‘DEA’ DIARY…

Jim Maclaine’s “Dea Sancta et Gloria” is our not-for-profit expansion of the character’s rock opera dedicated to the ‘glory of woman’ – the main theme and concept of which were seen in the film, “Stardust” (1974) and read about in the accompanying novel of the same name, both written by Ray Connolly. It was Ray who had actually written the lyrics for the main theme of “Dea Sancta” and it was indeed Ray who informed me that it was now out of copyright jurisdiction by many a decade. Therefore, I was given  permission to use the theme, and expand upon the concept for this special presentation which includes the addition of a further 9 lyrical prose/poetry pieces (defined as songs) as written by me – writing as ‘Jim Maclaine’. My interpreted expansion of his rock opera is about to become a voice production project exclusively made for upload to this website which our visitors will be able to access for free. The premise of this page is to document the development of the voice project over several months leading up to and including its recording date at the turn of Spring, 2020. This is “Dea Diary”

‘Dea 1’ – June, 2019:

“Whilst holidaying on the French Riviera I spent the best part of a day sprawled out under the sun on the beaches of Juan-Les-Pins mulling over the prospect of further developing “Dea Sancta” and in particular how it was now going to be achieved. That evening I went back to my studio apartment in Antibes and made further notes for development. The next day I caught the train to Nice and proceeded to undertake further sunny ‘mulling’ sat outside a Bar/Restaurant on the east side of the port. Throughout the afternoon the notes continued to flow along with the beers and wine.

My notes included a retrospective look at how my expansion of the concept first came about 11 years ago soon after we had completed the documentary short for my independent online radio drama, “That’ll be the Stardust!”

When I think of “That’ll be the Stardust!” one name always springs to mind, and that name is of the talented actress who was my leading voice actress in the production…her name is Madeleine Havell. We worked well together, creating a special ingredient of ‘chemistry’ for our characters – and she worked bloody hard to help achieve this, for she not only voiced one character but a total of eight! Madeleine’s name was circled within my note-taking in the South of France. 

When I landed back on British soil I further contemplated the development of ‘Dea Sancta’. Earlier this year I had given opportunities to people to assist me in its development but for one or three reasons these opportunities evaporated within a short space of time (I anticipated this, therefore it wasn’t a major inconvenience). However, it was during these ‘opportunities’ that I was hit with such questions as “Do you and Madeleine have plans to work together again?” and “Wouldn’t she be ideal to assist in the development of ‘Dea Sancta’?” The answer to the latter question was “Of course!” – little did anybody know that it was my intention to employ Madeleine as a mentor for the production along with her undertaking a lead voice role, naturally. However, it wasn’t so easy to answer the former question. We hadn’t worked together since our promotional radio show at CityBeat in London back in May, 2009. The last time I saw her was a few months later in August, she was in-between travels from her home in Bristol and we met up at Leicester train station for the signing of some promotional material for “That’ll be the Stardust!”. The last time I had actually spoken to her over the phone was in February, 2010. But, we did have sporadic contact via email and social media subsequently throughout the decade – especially when she became the ‘muse’ for twin characters in my crime thriller of short stories entitled “GOLD1E” (still in progress). Furthermore, she was featured in this website’s “Showcase: Scenes from a Radio Drama” which highlights some of her fabulous performances in “That’ll be the Stardust!”.” (To witness them click the icon below…)

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‘Dea 2’ – July, 2019

“Time had passed. A lot of water had flowed under the bridge. My burning question: Would Madeleine answer my ‘S.O.S.’ of sorts to further the development of my production…??

I reached for my notepad again to embark upon further planning which included total expenditure costings such as studio hire, travel expenses, etc. and I also undertook further analysis of the lyrical prose (or songs, if you will) of the production with the prospect (or hope) of two people performing them (one of them being myself). Further to this, I turned back to the page in my notes which had the name of Madeleine Havell circled in the middle of it. I then reflected upon the very fine recommendation she had bestowed upon me several years ago for my LinkedIn profile. A line in the recommendation from her read: “as well as being a talented voice-actor he is also an excellent writer.”

Without any further hesitation I approached my laptop in the living-room and proceeded to draft the email that would detail the voice-over deal for Madeleine, with the hope of reuniting my artistic qualities with one of the most talented and adaptable actresses I had ever worked with.

After clicking the send button I waited a while just in case the email pinged back at me; maybe she was no longer using that address. But after a while there was no such ‘failed delivery’ message, therefore I was content with being reassured that my email had been sent and possibly received. 

During this time I continued to analyse the scope of “Dea Sancta et Gloria” as a voice-over/voice-acting production which in turn led me back to a distant horizon of the past – our independent radio drama, “That’ll be the Stardust!”

The Production had presented Madeleine with a couple of ‘firsts’ back in 2008/09: first time voice-acting in an independent radio drama and the promotion side of it granted her the first time she ever appeared on a radio show – the latter here can also be accessed via “That’ll be the Stardust!” web page by scrolling down at the following link:

the-notorious-legend2

I am proud that my production bears these two distinctions for her. Now, a decade later things are developing full circle with the expansion of “Dea Sancta et Gloria” – Jim Maclaine’s rock opera dedicated to the ‘glory of woman’ from the film, “Stardust” with a direct connection to the aforementioned radio play – and an opportunity that presents another first. 

The email reply arrived the next day and as soon as I finished reading it, another sample of Madeleine’s recommendation for my LinkedIn profile immediately came to mind: “He is the most dedicated and creative individual who is very passionate about the industry…” – I like to think all this is conveyed in my depiction of the “Dea Sancta” production via its web page and her email wholly confirmed this for me. I am so pleased that Madeleine Havell will be joining voice-acting forces with me once more – 10 years after we last collaborated! The history of us working together with “That’ll be the Stardust!” and “Dea Sancta et Gloria” provides us both with a unique professional arc of experience which I am also very proud of.” 

‘Dea 3’ – August, 2019

“When you view Madeleine’s Showreel trailer (above) you are immediately struck by her versatility as an actress and it’s easy to see how compelling her journey has been through this collage of scenes. Her performances in “That’ll be the Stardust!” offer us the audio equivalent of such a showcase. 

It is going to be extremely fascinating to share the same studio setting and microphone space once again with Madeleine. Both of us now having a few more years of experience and maturity behind us will indeed be beneficial to the production as we ‘spar’ our way through words and themes and expressions with musical flavourings, albeit spoken, not sung (she is considerably glad about this!). Yes, there’s going to be a lot of ‘unsung’ sunshine – but very much celebrated – across that audio landscape we wish to paint.

A few emails into August and Madeleine discovered that I wanted to introduce a couple of ‘bookend’ aspects to the project: a website interview and the ‘in conversation’ segment between us both (the latter to be recorded immediately after the entire “Dea Sancta” production on the day).  The logic behind this stems from us having a documentary filmed previously for the making of the radio drama (both parts of this can be viewed at the beginning of “Showcase: Scenes from a Radio Drama”). Therefore, this time around, there will be no documentary but there will be a fine audio and text ‘snapshot’ which will allow us to delve into a type of retrospective combined with a “making of” approach to the production followed by a debrief of the whole proceedings.

