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467 tracks from UK have been recommended.
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Fire and Rain  performed by John Gregory  1972
Recommended by delicado [profile]

In my experience John Gregory is one of the most consistently superb British arrangers of the 60s and 70s. I've never really heard anything I didn't like by him, although I understand that he was very prolific and that I've barely scratched the surface so far.

His arrangements have simultaneously a bite and a beauty that few others were able to match. Although not much of his work is available on CD, there's one excellent disc, 'Mission Impossible and other themes', that compiles most of his 'big band crime jazz' work, dating from the early 1960s to the mid 1970s. The disc isn't very excitingly packaged and can be had very cheaply, but it's full of outstanding tracks.

'Fire and Rain' is from a 70s album (I have it on a Philips sampler from the early 70s), and is a sumptuously arranged instrumental in the vein of some of the work of other British arrangers of the era, such as Johnny Harris and John Schroeder.

Of course, the song was written and originally recorded by James Taylor. His track is quite nice, but maybe it helped that I came to this version 'fresh', without having heard the original. This happens to me a lot, and Gregory's full arrangement and jazzy touches definitely elevate the track for me.

The melody is carried by a beautifully played trumpet, and later by the strings. There's a strong beat throughout, and a particularly groovy break towards the end with some great brass.

from Gregory Conducts... (Philips)



Maybe After He’s Gone  performed by The Zombies  1968
Recommended by delicado [profile]

'Odessey and Oracle' is an album that lives up to the hype. Of all the brilliant songs it contains, this is probably my favorite.

The basic lyrical idea - the rather pathetic hope that maybe if the guy just waits a while, his lover's new squeeze will leave and she'll take him back - is quite compelling, and the heartfelt vocals are very appealing. It's a short track, miserable as hell, but a winner!

from Odessey and Oracle, available on CD (Rhino)



By The Time I Get To Arizona [Whipped Cream Mix]  performed by The Evolution Control Committee  1994
Recommended by jeanette [profile]

This is the record that pretty much kicked off the whole 'bastard pop' genre - where a clever bootlegger would fuse the vocal track of one song with the backing of another. Here we have Public Enemy and Herb Alpert (Bittersweet Samba, from Whipped Cream...).

The reason this record (unlike most of the other mash-ups) works so well is that it sounds like a genuine collaboration - the parps of the Tijuana Brass and Chuck D's rap spits meld perfectly. It's a smart-arse idea that becomes a work of art.

from the single By The Time I Get To Arizona [Whipped Cream Mix] (Pickled Egg Egg 8)


Teddy Bear’s Picnic  performed by Jackie Lynton  1963
Recommended by Lonely Lottie [profile]

Perky British beat-era novelty hit with great Vic Flick-style twanging guitars and weezy organ. Somehow there's something very distinctive and appealing about the way the guitars sound on UK records before the Beatles. Sort of plonky-plonk deadpan with a slight electric fizz. Or does that just sound silly?


available on CD - 1963 -The Soundtrack (Castle)


Drugs  performed by This Mortal Coil  1986
Recommended by robert[o] [profile]

Perhaps the least typical track from the 4AD house band – and, ironically, one of the project’s great triumphs. Abandoning for a moment their gorgeous’ prototype - beautifully dreamy soundscapes and/or readings of songs by Tim Buckley, Alex Chilton, etc. – this Talking Heads cover is little more that a series of grinding, funky sample loops w/Alison Limerick’s soulful vocals drifting in and out. A brilliant rethink of the song, that anticipates (perhaps influenced?) the Bristol/trip-hop mob - Portishead, Tricky, Massive Attack, et al. (Can still be found as a vinyl 10” single, if you look hard.)

from Filigree & Shadow (4AD)
available on CD - Filigree and Shadow (4AD)



  09 Nov 04 ·kohl: great band.
  13 Nov 04 ·konsu: Sort of ironic too, considering an interview with Ivo I once read with a short list of groups he wished he'd signed to 4AD, which included Portishead. TMC was such an ifluential project that completely escaped the 80's indie mainstream indeed.
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