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Spectropop V#0333

  • From: The Spectropop Group
  • Date: 10/15/99

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       Volume #0333                        October 16, 1999   
                      Stereo Workshop Series                  
    Subject:     Johnny Franz
    Received:    10/15/99 10:20 pm
    From:        Alec Palao,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    >>Who produced that stuff - was it Wally Stott?
    >I've seen that name somewhere but can't place it.....the
    >person who produced the Walker Brothers was, according to
    >the CD liner notes, John Franz, who I haven't heard of
    Johnny Franz is one of the unsung heroes of 60s pop in my 
    opinion, if for nothing more than his totally sympathetic 
    direction of the Walkers' (group and solo) and Dusty 
    Springfield's, Madeline Bell's, Kiki Dee's etc recordings 
    for Philips. Indeed Scott Walker has admitted that his 
    best work came from the collaborative efforts of himself, 
    Franz and the various arrangers such as the aforementioned
    Wally Stott, Ivor Raymonde, Peter Knight etc. Kudos also to
    Peter J. Olliff, staff engineer at Philips' Marble Arch 
    Studio, who no doubt also had a hand in creating the 
    faux-Spector sonic majesty of the Walker Brothers records,
    and of course Dusty's exemplary 1960s canon. I could embark
    on a lengthy discourse regarding the genius of these 
    records but I suspect I'd be preaching to the converted...
    Archivally yours,
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Re: Scott Walker & Brazilian stuff
    Received:    10/15/99 10:20 pm
    From:        Larry Koch,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    >>Who produced that stuff - was it Wally Stott?
    >I've seen that name somewhere but can't place it.....the 
    >person who produced the Walker Brothers was, according to 
    >the CD liner notes, John Franz, who I haven't heard of 
    Aha. Stott did the Scott solo albums.
    Rediscovered a great old quote the other day.
    "The truth is, I don't like white music. Scott's white 
    and he sounds it."
    - Jack Nitzsche
    >> has there ever been any discussion of Creed 
    >>Taylor on this list?
    >Not as far as I know. Who is he?
    Jazz producer, mostly associated with Verve and Astrud G.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Sunshine Company
    Received:    10/15/99 10:20 pm
    From:        Kingsley Abbott,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    It's good to see that Spectropop knows about the Sunshine 
    Company CD that I compiled for Joe Foster at the 
    wonderfully eclectic Revola label. It was fun doing it, as
    I have been enjoying their particular brand of soft summer 
    pop since 1967 when it was not in any way hip in Britain. 
    Was it ever? Joe and I hope that it will help to spread 
    the word ( if not the apostrophes! - Sad case of vanishing
    punctuation on some of the sleeve notes!)
    Why don't fellow Spectropoppers put up suggestions for 
    other possible Revola projects that we could get our teeth
    into. Please bear in mind that single albums are difficult.
    Two plus possibly maketh an album...
    By the way, Joey Stec of the Millennium used to hang out a
    little with The Sunshine Company. He told me JUST after I 
    had finished the notes!!! Such is life!
    Kingsley Abbott
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Soft Pop/Walkers
    Received:    10/15/99 10:20 pm
    From:        Joe Foster,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Hello All! Some interesting postings on both these 
    subjects.....Johnny Franz was head of A&R at Phillips 
    records in London, and was in overall charge of most 
    important sessions....Ivor Raymonde was arranger and 
    producer on most of the Walkers early sessions (as with 
    Dusty Springfield), Franz took over the supervision of the
    sessions and Scott effectively became the co-producer, a 
    relationship which continued on Scott's solo albums, Scott
    leant heavily on Franz's experience as a real old-school 
    early '50's type producer to produce the movie-type 
    soundscapes of his imagination...that Franz put so much 
    energy and enthusiasm into Scott's vision when an easy 
    ride supervising MOR and soundtracks from the comfort of 
    his office beckoned, is a tribute to an often overlooked 
    producer...Wally Stott was an arranger on many Phillips 
    dates, and was by all accounts a fairly Bizarre character,
    and as can be heard, a great arranger!....On Mike's article
    , I think he is right to refer to modern day bands...there
    has been an enormous resurgence in soft pop, and it's 
    influence is everywhere....on the new stuff by Guided By 
    Voices, in the rising wave of pop bands across America, 
    even in the odd soundscapes of many 'ambient dance' 
    projects, many people involved in them are big fans of 
    soft pop...a recent underground track by Future Pilot AKA
    (at one time the only other person I knew with a copy of 
    "Begin") consists of loops of 'Prelude' by the Millennium 
    with Kim Fowley telling a strange story along with it....
