This instrumental version of sophisticated lady is unlike any other I have ever heard. The harp is used alongside some strange instrumentation and recording techniques to create a unique other worldly sound. There is also a Richard Maxwell trademark - an incongruous, rasping 50s style sax solo in the middle. He was a pretty interesting guy, all in all; his Decca albums pretty much all seem to be interesting.
A superb twangy, bongo-ridden theme from Tony Hatch. It's hard to believe this is the same man who wrote the themes for soap operas like 'Crossroads' and 'Neighbours', but it is... Overall this sounds kind of how I once expected/hoped John Barry's early 60s work might sound - harpsichord, twangy guitar etc. It opens with some eerie effects, bongoes and spare harpsichord sound before breaking into a fully fledged shadows/spy theme style masterpiece, stopping abruptly after just over two minutes. Since I heard this on a compilation, I have no idea as to its origin, which is a shame, as I would love to track down any similar work Tony Hatch may have done. I did some research, and it seems that the session guitarist on this track was none other than Big Jim Sullivan, who cut a couple of sitar LPs on Mercury in the 60s. n.b. this is not the same tune as the much recorded and superb Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer 'out of this world'.
from the single Out of this World available on CD - Easy Project II: House of Loungecore (Sequel)
24 May 01 ·n-jeff: For some reason my parents acquired 2 mint copies of this on 7. Needless to say they didn't keep 'em long, heh, heh. Its a nice enough track, don't I remember some flute in there. but Tony was also the composer of some great early 60's pop, he did a number of LP's with Petula Clark, including the hits 'Downtown' and 'Don't sleep in the Subway' written with Jackie Trent (I think- Oh names, names, names). So to only remember him for Neighbours is cruel (and don't forget one variant of the Crossroads theme was recorded by paul Macartney and Wings, bet that isn't on the greates hits LP). 24 May 01 ·delicado: totally; I think Tony's a genius; don't get me wrong! 'I know a place' and 'I couldn't live without your love' are two other great pop songs he was responsible for...
Another superb instrumental track which had vanished from my mind during the last few years, but which I found again yesterday during a self-indulgent marathon record-listening session. This is a very memorable theme, produced by Joe Meek. There's a cool opening with a catchy drum pattern. The rest of the instrumentation is organ, bass, and some very cool twangy guitars, often with some heavy reverb.
available on CD - Joe Meek Presents 304 Holloway Road (Sequel)
It's fantastic that this track has come to light. I believe its story is this: Nico auditioned for the film 'Strip-Tease' in 1962, and recorded this song, but eventually Juliette Greco was chosen instead, and so this recording was lost. To me it's a remarkable document - although I knew Nico had made a brief appearance in 'La Dolce Vita', I never knew she had recorded with Gainsbourg. The track itself is a delicate slow number with prominent latin percussion and bongo sounds, similar Serge's other early 60s film work, such as 'L'eau a la bouche'. Nico's voice is just as distinctive as it is on her famous records with Velvet Underground, but in this context it sounds different. I like it when things like this come to light, bringing together two people I admire - like Astrud Gilberto singing Morricone, Scott Walker singing Schifrin, or Julie London singing Margo Guryan.
available on CD - le cinéma de Serge Gainsbourg (Universal France)
This recording is utter genius, and I have no idea why I didn't recommend it before. The track opens with some spooky ambient steel guitar sound effects, before some bongoes and vibes set the scene for the tune, which is picked out superbly twangily on the guitar. The great thing about the track is the spooky little effects and chromatic tunes that pop in and out in the background. Some of these are on the steel guitar, but the others could be vocal or vibraphone; it's hard to tell. It's all over in just over 2 minutes, but this really is a delightfully exotic recording.
from Encore (Canadian American JUMP 1023) available on CD - Encore - the best of the rest (Jump-O-Rama)
08 Oct 02 ·Tangento: Yes!
This is an excellent song, and I would also like to recommend the version by Pianists Ferrante & Teicher, available on one of their 6,000 albums. ;)
It has such a great musical flow and retro-feel.
There are a few other versions I recently downloaded, but virus problems prevent me from getting the artists names for you. I shall return with them. 15 Feb 03 ·Tangento: I have returned with the definitive list
of artists who have recorded this magical song: