15 tracks on Universal have been recommended. Order by -
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A key song from the French folk rock bohemian's ambitious concept album, Polnareff's. This could have been produced by David Axelrod but wasn't. Beautiful, aching pop song with grandeur and despair. And a rhythm section that's so groovy. Another example of how great the studio orchestras sounded in France back then. What an arrangement. As hip as it gets.
18 May 02 ·Sem Sinatra: Totally agree ... all Polnaref's early 70s albums have killer tunes backed up by orchestrations to die for 27 Feb 06 ·jezandliz1: The orchestra backing on Polnareff's is excellent and was recorded in the UK using UK session musicians who also played on some of the best groovy uk library and soundtrack music of the late 60s. Try the three instrumentals on Polnareff's - so funky they're ridiculous!
I came to Callier's music via arranger/producer Charles Stepney and delicado's recommendation of a Stepney-produced Ramsey Lewis track -- "Julia".
Well, Callier's "Ordinary Joe" (produced by Stepney) is a great track which I listen to over and over.
Of all the tracks I've recommended, this is probably the only one I would recommend by virtue of lyrical content alone: "Now politicians all try to speech you / Mad color watchers all try to teach you / Very few will really try to reach you / If you're lost in a stack / That's OK, come on back." Great stuff.
Thankfully the musical content is also very good. Kind of a pop-jazz style tightly arranged from Stepney. I say tightly, but it never really comes across that way. It really has a pretty breezy and organic sound.
Also, look for an earlier version on Callier's "First Light" which is a bit more mellow, but at least as good as the Stepney-produced version. Maybe better in some ways...
The song "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John is one of my favorite songs of all time. Even though I have never been to California, it reminds me of California. When I hear that song, I think of walking down Hollywood Boulevard and staring down at the stars studding the marble floor. I think of sitting in a movie theater with James Dean and Marilyn Monroe and laughing at Charlie Chaplin reels. Elton is an extraordianary pianist and a wonderful singer, and I think that "Tiny Dancer" does him more justice than any other song that he has ever performed. This song just moves me in a very special way, and it will always be close to me.
from Madman Across the Water (Polygram Records) available on CD - Greatest Hits 1970-2002 (Universal)