Feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah

You can dance, you can jive
Having the time of your life, oh
See that girl, watch that scene
Dig in the Dancing Queen

Sarah Brightman – The Harem World Tour – Live From Las Vegeas (2004)

FrontCover1Sarah Brightman (born 14 August 1960) is an English classical crossover soprano, singer, songwriter, actress, dancer and musician.

Brightman began her career as a member of the dance troupe Hot Gossip and released several disco singles as a solo performer. In 1981, she made her West End musical theatre debut in Cats and met composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, whom she later married. She went on to star in several West End and Broadway musicals, including The Phantom of the Opera, where she originated the role of Christine Daaé. Her original London cast album of Phantom was released in CD format in 1987 and sold 40 million copies worldwide, making it the biggest-selling cast album ever.

After retiring from the stage and divorcing Lloyd Webber, Brightman resumed her music career with former Enigma producer Frank Peterson, this time as a classical crossover artist. She has been credited as the creator and remains among the most prominent performers of this genre, with worldwide sales of more than 35 million albums and two million DVDs, establishing herself as the world’s best-selling soprano.

Sarah_Brightman01

Brightman’s 1996 duet with the Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, “Time to Say Goodbye”, topped the charts all over Europe and became the highest and fastest-selling single of all-time in Germany, where it stayed at the top of the charts for 14 consecutive weeks and sold over three million copies. It subsequently became an international success, selling 12 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all-time. She has collected over 200 gold and platinum record awards in 38 different countries. In 2010, she was named by Billboard the fifth most influential and best-selling classical artist of the 2000s decade in the US and according to Nielsen SoundScan, she has sold 6.5 million albums in the country.

Brightman is the first artist to have been invited twice to perform the theme song at the Olympic Games, first at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games where she sang “Amigos Para Sarah_Brightman02Siempre” with the Spanish tenor José Carreras with an estimated global audience of a billion people, and 16 years later in 2008 in Beijing, this time with Chinese singer Liu Huan, performing the song “You and Me” to an estimated four billion people worldwide.

In 2012, Brightman was appointed as the UNESCO Artist for Peace for the period 2012–2014, for her “commitment to humanitarian and charitable causes, her contribution, throughout her artistic career, to the promotion of cultural dialogue and the exchanges among cultures, and her dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization”. Since 2010, Brightman has been Panasonic’s global brand ambassador.

In 2014, she began training for a journey to the International Space Station, later postponed until further notice, citing personal reasons. Brightman was awarded the decoration ‘Cavaliere’ in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic on 2 June 2016[19] and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire in 2018, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to music and theater.

The Harem World Tour: Live From Las Vegas is a live album by classical crossover soprano Sarah Brightman released to coincide with the DVD. The album was released on 28 September 2004. It features a cover version of Indonesian singer Anggun’s “Snow on the Sahara”. (wikipedia)

Sarah_Brightman04

Recorded in March 2004 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas during Sarah Brightman’s Harem World Tour, this live CD demonstrates the musical seductress’s penchant for fusing musical genres – musical theater, classical, rock, & world music – & plays like a collection of greatest hits performed live.

While the sales of Sarah Brightman’s ambitious, Middle Eastern-themed 2003 album Harem may have fallen short of its predecessor, the veteran UK chanteuse’s popularity as a live performer has only mushroomed. This live recording of her ambitious, sold-out Harem World Tour engagement at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Arena is testament to that appeal, begging the question: Will Brightman become the Grateful Dead of classical crossover? Indeed, abetted by the rich sonic textures of longtime producer/collaborator Frank Peterson, the worldbeat conceits of her recent studio recordings are folded into a larger, even more expansive live vision here.

