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Archive for the ‘Portsmouth Sinfonia’ Category

Real Gone Music Updates: Label Confirms Portsmouth Sinfonia Cancellation, Resolves Cat Mother Mastering Problem

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Portsmouth SinfoniaTomorrow, Real Gone Music releases what might be its most exciting batch of titles yet, with offerings from Dionne Warwick, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., Tonto’s Expanding Head Band, and George Clinton’s Parlet.   The line-up will be one title short, however, from that of the original announcement.  The scheduled reissue of Portsmouth Sinfonia’s Plays the Popular Classics has, according to the label’s Facebook page, been “canceled until further notice.”  On June 13, we described this release as follows:

“Last but not least comes what might be the oddest entry yet in Real Gone’s growing catalogue.  Portsmouth Sinfonia was the brainchild of composer Gavin Bryars, who wished to bring classical music to the masses – by involving the masses.  He seized upon the frankly unusual notion of forming an orchestra composed of non-musicians, or of musicians playing a totally unfamiliar instrument.  He then led that orchestra in renditions of well-known classical pieces despite the fact that most of the orchestra members couldn’t sight-read.  According to Real Gone, ‘the result was, ironically, hailed by some in the classical establishment as a profound exploration of the nature of music, as the trained musicians kept the orchestra more or less hewing close to the melody, while the untrained players’ earnest attempts to perform the compositions, and the resulting missed notes, formed atonal ‘clouds of sound’ with a bare suggestion of the piece.’  Others merely felt that Portsmouth Sinfonia was ‘the world’s worst orchestra.’ But something about Bryars’ vision caught on.  The group played a sold-out concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall, landed a recording contract, and caught the ear of one Brian Eno.  The ambient music innovator and soundscape creator extraordinaire produced Portsmouth Sinfonia’s 1974 debut Plays the Popular Classics, and even joined the aggregation to play clarinet!  Real Gone’s reissue is the first-ever rediscovery of this offbeat album, and includes new liner notes from Tom Pickles in addition to the original notes by Eno and conductor John Farley.  Fans of The Langley Schools Music Project or even The Shaggs might want to check this out…chances are you’ve never heard another album quite like this one!”

On Thursday, July 25, Real Gone shared about the cancellation, “Sorry for the disappointment…we’re disappointed, too!”  One day later, the label added, “One more note on the Portsmouth Sinfonia title — When we have any further news about the release we will let you know, In the interim, you can get in touch with the orchestra through their website.”  We urge you to do the same: if you would like to see Real Gone bring its reissue plans to fruition, let Portsmouth Sinfonia know!

After the jump: Real Gone addresses – and resolves – a recent audio problem with Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys’ Albion Doo Wah!  If you purchased this title, you’ll definitely want to read on! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 29, 2013 at 10:06

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., P-Funk Offshoot Parlet and More Join Dionne Warwick on Real Gone’s July Slate

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Marilyn and BillyThe July slate for Real Gone Music has been announced, and things are really heating up!  We’ve already filled you in at length about the pair of anthologies coming your way from Dionne Warwick, We Need To Go Back: The Unissued Warner Bros. Masters and The Complete Warner Bros. Singles, two of the most ambitious releases yet from the prolific label.  But that’s not all.  Real Gone is completing their July 30 release schedule with a pair of long-awaited titles from Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., another pair from George Clinton’s Parlet, and two truly outré gems from Tonto’s Expanding Head Band (!) and the Brian Eno-produced Portsmouth Sinfonia.

Real Gone is heading into another Dimension for another pair of reissues – the 5th Dimension, to be exact.  When Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. departed the “champagne soul” vocal group to pursue success as a husband-and-wife recording career, they were quickly rewarded with the success of “You Don’t Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show).”  The song written by James Dean and John Glover, from their I Hope We Get to Love in Time LP, reached No. 1 on both the Pop and R&B charts, winning them a Grammy Award and going Top 10 in the U.K., as well.  But while I Hope We Get to Love in Time has been reissued on CD twice – once by Razor & Tie and once by Collectors’ Choice Music – its two follow-ups have languished on vinyl.  Real Gone is bringing – at last! – The Two of Us (1977) and Marilyn and Billy (1978) to CD for the very first time.  The former has been expanded with the non-LP singles “I’m So Glad I Found You” and “There’s Got to Be a Happy Ending,” as well as with Billy Davis’s solo singles “Light a Candle” and “Three Steps from True Love.”  One bonus track adorns Marilyn and Billy, the extended 12-inch mix of “Shine On Silver Moon.”  Mike Ragogna provides new liner notes for both reissues, and both albums have been remastered at Battery Studios.  Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. remain partners in marriage and music today, and these albums find them in their pop-soul vocal prime.

Hit the jump to dive into the rest of the Real Gone schedule, including pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »