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Archive for the ‘Anthony Newley’ Category

Cherry Red’s él Heads to the Sixties for Pop Art, Bossa Nova, and Singing Celebs

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Pop Goes the Easel

What made the swinging sixties swing?  Cherry Red’s él label continues to explore the various corners of early 1960s pop music with a trio of releases that, in large part, offer answers to that very question.  Pop Goes the Easel: The Start of the Swinging Sixties takes its name from maverick director Ken Russell’s 1962 documentary film, and over two eclectic CDs, boasts 65 tracks from thirteen different films and television programs.  Artists range from Buddy Holly to Anthony Newley.  A fine companion disc is Bowler Hats and Leather Boots: Personalities Go Pop Art.  If Pop Goes the Easel shows how music infiltrated cinema, Bowler Hats shows how silver-screen personalities infiltrated music.  Hence, you’ll hear songs from such offbeat singing stars as Oliver Reed, Anthony Perkins and even Orson Welles.  Lastly, Modernism and Bossa Nova offers a heaping helping of songs with lyrics by the poet Vinicius de Moraes, frequent collaborator of Antonio Carlos Jobim and the co-writer of “The Girl from Ipanema.”  The 29 tracks on this anthology laid the foundation of bossa nova, which set the musical tone for countless swinging bachelor pads!

Ken Russell’s BBC documentary Pop Goes the Easel introduced the British public to four “pop artists” –Peter Philips, Pauline Boty, Derek Boshier and future Sgt. Pepper cover artist Peter Blake.  Pop Goes the Easel: The Start of the Swinging Sixties looks at the musical soundtracks to many of the films and television shows that bade farewell to the 1950s and ushered in the 1960s.  James Darren, Buddy Holly and Clay Cole tunes populated Russell’s film.  For 1959’s Elvis-inspired Idle on Parade (also known as Idol on Parade), Anthony Newley played the titular idol and supplied songs with titles like “Sat’day Night Rock-a-Boogie” and “Idle Rock-a-Boogie.”  1962’s drama All Night Long was a hip jazz take on Shakespeare’s Othello, and its soundtrack (included here in full) featured performances from Dave Brubeck, Charles Mingus and John Dankworth.  The same year, Play It Cool starred real-life pop idol Billy Fury; five songs are heard here from its soundtrack including Fury’s hit “Once Upon a Dream.”

Future A Hard Day’s Night director Richard Lester helmed It’s Trad, Dad! from that pivotal year of 1962, a youth-oriented comedy about two teens fighting the local establishment over their right to enjoy the new jazz!  Stars Helen Shapiro and Craig Douglas are heard on the soundtrack here, performing their own songs from the film.  Chubby Checker, Gene McDaniels, Del Shannon and The Paris Sisters are also featured.  On the television side, Pop Goes the Easel features songs heard in The Avengers and The Prisoner.  This slipcased anthology also features early works from composers John Barry (“The Lolly Theme,” from The Amorous Prawn) and Lionel Bart (“Sparrows Can’t Sing,” from Joan Littlewood’s movie of the same name).

After the jump, we’ll dive into Bowler Hat and Leather Boots: Personalities Go Pop Art and Modernism and Bossa Nova.  Plus: full track listings and order links for all three titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 13, 2014 at 13:17

Feeling Good: Rare Albums From Henry Mancini, Anthony Newley Arrive From Vocalion

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Visions of EightThe U.K.’s Vocalion label is dedicated to exploring the corners of music catalogue too often overlooked by other labels: dance bands, big bands, “personalities,” “easy, light and Latin,” soundtracks, and classical titles, per its website.  A new batch of rare and new-to-CD titles (including “easy listening” releases from Peter Nero, Floyd Cramer, Paul Mauriat and George Melachrino) is highlighted by a two-fer containing two rare Henry Mancini LPs, and another two-fer drawn from Anthony Newley’s tenure at RCA Victor in which the consummate entertainer was teamed with arrangers like H.B. Barnum, Billy Strange, Peter Knight and future Bread leader David Gates.

Producers David L. Wolper and Stan Margulies’ 1973 documentary Visions of Eight enlisted eight different directors to “capture what the naked eye cannot see” at the August 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich, West Germany.  Milos Forman, John Schlesinger and Arthur Penn were among the film’s auteurs; each man selected his own crew and a subject on which to focus at the Games.  Forman took “The Decathlon,” Schlesinger covered marathoners in “The Longest,” and Penn filmed “The Highest” about pole vaulters.   French director Claude Lelouch’s The Losers depicted the pain of those athletes who didn’t take a medal home.  Mai Zetterling’s “The Strongest” focused on weightlifters, and Kon Ichikawa’s “The Fastest” concentrated on the men’s 100-meter dash, and so on. Hardly any of the films referred to the athletes by name, instead focusing on an artful, stylish interpretation of their accomplishments.

Tragically, the Games themselves were overshadowed by the Black September terrorist attacks (or the Munich massacre, as depicted in Steven Spielberg’s film Munich) on the Israeli Olympic team which left eleven Israeli athletes and coaches as well as a West German policeman dead.  Critics at the time of Visions’ release took note that only Schlesinger fully addressed the attacks in his film The Longest; most of the directors reportedly had concluded their location shooting by the time of the September 5 attack.  The Golden Globe-winning Visions was dedicated to “The Eleven Slain Israeli Athletes, Tragic Victims of the Violence of Our Times.”