Sarah_Brightman05

Brightman’s overt dramatic instincts and oft-chaemeleonic vocal abilities drive a slate of material that stretches from the Arabian Nights/Madame Butterflypastiche of Harem’s seductive “It’s A Beautiful Day” through surprisingly effective classical/rock reinventions of Kansas’ “Dust in the Wind” and The Moody Blues’ chestnut “Nights in White Satin” to expected classical bowings “Nessun Dorma” and the obligatory nod to “Phantom of the Opera”Harem’s East-meets-Eurodisco sensibility will also welcome the melodic new studio bonus cut, “Snow in the Sahara.” (by Jerry McCulley)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Sarah Brightman (vocals)
+
unknown live band

Booklet
Tracklist:
01. Kama Sutra (Danna) 2.01
02. Harem Overture (Cançao do Mar) (Seeman/DeBrito/Brightman/Peterson) 3.10
03. It’s A Beautiful Day (Brightman/Puccini/von Deylen/Peterson) 4.27
04. Dust In The Wind (Livgren) 4.02
05. Who Wants To Live Forever (May) 4.02
06. Anytime, Anywhere (Brightman/Peterson/Soltau) 3.17
07. La Luna (Ferrau/Dvorák) 5.16
08. Nessun Dorma (Puccini/Adami/Simoni) 4.11
09. The War Is Over (Benzer/Draude/Brightman/Peterson) 5.24
10. Free (Brightman/Hawkins/Meissner/Schwartz) 3.49
11. A Whiter Shade Of Pale (Brooker/Reid) 3.16
12. Phantom Of The Opera Suite: Twisted Every Way/Phantom Overture/Little Lottie (Hart/Stilgoe/Webber) 4.27
13. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again (Hart/Stilgoe/Webber) 4.36
14. Time To Say Goodbye (Sartori/Quarantotto) 4.14
15. A Question Of Honour (Peterson) 5.43
16. Snow On The Sahara (Bonus studio track) (Benzi/Matheson) 4.46

CD1

*
**

Sarah_Brightman06

 

Petra Haden – Sings The Who Sell Out (2005)

FrontCover1Petra Haden (born October 11, 1971) is an American musician and singer. She has been a member of That Dog, Tito & Tarantula, and The Decemberists; has contributed to recordings by Bill Frisell, The Twilight Singers, Beck, Mike Watt, Luscious Jackson, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Weezer, The Rentals, Victoria Williams, Yuka Honda, The Gutter Twins, Sunn O))), and Cornelius. She is the daughter of the jazz bassist Charlie Haden; the triplet sister of bassist Rachel Haden (her bandmate in That Dog) and cellist Tanya Haden (married to singer and actor Jack Black) with whom she has performed as The Haden Triplets; and the sister of bassist-singer Josh Haden, leader of the group Spain.

In New York City, in 1996 she released her first album, Imaginaryland, consisting mostly of original a cappella music. In 2000, Petra was struck by a car while crossing a street in Los Angeles; the resulting injuries forced her out of performance for several months. In 2005 she released the home-recorded album Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out (Bar/None), a complete a cappella rendition of The Who Sell Out. The project was suggested to Haden by longtime friend Mike Watt, who also gave her the eight-channel multi-track cassette recorder she used to make it. Funded in part by a Durfee grant and wanting to perform the work live, Haden created a new arrangement of The Who Sell Out for a ten-woman a cappella choir called Petra Haden & The Sellouts. The premiere live performance of the full work occurred in July 2005 at the Ford Amphitheatre as a PetraHaden3part of the “sound.” concert series.

She has also released a self-titled collaboration with jazz guitarist Bill Frisell.

She contributed to the recording of ØØ Void by drone metal band Sunn O))) and played on the debut and follow up album of Sunn O))) guitarist Greg Anderson’s other doom metal band Goatsnake. The Haden Triplets sang the part of the Fates in Anaïs Mitchell’s 2010 release Hadestown on Righteous Babe Records.

She is also at work on a collection of songs with Yuka Honda,[2] apparently with contributing performances by Sean Lennon.

In 2007, Haden recorded an a cappella cover of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” for the compilation album Guilt by Association Vol. 1. This arrangement of the song is very similar to that used in the Glee version of the song in 2009.

