It's Enoch Light, you know what to expect! Kooky orchestral arrangement of the Yardbirds' classic with a...get this...simulated bagpipe intro! I have no idea why anybody would want to hear real bagpipes, let alone simulated ones, but there you have it. Features blistering work by Project 3 regulars like Tony Mottola and Dick Hyman. Excellent stuff. The same album also yields a terrific version of Lee Dorsey's "Workin' in a Coalmine"!
from Enoch Light's Action: It's Happening...So Let's Dance (Project 3)
Superb Mike Curb production of a Schifrin theme to an absolutely terrible WW2 action-comedy. Militaristic drumming and a very cool whistling chorus (reminiscent of Quincy Jones' theme to "The Italian Job", which came out the previous year) make this a piece of extremely groovy soundtrack work. The same album also yields a horribly sappy Hank Williams, Jr. song and the much-sampled "Burning Bridges" by the Mike Curb Congregation.
from Kelly's Heroes (MGM) available on CD - Kelly's Heroes/The Cincinnatti Kid (Chapter III)
Jimmy Scott turns in a monumental take on this Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein standard. Scott's languid feminine phrasing and incredible diction really cause him to stand head and shoulders above nearly all other jazz vocalists. In this performance, he takes material that could come out rather saccharine and injects a healthy dose of pain into it. The result is a throughly memorable, soulful ballad. Due to Scott's lack of a record contract, this recording remained unreleased until 1993.
A stunning late 50s R&B ballad that would not sound out of place in a David Lynch film. Greene's backing group, the Phantoms, live up to their name by providing some of the most haunting background vocals ever committed to vinyl. Lay on Vernon's tortured lead, and you have something quite extraordinary indeed.
It's a sad fact that the Bee Gees are a group primarily remembered for only one thing. If this were a perfect world, people would realize what an jaw-droppingly amazing group they once were. To me, their first LP is an orchestral psychedelic pop masterpiece easily the equal of the Kinks' "Village Green" or Billy Nicholls' "Would You Believe", and also just about as close at Britain ever got to replicating "Pet Sounds". On this track, listen for the insane rubber-band bassline, the staccato organ fills, the odd timbre of the voices or the occassional flute bit. It's a song bursting with an enthusiam the likes of which people only had during the middle 60s.
from Bee Gees' 1st (Atco D33-233), available on CD (Atco)
22 Dec 04 ·ronin: Ah, 1967. "NY Mining Disaster 1941" is a major hit in Boston. And Bee Gees 1st, complete w/cover art by Klaus Voorman, was the 1st lp I ever bought. If only the Bee Gees had kept singing like this instead of the whole falsetto/disco bit! "Odd timbre of voices" indeed! Robin (we always assumed) had his top teeth hanging out when he did this one. His vocal versatility is amazing. "Craise Finton Kirk," with its simple piano accompaniment, is a standout from this lp., too.