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klatu [profile] has recommended 11 tracks.
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while the city sleeps  performed by Nick DeCaro  1974
Composed by Randy Newman

Nice mellow one from A&M master arranger Nick DeCaro (Claudine Longet, many more), but this is probably my fifth "favorite" song off of this wonderful album, with versions of songs by Stevie Wonder ("happier than the morning sun") and Joni Mitchell ("all i want") that even the composers would have to admit have value added. I don't know if Ms. Mitchell necessarily sees the humor in changing the lyric "I want to knit you a sweater" to "I want to lift your sweater", but I do. Also a radical arrangement of "tea for two" only Bob Azzam can compete with. Nice comments by "konsu" on Nick's earlier album only show up if you put a space between "De" and "Caro".

from Italian Graffiti (MCA MVCM-21036), available on CD (MCA)




  29 Jan 03 ·konsu: Cordially corrected for hair splitters,and for the benefit of search engines everywhere!I'm sure Joni has lifted a top or two in her heyday too!His work needs WAY MORE stateside attention indeed.
  03 Apr 03 ·drchilledair: Even if you think you don't know who Nick DeCaro is, chances are you are familiar with his music, via his arrangements for many Golden Age of Warner-Reprise "Burbank Sound" recordings incl: Gordon Lightfoot's 'If You Could Read My Mind', James Taylor's 'Shower The People' and Randy Newman's 'Marie'. By conservative estimate, as producer, arranger, musician, songwriter, or singer, DeCaro, who died in 1992, partnered with over a hundred groups or artists - including not just Warners-Reprise artists like Arlo Guthrie, Maria Muldaur, Ry Cooder, the Everly Brothers, the Mojo Men & Harpers Bizarre, but also such diverse recorded citizenry as Barbra Streisand, the Ventures, Claudine Longet, Chris Montez, the Sandpipers, Del Shannon, Gary Lewis, et al - amassing a catalogue in excess of 300 albums and sundry 45rpm singles. In an interview I conducted with Randy Newman in 2001, he described DeCaro as being almost pathologically shy. Thus explaining, perhaps, the state of anonymity that still surrounds Nick, despite his prolific achievements. As a journalist I have devoted some of the last couple of years trying to redress this oversight. If you are interested, one result is an article I published in Japan in 2001. The English language version is available at communities.msn.com/NickDeCaro. A more recent article can be found on the web at www.spectropop.com/NickDeCaro
smile  performed by The Peddlers  1967

This is some nice tight supperclub trio jazz! This is the kind of song that you actually WANT to get stuck in your head, it will actually make your day better. I've spent the last year trying to find something by these guys, and thankfully Sony UK put out a two cd set of three albums "plus singles and previously unreleased material." Not the best liner notes, but arranger Keith Mansfield should be a familiar name to KPM/Sound Gallery types. I'm not a sampler, but if you can't do something with the nice, long drum intro, you probably don't have your heart in it, either.

from Freewheelers (CBS)
available on CD - How Cool Is Cool (Sony UK)



  30 Apr 03 ·conan550: Hi Klatu I too remember well the Peddlers.My Favourite track of theirs was "Day in,Day out" an old Sinatra number.Also a track called "City Living" springs to mind.They were, without a doubt ,pretty cool! Regards Mo
  23 Feb 04 ·delicado: Yes, isn't this a winner! When I heard it again the other day I noticed that Pizzicato have very obviously sampled it as the basis of one of their tracks (the one where the girl just says 'Pizz-i-ca-to FIVE' again and again.
Love so fine  performed by Roger Nichols and the Small Circle of Friends  1968
Composed by Roger Nichols/Tony Asher

The pinnacle of soft pop! And I can't imagine it not being followed up by "kinda wasted without you"! Twin peaks! Vinyl buffs are at a disadvantage there, you have to get up quickly for the side change to experience the epiphany, and deal with the "pops-and-crackles" chiaschuro instead of "sterile" atomic clock mastering. Also included, my favorite version of the Lovin' Spoonful's "Cocoanut Grove", even better than the one by David Lee Roth! Well, I probably lost a few of you on that one. Roger Nichols went on to later fame and fortune as Paul Williams' songwriting partner on several smash singles, mostly by the wrongly-maligned Carpenters. After that, engineering on all of the Steely Dan albums. Not too many superstar engineers, but on those albums, it was notable. Fagen'n'Becker dubbed him Roger "the Immortal" Nichols on some liner notes. Now he has a byline in some stereo mag, or so I am told.

from Roger Nichols and the Small Circle of Friends (A&M UICY-9184), available on CD (A&M)



  30 Jan 03 ·gregcaz: Roger Nichols/pop genius and Roger Nichols/Steely Dan engineer are actually two different people. When Steely Dan toured Japan, people kept asking him to sign their "Small Circle" CDs! So funny!
  31 Jan 03 ·klatu: How embarrassing to be the spreader of internet misinformation! I've heard that from several places. It seemed so plausible, with the Ted Templeman Harper's Bizarre/Van Halen connection. Or is that two Ted Templemans? Thanks for the correction. So it's probably the Steely Dan guy who writes the article? I'll have to check that out.
march of the mimeographs  performed by Fred Karlin  1967
Composed by Fred Karlin

One of my favorite soundtracks, with several reoccuring motifs utilizing different instrumentation in each incarnation. My selection of one track was based as much on the cool title as anything else. If you find this vinyl in good shape for less than thirty dollars, it would be worth considering.

from Up The Down Staircase Soundtrack (United Artists)



jackie  performed by Scott Walker  1968
Composed by Brel/Jouannest/Schuman

This is one of the funniest songs I have ever heard. I play it when I have people over listening to music and they get the glazed-over "too much information" look, and I need something to confound expectations. Always with the warning that they need to listen to the whole lyric before breaking down in laughter or confusion. I don't know how closely this english version follows the original Jacques Brel french, but each lyric is more ridiculous than the last! But I thought the Albert/morphine episode of Little House on the Prairie episode was one of the funniest things ever, so maybe I am just warped. This is my favorite Scott Walker album, with the other great Brel tunes "next" and "the girls and the dogs", great originals like "plastic palace people", and the haunting slow version of the Bacharach/David "windows of the world".

from Scott 2 (Mercury UK 510 880-2), available on CD



  02 Feb 03 ·djfreshmoney: I heard this song in a record store and it's what made me want to listen to Scott and Brel. Absolutely, wonderfully timelessly bizarre.
  30 Apr 03 ·conan550: Hi again Klatu "Jackie" is one of my fav all time tracks.Its very idiocyncratic and the interpretation by Scott Walker is just right.A very underatted Classic! Regards Mo
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