Sounds Superb – Various Artists (Chaquito, Ron Goodwin, Michel Legrand, Bert Kaempfert)

Sleeve Notes:

Sales of this record will benefit: THE NATIONAL KIDNEY RESEARCH FUND

Patron: H.R.H. Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Mrs. Angus Ogilvy. The National Kidney Research Fund was set up in 1967. Its purpose is to raise money and offer financial support to the country’s kidney specialists in their search for greater knowledge of the causes and effects of kidney diseases. The vital aim of this work is to find cures and treatments for these distressing diseases before an artificial kidney machine is required for the patient’s survival. For this, the Fund needs vast sums of money, and all those who buy this record are making a very worthwhile contribution to solving the problem – a problem which can affect any one of us during our lifetime.

If you would like to help further, please contact the Secretary of the Fund at 54 Paddington Street, London W1 M 3RQ. ‘Phone: 01-935 9019.

The National Kidney Research Fund is grateful to: Chaquito …. by permission of Phonogram Ltd. Ron Goodwin …. by permission of EMI Records, Michel Legrand by permission of RCA Records, Bert Kaempfert …. by permission of Polydor International G.m.b.H., and to Music for Pleasure Ltd. for donating their talent and services to this record. Co-ordinator on behalf of The National Kidney Research Fund Neal Arden.

Sounds Superb - Various Artists (Chaquito, Ron Goodwin, Michel Legrand, Bert Kaempfert)

Label: MFP 50045
Photograph: Photo Media

1973 1970s Covers

Country Gold – Various Artists

Several big names from the world of country music on this fairly run-of-the-mill Country Gold release. Glen Campbell, Faron Young and Billie Jo Spears among them. The cover was clearly put together on a budget as both sides feature the same picture.

Country Gold - Various Artists

Label: MFP 50247
Photograph: Stockphotos International
Sleeve design: Tony Baldwin

1976 1970s Covers

Strings for Pleasure Play The Best of Mancini

Sleeve Notes:

Henry Mancini has written music for many films. Some of these films will disappear over that ‘wide blue horizon’ into oblivion and some will linger on in the memory. Mancini’s music will long be remembered and this A due to his talent for writing music that not only enhances and matches the mood of a film but also stands on its own when removed from the context of the film. This album covers the past few years during which time Mancini has written some of his best music. It is bang up to date including “Darling LA”, a 1970 Julie Andrews opus that was not particularly successful but the Mancini score made its mark and the title song is quite delightful.

Probably, the most popular of all Mancini’s scores was written for “Breakfast at Tiffanys” which starred Audrey Hepburn and contained that very beautiful number “Moon River”. It won an Oscar for Mancini in 1961. Audrey Hepburn was associated with Mancini again for that carefree thriller set in Paris “Charade” Mancini won another Oscar the year after Moon River for “Days of wine and roses” the title name of a fine, dramatic film that starred Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick.

Peter Sellers starred in two comedies that had Mancini scores; “The Pink Panther” and “A Shot in the Dark”. The Pink Panther theme went on to be incorporated into the cartoon feature of the same name that has proved to be a very popular T.V. programme. Peter Gunn started his private eye career on the small screen and it was some time before he reached the cinemas. The original Peter Gunn LP was a million seller.

One of the best examples of how well Mancini captures the atmosphere of a film is “Baby Elephant Walk” from “Hatari” Do you remember that delightful scene where Elsa Martinelli takes the baby elephants down to the river to have a bath? Mancini’s music sums A up beautifully.

All these themes plus the gentle “Dear Heart” the rather cheeky “I love you and don’t you forget it’ and the exciting “Mr. Lucky” theme add up to a record that can be enjoyed by all.

After filming “The Pink Panther” Peter Sellers said “Henry Mancini is one of the most talented fellows one could wish to meet”. You can meet him quite easily simply play this record.

Strings for Pleasure Play The Best of Mancini

Label: MFP 5234
Photograph: Photo Media
Sleeve Design: Terry Beard

1971 1970s Covers

The Geoff Love Country Singers – The Singers and the Song

Sleeve Notes:

Though every once in a while a country record would burst into the pop charts, maybe even sell a million copies and earn a gold disc award, the music was, until just a few years ago, essentially an esoteric interest, lacking any real impact with the general record-buying public. All that has changed now though and country music has not only become one of the biggest selling of all popular music forms its appeal has become international, as is evidenced by the enormous success of such events as the annual Country Music Festival held at Wembley.

What was once an essentially American art-form and one appealing almost exclusively to the white working class American at that, has now won itself a wide-ranging audience and influenced the general development of other popular music forms, as can be heard in the . country-rock sounds of groups like Dr. Hook, the Byrds and others and in the use of country songs by so many of today’s major soul singers.

This collection of songs, interpreted so admirably by the multi-faceted talents of Geoff Love and his singers, sums up the spirit of America yet they have all proved enormously popular in other countries too.

Indeed, Take Me Home Country Roads, despite its Southern States’ atmosphere was first a hit for British singer Olivia Newton John who has now established herself as country music’s leading lady, further proof of just how cosmopolitan the music has now become.

The real strength of the country sound comes of course from the marriage of hauntingly catchy melodies with lyrics which really do tell a story, whether it be the down-to-earth romance of Behind Closed Doors, a massive hit for Charlie Rich, the plea of one woman to another in Dolly Parton’s Jolene or the violence of Streets Of Laredo, best known from Marty Robbins’ superb interpretation first heard in the epic Gunfighter Ballads album which reminds us that once the music was known as “Country and Western” and contained strong links with the old Wild West.

Every one of these 12 songs stands in its own right as a country classic and the treatments of them which you hear show another great strength of this vibrant music, the adaptability of its material to so many different readings.

Unlike pop music where, nearly always, the original hit version is the only one people regard as valid, country songs become common property of all country artists, such is their strength, and it is nothing for a tune to become a hit several times over for different artists.

Country music relates to real life, to real rather than fairy-tale situations, but above all else it touches the emotions and entertains and we feel sure that’s just the way you will be affected by this album.

ROGER ST. PIERRE

The Geoff Love Country Singers - The Singers and the Song

Label: MFP 50310
Photograph: G. Lincoln

1976 1970s Covers

The Exciting Sounds of Chico Arnez – Non-stop Dance Party

Sleeve Notes:

Regular listeners to BBC Radio 2 will be familiar with infectiously catchy stylings of Chico Arnez, thanks to all year-round appearances on programmes such as “Late Night Extra”, “Night Ride” and the Tony Brandon, Charlie Chester and Joe Henderson shows.

Twenty years in the business has brought the ultimate degree of professionalism to Chico’s music, and he has a dazzling stage show to back it up, utilising strobe lights, slides, movies and a machine which blows bubbles over the audience!

But the essence of it all is the happy, good-time dance sound itself – ideal party fare as is obvious from one listen to this non-stop collection of some of the best numbers to grace the pop charts in recent years.

Chico carries a 14-piece line-up including a rip-roaring brass section, pulsating rhythm and four voices. Their distinctive brand of excitement has carried them around the world, playing in such places as Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and Europe, as well as here in Britain.

Chico himself sings, as well as directing the band and playing double-bass and a little piano, while the inventive arrangements stand to the credit of Chico, John Clark and John Osborne.

Over the years half-a-dozen albums have helped carry Chico’s talents to the public and each time he has gone one better. On this record there are the soul classics Land Of A Thousand Dances, a hit for Chris Kenner and Wilson Pickett, Do The Funky Chicken, which marked the greatest triumph of Memphis Sound veteran Rufus Thomas, and Pickett’s memorable In The Midnight Hour. Sonny and Cher’s The Beat Goes On, the infectious Resurrection Shuffle, the gospelly Put Your Hand In The Hand and the heavy rocker Spirit In The Sky also get a new lease of life.

The fourteen exciting new arrangements on this album make it right for any party “so get ready to dance” non-stop!
Roger St. Pierre

The Exciting Sounds of Chico Arnez - Non-stop Dance Party

Label: MFP 50179

1974 1970s Covers

Sadlers Wells Orchestra – Madame Butterfly

The cover of this record is a fine example of that age old maxim, “less is more“. By choosing to show only a portion of the woman’s face, mainly the eyes, we are left wanting to know more, to see more. The colours are mostly restricted to the reds and blacks of the colour spectrum, further creating a minimalistic look. What do you think about this record cover? Let us know.

Sleeve Notes:

The tragic story of Madam Butterfly begins when Lieut. Pinkerton, of the American Navy, is inspecting the house he has taken for his Japanese bride-to-be, Madam Butterfly. An American consul, Sharpless, tries to dissuade Pinkerton from the marriage-and explains that Butterfly has coot given up her religion for it. The marriage is celebrated, but not without opposition from the family and denouncement of Butterfly by her uncle, a priest, for forsaking her faith. Act One closes with the beautifully moving love duct, which also closes the first side of this record.

Butterfly has a little boy who has never seen his father, because Pinkerton, recalled to America, never kept his promise to return. Butterfly is sure he will come and sings of her faith in him in the world-famous aria ‘One Fine Day’. Sharpless tries to tell her of Pinkerton’s marriage to an American girl, but Butterfly doe’s not listen to the explanation and still believes Pinkerton will come back into her life. An American ship arrives in the Bay and Butterfly and her maid, Suzuki, decorate the house for Pinkerton’s arrival.

Pinkerton eventually arrives with his American wife and Sharpless, but when he realizes the position he cannot bear to stay. Butterfly hears that Pinkerton wishes to adopt the child and promises that within half an hour he may take the boy away. Left alone she embraces the child and then kills herself by falling upon her father’s sword.

The wonderful voice of Marie Collier, who played Butterfly so successfully in the Sadler’s Wells theatre production, repeats her fine performance on this disc. Miss Collier is already a firm favourite with visitors to Sadler’s Wells and Covent Garden. Since she recorded this album she has gone from strength to strength.

Charles Craig is not new to records. This record was produced as a tribute to his fine performance in the Covent Garden production of ‘Butterfly’. His performance as Lieutenant Pinkerton was greeted with rave reviews by the critics after the opening night and his first record certainly deserved the title ‘Fame in a Night’. He has since made many records and operatic appearances.

Ann Robson is no newcomer to the role of Suzuki – she has played it many times – and Gwyn Griffiths as Sharpless joins with hoe to add great support to Marie Collier and Charles Craig.

The Sadler’s Wells Orchestra is conducted by Bryan Balkwill, who once again gives the faultless performance that one has come to expect of him.

Sadlers Wells Orchestra - Madame Butterfly

Label: MFP 6036

1960 1960s Covers