Monday, January 4, 2010

London Pops Orchestra

1-4-10 London Pops Orchestra “Eloise” (1/70)

Pye YS-2266-Y – released January, 1970 by Nippon Columbia, Japan (40 years ago!)

Side 1

  1. MacArthur Park (the famous Jimmy Webb song)
  2. Mexico (a ‘hit’ for Long John Baldry)
  3. People (a song from “Funny Girl”)
  4. Keep Off The Brass (says “Traditional” – but – an original arrangement?)
  5. Vanessa (a Tony Macaulay song, but I don’t know who had a ‘hit’ with it)
  6. Classical Gas (the famous Mason Williams song)

Side 2

  1. Eloise (the ‘hit’ for Paul Ryan…and The Damned)
  2. The Memory Of Our Last Goodbye (no idea who had a ‘hit’ with this one)
  3. Albatross (written by Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac!)
  4. Whiskey Mac (no idea about this one, either)
  5. Sleep Safe and Warm (written by Christopher Komeda!)
  6. Those Were The Days (the song made famous by Mary Hopkin)

I wonder if this LP was even released in England? Or was it done just for the Japanese market? Last year, I was lucky enough to run across a whole slew of oddball Japanese easy listening LP’s from the 60’s & 70’s, and this one was a real highlight – full of what I like to call “Easy Hits” – easy listening orchestra cover version of pop songs of the day (1969, in this case). The record was a white label promo, and the LP still has it’s “obi” (as pictured above).

Were I still compiling volumes of “Easy Hits”, the obvious choice here is the cover of “Albatross” – and if it were short and spirited enough, perhaps I’d use “Those Were The Days”. The title track, “Eloise” may be a bit too obscure for US EZ-Hit fans. I should also check out the Christopher Komeda song – it’s possibly from a film? (But which one?)

On the rear cover, a different LP by The London Pops Orchestra is advertised: “Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet” (Pye/Nippon Columbia Japan LP YS-2224). I understand that there are, in fact, British LP’s by The London Pops Orchestra: “Tony Macaulay Presents The London Pops Orchestra” (Pye UK NSPL 18241) – I guess that helps explain an easy listening LP from 1969 that’s full of songs by Tony Macaulay, Nicky Walsh and John MacLeod. There’s another L.P.O. UK LP called “Hits Philharmonic” (Pye UK NSPL 18332), which looks to have several volumes. Also “And Now The Second Movement” (Pye UK NSPL 18307) etc. So, they certainly made more LP’s than I was ever aware of.

As far as I know, this is the only easy listening cover version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Albatross” that’s on an LP that I have. And I don’t know of another one. Hmmm.

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