International Hits Orchestra – Lightly Latin

Sleeve Notes:

As you tuck into your Chili con Carne, and the tang of Mexican spices tickles your tongue, you sip your sparkling Spanish wine and reflect —the flavour is perfect, your companion delightful —but surely an element is missing, the masterstroke that will conjure up the very spirit of the amorous South.

The candlelight flickers in your partner’s eyes as you rise, and crossing the room you lower the stylus deftly onto the solution to your problems—lightly Latin’, a stereo feast of musical delicacies from the Latin lands.

You glow as the International Hits Orchestra bring all their glittering but gentle finesse to Tijuana favourites such as ‘Spanish Flea’ and ‘The Lonely Bull’, you vibrate to the funky bass guitar of ‘Southern Festival’ and tremble to the beguiling percussion of ‘Cast Your Fate to the Wind’; you tingle to the Mariachi trumpets of ‘Lisboa Antigua’ and bask in the beauty of ‘A Day in the Life of a Fool’.

But before memories of Spanish sunsets swamp your brain, climb down from the table, put down your castanets, and clear up the wine. There’s one way you can save your evening. Play the first side again.

International Hits Orchestra - Lightly Latin

Label: MFP 1234

1968 1960s Covers

Smash Hits Supremes Style

Sleeve Notes:

Maybe we’ve used the wrong title, for a start. Maybe we should have said : “Salute to Brian and Eddie Holland and Lamont Dozier.” For they were the writers, composers, producers who actually put the Supremes on the map, with such fabulous songs as Where did our love go, Baby love and Stop! in the name of love.

Seven of the 12 million-sellers re-created on this album emerged from this unique trio — those above, plus Reflections, In and out of love, You keep me hangin’ on and The happening. In fact, these are the songs still most closely identified with the Supremes; these are the songs that put them in the millionaire class.

But the incredible thing about the Supremes is that, take away the original back-room boys, take away their lead singer Diana Ross, and replace her with the curiously-named Cindy Birdsong, and you still get hits! Witness Stoned love, a Top Five hit only a few months ago. Maybe, after all, we should have made this a salute to Berry Gordy Jnr. who, as founder and boss of Motown Records, thought up the whole concept in the first place, and kept it going so miraculously for so long.

If Mr. Gordy Jnr. ever gets to read these sleeve notes, we’d like to say, here and now, that if Cindy Birdsong, Mary Wilson and Jean Terrell (the present Supremes) ever decide to give up singing and take up chicken farming, we’ve got a really great trio ready and able to take their place! Just listen to them now on this album, as they excitingly re-create twelve of the Supremes’ greatest hits.

A BWD production ℗ 1971

Smash Hits Supremes Style - another great sexy album cover from Cover Heaven at This example is another in the sound-alike category, not the actual artist but a group of session players mimicking.

Label: MFP 5184

1971 1970s Covers

The Swinging Safari – salute to Kaempfert

Sleeve Notes (from German):

A folklore expert once wrote: “It is one of the paradoxes of spontaneous creativity that folkloric music, by definition an anonymous art, which arises from simple people without special study, nevertheless achieves the most perfect musical expression. ago all experts were amazed when an unknown South African Kwela tune played on a cheap whistle came to the top of all the hit parades in the world just two weeks after the release.

This song, Tom Hark, by Elias and his Zig Zag Jive Flutes, is now stored in the annals of hit parades. However, it will always be remembered as one of the most amazing hits of all time. It is surprising that such a ridiculously simple piece of music appeals to the world markets so much, but it is perhaps even more interesting that this melody is only was one of the many African Kwela pointers that were easily made by the masses and sat by simple people who went to all he probably never heard of Beethoven or the Beatles. The formal for this ‘style’ of music is as fundamental as the sound zeit — a simple combination of repeated melodies and pronounced rhythm. Not long after the success of Tom Hark, a German musician, Bert Kaempfert, became intrigued by this form of music and began to apply it to a large orchestra – with delightful results. His first arrangements were very close to the African Kwela sound and would become two of his greatest hits – Swingin ‘Safari and Afrikaan Beat. Both songs characterized his style and paved the way for millions of other bestsellers.

The great thing about this style is that, treated in this way, almost every melody can be taken out of its original form and can be enhanced. “Salute to Kaempfert”, which includes both “Swinging ‘Safari” and “African Beat”, is a faithful representation of Bert Kaempfert’s brilliant art. Never more correct was the saying: “Imitation is the most sincere form of wonder” because on the magnificent plaque are twelve songs that have been recorded without shame to recreate the exciting sound.

The Swinging Safari - salute to Kaempfert

Label: MFP 5098
Photo: Rex Features
Design: Clare Osborn

1970 1970s Covers

Music of Mystery Mayhem and Murder – Various Artists

Sleeve Notes:

No one who has ever seen a James Bond film (and this probably takes in half the population of the Western world) will forget the driving, beat-filled music of John Barry which accompanied the adventures of the high-living spy. A parallel to the world of fast cars, ready women, and sudden death in which James Bond moved, the vibrant guitars and rich orchestral arrangements of John Barry’s themes have thrilled all who heard them, and set new standards in the business of setting excitement to music.

The themes from Dr. No, From Russia with Love and Goldfinger, together with the 007 theme, which wove its way through each of these wild adventures, are here played with dash and bravado by Danny Davis and his Orchestra. Another sensuous tension-filled composition, Henry Mancini’s great Peter Gunn theme, will bring back memories of that rugged. hard-hitting private eye; and tunes like Kenyon Hopkins’ eerie Chamber of Horrors and Monster Meeting show that you never can tell what might be lurking behind the microphones in a recording studio.

This is an album full of the pace and excitement of modern life. Here is sophisticated music with undertones of menace, hard-bitten tunes played with worldly insouciance, and music of mystery tainted with the threat of horror. Each note is alive with a tension ‘hat will set you on the edge of your chair. So don’t settle back —sit forward and enjoy it.

Music of Mystery Mayhem and Murder - Various Artists - James Bond music

Label: MFP 1254

1968 1960s Covers

The Jason Ryder Sound – Music from the sensational Hair

Sleeve Notes:

The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical ‘Hair’ has brought the world of the Hippies into the theatre. In so doing it has caused a sensation that has rarely been equalled; the world it shows is onewhere conventional inhibitions—sexual taboos, racial barriers, even clothes—have lost their place, and in a no-plot, beat-backed, dance-filled happening the cast of drop-outs, acid-heads and draft-dodgers have given the musical stage a shaking from which it should never recover.

The famous no-clothes scene gave ‘Hair’ a notoriety which preceded it across the world, but those who see the show soon realize that the true message of ‘Hair’ has to do with youthfulness, vitality, colour and song—and far from being prurient or suggestive, ‘Hair’ has a kind of child-like innocence that protects it from the most fanatical guardians of public morality.

The music of ‘Hair’ is pure undiluted American rock, pop music with plenty of tunes and plenty of beat. Probably it’s the tunes that will last the longest, and we are sure to be hearing them time and time again in every variety of arrangement. Many of the songs have now been heard in the world’s hit parades, but the Jason Ryder Sound is first with a selection of bright new instrumental arrangements of ‘Hair”s best tunes. If you’ve seen ‘Hair’, you will be surprised at the way these arrangements succeed in capturing the vitality and excitement of the stage production; but if you haven’t yet been reached by ‘Hair”s vibrations, then this album will make a fine introduction to the most sensational musical ever to astound the world’s audiences.

The Jason Ryder Sound - Music from the sensational Hair

Label: MFP 1329

1969 1960s Covers

Million Seller Hits Volume Two – Various Artists

When a budget record claims to offer million seller hits including such classics as Hey Jude, Satisfaction, Maggie May, and I’m A Believer you should greet it with a large pinch of salt. Although nowhere on the record cover or sleeve does it point out that these recordings are by session musicians whose job it is to try to make them sound as close to the actual recordings as possible. Sometimes they come close, most times they don’t. Here is another in the sound-alike category!

Label: MFP 5282

1972 1970s Covers

Duncan Lamont – Best of the Bossa Novas

A budget album packing a bossa nova punch. If you like the idea of smoooooth jazzy bossa nova sounds then listen to this album through the YouTube video below – you’ll be warmly rewarded!

Sleeve Notes:

‘If music be the food of love play on’ Music an emotional experience as opposed to an intellectual exercise — an idea expressed many years ago and never more valid than in the present day. The music of the Brazilians — the refreshing, stimulating rebirth of a naturally sensitive musical form—came as a ray of sunlight piercing through the ‘anaemia and confusion’ of the American musical scene.

Intellect had smothered emotion — the complexities of jazz were denying any rapport whatsoever between musician and audience and musician and fellow musician. It was not only a healthy sign but also inevitable that the bossa nova rhythm of the South Americans would sweep away the introspective concepts which were turning music into a mathematical problem.

In this album, we have tried to recreate some of the swing and sway of the bossa nova sound. Eight leading musicians, each an artist in his own right, each recognized for his own particular style and technique, have joined forces under a common banner — namely that of bossa nova. The sound, first instigated by the marriage of Stan Getz’ and Joao Gilberto’s music, is captured in its full honesty. Gentle improvisation leading out of a given melody is far removed from the mental acrobatics of much experimental jazz; the listener feels rather that he is invited to participate in and share a common emotion. Always the blend of controlled enthusiasm and natural flow induce a feeling of complete harmony and relaxation — a state of mind which few other forms of music can help to attain. Duncan Lamont’s arrangements are superb. Always simple, sometimes subtle, one can note particularly his version of ‘A Man and a woman’ which lends itself magnificently to the rhythm and is truly a masterpiece. Bossa nova will never die for it has become an integral part of our lives. Circumstances may change but the rhythm of the Brazilians will help sway time along and take one out of the noise and flurry of day to day living.


Duncan Lamont - Best of the Bossa Novas

Label: MFP 1357

1970 1970s Covers

Brendan Hogan’s Ballinakill Ceili Band – Favourite Irish Dances

Sleeve Notes:

Catch a leprechaun by the coat-tails, don’t let go, and he’ll have to give you his purse full of gold. Catch this record on a spindle and another kind of treasure will be yours—the lively sounds and melodies of the friendly Irish people having a fling in Dublin’s most typically Irish night-spot.

The renowned Irish Club at 41 Parnell Square in down-town Dublin is the favourite meeting-place for sons of Erin who want to dance to old-fashioned Irish music. Veterans of 1916 congregate to talk over old times, and young people come to absorb the old tunes and traditions now enjoying their greatest popularity in the current revival of Irish music. Brendan Hogan, the leader of the Ballinakill Ceili Band, is much in evidence with his concertina, calling out the dances and generally presiding over the fun. This recording, made on the spot at the height of the festivities, captures the sounds of the dancers and occasional impromptu singing.

Like the Irish people, Irish music is uninhibited and good-natured. If any music was made for sheer good fun it’s the swinging hornpipes, waltzes and jigs on this LP.

Brendan Hogan's Ballinakill Ceili Band - Favourite Irish Dances

Label: MFP 1058
Sleeve Photograph: British Travel Association
Sleeve Design: Patrick Coyle

1965 1960s Covers