Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Live in England/and the Music
Genres: Pop, Rock
What a sleeper!
henry_thoreau | Olathe, KS United States | 12/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In recent years, many unjustly ignored LP's of yesteryear have quietly been reissued on CD at long last. Of all the "oldies" reissues I've tried lately, the sleeper of the bunch seems to be Del Shannon's "Live in England" (in 1973). I ordered this to sort of make up for the fact that I never got to see him live (he ended his life in early 1990). But NEVER did I expect it to be so UNBELIEVABLY GOOD!Now, I don't much favor most live albums. For example, Rick Nelson's live recordings are sometimes not as good as his studio ones (although when I saw him in KC back in the late 1970s, he was very good indeed--a shame they never recorded THAT concert). Nelson's voice generally doesn't sound quite as focused on his live recordings. To digress a moment longer, The Kinks' two live albums from the 1980s are exceptional in this regard (the one from the 60s is just fair); they were excellent; the songs in the most recent one--digitally recorded--of the late 80s actually sound MUCH better than their studio-recorded counterparts. BUT--this 1973 performance by Del--at a time when he had generally faded into obscurity--is unbelievably GREAT! Not only are his performances--and the arrangements--of his old 60's classics infinitely superior to the original renditions, but his backup band is wonderful--something you wouldn't have necessarily expected for Del in 1973 in a foreign-country live show (but he always was best-loved in England, so I read). Just as crucial, the SOUND QUALITY is so pristine and dynamic that it seems to have been recorded digitally, yesterday! What a sleeper! NOW am I glad I went ahead and ordered it; I really had been a bit lukewarm about its prospects initially. This CD actually comprises TWO original LPs, but it's "Live in England" that's the big news here. This is on an English (imported) label. [America is apparently too stupid to properly value Del; hence, we don't reissue his less common LP's domestically, nor, arguably, did we ever appreciate him to the degree that we should have. I could voice the same complaint regarding Rick Nelson's early-sixties Decca LP's and Bobby Vee's Liberty LP's; the only way for us devotees to find many such American artists' albums on CD is by gratefully ordering ENGLISH imports!] Before listening to this live-Del CD, I suggest you take a quick listen again to the original Big Top versions of his early hits. THEN play "Live in England" and hear how much more exciting his singing and the instrumental arrangements sound! No one who ever enjoyed the originals should be without this CD. It's as good as any live album I've ever heard. What a pleasant surprise for any fan of Del!"
The 2nd half of this CD has become 1 of my alltime faves
henry_thoreau | 01/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"but unlike my friend below, I start at cut 15 (the studio sides)!
There was a timeless special magic in the conjunction of the careers/styles of Del, producer A. Loog Oldham, and cognoscentis' songwriter Billy Nicholls, making this a real worthwhile find! --if you like late 60s Brit. intriguingly-produced beautifully harmonic/romantic but ultimately tragic crooning and emotion sharing.* My favourite are the Nicholls-penned, some unavailable in any other form, but not a weak cut is present...and oh yeah the live material is as homey below highlighted in 2000~PS:
Another aspect reimpressed itself on me today in listening to 'Life Is But Nothing': Shannon quotes 2 hooks from pop songs by female artists of the 60s in this lost-love torcher--the french horn melody from J DeShannon's "Wishin' & Hopin'" and the Supremes ('my world is empty w/out you' line) if you must know--causing one to wonder, did they or didn't they?, betting they did/were or why else bother? ...
It's great discovering him, a tremendous romantic crooner and writer-interpreter beloved in England, who makes me proud to be an American !*Del's specialty ever since his early # 1 lovelorn classic "I Go to Pieces" (aka Osiris's Song :))"