The Spectropop Group Archives
presented by Friends of Spectropop

[Prev by Date] [Next by Date] [Index] [Search]

Spectropop - Digest Number 200

______________                                            ______________
______________                                            ______________
______________        S  P  E  C  T  R  O  P  O  P        ______________
______________                                            ______________
                       Special Disc Jockey Record

There are 6 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Somewhere Deep in the Night - SOS!!!
           From: "LePageWeb" 
      2. Re: Francoise Hardy, France Gall, et. al.
           From: "J.H. Ket" 
      3. Re: Gene Pitney, Nicoletta
           From: Ted T.
      4. Re: French Pop
           From: Frank 
      5. Betrock & French Pop
           From: "Kingsley Abbott"
      6. need help from the Spectropop experts on "Vampire"
           From: Ton Borsboom 


Message: 1
   Date: Wed, 04 Jul 2001 03:47:45 -0000
   From: "LePageWeb"
Subject: Somewhere Deep in the Night - SOS!!!

David wrote a great piece on the new Swing Out
Sister album here recently. I went over to their
unofficial web site where there are sound clips of
every song on the album. Here are my comments, but
before that, let me pass along the URL for these
clips, and recommend wholeheartedly that every group
member with 10 minutes and a fast enough connection
go over and stream every one of these audio clips,
You will be amazed at the beauty and depth - and
frustrated because the clips cut off so suddenly!

> ...this is the album that I wish Dusty Springfield
> would have left us with instead of "A Very Fine
> Love,".... "Somewhere Deep in the Night" has all
> the warmth, depth, atmosphere, sophistication,
> timelessness, and class of her finest work, and
> then some. 

All the qualities David mentions are spot on. The
opening track "Through the Sky" is a spinning, spiraling
trip high into the sky. The fade in sounds like Tubular
Bells by John Barry circa 1964, and then: "Everything's
been said and done - What else is there to say" Corinne

I know that feeling...too well. When someone recommends a
new album highly, and then I listen to it and feel let
down. But not this time. This one starts off and within
seconds you arrive. You are swingin', baby!

> It strikes me as odd that I'd take such a strong
> liking to such a "grown-up" record...

Grown-up records typically try too hard and take
themselves too seriously. And this is no by-the-numbers
retro kitsch effort like others that attempt to go into
areas this album so comfortably explores. The audio clip
of Will we Find Love just doesn't come close to doing
this track justice. The strings are sublime, and the
lyric is exquisite: "Could our dreams still hold the key
to our hearts...? There is nothing else for us to be but
so in love". The track has the most gorgeous fade.

> References abound, but the ones that glance backward
> do so completely without irony: 

That is so true, and you know what? I don't even care
about the references when I listen, and that's what makes
the record so special. You can't say - "Oh, there's the
clever Bacharach bit in that two bar phrase" or "That
snare is sampled from Beach Boys' Do It Again" or 
"There's Nino Rota in that instrumental break", or "Those
background vocals sound like Jimmy Webb"...and that is
indeed what makes the record so special to me. It isn't
*trying* to be clever.

> the recurring French horn (yes, the orchestra here
> is 100% organic) are clues...

It isn't this little lick or that little phrase. It is
the intensity, the warmth, the honesty of the music. I
gotta ask the obvious question - how can a record this
good be made in year 2001? There's no flavor-of-
the-month Rodney Jerkins type production, no attempt to
remake Breakout circa 2001, no leaning on the latest
ProTools auto tuning effects. Just pure organic sounding
well composed/arranged/produced/performed music. It's
such a relief, and in year 2001, it's a !%$#!$%! miracle!

> In fact, that's the major charm of the disc: the fact
> that it is simultaneously so slick and so affecting
> makes it irresistible and addictive. (Apparently the
> artists - and I obviously have to include producer
> Paul Staveley O'Duffy here - knew that, since the
> segue from end back to beginning on repeat play is
> seamless.)

Yeah, O'Duffy's production is as impressive as the
music itself. It never gets in the way. Yet, it isn't
simple production by any means. It is richly textured and
layered, with spoken word and ambient sound effects
sparingly used, and thankfully, just the right touch
at the right time. But most of all, the production is
honest (O'Duffy gives great snare and reverb, btw!)

> "Where Do I Go?" packs the most restrained intensity
> since Burt and Elvis's "God Give Me Strength." 

Where Do I Go is brilliant. It's like Swing Out Sister's
Til I Die. It's that good. The droning vibes set a 3/4
groove (think What the World Needs Now") with acoustic
piano backing a little 70s moog-like synth line. The
lyric is one of their best: "Where do I go for the rest
of my life? How will I know when tomorrow's impossible
without your love?" But it's affirmation, not remorse,
and so subtly stated.

> It's only as a result of great effort that I'm able to
> restrain myself from further raving here. 

OK, I take your hint. I'll shut up now too. :-)

> I now put to you as "What kind of Spectropopper
> wouldn't love this record?"

