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Archive for January 13th, 2015

Stage Door Revisits Anthony Newley’s “Good Old Bad Old Days” With Previously Unreleased Demo Recordings

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NewleyStage Door Records is taking another dip into the archives of the late, beloved entertainer Anthony Newley with its first release of 2015: an entire disc of Newley’s previously unreleased recordings of his own score to the 1973 musical The Good Old Bad Old Days!  The January 26 release, produced in conjunction with the Anthony Newley Society, features  never-before-issued 20 recordings, almost all of which were made during the development of the musical co-written by Newley and his longtime collaborator Leslie Bricusse.

The partnership of Newley and Bricusse dated back to 1961 and the premiere of Stop the World, I Want to Get Off, co-written by the pair, directed by and starring Newley.  Yielding the instant standard “What Kind of Fool Am I?,” Stop the World completed Newley’s transformation into an international star of stage, screen and records.  Newley and Bricusse followed Stop the World with The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd, another allegorical musical with an infectious score, this time introducing “Who Can I Turn To?” and “Feeling Good” to the standard repertoire.  Newley and Bricusse also found time to co-write “Goldfinger” with John Barry and work individually, although when Bricusse alone wrote the score to 20th Century Fox’s Doctor Dolittle, Newley was on hand as an actor in the film!  Following their Academy Award-nominated work on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Newley and Bricusse returned to the stage with The Good Old Bad Old Days.

Bricusse described it as “a modest little saga about Man, Life, Death, God and The Devil, with the history of the world thrown in.”  It tells of Bubba (Newley), who tries to persuade God not to destroy the world, and makes the case for humanity by presenting a pageant of mankind through the ages (including scenes of The Mayflower, The French Revolution, The American Civil War, etc.).  When New York producer James Nederlander declined to continue his participation with the musical, it looked like it might never get off the ground, but reigning West End impresario Bernard Delfont stepped in and booked The Good Old Bad Old Days for a tour to culminate with a London opening in December 1972.  Though it only ran for 309 performances at Delfont’s Prince of Wales Theatre, it left behind a memorable and enjoyable score highlighted by “The People Tree,” also recorded by Sammy Davis Jr. on the heels of his success with “The Candy Man” from Willy Wonka!  Davis – always the most prolific interpreter of Newley and Bricusse’s work – covered a number of songs from the score, including “I Do Not Love You,” “Tomorrow” and “It’s a Musical World. “  Tony Bennett, Petula Clark and Frankie Vaughan all took their turns performing songs from the score, as well.

After the jump: more details on this exciting new release! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 13, 2015 at 13:38

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Release Round-Up: Week of January 13

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Fantasia - Legacy Collection

The Legacy Collection – Fantasia Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Walt Disney Records) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

This 4-CD presentation of Walt Disney’s animated masterwork features both the Leopold Stokowski and Irwin Kostal recordings of the complete score, plus bonus material, in a deluxe hardbound format.

Johnny Winter - Remembrance

Johnny Winter, Remembrance – Volume One (Friday Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )

Friday Music celebrates the late, great Johnny Winter with this new set licensed from his estate.  Disc One culls tracks from the artist’s Live Bootleg Series, and Disc 2 presents the first-time CD release of his vinyl Live Bootleg Special Edition.  The third disc has previously unreleased Live Rarities. The 3-CD set is housed in a digipak with notes from Edgar Winter and Gregg Allman.

Neal Hefti Collection

Various Artists, The Neal Hefti Collection 1944-1962 – Musician, Composer, Arranger, Conductor (Acrobat) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

As the title indicates, Neal Hefti wore many hats.  Perhaps best known today for his themes to the 1966 Batman television show and the film and TV versions of The Odd Couple, Hefti was so much more.  This 4-disc set (sourced from European public domain material) promises to take a deep look at his early years, with tracks from artists including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, Doris Day, Mel Torme, Buddy Rich, and of course, Count Basie, with whom Hefti began a fruitful association in 1950.  If Acrobat’s past Nelson Riddle collection is any indication, this will be a nicely-packaged, affordably-priced and reasonably comprehensive overview – but beware: the Riddle set was released on CD-Rs, not pressed CDs.


Woody Allen - Stand-Up

Woody Allen, The Stand-Up Years 1964-1968 (Razor & Tie) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

This new 2-CD set presents, in their entirety, Woody Allen’s three stand-up comedy albums originally recorded and released between 1964 and 1968 including such classic routines as “The Moose.” It adds an audience Q&A, which was left off previous CD reissues of the original recordings.  Allen biographer/documentary filmmaker Robert Weide provides new liner notes.

Another Day Another Time

Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of “Inside Llewyn Davis” (Nonesuch) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

This new 2-CD release captures last fall’s New York concerts based around the sounds of the Coen Brothers’ acclaimed, sixties-set film Inside Llewyn Davis. Joan Baez, Elvis Costello, Bob Neuwirth, Jack White and the film’s stars Carey Mulligan, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver all take the stage for this cross-generational folk music salute overseen by T Bone Burnett.


Written by Joe Marchese

January 13, 2015 at 08:39