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Music Reviews

Popular Music CDs - Part 7 - August, 1998


Graham Vine

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"Come Into My Music Box"

Paul Jones

RPM; RPM-183

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Paul Jones, of Manfred Mann fame, has released a set of songs on CD from the era shortly after he left that '60s band. The collection is called "Come Into My Music Box", and it's based upon an LP of the same name released in 1969. But there's more - much more - and for those who appreciate Paul's artistic skill and versatility, this is a revelation.

We now know of Paul's deep interest in Blues as well as Rhythm & Blues, but back in 1969 he was that cute singer who struck out on his own. He had significant hits of course, notably "High Time" and "I've Been a Bad Bad Boy", which are not on "Come Into My Music box". The tracks we can recognize immediatley are his take on the likes of "The Weight", "How Sweet It Is" and Dylan's "Wheels On Fire". There are several other covers which Paul's treatment does full justice to. Some of his excellent harmonica playing is showcased along with eight of his self-penned numbers.

The musical style ranges from psychedelic to pop to RnB to rock. Paul never seems to be wrong-footed by the variety. I for one am grateful to RPM records for letting me share in this exploration of an interesting chapter in the development of Paul Jones.

For reference, full track-listing:

1 Come Into My Music Box
2 The Weight
3 Tell It Like It Is
4 Baby Now That I've Found You
5 The Float
6 Celeste
7 It's Getting Better
8 Pick Up In The Morning
9 How Sweet It Is
10 The Committee
11 Homburg
12 I'm Here To Nudge Your Mind
13 Wheels On Fire
14 I'm A Young Boy
15 And The Sun Will Shine
16 The Dog Presides
17 When I Was Six Years Old
18 You Have No Idea
19 My Advice To You
20 I Don't Believe You
21 Aquarius
22 Pisces
23 Not Before Time
24 Shake A Hand
25 Cat's Eyes

- GV -

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"50 Minute Technicolor Dream"

Tomorrow

RPM; RPM-184

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Flower-power, psychedelia, the summer of love. That's the back-drop to the oh-too-short career of pop group Tomorrow. The promise was all there, though. Billing with Hendrix, The Soft Machine, Pink Floyd, The Move, and The Who. Star vocallist Keith West of "Excerpt from a Teenage Opera" fame. Showcased on Top Gear with Peel and Brian Matthew.

So why a new CD review on Tomorrow's old material? Well, "50 Minute Technicolour Dream" is a new compilation made up from studio sessions, live recordings, and other recently-discovered tracks from the band. Their best known track, "My White Bicycle" is there, though unfortunately, the fidelity of this live recording is not particularly high. The BBC recorded tracks are, however, superb in quality.

The songs are very much of the era. Plenty of Wah-wah and flanging. If you hanker for just a little more of the late '60s music there's nostalgia and excitement together in this new RPM album. Their version of "Strawberry
Fields Forever" is a real bonus.

For reference, full track listing:

1. Am I Glad To See You
2. Blow Up
3. Caught In A Web
4. Revolution
5. Why
6. Real Life Permanent Dream
7. Three Jolly Little Dwarfs
8. Revolution
9. Caught In A Web (live)
10. Shotgun & The Duck (live)
11. My White Bicycle (live)
12. Real Life Permanent Dream (live)
13. Revolution (live)
14. Why (live)
15. Mr Rainbow (live)
16. Strawberry Fields Forever (live)

- GV -

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"Stiff Upper Lips"

Various Artists

EMI; EMI 7243-4-95529-2-0

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The film "Stiff Upper Lips" must be great fun! At least, judging by the soundtrack album and the wit which has gone into its production. There are 25 tracks in all - mostly classical - and they are linked together by extracts of dialogue from the film itself. A little protest from Hudson, the butler; a cry for freedom from the young heroine, a lesson on how to treat foreign servants (that places it decades ago…), and a father and son discussion on the immutable British Class System (so does that!). My favorite is:

"Do you make an effort to be stupid or does it come naturally?"
. . . . pause . . . .
"Are those the only two choices?"
"Shut up, please shut up, I'm begging you"

The music includes the beautiful "Cavalleria Rusticana" by Mascagni and Mahler's "Adagietto" from Symphony No. 5. Even the music has fun items like the "William Tell Overture" and an Indian-style rendition of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons".

The album works on two levels for me. It's a good listen and it makes you want to see the film. Can't be bad.

For reference, full track-listing:

1 The Race
2 Rossini - La Danza
3 Aunt Agnes With The Withering Look
4 The Drive
5 Dear Diary
6 Hudson's Frustrations; Rachmaninov - Piano Concerto No. 2 - Moderato (Excerpt)
7 The Maze
8 Room Without A View: Mascagni - Cavalleria Rusticana, Intermezzo
9 The Fountain
10 Rossini - Thieving Magpie Overture (Excerpt)
11 Lullaby
12 The Kiss: Puccini - O Mio Babbino Caro from Gianni Schicchi
13 Love Letters
14 On The Lido: Mahler - Adagietto from Symphony No. 5 (Excerpt)
15 Scumma De Terra
16 Fisticuffs
17 Vivaldi Four Seasons - Indian style
18 The Raj: Handel - Water Music Suite No. 2 - Alla Horpipe
19 Emily's New Vocation: What A Friend We Have In Jesus
20 Mascagni - Cavalleria Rusticana, Preludio
21 The Search For Emily
22 Puccini - Tosca, Mario Cavaradossi?... A Voi (Excerpt)
23 The Escape: Rossini - La Danza
24 A Frightful Nightmare: English Country Garden
25 Rossini - William Tell (Excerpt)

- GV -

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