Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Vinyl abums & covers ...

The great days of the vinyl album are over of course, see Music label for previous posts - and probably peaked with those gatefold albums in the '70s (though vinyl could be making a comeback it seems). I particularly remember that triple pack of vinyl albums for the soundtrack of Scorsese's film on The Band: THE LAST WALTZ. Later album art for the smaller cd covers had to be simpler and cleaner. Here are a few choice album covers I came across recently:
I don't know this Quincy Jones one but it looks fun .... lounge music for pussycats?
I don't know this one either, but my friend Colin came across it at a music fair, and had to send me the cover photo! - comedy albums though have a limited shelf life, how often would one want to listen to it? 
Dirk's 1960 album, where in the style of Rex Harrison, he intones the lyrics over some forgettable muzak ... too kitsch for words. "Get Out Of Town" is quite fun, and as for "You go to my head" or "A Foggy Day" or "Can't We Be Friends"  .... thanks, Jerry - much as I like Dirk I would not have bought it. (Actually the copious notes on the CD version mentions that radio disk jockey David Jacobs (see RIP below) played some of the album on the radio, leading to a surge of popularity in it. Jacobs said "I've always admired Dirk Bogarde for a very long time, as has every Englishman of my age who went to the cinema or theatre. He's a fine actor and was much loved for years. With this record it proves that a beautiful lyric can be spoken, rather than sung, in his charming voice. I played the record when it came out and I've played it since. Its a great treat to hear his voice again backed by this lovely orchestra". Bogarde's influence on British style and pop culture cannot be overstated. Interestingly, another gentleman with impeccable taste, Bryan Ferry, has subsequently covered 6 of the 12 songs on the album. Adam Ant, Steve Strange and David Sylvian also mention Bogarde as an influence. Its a cocktail jazz album and a fascinating artefact of a long-lost time. The high sums the original release commanded at record fairs and on eBay demonstrate that this record is truly a grail item to those with a discerning, esoteric musical palette. - Daryl Easlea).
This is one novelty album that works - Peter Sellers with Sophia Loren in 1960 when they were making THE MILLIONAIRESS. "Goodness Gracious Me" was a hit, but "Bangers & Mash" was much funnier, and Sophia's "I Married An Englishman" showed her delicious sense of fun. 

Two Cleo Laine albums I like - I have just re-acquired her 1964 album, with Johnny Dankworth of course, where she sings Shakespeare, its terrific! I love her versions of "Fear No More The Heat of the Sun".
"Woman Talk" is another 1964 album of hers I liked a lot - good to see Dame Cleo still swinging in her '80s - she and Dankworth were marvellous in the '70s and '80s with those great shows and tours of theirs. 

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