She performed on the soundtrack to the film An American Crime, starring Catherine Keener and Ellen Page, which premiered on Showtime in May 2008.

In 2009, Toyota commissioned Haden to perform three songs for television commercials for the third-generation Toyota Prius, including an a cappella version of the Bellamy Brothers 1970s song “Let Your Love Flow” and worked as an arranger and vocal coach The Sing Off on NBC, alongside Deke Sharon.

Haden played violin on “Sentimental Tune” by Tegan and Sara, off of their album Sainthood (released October 27, 2009).

PetraHaden4

In 2011, Haden formed the group If By Yes with Yuka Honda, the culmination of an eight-year songwriting collaboration. The band released one album, “Salt on Sea Glass”[7] Other band members included Yuko Araki on drums and Hirotaka “Shimmy” Shimizu on guitar, with contributions from David Byrne and Nels Cline.

In 2014 she worked on a collaboration with Jim Bianco in Hooray Matinee. The resulting tracks were released on a number of digital outlets.

In 2015, she provided vocals for the rock mockumentary “Gentle & Soft: The Blue Jean Committee Story”, the 1st season finale of the IFC series Documentary Now! (starring Fred Armisen & Bill Hader). Haden’s voice was used as the falsetto of Blue Jean Committee bassist Clark Honus (played by Hader). Haden even appeared live with Armisen & Hader as “The Blue Jean Committee” on Late Night With Seth Meyers, with Hader lip-synching to Haden’s vocals.

Also in 2015, Haden again collaborated with Bill Frisell, providing vocals on his 2016 album When You Wish Upon A Star.

In 2016, the song “Easy Street” by The Collapsable Hearts Club, which featured Haden and Jim Bianco, played throughout The Walking Dead episode “The Cell”. A few hours after the episode’s broadcast, the song rose to number 92 in the UK Singles Chart.

PetraHaden2

Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out is an album by Petra Haden, an entirely a cappella interpretation of the album The Who Sell Out by English rock band The Who. Haden supplies all of the vocals. It was released in 2005 on Bar None Records. The recording was inspired by former Minutemen bassist Mike Watt, who gave Haden the 8-track recorder with the original Who album on it.

In the Boston Globe on 13 March 2005, The Who’s guitarist and principal songwriter, Pete Townshend, had this to say about Haden’s version of the album:

I was a little embarrassed to realize I was enjoying my own music so much, for in a way it was like hearing it for the first time. What Petra does with her voice, which is not so easy to do, is challenge the entire rock framework … When she does depart from the original music she does it purely to bring a little piece of herself — and when she appears she is so very welcome. I felt like I’d received something better than a Grammy.

In his book Paddle Your Own Canoe, actor Nick Offerman recommends the album as ideal to listen to while building canoes. (by wikipedia)

PetraHaden5

One of the triplet daughters of legendary jazz bassist Charlie Haden, Petra grew up in a world of music. At a young age, she developed a remarkable talent to perfectly mimick the sounds of instruments she was hearing around the house from Captain Kagaroo to the Cocteau Twins. She developed complex arrangements in her head and could interpret all sorts of songs. Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out is the latest chapter in the always provocative, often unpredictable yet never less than fascinating musical career of Ms. Haden. The impetus for the project came from her friend, bassist mike watt, who suggested that she attempt to re-imagine this classic Who album as an a capella tour de force (this at least a year before any news of Bjork’s Medulla leaked to the press). He gave her an 8 track cassette tape with the original Who album recorded onto one track and the other seven empty, for her to fill with intricate vocal harmonies reinventing not only all The Who´s singing and instrumental parts  including drums  she also recorded all the mock radio commercials so integral to The Who Sell Out experience. The final result is a technical tour de force that highlights The Who’s own achievement, bringing all the elements of chorale music, vaudevillian schmaltz and Renaissance chamber ensemble playing powerfully to the fore. (Press release)