My original plan was to record the production either this side of Christmas, 2019 or during the early months of 2020. Taking into consideration our schedules and the remainder of restructuring that had to be done for the project, Madeleine and I agreed that a March/April, 2020 recording session would be the most beneficial for the production.  Without any further ado I began to liaise with Madeleine via email about the scope of the project and what was required of both of us. Obviously, the ‘Dea Sancta’ web page on this site is a valuable source of information and one which play an important part in our approach to developing it:A brief synopsis of each lyrical prose that forms the basis of the production was also referred to: The expanded draft of the overall project which now features 2 extra segments evolving around the main production: 
All lyrical prose pieces now restructured for voice-over duet purposes. However, an inspired re-write of “Make Me Good” from the soundtrack of “Stardust” will be crafted specially for the “Dea Sancta” theme performance in the production. “Make Me Good” is an uptempo ballad performed by ‘Jim Maclaine & The Stray Cats’ in the movie (vocal by David Essex). However, the vocal on the soundtrack album is by Dave Edmunds who produced the song. I always associate this song with Danielle – Jim’s French girlfriend in the movie – and their blossoming relationship. Here’s the youtube link: 

New promo for upcoming Marshall & Havell interview at this link:

“A POETIC REUNION OF VOICES: INTERVIEW”

‘Dea 4’ – September, 2019

Resident Studios in Willesden, London have now confirmed studio availability for Monday, 23rd March, 2020 – this will be the actual recording date for “Dea Sancta et Gloria” rock opera and the “In Conversation” segment of the Production. Madeleine was unable to record during the first week in April due to fashion show commitments and this was one of two other dates she gave me for her availability. We have booked a 2-hour rehearsal timeslot and the main production will be over a 4-hour recording session in Studio A – the very spacious studio in which we recorded “That’ll be the Stardust!” in 2008!!

We are currently undertaking THE Interview which will be hosted on the “A POETIC REUNION OF VOICES” post page at the end of this month (September 2019) at the following link: https://cosmicdwellings.com/2019/07/28/a-poetic-reunion-of-voices/
You’ll also notice in that post page several updates introducing the impending interview. The overall theme of the post was inspired by the opening credits/theme of a classic 70’s TV Series which starred 2 legends sadly no longer with us:

I wanted to depict mine and Madeleine’s individual personalities through the selected photographs which include both current and yesteryear pics. Furthermore, I wanted to present what some may perceive as an unusual professional partnership (just like the characters of ‘Danny Wilde’ (Tony Curtis) and ‘Lord Brett Sinclair’ (Roger Moore) from “The Persuaders!”) albeit one that works because of our previous production together. Also, if you click on the main picture collage at the top of the post that should open up your Spotify ‘machine’ and if you click on the hypertext link of “nitro and glycerine…” that will open up a youtube link. 

In preparation for the interview, Madeleine and I are individually re-watching “The Making of ‘That’ll be the Stardust!'” Documentary and listening to a selection of our scenes from the radio drama in the Madeleine Havell section of the “SHOWCASE: SCENES FROM A RADIO DRAMA” post at the following link:
TO BE CONTINUED…

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A POETIC REUNION OF VOICES…

COMING SOON
SEPTEMBER 28th, 2019:
*Marshall* and *Havell*
~THE INTERVIEW~

Cosmic Dwellings interviews two individual talents from the UK whose considerable contrasting backgrounds and personalities are reunited in voice-acting harmony for a unique lyrical prose rock opera –

One was born in Oldham, Lancashire then later became part of the Scottish culture. With a substantial amount of travel and experience within the Arts & Entertainment industry – including stage and radio roles – his forte became one as writer and voice actor. 
The Other was born in Kent, went to school in Hampshire and eventually settled in Bristol to become a trained actress and professional model. With further experience in short films and presenting, she too discovered she could utilise her voice for a creative purpose. 

“In this production, one talent without the other is unimaginable – it won’t work without them both. They each have something, but jointly like chemicals: take two relatively harmless compounds – nitro and glycerine, mix them both together and you have a very potent combination…nitro and glycerine…and the production lights the fuse…”

Jim Maclaine’s “Dea Sancta et Gloria” – a spin-off from the film “Stardust” (1974) which expands upon its rock opera theme with lyrical prose and poetical verse is currently in progress. To celebrate its completion in 2020 and free to access availability via Cosmic Dwellings, we feature a special interview (very shortly to be published on this page) with its 2 voice actors, Tony G. Marshall and Madeleine Havell who are artistically reunited 10 years on from their first voice production project together, “That’ll be the Stardust!”

“The voice-acting chemistry they possess is one of the best I’ve heard…
and seen!”
– Steven Patrick, Writer/Poet.

*PLUS*

You can now check on the progress of all things “Dea Sancta” with the special
“Dea Diary” updates at the following link below:

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“Dea Sancta et Gloria”
& “Dea Diary” written contents –
Copyright ©2019 Tony G. Marshall/Cosmic Dwellings. All Rights Reserved.
Photographs 
Copyright ©2019 Tony G. Marshall All Rights Reserved.
Photographs Copyright ©2019 Madeleine Havell All Rights Reserved.
‘Jim Maclaine’/David Essex Photographs/Promotional memorabilia from “Stardust”
Copyright ©1974 EMI/Goodtimes Enterprises/Studio Canal. All Rights Reserved.
“Nitro and Glycerine” original text from “Overture” – the pilot episode of “The Persuaders!”
Copyright ©1971 ITC Entertainment/
Television Reporters International Tribune/Network.
All Rights Reserved.
Theme from “The Persuaders!” TV Series by John Barry
Copyright ©1971 John Barry/ATV Kirshner Music Ltd. All Rights Reserved. 
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A Tribute to “THE MAN WHO HAUNTED HIMSELF” – Roger Moore’s finest hour | Den of Geek

The late, wonderful Roger Moore will always be remembered for Bond, but The Man Who Haunted Himself might just be his best performance…


Feature by Mark Allison

When Sir Roger Moore sadly passed away earlier this year, accounts of his life and career understandably focused on his seven spectacular outings as James Bond 007. Personally, I rewatched The Spy Who Loved Me for the 75th time, basking once again in his effortless charm and flawlessly tailored leisure suits.

Of his career outside the Bond franchise, many obituaries focused on his early television work in The Saint and The Persuaders!, in which he played similarly suave, elegantly dressed adventurers. But despite his own self-deprecation, Roger Moore’s acting abilities were more varied than one is often led to believe. His career extended far beyond the eyebrow-raising antics of the Bond films, and nowhere is this better illustrated than in The Man Who Haunted Himself, a wonderful psychological thriller from 1970.

This film, one of Moore’s personal favourites, showcases the actor in an entirely different light as Harold Pelham, a dull business executive in the City of London. Following a traumatic car crash on his way home from work, Pelham begins to believe that he is being stalked by his own evil doppelgänger. His suspicions are aroused when friends and colleagues claim to have seen him in two places at once, and they start to recount raucous nights out and extra-marital liaisons of which he has no memory. At first, Pelham assumes the phenomenon to be part of an elaborate practical joke, but he slowly begins to doubt his own sanity as his life crumbles around him.