    the genre is by no means dead..HOWEVER this does not mean 
    that either myself, Mike, or any of the contributors 
    mentioned are not focused on the historical 
    Eternity's Children... Todd, I'm not suprised the Rev-ola 
    release is five bucks more, the other one is a BOOTLEG!...
    The Rev-Ola one is 25 tracks from the original tapes which
    I had the mighty Bill Inglot search under floorboards for, 
    God bless him, with extensive notes and rare photos...what
    with paying EMI and several publishers, it's amazing there 
    is only $5 difference...I do have enough respect for soft 
    pop artists to pay them royalties! Sorry, not getting at 
    you, I've had to deal before with a similar question over 
    prices, ironically I was in the midst of arranging legal 
    action on behalf of Curt Boettcher's estate against the 
    issuer of the 'cheaper' the 
    assured the Sunshine Co. disc is well worth buying, I 
    don't know about a rumoured 4th album, neither Bill nor I 
    could find more than 2 songs not issued on tape....perhaps
    someone knows something?? beyond rumours? to you 
    all...Joe Foster
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Pixies Three Live
    Received:    10/15/99 10:20 pm
    From:        M. Helfinger/D. Grant,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Hi again everyone:
    This past Columbus Day (Canadian Thanksgiving) weekend, I 
    finally extinguished 15 years of burning curiosity and 
    made the trek from Toronto to Warren, OH (where they 
    appeared at Packard Music Hall as part of a "Rock & Roll 
    Spectacular") to catch the Pixies Three live.
    A bit of background here. I'm a late baby boomer who grew 
    up with Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin but discovered Girl 
    Groups and early rock'n'roll during the 1980s. I sought 
    refuge from the yuppie elevator music (a.k.a. "Adult 
    Contemporary") and increasingly dreary and mechanical 
    heavy metal that was dominating the airwaves at that time 
    by locking into a nearby oldies' station. Its playlist 
    included "442 Glenwood Avenue," a record whose unbridled 
    joyous energy caught my attention as an ultimate antidote 
    to the noise and mush covering the FM dial. It quickly 
    established itself as one of my oldies favorites. This 
    declaration has earned me some glowering stares from R&B 
    purists as well as looks that say "he's lost it" from most
    friends my age, but I have continued to stand shoulder to 
    shoulder with "Doc Rock" Kelly and others to proclaim the
    Pixies Three the most underrated of the early '60s Girl 
    The show was worth every bit of the 300-mile drive. I'd 
    encourage anyone with a serious interest in Girl Groups - 
    even those who dismiss the Pixies' 1960s Mercury 
    recordings as too cute - to check the ladies' website for 
    a gig near them (just key "Pixies Three" into a search 
    engine). The "party girls" have grown up and have 
    developed an extensive and varied repertoire of R&B, pop 
    and country (see volumes 306, 308 and 309 for a discussion
    of country-Girl Group linkages) tunes. 
    The absolute highlight of the set was a positively 
    kick-ass rendition of Ike & Tina Turner's "A Fool in 
    Love." Debby (Swisher) Horn's voice has evolved from 
    high-pitched and perky to smoky, sultry and powerful. She 
    packs an awesome emotional punch as a ballad singer, as 
    exemplified in the group's versions that evening of the 
    Crystals' "There's No Other Like My Baby" and Brenda Lee's
    "Break It to Me Gently." However, the maturity and depth 
    the ladies have developed over the years did not prevent 
    them from performing "442" and "Birthday Party" with all 
    the bounce-off-walls exuberance of their teenage years.
    Finally, I had the privilege of spending some time with 
    the Pixies and their spouses in Warren, and it was 
    wonderful to discover that nice music can be made by nice 
    people. The ladies and their husbands were a very classy, 
    hospitable and down-to-earth group, sharing a passion for 
    music and a dry sense of humor.