The versatile Henry Mancini was called on to score Visions of Eight, unifying many of the sequences with his dramatic musical cues.  RCA Victor, the label to which Mancini was signed, issued a relatively brief soundtrack album, including one composition recorded especially for the LP, “Ludmilla’s Theme.”  Vocalion’s reissue marks its first appearance on CD since a 1999 BMG Spain edition which is long out-of-print.  Visions of Eight has been paired with a more unusual project of the great composer’s.   Just You and Me Together Love, recorded in San Francisco in 1977, teamed Mancini with the poet John Laws.  Once described as “Australia’s best-selling poet of the 1970s,” Laws might be described as the Rod McKuen of the Aussie set.  And Just You and Me Together Love could then be thought of as Laws and Mancini’s answer to McKuen and the Anita Kerr Singers’ The Sea.  In any event, Laws narrated, and Mancini provided a typically lush array of original melodies and arrangements to accompany Laws’ recited poems.  Vocalion’s reissue is the first CD appearance of this rare LP, making it essential for Mancini collectors.

After the jump: Vocalion offers a two-for-one release from Anthony Newley! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 6, 2014 at 09:45

The Year in Reissues: The 2012 Gold Bonus Disc Awards

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Gold CDWow!  Was it just over a year ago when a rather dubious report began circulating (that, shockingly, was picked up by many otherwise-reputable publications) that proclaimed the death of the CD was secretly scheduled by the major labels for 2012?  Well, 2012 has come and (almost) gone, and it might have been the most super-sized year in recent memory for reissues, deluxe and otherwise, from labels new and old.  Here at the Second Disc, we consider our annual Gold Bonus Disc Awards a companion piece to Mike’s own round-up over at Popdose, and we endeavor to recognize as many of the year’s most amazing reissues as possible – over 80 worthy, unique titles.  We also hope to celebrate those labels, producers and artists who have raised the bar for great music throughout 2012. As we’re literally deluged with news around these parts, these ladies and gentlemen prove, week after week, the strength and health of the catalogue corner of the music world.  We dedicate The Gold Bonus Disc Awards to them, and to you, the readers.  After all, your interest is ultimately what keeps great music of the past alive and well.

With that in mind, don’t forget to share your own thoughts and comments below. What made your must-have list in 2012? Without further ado, let’s celebrate 2012′s best of the best. Welcome to the Gold Bonus Disc Awards!

Which releases take home the gold this year? Hit the jump below to find out! Read the rest of this entry »

Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be: Archival Releases Set from Judy Garland, Anthony Newley, Lionel Bart

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Now that’s entertainment.  Thanks to the efforts of some dedicated reissue specialists in the U.K., some legendary artists – one performer (the performer?), one performing songwriter, and one songwriter – are soon receiving deluxe sets truly capturing an era gone by.  On October 9, Sepia Records will release The Genius of Lionel Bart, a 3-CD set authorized by the Lionel Bart Foundation consisting of hits, misses and everything in between from the Oliver! creator (including unreleased material intended for the James Bond film Thunderball and much, much more!).  On November 5, Stage Door Records will issue the final studio album of Anthony Newley as The Last Song, and finally, on November 12, First Hand Records will unveil Judy Garland’s The Amsterdam Concert – December 1960.

First Hand’s The Amsterdam Concert – December 1960 follows the label’s comprehensive The London Studio Recordings 1957-1964, released to acclaim just last year.  Garland’s concert at Amsterdam’s Tuschinski Theatre, at midnight on the evening of December 10, 1960, was broadcast live by Dutch radio network AVRO and has made numerous appearances on vinyl and CD in collectors’ circles, earning praise from many fans as one of the best representations of the live Judy Garland at her most electrifying, perhaps second only to Judy at Carnegie Hall.  For this “first authorized complete release,” AVRO’s original tapes have been licensed to First Hand, and the result is a lavish, 2-CD set.  Garland was accompanied that evening by David Lee on piano and Jos. Cleber’s Cosmopolitan Orchestra under the direction of Norrie Paramor.

The Amsterdam Concert is particularly illuminating, as it was recorded just four months prior to the historic Carnegie Hall evening of April 23, 1961, and features a nearly-identical set list.  First Hand’s release of the full broadcast includes all 30 songs as performed by Garland in Amsterdam, plus a bonus section of interviews with Garland, Sid Luft and conductor Paramor, an orchestral introduction and radio dialogue.  Garland’s rapport with the audience is evident on her spoken tracks, which have been indexed separately from the musical performances.  The discs will be housed in a jewel case, also containing a booklet with photographs of Garland onstage at the Tuschinski Theatre.

Judy Garland’s Amsterdam Concert arrives on November 12 in the U.K.  After the jump, we have the full track listing and a pre-order link, plus the scoop on Messrs. Bart and Newley! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 2, 2012 at 10:07

The People Tree: Anthony Newley, Leslie Bricusse and Hugo Friedhofer Classics Reissued by Kritzerland

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Barbarians, Man, God, The Devil… Kritzerland’s latest two reissues sure aren’t shying away from big subjects!  The label began accepting pre-orders today for one never-before-on-CD cast recording and one first-time soundtrack pairing.  Both titles are sure to send your temperatures rising!  Two Golden Age film scores from Hugo Friedhofer, a Kritzerland favorite, are brought together for the first time on one CD with The Barbarian and the Geisha/Violent Saturday, while the legendary team of Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse (Stop the World, I Want to Get Off, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) were the men behind 1972’s London musical The Good Old Bad Old Days.

The partnership of Anthony Newley and Leslie 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 the concert stage.  Newley and Bricusse followed Stop the World with The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd, another allegorical musical with a fantastic 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, 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 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 production for a tour followed by 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 covered a number of songs from the score, including “I Do Not Love You,” “Tomorrow” and “It’s a Musical World. “)

After the jump: more on The Good Old Bad Old Days, plus a Hugo Friedhofer double feature!  We’ve got track listings, pre-order links and discography! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 19, 2012 at 13:48