The Man Who Haunted Himself was adapted from the 1957 novel The Strange Case Of Mr Pelham by Anthony Armstrong, which had previously formed the basis for an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. This version was written for the screen and directed by Basil Dearden, a veteran British film-maker of Ealing Studios stock, and was produced on a wafer-thin budget of around £400,000. Upon receiving the screenplay, Moore believed it to be “one of the best scripts I’d ever read”, and duly took a pay cut in exchange for a share of the film’s profits.

The movie plays out much like an episode of The Twilight Zone; Pelham’s seemingly unremarkable life gradually becomes more sinister and surreal as events proceed, eventually descending into a horrific climax. Indeed, the mise-en-scene maintains a sense of everyday realism as the peculiar story unfolds, which only adds to the growing sense of unease. Neither the audience nor Pelham himself are ever sure whether his doppelgänger is a genuinely physical presence, or merely the invention of a deranged mind, and the whole truth is only revealed during the film’s devastating final moments. It makes for a subtle but chillingly effective lesson in cinematic suspense.

Roger Moore claimed that The Man Who Haunted Himself was “one of the few times I was allowed to act”, which he acknowledged was “a terrible admission from someone who has made a living walking in front of cameras”. Looking back over his body of work, it’s difficult to argue with Moore’s appraisal. For anyone used to the sardonic quips and cocked eyebrows of the Bond films, this performance is a revelation. He palpably captures the escalating mania of an ordinary man driven out of his mind by events he cannot comprehend. In a role which could have succumbed to scenery chewing overstatement, Moore moves convincingly from confusion, to frustration, to anger, and finally, to madness. It invokes a tenderness which grounds an otherwise dreamlike narrative, making Pelham’s plight all the more credible.

Of course, the scenes in which Moore plays the evil twin allow him to stretch his legs into more familiar territory. He employs the same devilish charm and icy wit which characterised Simon Templar, Lord Brett Sinclair, and James Bond, but this time he adopts an altogether more menacing quality – as if providing a peak past the debonair exterior and into a malevolent soul. Put together, the two halves of Harold Pelham are utterly compelling, and provide a testament to Moore’s impressive range.

Despite Moore’s personal belief in the project, The Man Who Haunted Himself did not perform well financially, a fact which the actor blamed on an “amateurish” publicity campaign. Nevertheless, it has attained something of a cult status as years have passed, not least thanks to Sir Roger devotedly promoting the film on Twitter whenever it appeared on UK television. Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian, for example, has championed the title as Moore’s best film, and it has certainly aged better than most of his non-Bond filmography.

Much like Harold Pelham and his evil doppelgänger, Roger Moore was never able to shake his enduring identity with the role of James Bond, although this was a fact he came to embrace with characteristic self-awareness. Nevertheless, he continued to advocate The Man Who Haunted Himself as a demonstration of his talents, and a damn good thriller in its own right.

When I was privileged to see Roger Moore during his 2015 live tour, one of the few film clips he screened in its entirety was a scene from this film. His affection was instantly obvious as introduced the sequence with an enthusiastic preamble, like a child showing off their favourite painting. A few minutes later, once the extract had ended and the audience broke into applause, I noticed a delighted smile break across the actor’s face. There was no follow-up joke or sarcastic comment, as was Roger’s custom; this was merely an actor expressing pride in his work, and with good reason. The Man Who Haunted Himself is a terrific, chilling experience which holds up almost fifty years since its debut, with a career-best performance from one of the screen’s most charismatic presences. Sir Roger Moore may have left us, and the world is poorer for it, but there’s always more to discover about the great man and his legacy.

Source: A tribute to The Man Who Haunted Himself – Roger Moore’s finest hour | Den of Geek

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SHOWCASE: SCENES FROM A RADIO DRAMA…

2018-12-22

“Still after all these years the chemistry of performances in ‘That’ll be the Stardust!’ highlights a beautiful texture throughout some of the writing. Story-wise, it’s quite a colourful journey which flows in a mysterious way across the audio palette.”

Tony G. Marshall
(“That’ll be the Stardust!” – Lead Voice Actor, Writer, Co-Producer).

“The Making of ‘THAT’LL BE THE STARDUST!'” – Documentary – Part 1:

“The Making of ‘THAT’LL BE THE STARDUST!'” – Documentary – Part 2:

“The following are a selection of audio links to some of the performance highlights of the radio drama production. I thoroughly enjoyed helping to bring to life the characters with the rest of my Cast. It was a labour of love to eventually get this thing off the ground for a job entertainingly well done. Enjoy the chosen scenes for your perusal!”
Tony G. Marshall

* CLICK THE GRAPHICS IMAGES BELOW TO ACCESS THE PERFORMANCES * 

1.MRS MACLAINE (Alma Simpson (Reising)) & JEAN SUTCLIFFE (Holly Magrath (Harper)):

A well-acted opening scene by Alma and Holly, specially written for the radio drama. You can certainly feel the tension building between Ray Connolly’s characters (originally played by Rosemary Leach and Beth Morris in ‘That’ll be the Day’) – a great chemistry of angst and pleading…
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2. JIM MACLAINE FANTASY FLASHBACK SEQUENCE – 
Jim (Dominic Connolly), Poetic echoes & “Big Boys Don’t Cry” whispers/demands (Erica Thomas-Lowe & Holly Magrath (Harper)), ‘Moans’, ‘Groans’ and other statements/questions (Madeleine Havell & April Harrison), Poetic Conscience (Tony G. Marshall):

A sequence of artistic beauty with its drug-addled psychedelic mix of poetic sexual overtones set to the music of Alice Cooper’s “Only Women Bleed”. This piece pays homage to Jim Maclaine’s poetry (as written by Ray Connolly for both the film and the novel of ‘That’ll be the Day’). A beautiful performance by 6 of the Cast which features Ray’s son, Dominic as the voice of the hallucinating Jim Maclaine. *Trivia*: Dominic played the young Jimmy Maclaine jr. on screen in ‘Stardust’ (1974)…

3. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & UNCLE TERRY (Richard Ward)

Another scene specially written for the radio drama. It was always a fascinating concept to have Jimmy jr. discussing the legacy of his father with his father’s former best friend, Terry Sutcliffe. Richard Ward delivers a fine performance here as Terry (originally played by Robert Lindsay in ‘That’ll be the Day’) creating an ambience which bites with an undercurrent of reluctance and regret. Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall – Part 1” assists with the haunting reflection of the scene… 

4. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & JEANETTE THORPE (Alma Simpson (Reising)):

Another great performance from Alma this time as Jimmy’s mother (originally played by Rosalind Ayres in ‘That’ll be the Day’ and its sequel, ‘Stardust’). Alma captures some of the cynical grit that Jeanette conveyed in the aforementioned sequel movie, but still maintains that certain motherly sweetness when advising her son – a good scene…!


The following six links of performances feature the voice acting talent of MADELEINE HAVELL. Maddie was the first recruit of the production and she is also featured in the ‘Making of…’ Documentary (see 2-part youtube links above at the start of this Showcase). Being one of the youngest members of the Cast at the time, her representation and delivery of approximately 8 characters in the radio drama are a great testament to her natural acting and voice talent – in particular her characterisation of ‘Julie Coleman’ (Jimmy’s girlfriend) and her interpretation of ‘Danielle’ (Jimmy’s father’s girlfriend from ‘Stardust’ originally played by french actress, Ines Des Longchamps). I sincerely hope you like and appreciate what we attempted to define and achieve for our characters in the respective scenes. (Footnote: As of July, 2019 – Madeleine has become a Cast member of “Dea Sancta et Gloria” lyrical prose rock opera production – to be recorded spring, 2020.)

5. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & JULIE COLEMAN (Madeleine Havell):

The first meeting between the characters has a unique setting. The chemistry begins to ignite right from the off. Madeleine’s portrayal of ‘Julie’ is perfect foil for Jimmy’s somewhat cheeky nature. She’s nice, approachable and we then discover she can certainly give as good as she gets…!

6. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & JULIE COLEMAN (Madeleine Havell):

Tensions mount between Jimmy and Julie when he takes her to visit his Mother’s and Step-father’s house in Scotland – the place where he grew up – when he reveals his locked bedroom full of memorabilia dedicated to his real father, Jim Maclaine. Alarm bells of concern begin to ring with clarity within Julie’s mind. Another great scene as Jimmy’s adult journey now begins to unfold. Julie’s straight-talking, but caring, nature for her man is well-executed by Madeleine which allows Jimmy’s sensitive and vulnerable disposition to be laced with an undercurrent of anger as he confuses Julie’s concern for a lack of understanding… 

7. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & JULIE COLEMAN (Madeleine Havell):

An opening narrative by Jimmy leads into an explosive scene with Julie as her concern for Jimmy’s mental health and wellbeing reaches its pinnacle. Jimmy is further overwhelmed by what he considers Julie’s lack of knowledge and empathy towards any matter regarding his father. I loved playing out this scene with Madeleine who conveys considerable depth of Julie’s serious concern and frustration. It’s the disturbing aspect of Jimmy’s denial which drives the passions in this scene…

8. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & FRENCH PROSTITUTE (Madeleine Havell):

Jimmy’s narrative commences with the revelation of the confirmation of him being in denial with everything regarding his father. However, it would appear that his statement is merely a close-guarded secret between him and his listening audience. Therefore, he is not likely to admit this to anyone publicly. The scene that follows is tinged with irony in the fact that it is set in a brothel in France – could be interpreted as an homage to the sleazy side of his father’s life as a Rock Star (?). A well-acted scene with the writing/dialogue allowing the fun chemistry to ooze between the characters…

9. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & DANIELLE (Madeleine Havell):

Jimmy’s narrative sets the scene beautifully for a more select region of France. We then cut to the actual scene in which Jimmy meets his father’s former girlfriend, Danielle (from “Stardust”(1974)). It’s a most intriguing meet and the nostalgia factor burns like an eternal candle. A touching, heartfelt scene in many ways as Jimmy continues to grasp for every last morsel of information about his father. Maddie as Danielle injects the scene with the correct balance of empathy and understanding toward Jimmy. If you’re a fan of both films then it’s a fascinating listen…

10. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & JULIE COLEMAN (Madeleine Havell):

Jimmy’s opening narrative conveys his blasé attitude toward his current lifestyle – displaying considerable arrogance especially toward the opposite sex. Then, his demeanour has a change of heart when his thoughts turn to Julie. An achingly beautiful scene unfolds between the two characters even with the added tension of strong language. At this juncture in the story, Jimmy & Julie had spent a considerable amount of time apart. I would say that this is one of my most favourite scenes of the radio drama because everything about it is beautifully played – including the accompanying musical backdrop of Dire Straits with “Romeo & Juliet”Madeleine turns in a most natural and quite vulnerable performance and the spark between both characters rekindles to the highest voltage – love it…!


11. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & CATHY MENARY (Holly Magrath (Harper)):

The following two links featuring Holly illustrate two different dynamics of scenes between the characters of Jimmy and Cathy: this first scene (following Jimmy’s cocksure narrative) plays out like something from an old 1930’s or 1940’s romance set to a musical landscape of encapsulating strings and chords. The scene depicts the start of the characters’ affair in which Holly as Cathy demands that Jimmy kiss her again…and again. I never expected Holly’s delivery to lead us into the aforementioned ‘old school’ territory and our Producer obviously heard something in our performances which inspired his choice of instrumental music – Interesting…
12. JIMMY (Tony G. Marshall) & CATHY MENARY (Holly Magrath (Harper)):

This next scene flips the coin on the previous scene following on from Jimmy’s narrative which both Cathy and her daughter’s individual affairs with Jimmy are referred to. Playing out almost Tarantino-esque dialogue, Holly as Cathy owns the proceedings once again as she conveys the seedier side of her lifestyle and therefore making Jimmy somewhat more vulnerable to the situation. Another fascinating dynamic between the characters – well-acted with lots of chemistry abound…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

The complete original independent radio drama of
THAT’LL BE THE STARDUST!
is now free to listen to online at the following ‘Cosmic’ link:

Check out the Cast interview for Jim Maclaine’s “Dea Sancta et Gloria” at the following link:
You can now check on the progress of “Dea Sancta et Gloria” as a lyrical prose voice-over rock opera production featuring Tony G. Marshall and Madeleine Havell in
“Dea Diary” at this link here: 

2019-08-03

Copyright ©2014/2018 by Tony G. Marshall and Cosmic Dwellings. All Rights Reserved. “That’ll be the Stardust!” Radio Play Copyright ©2007, 2008 by Tony G. Marshall. All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Actor, Documentary, Drama, Film, Music, Music, Online, Pop, Presentation, Production, Radio, Recording, Rhythm and Blues, Rock, Rock 'n' Roll, Story, Writer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

JANIS AND BIG BROTHER: Live at the Carousel Ballroom ’68 | Uncut Magazine

Fly on the psychedelic wall: The Bear’s sonic journals snag a masterpiece…
Somewhere within the sonic depths of this extraordinary concert tape’s opener, “Combination of the Two,” as James Gurley’s distorted guitar angles toward a kind of demented Coltrane-like climax, Janis Joplin gets off a series of whooping, exhortative screams — the kind borne of revelation or epiphany. It’s as if from the get-go she knew that Big Brother and the Holding Company — just two months from splintering into oblivion — was destined for immortality, on this night at least.

It’s the tip of the iceberg for Live At The Carousel Ballroom 1968, a tour de force of such fervor and intensity that it places Big Brother in its rightful perch as, perhaps, psychedelic San Francisco’s fiercest lysergic combo. A combustible group whose expansive sound defied the straitjacket of the studio, Big Brother—in the dumbed-down, Time-Life version of history—were simply a backing group, random bystanders who happened to launch Joplin into superstardom. But deep in the mythology of San Francisco’s psychedelic heyday, they were always a contender, an ensemble, capable of pushing all boundaries as rock grew burly in the late ’60s.

Fortunately for posterity, acid king Owsley “Bear” Stanley had the gumption to roll tape on June 23, 1968. Not just regular old tape, though. The Grateful Dead roadie and confidante had been running the mixing boards at the Carousel most of 1968, experimenting with the technology of best capturing the music via “sonic journals,” recordings made to document the scene and fine-tune the club’s sound.