    Michael Helfinger
    111 Santa Barbara Rd.
    Willowdale, ON  M2N 2C4 
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     for once I have to disagree 
    Received:    10/15/99 10:20 pm
    From:        Frank,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Hello Carol,
    As always your posts are fascinating to read for all of us
    fans. But for once I have to disagree with you :
    >But getting back to Phil, we all knew he had that Midas 
    >touch and damn, every one was a biggie for him until the 
    >"River Deep" recording which took us all off-guard. 
    >But actually looking back, it was too much of a 
    >party-scene during the recording of that, and maybe that 
    >much distraction (altho' Phil loved people around him) 
    >took his usual edge off in producing...maybe it could have
    >been better, who knows.
    I know the relation between the US public and "River Deep 
    Mountain High" was somewhat "dodgy" As seen from Europe 
    where, as you say, it was a major hit in the UK, this 
    track definitely remains the greatest ever recorded. A 
    sort of "Citizen Kane" of Rock Music. And whatever 
    happened during the recording session, Phil certainly did 
    not lose his edge on this one. Its failure certainly never
    had anything to do with its quality. 
    As for myself, just to think that you were on this session
    makes my admiration for you and your work grow out of 
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Spector's "Chico's Girl"
    Received:    10/15/99 10:20 pm
    From:        Ian Chapman,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Following Francesc's post about the Spector tapes, I wrote:
    > But the revelation for me was that there exists a 
    > Spector-produced verson of "Chico's Girl"! 
    >Can you tell us if it's by the Ronettes, Crystals or Darlene??
    Francesc e-mailed me about this. He wasn't too sure about 
    the vocalist, although he was fairly certain it wasn't 
    Ronnie. Anyway, he kindly offered to play the track for me
    over the phone. It made fascinating listening!! Even over a
    long-distance line to Spain, I could hear Phil's studio 
    directions quite clearly. The three takes Francesc has are
    track-only take, vocal take stereo, and vocal take mono - 
    all unfinished, but still plenty of Spector sound in 
    evidence. This version is rather slower than those by the 
    Girls and Susan Barrett, and in this one, "Chico wears a 
    jacket that says *tiger* on the back", rather than "rebel". 
    I can say with certainty that the vocalist isn't Ronnie,
    Darlene or LaLa.....what I was hearing was relatively early
    Philles, and I'm 99.9% certain that this is an early 
    Crystals track, circa "Uptown". I don't think it's Barbara
    on lead, however. I'm sure the same vocal nuances I was 
    hearing are also on "Oh Yeah Maybe Baby" - so I'm gonna 
    stick out my neck and say, therefore, that I think this is
    a Pat Wright-led Crystals track. Barbara, if you're out 
    there, can you confirm/refute?
    Thanks again, Francesc!!
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Not Diamonds in the Rough, but Chunks of Coal
    Received:    10/15/99 12:56 am
    From:        Don Richardson,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    A few weeks ago I stumbled across a CD that I had long ago
    forgot. I hadn't heard it in over 20 years, and picked it 
    up because of one song that was contained on the CD. Sadly
    , the song wasn't a wonder hit of R&R, but rather one of 
    the best of the worst. You know...the kind of song you 
    only can play for friends near the end of the party when 
    the keg of beer is beginning to float in the barrel of ice.
    The song that made me purchase the CD was from Dylan's "
    Nashville Skyline." It is a duet with Dylan and Johnny 
    Cash. Only a duet with Mother Maybelle Carter and Minnie 
    Pearl could have competed for this worst duet of the year.
    I'm certain others may disagree, but if you listen 
    carefully I'd suggest neither of them knew all the words 
    to the song.
    While this list focuses on the great songs of a great 
    music era, I'm certain everyone also has that album or two
    they bought, only because it had a song that was so bad it 
    was funny; at least near the end of the keg. Anyone want 
    to contribute other duets that turned out to be 
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    ADMIN NOTE: Discussion of unauthorized releases of vintage 
    recordings is appropriate as a list topic provided it is for 
    non-commercial, educational purposes, i.e., posts offering to 
    sell or commercially trade bootleg recordings violates 
    list policy and will be deleted from the digest before 
    dispatch. If a contributor is discussing a record of 
    questionable origin, please indicate so.

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