About the time the first part of this century was slipping into the second, a distinctive new orchestral sound was in the process of turning the music world on. A veritable cascade of strings. Not just strings, though. STRINGS! A 46-piece ensemble weaving through and enhancing the sonics of the regular orchestra.
Familiar standards were given a startling new quality. All-time favorites were regally packaged in lush arrangements. It was music for doing things—for dining, for reading, for relaxing, for listening to Kern and Porter and Rodgers & Hart and Dietz & Schwartz by. The well-known melodies, part of our popular musical heritage, were being reintroduced and were being heard as if for the first time.
The man behind all those strings—or, in this case, in front of them—was George Melachrino. Composer. Conductor. Arranger. His enticing, provocative, romantic, impeccable musical charts became the trademark of The Melachrino Strings. And those three words together comprised the first name in mood music, setting the standard for the instrumentalists who followed during the ’50s and ’60s.
YOU AND THE NIGHT AND THE MUSIC provides a diverse account of the creative orchestrations unique to George Melachrino. The spectrum of this collection encompasses the music of the Broadway stage, the world of films and the just plain enduring standards, all from the giants of songwriting.
It once was suggested that words are not entirely necessary to enjoy the mood(s) set by The Melachrino Strings and Orchestra. For, as Melachrino furnished the music, expert accompaniment as it were, the listener automatically—perhaps subconsciously—supplies the lyrics. Try only listening to the lovely Melachrino interpretations of Blue Moon or Fascination or Stairway to the Stars without reciting, even silently, the poetic lyrics. You’ll discover in quick order why these melodies and Melachrino’s orchestral magic mesh so well into one musical tapestry.
Many opera choruses have become popular in the best sense of the word: removed from the context of the action of an opera, they show their full richness in colours and atmosphere, and demonstrate how much stirring power composers invested in theiropera choruses.
Wagner is a central figure in this respect. The decisive inspiration for his Sailors’ Chorus came to him during a stormy voyage from Riga to London — incidentally, while fleeing from his creditors. The decorative Mastersingers’ Chorus has a similar graphic force, even without scenery and opera house: the music of a distinguished bourgeois society on the fairground outside the gates of the city of Nuremberg. In contrast, the “Entry of the Guests” from “Tannhauser” takes place in a courtly world, and Wagner manages to make even this sphere of society ring. His famous “Bridal Chorus” finally is a work of great tenderness and urgency.
Wagner has his great predecessors — here in Mozart’s solemn chorus of the Sarastro priests, and in Beethoven’s Prisoners’ Chorus, or even in Weber’s woodland romance of the hale and hearty Hunters’ Chorus, and he has his great Italian contemporary —Verdi.
Verdi always gave the choruses in his operas the most rewarding tasks. For example, what would “II Trovatore” be without the Gypsies’ Chorus of the Soldiers’ Chorus? Even the ceremonial climax of the glorious “Aida” would be unthinkable without the jubilant cries of victory of the Egyptians’ Chorus. Or its oppressive opposite: the heartrending Prisoners’ Chorus from “Nabucco” in which the fate of the defeated and humiliated is expressed so movingly.
As most pop fans know our Hallmark “Top of the Pops” albums, issued every six or eight weeks, are consistently the best selling records of their kind in the world.
Each issue of “Top of the Pops” sells, not in thousands, but in hundreds of thousands; and, such is the outstanding success of these records, we decided in 1969 to introduce a “Best of Top of the Pops”, containing the thirteen best tunes from “Top of the Pops” issued during the year.
This was a runaway success and so were the subsequent issues; and all you pop enthusiasts supported us wonderfully.
We are thus encouraged to produce yet another “BEST OF” this year and again we have gone to enormous trouble to serve up on this album a superb selection of 13 hit tunes of the year, all of which have been featured at No. 1.
You’ll swing to these rhythms made famous during the year by the greatest artistes in show business. We sincerely think some of our versions are even better than the originals! Try it.
NOW HERE’S A BIG FREE BONUS FOR YOU ALL. INSIDE IS A SUPER, EXTRA BIG (ALMOST 3 feet x 2 feet), PIN-UP POSTER CALENDAR FOR 1973, IN SUPERB, FULL COLOUR!