This tape, in storage and/or legal limbo for decades but finally produced and mixed by Bear himself prior to his untimely death in 2011, is almost pugilistic in presentation. Amplifying every nuance, every kaleidoscopic shade from the roar of the guitars, every electrifying scrap of back-and-forth among the musicians in crystal-clear, full-dimensional fashion, it’s a transcendent, revelatory listen. The recording is so pure, so lively, in fact, that it virtually drops the listener into the Carousel on that summer night.

Big Brother’s roots, in truth, ran deep into American music. Bassist Peter Albin cut his teeth on folk and bluegrass; drummer Dave Getz was an in-demand jazz player; songwriter/guitarist Sam Andrew was well-versed in blues and jazz, a frequent jamming partner with Jerry Garcia, and along with James Gurley, developed a formidable double-lead guitar assault.

Only a year-plus into their brief reign, they had mongrelized their influences—twisting, stretching, and distorting R&B, blues, and folk motifs into a towering, multi-tentacled psychedelic monster. Adept at sustain and release, they were both sonic architects and masters of improv. Case in point is “I Need A Man To Love“, which begins with Andrew and Gurley’s guitars sneaking, curling around Joplin’s yearning, stinging, openly sexual vocal, before threading into a spellbinding, extended bit of call-and-response guitar interplay—a high-wire act pitting inner turmoil against just out-of-reach catharsis.

The aural carnage plays out repeatedly amid Joplin’s otherworldly vocals. Singing with all of hell’s fury, she pulls every last stitch of romantic desperation and deranged dejection out of the songs, pleading with herself, the cosmos, the audience, the coterie of cheats she’s been seeing, bending, torturing the words past literality into treams of pure emotion—exploding then crazily reassembling the blues paradigm.

Their repertoire is fascinating: pop standards, tripped-out and barely recognizable (i.e., Gershwin’s chestnut “Summertime”); ancient folk songs, like English ballad “Coo Coo,” hotwired into a psychedelic wall of sound; and showstoppers “Ball & Chain,” a smash at Monterey, and “Piece Of My Heart“, their most straightforwardly pop number and biggest hit single. “Catch Me Daddy” is the most violent cut, souped-up psycho-rockabilly, while “Down on Me,” amid jagged guitars, is a nod to folk/rock. “Light Is Faster than Sound,” a Peter Albin showpiece from their debut album, is most allegiant to proto-psychedelia—dual guitars making like air-raid sirens, rising up from the scrum, screaming as they go by, only to submerge themselves again. When Joplin’s vocal fades, Gurley’s rampaging guitar emerges with a shattering solo, a marvel of controlled chaos.

No one could’ve known it, but this was one of the last blinding flashes of the original psychedelic era. Ominous changes were afoot, “not better world a-comin’,” as critic Paul Nelson once opined. Like a tunnel into an alien world, Live at the Carousel offers a trenchant if temporary trip back.

Luke Torn

Q&A

Big Brother’s Sam Andrew

What is your best memory of this show and the Carousel Ballroom? Of Bear?

The Carousel was a large, cavernous space, dark, high ceilings and it seemed as if all my friends were there. Owsley Stanley was cavorting around the sound system and talking to me a mile a minute in a technical language that was quite beyond me. Bear was always an enthusiastic mix of the cerebral and the celebratory.

How much of the Big Brother sound was improv?

In Big Brother we began as pure improvisation and moved steadily toward a scripted music. That’s how I think of it anyway. Janis was a very creative singer, and I can tell what night we are doing “Summertime”, just because it is so different from another night. We took a lot of chances because, (a) that’s who we were, and (b) we often didn’t know any better.

Big Brother broke up soon after this great show. What were y’all thinking?!

We were not thinking. Janis was restless. She wanted to be a soul singer like Tina, Aretha, Gladys, and I was thinking about songwriting ALL the time. We had a lot of discussions about the band and she felt that on some nights, people weren’t trying hard enough. I wish I would have tried harder to talk her out of leaving the band.

INTERVIEW: LUKE TORN

Source: Big Brother & The Holding Company – Live At The Carousel Ballroom 1968 – Uncut

Posted in Album, Album, Art Rock, Blues, CD, CD, Concert, Folk, Live, Music, Musician, Performer, Recording, Rhythm and Blues, Rock, Rock 'n' Roll, Singer, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE BEATLES: How ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ Changed The Face Of Music | uDiscover

These days, game-changers are everywhere, in every facet of our society, yet there was a time when people really had no idea what they were. In 1967 along came Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the eighth studio album by The Beatles… it was the musical game-changer. Prior to 1 June 1967, the day that Sgt. Pepper was released, long-playing records were firmly under the control of record labels, who thought they knew best as to what the fans wanted, and when they wanted it.

The making of The Beatles’ eighth studio album had begun a little over six months earlier, on 20 November 1966, when they began work on two songs in Abbey Road Studio Two which they felt were perfect for their next LP. The songs were ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, written by John Lennon and inspired by a place in Liverpool, and by way of juxtaposition, Paul McCartneys composition which also referred to a real location close to his childhood home – Penny Lane.

Work continued on ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ during December, as well as recording sessions for ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’ which was also to be included on the new album. Recording for ‘Penny Lane’ began two days before New Year’s Eve and was completed nearly three weeks later. The Beatles’ previous single, ‘Yellow Submarine’/‘Eleanor Rigby’, had been released in early August 1966, and so EMI were anxious for another. ‘Penny Lane’/’Strawberry Fields’ came out on 17 February 1967 after a 196-day wait – the longest time between single releases since the start of their career.                                                

Recording continued on the new album in January, with the first of many sessions for ‘A Day In The Life’, and then on 1 February they began work on one of Paul’s songs, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. The new LP had a name and a loose concept, in so far as the band pretended they were giving a show as this fictitious band.

By the time their new single was released they were underway with ‘Good Morning Good Morning’, ‘Fixing a Hole’, ‘Only A Northern Song’ (a George Harrison song that he had originally put forward for inclusion on the album) and ‘Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite’. In the midst of all this recording, The Beatles also filmed their groundbreaking videos for both ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’.

Over the next two months work continued on Sgt. Pepper’s remaining songs – ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’, ‘Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds’, ‘Getting Better’, ‘She’s Leaving Home’, ‘Within You Without You’ and ‘Lovely Rita’ – and the album was completed on 21 April. In all, The Beatles, George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick spent 700 hours on the making of the record.

Of course, time expended does not guarantee either creativity or a brilliant result, but every second was worth it. And don’t just take our word for it: Professor Kevin J Dettmar, writing in the Oxford Encyclopedia Of British Literature, says Sgt. Pepper is “the most important and influential rock and roll album ever recorded”. We all know that polls don’t matter, but Rolling Stone magazine ranked it No.1 in its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

And yet it could all have been so very different. In the early Spring of 1967, the UK press was full of reports with headlines such as “Has the Bubble Burst?” or “Beatles Fail To Reach The Top”, all because ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ had stalled at No.2 in the UK singles chart. At manager Brian Epstein’s insistence neither track was included on the LP, a decision that George Martin later described as “the biggest mistake of my professional life”.

What makes the album a game-changer?