Tray1

No one would have seen this coming, but it’s as natural as loving a great album can be. Petra Haden renders the classic album, The Who Sell Out, in its entirety — fake commercials and all — and she does it a capella. She has a voice and sensibilities to make this work as she performs both the lyrics and components from the Who’s instrumental tracks. It is the latter which is particularly affecting, her choices addressing how many fans of the original album would also identify a song’s key characteristics. Townshend’s guitar parts in particular are sung with virtuosity and unmistakable glee. Far from being a mere stunt, this set works on its own as well as giving one pause, reconsidering the original work in a new light. –David Greenberger

BackCover1

Personnel:
Petrta Haden (vocals, all instruments)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Armenia City In The Sky (Keen) 3.40
02. Heinz Baked Beans (Entwistle) 1.10
03. Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand (Townshend) 2.30
04. Odorono (Townshend) 2.18
05. Tattoo (Townshend) 3.10
06. Our Love Was (Townshend) 3.25
07. I Can See For Miles (Townshend) 4.14
08. I Can’t Reach You (Townshend) 3.30
09. Medac (Entwistle) 0.57
10. Relax (Townshend) 2.41
11. Silas Stingy (Entwistle)
12. Sunrise (Townshend) (Townshend) 3.03
13. Rael (Townshend) 5.30
14. Untitled 0.18

CD1

*
**

 

Joshua Kadison – Painted Desert Serenade (1993)

FrontCover1Joshua Kadison (born February 8, 1963 in Los Angeles, California) is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, and writer. He is perhaps best known for the Top 40 hits “Jessie” and “Beautiful in My Eyes” from his debut album Painted Desert Serenade. He is the son of actress Gloria Castillo, who was the inspiration behind his song “Mama’s Arms.”

According to an early press release by EMI, “His maverick ways paid off in 1993 when EMI released his self-penned debut Painted Desert Serenade, a collection of introspective story songs including the break-through single “Jessie” and “When A Woman Cries,” already covered by legends Joe Cocker and Smokey Robinson. “I was so used to being outside of whatever was going on that I didn’t even think I’d get a record deal, much less have my songs played on the radio.” This, from the young man who received the BMI Award for one of the most played songs of 1994. His international hit “Beautiful in My Eyes” is often played at weddings and peaked at #19 in the U.S. Billboard charts. Painted Desert Serenade went platinum in the US and Germany, and went multi-platinum in Australia and New Zealand. According to The Guinness book of British Hit Singles both “Jessie” and “Beautiful In My Eyes” both reached the UK Top 40 with “Jessie” spending 15 weeks in the UK Top 75 with the 2 releases of the song combined and the album reached number 45. “Jessie” is still often heard on UK radio, his musical style and voice are similar to Elton John.

JoshuaKadison01His second album, Delilah Blue, was less commercially successful. His collection of songs were closer to sonic novels than the ballads featured in his first album; he used John Steinbeck’s book The Pearl as inspiration for a song of the same name. The single “Take it on Faith” failed to reach the Billboard Top 10, and shortly after, EMI voided its contract with Kadison. The title track “Delilah Blue” was released as a single in Australia.

In 1998, he published his book 17 Ways To Eat A Mango: A Discovered Journal Of Life On An Island Of Miracles and the 5-track-album Saturday Night In Storyville on his own label Storyville Records, selling it predominantly from his website. It was well received in Germany, where he continues to have a huge following. In 1999 he released another album via his website called “Troubador In A Timequake,” which was the first CD to include “My Father’s Son.” He is quoted to have said that it was a song written about his father, Ellis Kadison, who had recently died.

Shortly after, he signed a new deal with EMI Germany and his album Vanishing America was released. The album, released in May 2001, dealt with his disillusionment with the lost values of America. The album was a collection of songs that told stories about people not realizing their own beauty and full potential. Ironically, the album was never distributed in the United States. The album also included two selections previously used on his late 1990s albums, “My Father’s Son” and “Cherry Bowl Drive-In” and a solo version of “Dragonfly Queen,” re-titled “Begging For Grace.”