We think we have produced a winner. There’s rhythm and beat and wonderful sound on the record to set your feet tapping; and there’s a gorgeous gal on our poster calendar to titillate your eyes.
We’ve done our very best. We KNOW you will do your best to make this big value release an all-time winner.
Love, they say, makes the world go round. The very same thing is often said of music, too. What could be more natural, then, than a happy combination of the two ? Here, with the ubiquitous James Last and his fine orchestra performing twelve excellent love songs, one could say that the world has never had it so good. Love, of course, has many faces and in this well-spiced selection James Last seems to have covered most of them musically.
The melodic grace of Time After Time – a long-time favourite written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn for the 1946 Sinatra musical film It Happened In Brooklyn—makes a fitting start to the programme. This is followed by James Last’s own hit composition of twenty years later, Games That Lovers Play – a song that brings a mature and pleasantly original twist to the adolescent taunting-and-teasing side of love. This song has been recorded by many artists all over the world but to hear the composer’s own version makes this an especially interesting track.
One of the cinema’s great love scenes provided the background for the clever merging of Moonglow and the theme from Picnic. While scoring the music for this fine 1955 film, composer George Duning was looking for a way to complement and intensify a dance sequence in which the leading characters—played by William Holden and Kim Novak—discover their love for each other. He hit on the idea of using the jazz standard Moonglow (which was composed in 1934 by Will Hudson Eddie de Lange and Irving Mills) and combining it with his own theme as an obligato for strings. The effect was not only dramatically stunning it also resulted in a multi-million selling single. It is also interesting to note, nearly twenty years later, that the song Moonglow is hardly ever played without Duning’s fine Picnic theme in attendance. On this occasion James Last offers a richly scored treatment of the famous musical tandem which moves at a slightly faster tempo than usual.
The first side of this disc is completed by two emotionally contrasting pieces—the exotic romanticism of Passion Flower and the impending disillusionment of You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’. The latter song was written in 1964 by record producer Phil Spector and the husband and wife team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weill. It was recorded by the Righteous Brothers and subsequently became one of the biggest pop hits of the sixties.
Side two opens with the Academy Award-winning film song of 1953 Secret Love. Introduced by the irrepressible Doris Day in the musical Calamity Jane, it provided Doris with her fifth million-seller. In this version James Last has arranged the song in a very appealing way paying full regard to Sammy Fain’s superb melody. A somewhat more contemporary atmosphere is engendered by Last’s fine interpretation of Bob Dylan’s Mr. Tambourine Man, and this adds a pleasant touch of variety to the proceedings. Tambourine, of course, was a strong hit in 1965 for that popular group, The Byrds. The contemporary flavour continues simmering in Help Me Girl, before Last returns to the super-romantic swing of Close Your Eyes, a fine and well-loved standard which is usually associated with Tony Bennett who made a very successful recording of it back in the 1950’s.
One of the best known songs of the sixties Bart Howard’s elegant Fly Me To The Moon (sometimes known as In Other Words) makes an ideal vehicle for the arranging talents of James Last who, in this treatment, brings out all the lively elements of romantic fantasy implied by the title. Finally, having run the musical gamut of emotions connected with this crazy thing called love, James Last and his fine musical organisation strike a joyously optimistic note for the finale with their version of the recent Andy Williams hit Happy Heart.
If it is true to say that both love and music make the world go round, then it is a pretty safe bet that the world of James Last will continue spinning for many years to come … at the agreeably romantic speed of 33 1⁄3 r.p.m., of course.
BACK OFF BOOGALOO SON OF MY FATHER COME WHAT MAY STORM IN A TEACUP JUNGLE FEVER BLUES FOR RED COULD IT BE FOREVER RAINDANCE BLUES FRANKIE AND JOHNNY SONG SUNG BLUE
What could be better for swinging party sounds than a programme of familiar hits played by Big Jim ‘H’ and his Men of Rhythm. All the ‘Let’s Dance’ mood in the exciting pulse of the original hits dressed in the sparkling Hammond Organ colours of the keys and pedals of Big Jim ‘H’. One of Americas first organ players with big band and rhythm sections.
