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Archive for the ‘Paul Korda’ Category

RPM Rescues “The Sixties Sounds of Tim Andrews” On New Anthology

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Tim Andrews - SuburbiaWill the real Chris Andrews please stand up?

Well, that’s easier said than done.  Singer/songwriter Chris Andrews is known for penning hits such as Sandie Shaw’s “Girl Don’t Come” and “Long Live Love,” but there’s another Chris Andrews who rose to prominence during the same era – and also did so in Swingin’ London.  This man of the same name recorded with The Gremlins and The Fleur de Lys, and sang the lead on the 1967 hit U.K. single “Reflections of Charles Brown,” issued under the name of Rupert’s People.  This “other” Chris Andrews is the subject of RPM’s Something About Suburbia, credited to Tim Andrews – the name he took on to avoid confusion with his contemporary.   (Wikipedia – among other online sources – is still mixed up, crediting the Sandie Shaw-associated Chris with the Tim Andrews recordings.)  This 16-track anthology brings together a number of singles released under the Tim Andrews name, as well as tracks from The Gremlins, The Fleur de Lys and Rupert’s People.

Reissue co-producer Stefan Granados tells the whole Chris/Tim Andrews story in the liner notes of Something About Suburbia.  Andrews, born in London, entered show business at an early age, replacing a certain David Jones as the Artful Dodger in the London production of Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver! and eventually appearing in the American touring company, as well.  When Andrews returned to London in late 1965, he joined the Spencer Davis Group-esque band The Gremlins, represented here with their 1966 garage-style rendition of that band’s “High Time Baby.”  It was childhood friend Phil Sawyer – a future member of the Spencer Davis Group, in fact – who enlisted Andrews into the Fleur de Lys.  With Sawyer, he co-wrote the energetic, snarling “Mud in Your Eye,” but it soon, Sawyer departed the band ranks to join Shotgun Express.  (Trivia fans, take note: Rod Stewart is another alumnus of Shotgun Express.)

Andrews stayed onboard, recording the psychedelic Columbia single “Reflections of Charles Brown” b/w “Hold On” as a side project with members of Fleur de Lys for producer Howard Conder.  “Reflections,” however, was quickly recognized as being rather derivative of Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” so the decision was made to release it under the pseudonym of Rupert’s People.  (“Whiter Shade” was released in May 1967 and charted the following month; “Reflections” also arrived that summer.  It’s been mooted that “Reflections” may have been recorded earlier than the Procol Harum song, but “Whiter Shade” was released first, causing the trouble.)  The single was a minor hit, charting in Australia and receiving frequent play on pirate radio, but its success backfired on the Fleur de Lys.  Soon, Conder was recruiting another band to perform as Rupert’s People.  Andrews reveals to Granados that the situation “in a sense, broke the band up in a way.”  Both sides of Columbia DB 8226 are included here.

You’ll find the rest of the story after the jump, including the full track listing with discography and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 26, 2013 at 13:48

Don’t Pass Him By: Get Acquainted With Paul Korda’s “Passing Stranger”

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If you don’t know the name of Paul Korda, you might have reason to be grateful that the compilers at RPM Records do!  Korda’s story is one dotted with familiar personages: P.P. Arnold, Roger Daltrey, Chris Spedding, Madeline Bell, Doris Troy, Andrew Loog Oldham, Onnie McIntyre and Alan Gorrie (Average White Band), Vic Smith (The Jam) on the musical side, Cat Stevens and even Johnny Depp on the personal side.  Korda’s career has taken him from the original West End cast of Hair (alongside Paul Nicholas and Marsha Hunt) to the silver screen in the first two Pirates of the Caribbean films, but a lasting legacy has been his 1971 debut album Passing Stranger.  Originally released on Gordon Mills’ MAM label, also the home of Gilbert O’Sullivan, the album was well-received upon its release but has languished ever since, with only a Japanese release in the CD era.  Thankfully, RPM has remedied that with its new, expanded reissue of Passing Stranger.

Paul Korda’s musical apprenticeship was a diverse one, including stints as a singer for the U.K. Columbia label, a producer at Fontana and Parlophone/EMI, and a staff songwriter for Immediate Records, the label owned by Rolling Stones impresario Andrew Loog Oldham.  A detour into musical theatre led to a success with Hair, but songwriting still called to Korda.  After forming the fusion-rock group Dada (with Elkie Brooks among its members) and recording with Dada for Atco, Korda signed with MAM and decamped at London’s Olympic Studios to record the album that became Passing Stranger.

The backing vocals of Doris Troy and Madeline Bell (both established vocalists in their own right and also famed for their contributions to Rolling Stones records) add mightily to the leadoff single, “Between the Road.”  The presence of Troy, Bell and Nanette Newman give the song a distinctly soulful vibe, and Korda’s full-throttle attack led the NME to favorably compare it to the music of Hair, and his more aggressive side also comes out on the rocking “To Love a Woman” and the raw “Into Your Station.”  On the other end of the spectrum, ballads like “Morning Wakes the Sun” and folk/rock songs like “Ode to the Ministry” recall the best of Cat Stevens, a friend of Korda’s.  There’s even a Beatlesque lilt to “Pass Me Winter” and a gentle, melodic “We Are Each Other” that’s not too far off from the singer/songwriter style of James Taylor.  Chris Spedding, Onnie McIntyre, Alan Gorrie, Andy Roberts and Ray Russell all perform on the album, recorded by co-producers Korda and Vic Smith.

What extras are included on Passing Stranger?  Hit the jump for that info, and more! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 26, 2012 at 12:02

Posted in News, Paul Korda, Reissues