The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for the ‘Cliff Richard’ Category

In The Shadow of The Shadows: Songwriter Jerry Lordan Remembered on “All My Own Work”

leave a comment »

Just who the heck was Jerry Lordan anyway?

The English singer, songwriter, actor and comedian (1934-1995) provided hit records for Dale Hawkins, Anthony Newley, The Shadows and Jet Harris, but Lordan has never gotten his due in the CD era.  Because most of his work came in the pre-Beatles era of British pop, too many of Jerry Lordan’s songs are all but forgotten.  RPM Records, an imprint of Cherry Red, has come to right that wrong with the comprehensive All My Own Work, combining Lordan’s 1961 album of the same name with fourteen more tracks.  The new, expanded All My Own Work paints a definitive portrait of Lordan, the singer/songwriter.

Jerry Lordan recorded All My Own Work in 1961 for the Parlophone label, with orchestral accompaniment by Matt Monro’s frequent collaborator, Johnnie Spence.  By the time of the album’s recording, he was already a proven hitmaker.  One of his very first songs, “A House, A Car and a Wedding Ring,” didn’t chart in a Decca U.K. version recorded by Mike Preston, but across the pond, rockabilly hero Dale Hawkins did well with it.  Soon, Anthony Newley took “I’ve Waited So Long” to No. 3 in the U.K., and Lordan was working with future superstar film composer John Barry on “Starfire,” which appeared on Barry’s Stringbeat album.  Lordan was signed as an artist to Parlophone in 1959, working not only with Spence but with Ron Goodwin and George Martin.  A little song called “Apache,” however, would eclipse Lordan’s solo output.

While touring with Cliff Richard and the Shadows, Lordan played the Shadows his guitar instrumental “Apache,” previously recorded (but not released) by Bert Weedon.   The Shadows recorded and quickly released their version, which shot to No. 1 on the British charts.  It remained there for five weeks, selling over a million records and displacing Cliff Richard’s own “Please, Don’t Tease” from the top slot.  “Apache” received a hit cover version in the U.S. from Jorgen Ingmann (No. 2!) and Weedon even scored a minor hit with his version.  Lordan chose to concentrate on songwriting rather than performing, and the Shadows’ later, Lordan-penned “Wonderful Land” even eclipsed “Apache,” remaining at No. 1 in the U.K. for eight weeks.  It remains the biggest-selling rock instrumental of all time in Great Britain.  He went on to write for The Shadows (1965’s vocal hit “Mary Anne”), Cliff (“A Girl Like You”), other Shadows alumni Jet Harris and Tony Meehan (“Diamonds”) and Hank B. Marvin, as well as for Shane Fenton and Louise Cordet.  He collaborated with the hitmaking team of Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway, and even recorded an album arranged and supervised by George Martin, 1970’s The Old Man and the Sea.  The album was not a hit, and much of the 1970s was a dark period.  Lordan returned to songwriting the following decade, and lived long enough to hear The Shadows still performing his songs nightly when the group returned to regular touring.  Lordan died in 1995.

What will you find on this packed new reissue?  Hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 16, 2012 at 15:28

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

with 2 comments

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 »