The unprecedented time spent in the studio helped to make it so, as do the recording techniques developed by the Abbey Road technicians to give the Beatles more than just the basic four-track equipment that had been used previously. Add to this “flanging”, the use of vari-speed, the way the record was not mastered with the customary gaps between tracks and the use of crossfades on a couple of tracks. And then there’s Peter Blake’s artwork that is so redolent of the time, not forgetting the fact that a lyric sheet was included with the gatefold sleeve. And, of course, great songs, brilliantly performed

Sgt. Pepper’s was the first Beatles album to be issued simultaneously worldwide, and the first where the tracklistings were exactly the same for both the UK and US versions. It debuted in the UK at No.1 – where it stayed for 22 consecutive weeks and became the soundtrack to The Summer Of Love. Naturally, it was also No.1 in America, as it was in many countries around the world.

Rock and pop has never quite been the same again…

The Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band reissue is out now. Scroll down to read what’s in each version, along with the full tracklisting for the super deluxe box set, and order the reissue here.

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The various versions of the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band reissue are:

Standard CD:
The new 2017 stereo mix, complete with the original UK album’s “edit for LP end” run-out groove.

Deluxe 2CD (and digital edition):
The new stereo album mix on Disc One, plus a second CD of 18 tracks, including previously unreleased complete takes of the album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo and sequenced in the same order as the album.

Disc Two also includes a new stereo mix and a previously unreleased instrumental take of ‘Penny Lane’, plus the 2015 stereo mix and two previously unreleased complete takes of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’.

Deluxe 2LP:
The new stereo album mix on Disc One and previously unreleased complete takes of the album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo and sequenced in the same order as the album, on Disc Two.

Super Deluxe 4CD+DVD+Blu-ray:
CD1 features the new 2017 stereo album mix.

CDs 2 and 3 include 33 additional recordings from the studio sessions, most of which are previously unreleased and have been mixed for the first time from the four-track session tapes, sequenced in chronological order of their recording dates, plus the new 2017 stereo mix of ‘Penny Lane’ and the 2015 stereo mix of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’.

CD4 features a direct transfer of the album’s original mono mix, plus the ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and ‘Penny Lane’ singles, along with the US promo mono mix of ‘Penny Lane’ and previously unreleased early mono mixes of ‘She’s Leaving Home’, ‘A Day If The Life’ and the once-thought-lost early mono mix of ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’.

The DVD and Blu-ray discs both include new 5.1 surround sound audio mixes of the album and ‘Penny Lane’ by Giles Martin and Sam Okell, plus their 2015 5.1 surround sound mix of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, along with high-resolution audio mixes of the album, ‘Penny Lane’ and the 2015 stereo mix of ‘Strawberry Field Forever’.

Additionally, these discs will include 4K restored promo clips for ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘A Day In The Life’, plus The Making Of Sgt Pepper, a restored, previously unreleased documentary film originally broadcast in 1992.

The full tracklist for the super deluxe edition box set is:

  • CD1: St Pepper’s 2017 stereo mix
    ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’
    ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’
    ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’
    ‘Getting Better’
    ‘Fixing A Hole’
    ‘She’s Leaving Home’
    ‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!’
    ‘Within You Without You’
    ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’
    ‘Lovely Rita’
    ‘Good Morning Good Morning’
    ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)’
    ‘A Day In The Life’ 
  • CD2: Outtakes
    ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ [Take 1]
    ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ [Take 4]
    ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ [Take 7]
    ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ [Take 26]
    ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ [2015 stereo mix]
    ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’ [Take 2]
    ‘Penny Lane’ [Take 6: instrumental]
    ‘Penny Lane’ [Vocal overdubs and speech]
    ‘Penny Lane’ [2017 stereo mix]
    ‘A Day In The Life’ [Take 1]
    ‘A Day In The Life’ [Take 2]
    ‘A Day In The Life’ [Orchestra overdub]
    ‘A Day In The Life (Hummed Last Chord)’ [Takes 8, 9, 10 and 11]
    ‘A Day In The Life (The Last Chord)’
    ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ [Take 1: instrumental]
    ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ [Take 9 and speech]
    ‘Good Morning Good Morning’ [Take 1: instrumental, breakdown]
    ‘Good Morning Good Morning’ [Take 8] 
  • CD3: Outtakes
    ‘Fixing A Hole’ [Take 1]
    ‘Fixing A Hole’ [Speech and Take 3]
    ‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!’ [Speech from before Take 1; Take 4 and speech at end]
    ‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!’ [Take 7]
    ‘Lovely Rita’ [Speech and Take 9]
    ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ [Take 1 and speech at the end]
    ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ [Speech, false start and Take 5]
    ‘Getting Better’ [Take 1: instrumental and speech at the end]
    ‘Getting Better’ [Take 12]
    ‘Within You Without You’ [Take 1: Indian Instruments Only]
    ‘Within You Without You’ [George coaching the musicians]
    ‘She’s Leaving Home’ [Take 1: instrumental]
    ‘She’s Leaving Home’ [Take 6: ynstrumental]
    ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ [Take 1: false start; Take 2: instrumental]
    ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)’ [Speech and Take 8] 
  • CD4: Sgt Pepper’s and bonus tracks in mono
    Tracks 1-13: 2017 direct transfer of Sgt Pepper’s original mono mix)
    ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ [Original mono mix]
    ‘Penny Lane’ [Original mono mix]
    ‘A Day In The Life’ [Unreleased first mono mix]
    ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ [Unreleased mono mix: No.11]
    ‘She’s Leaving Home’ [Unreleased first mono mix]
    ‘Penny Lane’ [Capitol Records US promo single: mono mix] 
  • DVD and Blu-ray:
    Audio Features (both discs):
    New 5.1 surround sound audio mixes of Sgt Pepper’s and ‘Penny Lane’, plus 2015 5.1 surround sound mix of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ (Blu-ray: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby True HD 5.1; DVD: DTS Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • High-resolution audio versions of 2017 Sgt Pepper’s stereo mix and 2017 ‘Penny Lane’ stereo mix, plus 2015 ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ hi-res stereo mix (Blu-ray: LPCM Stereo 96KHz/24bit; DVD: LPCM Stereo)
  • Video Features (both discs):
    The Making Of Sgt Pepper [restored 1992 documentary film, previously unreleased]
  • Promotional films: ‘A Day In The Life’; ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, ‘Penny Lane’ [4K restored]
 

Source: How The Beatles’ ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ Changed The Face Of Music | uDiscover

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ENGELBERT: Tin Pan Alley, Country Pop & The Indestructible ‘Release Me’ – uDiscover

Vocal stylist Engelbert Humperdinck has been talking to uDiscover about the remarkable body of work that’s celebrated by today’s (19 May) release of the compilation Engelbert Humperdinck: 50 and the simultaneous The Complete Decca Studio Albums Collection. He discusses how he used to search for new material, how he crossed country music into the pop charts — and how there might be a new Engelbert studio album in the pipeline. The 50 compilation, which you can order here, is a two-CD, 39-track retrospective featuring all of the Grammy-winning singer’s biggest hits, in a career that has realised 150 million record sales worldwide. It also includes a new DBU Disco Remix of ‘Release Me’ and two brand new songs, ‘I Don’t Want To Call It Goodbye’ and ‘I Followed My Heart’. “It’s an amazing presentation, I think,” says Humperdinck. “I can’t believe how well it’s been done, and we’ve got a couple of new songs on there, plus the remix of ‘Release Me.’ The new songs were just both a propos, so we put them both on the album, and they’re great songs, well-written.”