In 2005, Kadison relaunched his career on his self-run website “Radio Humanity.” He later bought back his previous website address and re-launched it. The Venice Beach Sessions was released as a download-only album in two parts, including a selection titled “Over The Sad Songs;” this was thought to be inspired by his recently dissolved relationship. Kadison has long been openly bisexual, which he once made mention of on his website’s forum. The discussion which ensued caused him to shut down the site for some time before it was eventually relaunched. His sexuality does not seem to have affected his popularity and sales one way or the other, and certainly has not diminished either.

JoshuaKadison03

In 2006, EMI released Essential a collection which included tracks from all three full-length studio albums and three additional selections that had formerly been B-sides.

In 2007 Joshua continued to update his website with regular letters and toured Germany in the spring.

In 2008 Joshua released the download-only album Return Of The Dragonfly and toured Germany again. During the tour he announced that he would no longer be performing his older songs and would dedicate his time to studying the bansuri, a simple seven-hole bamboo flute.

Wherever possible at his concerts, he allows audience members to sit on the stage; this is evidenced by various videos on YouTube. He also has a “requests” and “Q & A” sessions at the end.

JoshuaKadison04

Kadison’s career has been quiet since 2012, with him performing occasionally and following other interests and pursuits.

Painted Desert Serenade is the debut studio album by American pianist/singer-songwriter Joshua Kadison, released in 1993 on SBK (a subsidiary of Capitol Records). It features two singles, both of which reached the top 30 on the US Billboard Hot 100: “Jessie” peaked at number 26, while “Beautiful in My Eyes” reached number 19 in 1994. (by wikipedia)

Singles

Pianist Joshua Kadison’s debut is chock full of odes to finding romance, longing for romance and losing romance. Propelled mostly by the enormously popular adult contemporary hit Jessie, about the searching title heroine and the hopeful, needing narrator who gets sucked into her longing, he paints vivid portrayals of troubled and hopeful dreamers. With lyrics like “Jessie, paint your pictures/’bout how it’s gonna be/by now I should know better/your dreams are never free,” Kadison taps into the wanderer in all of us. His strength is much like that of the best country music songwriters: Each track brings to life and tells a story about unique characters, whether it’s Lady Jane in the title song, Rachel in Picture Postcards from L.A. or Jessie making a recurrent visit in Georgia Rain. With Kadison being an unabashed romantic, none of these songs rock out or even come close to being edgy, but that works to their advantage because he also steers far from the middle of the road with his strong songwriting skills, yearning lyrics, pretty melodies and simple production. The best cut is Painted Desert Serenade, a swooningly romantic song about a senior citizen trying to convince a fellow senior that it’s not too late to find love. His follow-up, 1995’s Delilah Blue, had no hit singles and disappeared soon off the charts. (by Bryan Buss)

BackCover1Personnel:
Rod Argent (keyboards, background vocals)
Dave “Clem” Clempson (guitar; mandolin)
Mark Cresswell (guitar)
Martin Ditcham (percussion)
Denny Fongheiser (drums)
John Giblin (bass)
Peter van Hooke (piano, drums, percussion)
Paul Jones (harmonica)
Joshua Kadison (vocals, piano)
Chris Laurence (bass)
Phil Parlapiano (accordion)
John Pierce (bass)
Tim Pierce (guitar)
Tim Renwick (guitar)
Frank Ricotti (percussion)
Ian Thomas (drums)
Jeffrey “CJ” Vanston (organ)
Neal Wilkinson (drums)
+
background vocals:
Sherwood Ball – Adele Bertei – Carmen Carter – Lance Ellington – Kathy Hazzard – Carol Kenyon – David Lasley – Valerie Mayo – Arnold McCuller – Joseph Powell – Ian Shaw – Helen Terry – Ruby Turner – Carmen Twillie – Fred White – Rosemary Butler – Gene Miller – Tessa Niles
+
violin:
Mark Berrow – Ben Cruft – Roger Garland – Wilfred Gibson – Roy Gillard – Tim Good  Rita Manning – Peter Oxer – Bill Penham – Barry Wilde – David Woodcock – Gavyn Wright
viola:
Stephen Tees – Robert Smissen, – George Robertson – Andrew Parker – Susie Hansen
celli:
Paul Kegg – Ben Kennard – Helen Liebmann – Roger Smith
+
oboe:
Frank Morgan – Richard Morgan

