Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|There's Gonna Be a Storm|
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
This 26-cut compilation rounds up virtually everything ever recorded by the Left Banke, the awesomely talented pop band best known for the classically-influenced 1966 hits "Walk Away Renee" and "Pretty Ballerina." Songwrit... more »
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This 26-cut compilation rounds up virtually everything ever recorded by the Left Banke, the awesomely talented pop band best known for the classically-influenced 1966 hits "Walk Away Renee" and "Pretty Ballerina." Songwriter/pianist/guiding light Michael Brown composed some of the loveliest melodies of the era, which were typically fleshed out with complex contrapuntal harmonies and string arrangements; "Barterers and Their Wives" sounds almost medieval, while the soaring "Desiree" is positively majestic in its epic sweep. Brown left before the recording of the band's second album, which means that the quality level dips slightly near the end of the disc. Despite this, any '60s pop collection is woefully incomplete without it. --Dan Epstein
Don't Walk Away from This Left Banke Collection
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 02/02/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The sixties pop landscape is littered with one-hit wonders and artists who didn't fit the narrowly defined niche of what a rock band should be. The Left Banke falls into the latter category.Their two hit singles combined rock with classical elements (string-laden arrangements and graceful harpsichord accents) and assured them a permanent place on Classic Rock radio playlists. Both "Walk Away Renee" and "Pretty Ballerina" were composed by classically-trained musician Michael Brown, who was all of 17 when "Walk Away Renee" hit #5 in 1966.In addition to their only two hits, the Left Banke's debut album Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina contained equally gorgeous music. "She May Call You Up Tonight" and "I've Got Something on My Mind" feature their trademark choir-boy harmonies. "Ivy, Ivy" with its delicate horns and accoustic guitar was released as a single, but failed to chart. [The flipside, "And Suddenly," however, was a sappy pop song that would have been better suited to Davey Jones of the Monkees.] A fourth single, "Desiree," features a string section but would peak at only #98 in October of 1967. At this point the creative force of the band Michael Brown left the band. [Footnote: Brown would go on to co-found Stories, but leave that band before its international No. 1 "Brother Louie" was recorded.]The Left Banke would record a second album, The Left Bank, Too in 1968, but attracted little attention. That's too bad. Songs like "Goodbye Holly," which was released as a single, is very reminiscent of the kind of pop music that Badfinger would make.The band returned to the studio to record the single "Myrah," in 1969, but by then musical styles had changed. The Left Banke's baroque-rock sound had lost its audience.This CD re-issue contains all of the Left Banke's debut (tracks 1-11) and is essential listening. In addition, there are enough other good tracks on this compilation to make it a must-have for fans. RECOMMENDED"
Much more than just "Walk Away Renee" and "Pretty Ballerina"
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 04/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A "complete" collection of the Left Banke's recordings, totalling over 75 minutes of incredible music. A great buy for both the casual fan of the band's two hits ("Walk Away Renee" and "Pretty Ballerina"), as well as the avid collector. The collector, though, will be a bit frustrated by the package's organization.While this disc features a version of each song issued by the Left Banke, the takes, mixes and ordering are maddeningly inconsistent. For example, the first 11 tracks of the CD comprise the same 11 tracks as found on the debut LP. However, the CD changes the ordering by pulling the B-side of the first pre-LP single up to track #2. This might make sense to those who followed the releases when they were originally issued, but the compilation inconsistently doesn't pull the other pre-LP single sides ("Pretty Ballerina" and "Lazy Day") in a similar way. Also, is it my imagination, or are these single mixes slightly different from the ones that turned up on the LP? Other singles are handled in a similarly inconsistent way: non-LP sides such as "Ivy Ivy" and "And Suddenly" are intermixed with tracks from the second album, "Left Banke Too." I really can't guess what was going through Bill Inglot's mind as he sequenced this disc. Ah well, I suppose that's what programmable CD players are for. After so many years of listening to the original LP sequence, it's really disconcerting to have the songs pop up in a different order!That complaint aside, let me say that this is an *exceptional* disc. Inglot's mastering sounds crisp, and about as full as the original vinyl (which wasn't all that full a sound to begin with). This is one of very few CD's I've bought for which I own almost all of the original vinyl. There are a few bonus tracks here, but mostly it's nice to hear all of this music without the surface noise of my worn originals. I was especially happy to gain a new appreciation for the second LP. Although Michael Brown had left by the time the sophomore effort was recorded, there are a lot of outstanding tracks to be found here."
The best is brilliant
firstname.lastname@example.org | 06/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I usually reserve 5 star ratings for truly classic albums that are very strong from start to finish, but the best here is so good it is essential for the 60s enthusiast. Besides, who can complain about an attempt to be totally inclusive of all projects that involved original Left Banke members? This could have been a killer 18 song collection, and that is why it merits 5 stars.Walk Away Renee, Pretty Ballerina and Desiree all deserved to be monster hits; only Walk Away Renee made it. All the songs on their 1st album are included, and pretty much all are great, particularly She May Call You Up Tonight, Shadows Breaking Over My Head and I've Got Something On My Mind.If you really liked Walk Away Renee, you should give this a listen. Michael Brown was truly a talented keyboardist and composer, and Steve Martin's voice was the perfect compliment to Brown's compositions. To bad they couldn't work together!One note. I've lost the copy of their 1st album I had, but I compared it to the CD when I first purchased the CD, and the vinyl, in this case superior to the CD. But that's nitpicking. As the review says, no real collection of 60s music is complete without this collection."