The 11-album box set (click here to order) is available physically but also makes these albums available digitally for the first time. “I like the idea of the vinyl covers remaining the same in digital form now,” he observes. “Not giving it a different face, giving it the same face, only packaging it in a very contemporary way. It’s wonderful.”

Musing on the remarkable history of ‘Release Me,’ he recalls the long history of the Eddie Miller/Robert Yount composition even before he got near it. Written in 1949, the song was successful for a number of artists before it transformed Engelbert’s career in 1967. It became the UK’s bestselling single of that year, famously preventing The Beatles‘ ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ double A-side from reaching No. 1.

“It was a big hit before I got it, a country hit by Ray Price,” says the vocalist. “On stage he said ‘This was my song until Engelbert Humperdinck came along and made it a hit around the world.’ I heard it as an instrumental by a gentleman called Frank Weir. I just heard the melody and I said to Gordon Mills, who was my manager at that time, ‘That’s a hit song.'”

“When it was given to Charles Blackwell and he did that amazing arrangement that is so recognisable, even that introduction gives it meaning. Everybody knows it’s ‘Release Me’ before it starts.”

“My early years were very exciting for me,” he continues. “Fortunately, I had Gordon beside me, guiding my career. He was a manager that was very musically-minded. He also wrote a lot of my b-sides. He was a great manager.”

The album collection affords the opportunity to recall the wide range of material that Engelbert recorded beyond his well-known hits,. He would often interpret existing material, put his stamp on recent chart successes for others (from ‘Wand’rin’ Star’ to ‘Aquarius’), and put the spotlight on some songs of historical importance.

“We all hung out in Tin Pan Alley, many times, looking for material for new albums,” he recalls. “But then once you have a hit record, it changes the picture and people start to send you a lot of songs. You don’t have to go looking anymore. That was one of the great things about having hit songs,” he laughs. “It makes life a little bit easier.”

His first Decca album of 1967, also called Release Me, featured a version of ‘Misty Blue,’ which had recently been a country hit for Wilma Burgess but became better-known to later audiences from Dorothy Moore’s soulful interpretation of 1976. “I love that song, it’s a real Nashville song,” enthuses Humperdinck.

“We didn’t go totally country, we went country pop, which is the best way to go, if you’re not a country singer yourself. Some of my hits, like ‘Am I That Easy To Forget’ and ‘There Goes My Everything,’ they were country material which was used before, but I took it and made them hits.” Another fascinating country entry is his reading of the Bee Gees‘ song ‘Sweetheart,’ which became the title song of his 1971 Decca album.

Humperdinck has fond memories of the recording techniques of this album era. “I like the method we used, because the arranger would come, you would routine it, then he’d take it away and the next time you see it, it’s in the studio with all these wonderful musicians and singers.”

“Then they went to another method where they just gave you a rhythm track, and you’d put your voice on that, but I never liked that method. I always liked the entire arrangement, the bed of music, to lie on, because it lends your voice to going in so many different directions, and I think that’s one of the reasons that brought success to these albums in the early years.”

Arrangers were, and remain, key to his distinctively luxuriant sound. “Arrangers of the past, they were just brilliant musicians themselves,” he says. “People like Les Reed, he wrote great songs for me like ‘The Last Waltz,’ ‘Les Bicyclettes de Belsize,’ ‘Winter World Of Love,’ some massive hits that came from him.”

“I’ve started to work with an arranger I worked with about 50 years ago, his name is Johnny Harris. He did great stuff for me like ‘Quando Quando Quando,’ that’s his arrangement. And he did the track for ‘I Follow My Heart,’ one of the new songs on the CD. It is harder to come by great songs [now], but I can honestly say that the two new ones are in this fashion.”

At 81, Engelbert’s diary continues to be packed. “A whole new album is in store, of new songs,” he reveals, but before that, there are many more shows to fulfill in his datebook, starting in June in Bucharest, Romania. “I love it. There’s not many places in the world I haven’t been, but I’m going to Iceland, I haven’t been there before, or Romania. But I’ve been everywhere else. ‘I’ve been everywhere, man…’” he sings with a chuckle.

“You do get that little nervousness when you play countries like Russia, but the funny part — although I have to have an interpreter on stage to do my talking for me — but the songs themselves, they tend to sing them in some phonetical fashion, and they sing along with you, it’s amazing.”

Of the double CD and box set packages, he concludes: “For the people that haven’t heard my music before, it’s going to be quite an eye-opener, because it does lend itself to great compositions and great arrangements. The entire package is so well done.”

Click here to order Engelbert Humperdinck: 50.

Click here to order The Complete Decca Studio Albums Collection.  

 

Source: Tin Pan Alley, Country Pop & The Indestructible ‘Release Me’: Engelbert Humperdinck Talks To uDiscover – uDiscover

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WOODSTOCK: How the Soundtrack Highlighted Peace, Love and Hippie Music | Ultimate Classic Rock

By Dave Swanson May 11, 2015 2:24 PM

Source: How the ‘Woodstock’ Soundtrack Highlighted Peace, Love and Hippie Music

The Woodstock festival was experienced by “half a million strong,” as the song goes. But the movie and its soundtrack brought the “Three Days of Peace and Music” counterculture celebration to millions of people across the globe.

Released in May 1970, eight months after the festival took place in New York, the film’s soundtrack cemented the legacy of ’60s music and added a dash of idealism for years to come. The triple-LP set was unleashed to an audience enamored with that moment in time, hoping to catch a contact high of sorts.

The performances released on the record were only a fraction of the music experienced over those three August 1969 days, but as a snapshot of the event, it more than delivers, as many of them would become iconic portraits, lasting far longer than many other touchstones of the era.

Even though they were a rough and tumble blues band at their core, Canned Heat are best know for the light and bouncy “Going Up the Country,” a song that’s become synonymous with Woodstock. And its presence here is crucial. As is Richie Havens’ “Freedom.” The New York City folksinger brought an intensity to his performance that perfectly captured the spirit of the event and will forever be tied to the music fest.

See Crosby, Stills & Nash Perform ‘Suite: Judy Blue Eyes’:

Crosby, Stills Nash and Young were so new when they played Woodstock that Stephen Stills noted onstage, “This is only the second time we’ve performed in front of people. We’re scared s—less.” Three of their songs show up on the soundtrack: “Suite: Judy Blues Eyes,” “Wooden Ships” and “Sea of Madness.”

Country Joe & the Fish were among the pioneers of psychedelic music (their debut album, Electronic Music for Mind and Body, is a genuine genre landmark), they are best remembered for their Woodstock appearance, in which they delivered not only the infamous “Fish Cheer” (“Give me an F! Give me a U! Give me a C! Give me a K! What’s that’s spell?“) but also the rousing “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag,” which originally appeared on the band’s second album, but becomes one of the era’s greatest protest songs thanks to the Joe McDonald-led singalong.

Several of the acts at Woodstock had also appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival two years earlier, including Jimi Hendrix and the Who, both of whom made their U.S. debuts at the 1967 show. By the time they each played Woodstock, they were among the biggest artists in rock music, The Who’s performance here is nothing if not riveting, as they play material from the recently released Tommy.