Strings arranged by Rod Argent; conducted by Gavyn Wright

Booklet02ATracklist:
01. Jessie 5.19
02. Painted Desert Serenade 2.57
03. Beau’s All Night Radio Love Line 4.26
04. Invisible Man 4.58
05. Mama’s Arms 3.00
06. Beautiful In My Eyes 4.09
07. Picture Postcards From LA 4.34
08. When A Woman Cries 3.31
09. Georgia Rain 4.03

All songs written by Joshua Kadison

CD1

*
**

JoshuaKadison02

Elkie Brooks – Shooting Star (1978)

FrontCover1Elkie Brooks (born Elaine Bookbinder, 25 February 1945) is an English singer. She was a vocalist with the bands Dada and Vinegar Joe, and later became a solo artist. She gained her biggest success in the late 1970s and 1980s, releasing 13 UK Top 75 singles, and reached the top ten with “Pearl’s a Singer”, “Sunshine After the Rain” and the title track of the album No More the Fool. She has been nominated twice for Brit Awards.

She is generally referred to as the “British Queen of Blues”. Her 1981 album Pearls became the best-selling album by a UK female artist in the history of the charts at that point.[citation needed] In 2012, Brooks was the British female artist who had achieved the most Top 75 UK Albums Chart entries.

Brooks’ third album was a departure from her previous work and enjoyed relative success in the UK charts. Taking the place of Leiber & Stoller was renowned producer David Kershenbaum who guided Brooks along a more funk-orientated sound than on her previous work. The album has been released on CD, paired with its 1979 successor Live and Learn. (by wikipedia)

Singles
This may not be the best album by Elkie Brooks . I still like her version of, “As”, better then the George Michael cover. (by bessie)

A bit of a low point here. Terrible versions of The Faces’ “Stay With Me” and Stevie Wonder’s “As”. Plus this album has some of the worst cover artwork too, so there really is no need to bother. (by MH 1000)

Indeed, Elkie Brooks sounds much better in her days with Vingar Joe ! On this album she sounds as just another Disco Queen …

BackCover1

Personnel:
Elkie Brooks (vocals)
Jerry Knight (bass, background vocals)
Andy Newmark (drums)
Elliott Randall (guitar)
Jean Roussel – keyboards
+
Pete Gage (guitar)
Simon Morton (percussion)

Elkie Brooks performs on stage circa 1978. (Photo by Gus Stewart/Redferns)

Tracklist:
01. Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Young) 3.05
02. Be Positive (Brooks) 3.47
03. Since You Went Away (Roussel/Knight) 3.43
04. Putting My Heart On The Line (Frampton) 3.09
05. Stay With Me (Wood/Stewart) 2.59
06. As (Wonder) 4.03
07. Learn To Love (Doheny) 4.04
08. Too Precious (Brooks/Hinkley) 4.23
09. Shooting Star (Gage) 2.51
10. Just An Excuse (Brooks) 3.41

LabelB1

*
**

The Hollies – Evolution (1967)

FrontCover1Evolution is the first of two albums released in 1967 by British pop rock band the Hollies. The album peaked at number 13 in the UK album chart.