Love Theme From ‘ The Godfather ‘, Song Sung Blue, Where Is The Love, The Happiest Girl In The Whole U.S.A., The Candy Man, Because, Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast, Day By Day, Run To Me, Too Young, Brandy, Alone Again (Naturally)
As a recipe for a romantic and relaxed atmosphere, candelight or easy listening with a bright sparkle of rhythm and magic for dancing, this album by the Maggie Eaves Singers backed by the Alan Caddy Orchestra conjures up just the right musical mixture for that easy living for which we all yearn.
The group although perhaps not yet as well known as they should be, have been recording steadfastly for three years now and can be justifiably proud of this their latest release. Consisting of four girls and four boys they blend beautifully together to produce a harmony of sound which is the envy of many choral groups today.
The album conceived from an idea by Maggie took three months to complete. It is produced by Alan Caddy and supports a programme, with a light-hearted touch here and there, of well known hit numbers, arranged in a distinctive style by Cy Payne and Maggie Eaves. One cannot fail to be impressed by the choice of song titles and the professionalism with which each number is performed. I am somewhat amazed at the fullness of sound that the group achieves and on several tracks it seems that a whole choir is in support.
Nowadays in many homes, with strong competition from television the record player takes second place. For a change, and some will say for the better, turn down the lights a bit, sit back and let the artists on this album transport you to a different world, one in which the orchestra and singers become one live personality and the variety of rhythm and changes of mood keep you alert to the exciting musical atmosphere that is created.
If there was a formula for success in producing any record Maggie’s Mixture surety has the ingredients that go to make an album very much to the public taste. Of all the good tracks on the record the two which stand out for special commendation, in my opinion are “With A Little Help From My Friends” a well chosen Beetle song which really swings along whilst expressing Maggie’s own sentiments on the importance of teamwork and friendly co-operation to produce the perfect blend of voices.
The second “Recado Bossa Nova” because it stands out as a good example of Latin American music with both outstanding rhythm and melody and is just begging for this type of treatment. Sung with split second precision and in perfect unison with the orchestra, this now familiar number takes on a new and exciting importance.
In total an excellent record guaranteed to give you many enjoyable listening hours and wonderful value for a low priced album. I take my hat off to the whole team.
MUSIC ARRANGED AND DIRECTED BY CY PAYNE
Wondering what Maggie eaves and Alan Caddy sound like? Try this jaunty version of the Beatles’ classic.
The Bert Kaempfert Orchestra has been almost solely responsible for proving to the world that music in Germany is not all polkas and marches. When their arrangements first penetrated into the rest of Europe and the world, all enthusiasts of this kind of music had to admire the precision and disciplined punch of an orchestra that heralded a resurgence of big band pop everywhere their music was heard.
The Oscar Brandt Orchestra is strictly a recording amalgamation only. It is made up of top European musicians who are themselves great admirers of Bert Kaempfert and who fully appreciate just what their whole profession has gained through his work. This is their tribute to Bert Kaempfert—band-leader, arranger and composer.
Here is a group who have become internationally famous by their style of singing. We have recreated as close as possible to their original style. We feel their interpretation of the famous Lennon and McCartney song (Ticket to Ride) is truly great, also the chart success “Superstar”. We think that the “Session Singers” who were engaged for the production of this album have truly paid tribute to the (Carpenters).
When Ray McVay extends a cordial invitation to ‘Come Dancing’ then the scene is set for polished, musical entertainment that everyone can enjoy and appreciate.
The formula, so far as Ray is concerned, is to mix his own musical expertise gathered over years of working on television, radio and at plush functions, with some of the great song standards of our time. It’s a formula that has provided this Scots-born bandleader with a host of impressive bookings, not the least of which are the number of occasions when Ray and his Orchestra have supplied dance music to events involving the Royal Family. It was the Ray McVay Orchestra that played at the Inauguration Ball following the Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales at Caernarvon and he was also wielding the baton at the Ball of Monaco for Princess Grace and Prince Rainier.
Glittering ballrooms aside Ray has also accompanied star names like Tom Jones, Cilia Black, Paul Anka and Paul McCartney, so the scope of his music and his talents reaches into just about every area of show business.
“Come Dancing” is the kind of album that keeps Ray McVay such an in-demand bandleader because it’s an entertaining mixture of waltzes, fox-trots, quickstep, tango and a foot-tapping jive. Ray believes that if music is happy then it’s good and while he’s providing it the result is always better than good, it becomes the happiest sound around.