Watch the Who Perform at Woodstock:

One of the most surprising and baffling groups to appear at the festival, Sha Na Na, went on right before Hendrix on the morning of the final day. They turn in a blazing version of Danny & the Juniors’ ’50s classic “At the Hop,” which seemed seriously out of step with everything else going on in 1969. This was several years before American Graffiti ushered in a wave of nostalgia. Either way, Sha Na Na completely won over the Woodstock audience.

Two San Francisco bands — Santana and Jefferson Airplane — turned in significant performances from different angles. The latter group was on the way down while the former was just making its mark. Santana’s Woodstock performance helped break their career.

But the festival’s most defining performances belong to Hendrix and Joe Cocker, whose take on the Beatles‘ “A Little Help From My Friends” would help cement both his and Woodstock’s legacies. Likewise, Hendrix’s famous take on the “Star-Spangled Banner” has become inseparable from the festival.

The album was a huge success, topping the Billboard chart and helping kick-start the careers of many of the artists who appeared. It also carried remnants of the Woodstock ideology into middle America, planting its seeds along the way. It was a moment in time that still resonates today.

Read More: How the ‘Woodstock’ Soundtrack Highlighted Peace, Love and Hippie Music | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/woodstock-soundtrack/?trackback=tsmclip

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BOWIE: How I discovered a secret in the Blackstar sleeve | The Vinyl Factory

How I discovered a secret in Bowie’s Blackstar sleeve – and how you can too –

The Vinyl Factory – the Home of VinylThe secret of Blackstar’s starfield revealed by the man who found it.

Earlier this week one Reddit user sent Bowie fans scrambling home to try and uncover a secret cosmos, hidden in the sleeve of Blackstar.

Released just days before his death, Bowie’s final album has been shrouded in mystery. This latest bonus detail was discovered on gatefold sleeve, which features a star-shaped cut-out that, if exposed to sunlight, reveals a constellation of stars.

How did it take four months to unveil this secret? Dwaine Butters, the man who made the discovery, isn’t sure either. “I still cant believe I’m the first person to realise this little trick,” he said to us.

“I was sat listening to Blackstar, reading the lyrics in the book. I then picked up the sleeve to look at the prints on the inside and on the front cover. That’s when I noticed a slight gold mark in theBlackstar so I held it up to see if it was a print mistake and that’s when the whole star filled with the gold stars. I knew right away it was because the sunlight was passing through the back of the front cover.

“If people would like to see it, it’s as simple as removing the record from the sleeve so that the cut-out black star is not obstructed then holding it up to a light source with the gatefold open.”

There’s been some debate about whether the design feature was intentional or not. Bowie’s son and film director Duncan Jones was apparently unaware of the trick, saying his father was “so clever” and “so missed” after the starry surprise was uncovered.

According to Butters, a friend of his spoke to sleeve designer Jonathan Barnbrook who confirmed its intent. “He has confirmed that I am the first person he knows of to notice it. Which is kind of surreal. It’s even more surreal how much it has been shared around the world. It just goes to show the impact one man had.”

Source:
How I discovered a secret in Bowie’s Blackstar sleeve – and how you can too

Posted in Album, Art Rock, CD, Music, musician, Pop, Recording, Rhythm and Blues, Rock, Soul | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

ELVIS: Sun in Vegas

by Tony G. Marshall

elvispresley-thesuncollection(11)

A rare and fascinating public moment occurred as Elvis Presley began a brief reflective backtrack to his musical roots from the stage of the Las Vegas Hilton when he saw someone in the audience holding a copy of the then recently released British compilation album, “The Sun Collection” (aka “The Sun Sessions” (RCA USA, 1976)). “Can I see that album for a second?” he asked the owner of the record as the eye-catching cover art held his attention, I have never seen it before … The Sun Collection?”  he continued as he browsed some of its contents from the stage: “That’s the first five records I recorded!”

This initial RCA UK vinyl album release was just as much a revelation as its subject’s coincidental discovery of it on that evening of December 13th, 1975. Primarily, it was the first official almost-comprehensive overview of the groundbreaking material crafted by Elvis exactly two decades before at the legendary Sun Studio in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. With the likes of “Harbor Lights”, “Tomorrow Night” (undubbed) and “When It Rains, It Really Pours” (out-take) – a mixture of blues and balladry – still unreleased at the time, this collection prominently underlined the sum of its stylistic achievements. It was the sound which spearheaded the infusion of country and western with rhythm and blues music (referred to as Rockabilly) and became a pioneering style of the Rock ‘n’ Roll movement of the mid-1950’s. Presley, along with lead guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black transformed the sound of the genre with their upbeat interpretations: from Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup’s “That’s All Right (Mama)” to Roy Brown’s “Good Rockin’ Tonight”, from Arthur Gunter’s “Baby, Let’s Play House” to Sydney Robin & The Shelton Brothers’ “Just Because”. It was the Sun Recording Company who had Presley under contract and released his early songs as singles masterminded by Sun owner and producer/engineer, Sam Phillips who was first made aware of Presley’s voice by Marion Keisker – the secretary of his Memphis Recording Service which was a subsidiary of the Sun Records label. It was here that Presley cut his first acetate demo soon after he graduated from Humes High School in 1953. From the date of his first ‘official’ recording session with Sun on July 5, 1954 through to RCA buying up his recording contract for an unprecedented sum of $35,000 in November, 1955, music history had already been made. 

FTD Dinner At EightWhen Elvis Presley played his first ever engagement in Las Vegas in April/May, 1956 it stifled him – just as much as Elvis, aged 21 at the time, stifled it! This 2-week stay at the New Frontier Hotel was performed for mostly a sophisticated adult audience who were far from the biggest fans of Rock ‘n’ Roll music. However, by the time Elvis began his 14th engagement at the Hilton Hotel in December of 1975 he had already broken several attendance records in the main showroom which had begun in July, 1969. The times had changed, and so had the type of song set-list Elvis now presented to his audience. The show now featured a number of contemporary songs which included pop, gospel and big ballad arrangements, but his classic rock hits were always a staple of his concerts and whilst not being the most focused of performances, his audiences always appreciated his acknowledgement of them. By 1975 Elvis had already become the ultimate versatile showman and his sold-out concert tours that year (including Vegas seasons) continued to top the listings of the top best-selling artists to see perform live. When he saw that copy of ‘The Sun Collection’ album at the Dinner Show of December 13th, 1975 it considerably raised his interest enough for him to ask to see it. Perhaps it triggered a time for reflection, or at least just for a moment or two, which was spontaneously shared with his audience. Of all the 16 Sun tracks compiled on the album, it appeared that 3 of them were still on his performance set-list in 1975 – namely, “That’s All Right (Mama)”, “Mystery Train” and “Tryin’ To Get To You”. It’s a great testament to these groundbreaking classics, along with the vast majority of his musical repertoire, that they forever stand the test of time. 

You can experience Elvis’ Las Vegas Dinner Show of 12/13/75, which includes that unique ‘Sun’ moment, on the Follow That Dream Collectors’ label CD entitled “Dinner At Eight”

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