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Within My World: Dave Clark’s “Time” Reissued, Features Freddie Mercury, Dionne Warwick, Julian Lennon, Cliff Richard, More

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Today, London’s Dominion Theatre is home to We Will Rock You, a tongue-in-cheek “jukebox musical” featuring the music of Queen.  That show is currently celebrating its 10th year at the Dominion, but even before the “Bohemian Rhapsody” chaps came to town, the Dominion was no stranger to mega-musicals from rock stars.  In 1986, Dave Clark of the Dave Clark Five put his name above the title of a lavish spectacle called Time.  Clark collaborated on the musical’s book and lyrics with David Soames; the music was provided by Jeff Daniels (not the actor of the same name).  Clark was also credited with “creating and devising” the elaborate stage production.  The April 1986 debut of the musical starred Cliff Richard as The Rock Star, and Sir Laurence Olivier, the latter appearing as a pre-filmed holographic giant head (!) named Akash.  Arlene Phillips (Starlight Express) contributed choreography along with director Larry Fuller (Evita, Merrily We Roll Along), and John Napier (Sunset Boulevard, Les Miserables) designed the massive production.

Time never received an original London Cast Recording, however, with Clark opting instead to release the show’s score as a star-filled, two-LP concept album prior to the London opening.  Cliff Richard, of course, was enlisted to perform on the album, along with a “Who’s Who” of pop, rock and soul including Freddie Mercury, Stevie Wonder, Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, Leo Sayer, Julian Lennon and the recently-reunited team of Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach.  Olivier appeared on the Time album, as well.  Close your eyes and picture the great actor intoning dialogue such as this:

Stand before me on the Sign of Infinity, all you of the Earth. With the granting of “The Law of Probenation” comes the application of change. I will give you the key. And with this knowledge, please realize, comes the responsibility of sharing it. I will show you the way: (It’s very simple). Throughout the Universe there is order: in the movement of the plane, in nature, and in the functioning of the human mind. A mind at is in its natural state of order is in harmony with the Universe, and such a mind is timeless. Your life is an expression of your mind. You are a creator of your own Universe, for as a human being you are “free to will” whatever state of being you desire through the use of your thoughts and words.  There is great Power there.  It can be a blessing or a curse…

Dave Clark has apparently never been comfortable with the compact disc, having refused nearly every offer to bring his storied DC5 catalogue to the format over the years.  A mere handful of official releases have materialized including Hollywood Records’ 1993 double-CD anthology The History of the Dave Clark Five, EMI U.K.’s shorter counterpart Glad All Over Again, and Universal’s 2010 The Hits.  He’s been more forthcoming with releases on iTunes, and now, the starry studio cast recording of Time is once more available.  For its belated 25th anniversary, Time has joined the DC5 catalogue as available from that digital music provider.

There’s more in Time after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Release Round-Up: Week of July 5

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Erasure, Wonderland / The Circus: Deluxe Editions (EMI)

Vince Clarke and Andy Bell’s first two albums, expanded with bonus B-sides and remixes across two CDs and DVDs full of live footage. (Official site)

Jim Capaldi, Dear Mr. Fantasy: The Jim Capaldi Story (Universal U.K.)

The late Traffic legend is memorialized in a four-disc box set. (Official site)

Paul McCartney, Driving Rain (MPL/Concord)

Another Macca remaster, this one of Paul’s 2001 album. No frills, but I imagine “Freedom” will get officially included on the track list. (Official site)

Ashford and Simpson, High Rise: Expanded Edition / Switch, Am I Still Your Boyfriend? Expanded Edition / The Pointer Sisters, Hot Together: Expanded Edition / Yarbrough & Peoples, Guilty: Expanded Edition / Prime Time, Flying High: Expanded Edition (Big Break)

A new brace of titles from Big Break Records, with the usual non-LP remixes and B-sides rounding out the albums. There’s more coming from BBR this month; keep your eyes peeled for a round-up post pretty soon. (Big Break)

Various Artists, The London American Label, Year By Year – 1958 (Ace)

Ace’s latest volume in the London American series, which honors one of the U.K.’s most beloved U.S. import labels, includes hits from Chuck Berry, Bobby Darin, Carl Perkins, Eddie Cochran and The Chipmunks! (Official site)

Written by Mike Duquette

July 5, 2011 at 17:24

Big Break Delivers Big Slate of Soul Classics in March

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Our friends at the U.K.-based Big Break label haven’t given much thought lately to a break! A recently-announced slate of March releases bring the label’s total catalogue to nearly 50 titles since its inception in 2009, and covers a wide and diverse swath of soulful artists. Some are returning to the label (The Pointer Sisters, Deniece Williams, Billy Ocean) and others are making their label debuts (Dennis Edwards, Ashford and Simpson, The Originals).

Deniece Williams is recipient of her third Big Break reissue. My Melody was her 1981 triumph co-produced by Thom Bell, who also contributed as a writer, arranger and conductor. Bell, an architect of the Philadelphia sound, brought out the best in Williams, and My Melody spawned the hit single “What Two Can Do” and the lush “Silly,” now one of the songs most associated with the singer. My Melody will feature two bonus tracks, the single versions of “Silly” and “It’s Your Conscience.” The Pointer Sisters also receive their third Big Break release. Contact was the group’s first record for the RCA label after their successful tenure on Richard Perry’s Planet label; Special Things and So Excited, both for Planet, were BBR’s first two releases from the Pointers. 1985’s Contact was also produced by Perry, and went platinum. “Dare Me” charted on the R&B and Pop charts in addition to placing atop the Dance chart, while “Freedom” and “Twist My Arm” also had impressive placings. Contact also features songwriting contributions from 1980s chart-toppers Mr. Mister. Contact boasts an incredible nine bonus tracks, including B-sides, dance mixes and single versions.

Billy Ocean returns to BBR with 1982’s Inner Feelings from the Epic label. Nigel Martinez brought his production skills to the table, and Inner Feelings paved the way for his hugely-successful hits like “Caribbean Queen” and “When the Going Gets Tough.” Inner Feelings will include two single versions and one 12″ dance remix. Also from 1982 is Ashford and Simpson’s Capitol Records debut, Street Opera. Written and produced by the famous hitmaking team, Street Opera scored with R&B hit “Street Corner.” That song is included among the bonus tracks in both single and dance versions, with the ballad “Love It Away” also included in its single version.

While Ashford and Simpson spent many of their early years at the Motor City’s biggest label, Big Break’s next two releases actually hail from the famed Motown library. Dennis Edwards’ Don’t Look Any Further (1984) was produced by Dennis Lambert, who ironically gave The Four Tops their biggest non-Motown hits with songs like “Ain’t No Woman (Like the One I’ve Got).” The former Temptation and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” vocalist duetted with Siedah Garrett (duet partner on Michael Jackson’s “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”) and enjoyed the vocal support of Paulette Williams, formerly of Rufus, on this long-lost LP. Four bonus tracks have been added, including both the U.S. and U.K. 12″ mixes of the title track. The Originals’ California Sunset has an even more legendary pedigree, as the 1975 LP was produced by Lamont Dozier, who arranged its tracks with Jimmie Haskell and Paul Riser. This smooth soul classic has been expanded by one bonus cut, the single version of “Good Lovin’ is Just a Dime Away.”

All titles are due in the U.K. in March. Hit the jump for the full track listings, pre-order links and discographical information! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 18, 2011 at 08:36