Like its predecessor, For Certain Because, this album comprises only songs written by group members Allan Clarke, Graham Nash, and Tony Hicks. None of the songs on the album were selected for single or EP release in the UK, although “Carrie Anne” from the American release was issued as a single in the US. Drummer Bobby Elliott only played on three songs on the album due to appendicitis and, as a result, he was substituted for by Dougie Wright, Clem Cattini and Mitch Mitchell of the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

The album cover artwork was created by the Fool, with the psychedelic cover photo by Karl Ferris, who is credited with creating the first truly psychedelic photograph for an album cover.

Ferris commented on the making of the album cover during a special signing of cover prints in 1997:

… they wanted to break from their ‘Pop Beat’ sound into something more psychedelic. So I listened to the music that they were recording at Abbey Road Studios, and got an image of them pushing through a membrane into ‘the Psychedelic world’, and so in summer of 1966 I took a studio shot of them pushing out their hands and the lead singer pointing through clear plastic. Over this I superimposed a shot of William Morris Art Nouveau wallpaper with an illustration and ‘Love’ lettering drawn by my girl friend Anke. This combination created the image of the Hollies ‘pushing through to a new wave of music style and consciousness’. I worked with the Fool (lead by Simon Posthuma) on this, and they did the lettering, the back cover design and the group’s costumes.

Hollies2

The song “Have You Ever Loved Somebody?” was released earlier (in September 1966) both by the Searchers and Paul and Barry Ryan as single a-sides. It was first released by the Everly Brothers on their Two Yanks in England album.

Evolution and its respective singles were recorded at EMI’s Abbey Road studios in just six days spread over three months in early 1967, at the same time the Beatles were recording Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The first session occurred on 11 January where “When Your Lights Turned On”, “Have You Ever Loved Somebody” and the B-side “All the World is Love” were completed. Work began on, but was not completed for, the eventual single “On a Carousel”. That song was completed during the next session on 13 January along with the album track, “Lullaby to Tim”.

Hollies4

Two songs sung in Italian, “Non Prego Per Me” and “Devi Avere Fiducia in Me” (the former composed by Lucio Battisti and Mogol), were also recorded on that day specifically for release as a single in Italy. The next session on 22 February was dedicated to two more songs meant specifically for release in Italy, “We’re Alive” and “Kill Me Quick”. “The Games We Play” as well as the Graham Gouldman-penned “Schoolgirl” were also begun during this session. The bulk of album work took place on March 3rd, 8th and 17th. “Schoolgirl” was attempted again on the 8th but was ultimately left unfinished for reasons unknown. The final songs recorded before the album’s release in June were “Carrie Anne” on 1 May and its B-side, “Signs That Will Never Change”, on the following day. (by wikipedia)

Hollies3

For many Hollies enthusiasts, Evolution (1967) is considered the band’s most accessible blend of pop and psychedelia. The quintet were headed into musical territories beyond simply “moon-June-bloom” and boy-meets-girl lyrics coupled with the tightly constructed vocal harmonies that had become their calling card. Nowhere is this more evident than in the tripped-out cover art from Dutch multimedia artists Seemon Kooer, Marijke Kooer, Josje Leeger, and Barry Finch — known collectively as Fool. Although “Carrie-Anne” could be considered an extension of the trite, somewhat predictable Brit pop, there are clear indications of new horizons on cuts such as the modish “You Need Love,” the arguably passé distorted electric guitar on “Have You Ever Loved Somebody,” and the wailing fretwork on the driving freakbeat rocker “Then the Heartaches Begin.”