In all fairness, the kind that is into Nuggets-ish
guitar oriented garage rock wouldn't fall head over
heels over this record. But if your tastes run along
the lines of Jack Nitzsche, Dusty, Tony Hatch, Free
Design, Lalo Schifrin, Bacharach, Beach Boys circa
20/20/Friends, Jimmy Webb, Italian soundtracks and
Philly soul, this album is definitely going to become a
personal fave.


--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 2
   Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2001 22:35:00 +0200
   From: "J.H. Ket"
Subject: Re: Francoise Hardy, France Gall, et. al.

Ted T. wrote:

> Subject: 

> Another terrific French Spector-style record is the
> mid-tempo "Le Seule Bebe Qui Ne Pleure Pas" by boy-girl
> duo Stone & Charden, released around 1970.

I've just found it on the net. A great Spector
sound-a-like!!!. Do you have more suggestions?

Hans Ket

--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 3
   Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2001 22:30:30 -0800
   From: Ted T. 
Subject: Re: Gene Pitney, Nicoletta

Tom wanted to know the name and date of the RAI Due
program featuring the clips of Gene Pitney and Neil
Sedaka. The show was a weekly newsmagazine called
"TG2-Dossier" and the subject of this edition of the show
was the 45 r.p.m era. It was broadcast at  ten
thirty-five p.m. (Italian time) on Saturday June 30th.

I'm sorry I didn't tape it. Dunno if it will be
rebroadcast? Maybe the RAI Due website has the info.

Glynis asked if there were other non-US and non-British
singers who rocked with the energy and passion of French
rockeuse Nicoletta. To tell the truth, I think Nicoletta
is kind of unique. She had an extremely wretched
childhood, was in and out of reform schools for most of
her adolescence, ran away from most of them,  and all of
this shows in her singing. I don't think she ever reached
her full potential as a singer, probably for lack of
guidance and lack of good material. But her voice has an
extraordinary quality to it, and on her best sides, like
"La Musique?E she gives you goose pimples. She is still
around incidentally,  turns up on French TV once in a
while, and, thankfully, finally seems happy and relaxed.

Ted T.

--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 4
   Date: Tue, 03 Jul 01 07:24:46 +0100
   From: Frank
Subject: Re: French Pop

>It's WONDERFUL to hear you talk about such great French
>pop. Nobody mentions Nicoletta amongst the favorite trend
>in French girly pop. I really like her solo stuff and am
>interested in hearing her more "rock" oriented late 60's
>stuff when she had her own rock band. I don't know if they
>recorded but I have photos of her in my French pop
>magazines. Stone was amazing. France's own Brian Jones

Glynis, I did work with some of these girls at the time,
I was in the studio with Nicoletta when she recorded her
first song. I worked with Dani, Il Etait Une Fois,and
many others later on.

Regarding Nicoletta's more rock sides, she did record a
few of these at the time she was going out with the
leader of a fairly successful French rock group : "Zoo".
But she was  definitely more interested in Blues and R. n'
B. than anything else.


--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 5
   Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2001 13:26:14 +0100
   From: "Kingsley Abbott" 
Subject: Betrock & French Pop

On the subject of possible republication of Alan
Betrock's excellent Girl Groups book, I did speak to him
about 18/20 months ago about reproducing the two Motown
girls sections in my Motown reader collection which is
recently published here in the UK by Helter Skelter.  At
that time he said that he was in the process of updating
the book for probable re-publication, so quite
understandably didn't want the chapters to go elsewhere. 
So perhaps some re-publication deal was already on its
way before his very sad death - with whom I have no idea,
except I assume a NY publisher.

Regarding French Pop, Spectropopers might want to look
out for a new album by Tahiti 80 "Puzzle" -
Atmospheriques 2349-3.  Some very nice modern soft pop
with a twist (including input from Eric Matthews).  The
CD is dated 1999, but it has only just come out here in

Kingsley Abbott

--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Message: 6
   Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2001 19:06:55 -0000
   From: Ton Borsboom 
Subject: need help from the Spectropop experts on "Vampire"

Hello to you all.

I hope that somebody can identify the following
information regarding a track I heard on the radio.
Trackname: "Vampire", Performers mentioned: The Crystals,
length approx. 2.37 minutes, additional info:
instrumental track with saxophone and male voice saying
HAHAHAHA. Question: Are these performers The Crystals AKA
The Metros and in which year is this track released.

Appreciate your help.

Thanks in advance.


PS. Ted T. many thanks for the information on the French
"Spector Sound" tracks. I have checked out some of the
tracks and you are right it sounds really nice. 

--------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

Click here to go to The Spectropop Group

Spectropop text contents & copy; copyright Spectropop unless stated otherwise. All rights in and to the contents of these documents, including each element embodied therein, is subject to copyright protection under international copyright law. Any use, reuse, reproduction and/or adaptation without written permission of the owners is a violation of copyright law and is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.