Hollies5

Graham Nash (guitar/vocals), Allan Clarke (guitar/vocals), Tony Hicks (guitar/banjo/dulcimer/vocals), Bobby Elliott (drums), and new recruit Bernie Calvert (bass/vocals) — who replaced original member Eric Haydock in the spring of 1966 — were also taking different approaches in their writing and arranging, as heard on the trippy “Heading for a Fall.” On this tune, most prominent is the unusual six-eight time signature, coupled with Hicks’ inversion of the unmistakable banjo, which is similar to the sound he conjured up on the hit “Stop, Stop, Stop.” However, somewhat more atypical of the Nash-era band are the light and limber acoustic and uptempo “Stop Right There,” or the baroque “Ye Olde Toffee Shoppe.” (by Lindsay Planer)

BackCover

Personnel:
Bernie Calvert (bass, harpsichord on 09.)
Allan Clarke (vocals, harmonica)
Bobby Elliott (drums on  04., 05. + 10.)
Tony Hicks (lead guitar, vocals, banjo, dulcimer)
Graham Nash (guitar, vocals)
+
Clem Cattini (drums)
Elton John (piano on 03., organ on 06.)
Mitch Mitchell (drums)
Dougie Wright (drums)
+
unknown orchestra

German front + backcover:
GermanFront+BackCover

Tracklist:
01. Then The Heartaches Begin 2.49
02. Stop Right There 2.28
03. Water On The Brain 2.26
04. Lullaby To Tim Nash 3.03
05. Have You Ever Loved Somebody? 3.03
06. You Need Love 2.33
07. Rain On The Window 3.13
08. Heading For A Fall 2.22
09. Ye Olde Toffee Shoppe 2.22
10. When Your Light’s Turned On 2.37
11. Leave Me 2.20
12. The Games We Play 2.48

All songs  written by Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, and Graham Nash.

LabelB1

*
**

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.

SinglePack1

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.

BookletAA

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.

SinglePack2

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.

SinglePack3

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.

BookletBB

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.

SinglePack5

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.

BookletCC

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.

BookletDD

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.

SinglePack4

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)

BackCover1

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

CD1

*
**

BookletEE

Johnny Rivers – Rewind (1967)

FrontCover1Rewind is the third studio album by the American musician Johnny Rivers, released in 1967 by Imperial Records. The album includes cover versions of “Baby, I Need Your Lovin'” and “The Tracks of My Tears”. Produced by Lou Adler with arrangements by Jimmy Webb, who wrote eight of the songs, the album peaked at #14 on the Billboard albums chart.

With a big, clean production, and quality L.A. session musicians, Rewind is a great collection of blue-eyed soul and rock. The album’s two Motown covers, “Baby I Need Your Loving” and “Tracks of My Tears,” are more similar to tributes than attempts to outshine the originals. Rivers sounds like a well-adjusted Southern hipster on tracks like “The Eleventh Song,” which makes him sound like a cooler version of Sonny Bono. “Rosecrans Boulevard” showcases superb vocal harmonies and horn playing. The most interesting track would have to be “Sidewalk Song/27th Street,” which is pretty mediocre as a song, but are the bizarre sound clips possibly attacking commercialism? No one really knows. Produced by Lou Adler, arranged by Jimmy Webb, featuring Joe Osborne on bass, Larry Knechtel on piano, and Hal Blaine on drums, this record is a solid, tight recording, with excellent production and inventive arrangements provided by Webb. (by Zach Curd)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Hal Blaine (drums)
Mike Deasy Jr. (vocals)
Mike Deasy Sr. (guitar)
Larry Knechtel (piano)
Joe Osborn (bass)
Johnny Rivers (vocals guitar)
+
unknown orchestra + choir

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. The Tracks Of My Tears (Moore/Robinson/Tarplin) 2.57
02. Carpet Man (Webb) 3.06
03. Tunesmith (Webb) 3.14
04. Sidewalk Song (27th Street) (Webb) 2.28
05. It’ll Never Happen Again (Hardin) 3.30
06. Do What You Gotta’ Do (Webb) 2.26
07. Baby I Need Your Lovin’ (L.Dozier/Holland/E.Holland) 3.12
08. For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her (Simon) 2.50
09. Rosecrans Boulevard (Webb) 2.35
10. The Eleventh Song (Webb) 2.28
11. Sweet Smiling Children (Webb) 2.15

LabelB1

*
**