Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
As You Like It, Vol. 1
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
26 original demos by this U.K. popstar from the '60s, including 'Can't You Hear My Heartbeat', 'Thank You For Loving Me', 'Is It True?', 'The Vicar's Daughter' and 'Waiting Here For Someone'. 1998 Westside release. All tra... more »
26 original demos by this U.K. popstar from the '60s, including 'Can't You Hear My Heartbeat', 'Thank You For Loving Me', 'Is It True?', 'The Vicar's Daughter' and 'Waiting Here For Someone'. 1998 Westside release. All tracks are previously unreleased! Subtitled 'The Denmark Street Demos 1963-67'.
Delightful '60s Demos From A Great Songwriting Team
Frank M. Young III | Seattle, WA USA | 05/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To correct the editorial description, John Carter was only a "popstar" in the context of the harmony trio the Ivy League, along with his songwriting partner Ken Lewis and Perry Ford. Carter considered himself more a songwriter who performs than a singer who just happens to pen songs.
What you get here is a bouquet of 26 very Brian Wilson-inspired pop gems, ranging from 1964 to '67. These are somewhat fleshed-out demos, many of them polished enough to have merited release back in the day. Others are more loose and skeletal. All feature the dynamite harmony singing of Carter and Lewis.
Though some tracks are stronger than others, there's not a bad moment on this CD, especially for fans of mid-'60s pop. Some of my favorites herein are the jaunty yet morose "Crying All Night," the stunning piano-guitar riff of "How Can I Turn Away?," the original demos to "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" (which Herman's Hermits copied note for note) and "Is It True?" (which, when recorded by Brenda Lee in the UK, suffered some unapt in-the-studio revision) and "Brown And Porter's [Meat Exporter's] Lorry," which Freddie & the Dreamers recorded as a late single.
The duo's "Pet Sounds" inspired pieces like "Am I Losing You," "Waiting Here For Someone" and "She Won't Show Up Tonight" manage to sound both derivative and highly original--a trick many retro songwriters have tried to achieve. While C&L clearly wear their influences on their Carnaby Street-tailored sleeves, they don't just recycle their favorite sounds. They do something new with them.
And, best of all, is "Everybody Tries," a hymn-like song that has brought tears to my eyes many times. This is an example of a perfect pop song, 'nuff said.
Lengthy liner notes from Carter relay fascinating tidbits about every song's history.
I wish that the promised Volume Two had been finished and released. Unfortunately, Westside went under shortly after the '98 issue of this disc. This CD will be a sought-after collector's item in years to come. It's long out of print, and I urge you to pick up a cheap used copy here before people glom onto it and drive the price sky-high. I've listened to this CD over 100 times since I bought it from Amoeba Music in SF, back in '98, and I don't think I shall ever tire of it."
Another indispensable release from the brilliant Britpopmeis
Record Producer | Burbank, CA | 10/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is another of those "you can't lose" releases. If you don't know who John Carter is, he was one of the most prolific composers/producers/performers in the British pop scene, from the early sixties until the 1980s. And he was so prolific because he was so GOOD. Well, to be entirely accurate, he was GREAT. So many famous artists recorded his songs, and Carter himself released many under a zillion names that hid the fact that he was the musical force behind them all.
He is probably the closest approximation to a Brian Wilson on that side of the pond, both for his unlimited melodic gifts, beautiful singing, and incredible arrangements and productions. If you're into British or American pop of the sixties or seventies, you have no doubt heard dozens of groups perform his material, and the wonderful demos on this album show you that when others did his songs, they did them VERY closely to Carter's polished demos. But many of these demos contain songs that will be entirely new to you. And not because they aren't brilliant, because they are all that and more.
If you've never heard of The Flowerpot Men, The Ivy League, Stamford Bridge, or any of Carter's other endless incarnations, trust me -- if you love well-written melodic pop, you simply CAN'T lose with this release.
If all he had done was to write, produce, and help perform The First Class' "Beach Baby," he would already be assured to spot on the All-Time Pop Masters list, because if you don't just listen to that song as a fun escapist tune, but really pay attention to its incredible structure and arrangement, you will realize that it is one of the MASTERFUL pop songs in history. It's right up there with "Good Vibrations" and few other songs. You can listen to it a thousand times and find new things to appreciate about it nearly every time.
And the thing is, "Beach Baby" was just a drop in the bucket for Carter. And the 26 tracks on this CD will make that very apparent after only the first three or four songs.
So buy this, savor the man's talent, and then go out and try to find the incredible 2-CD set "Measure For Measure: The John Carter Anthology 1961 - 1977," "A Rose By Any Other Name," the Stamford Bridge CD, the Japanese "The Essential Works In The Studios 1963 - 1982)," "First Class/SST," the Japanese "The Essential Collection of The First Class 1972 - 1985," The 2-CD Ivy League set "Major League," The Flowerpot Men's brilliant unreleased two-fer "Peace Album/Past Imperfect," The Flowerpot Men's "Let's Go To San Francisco," and any other CDs and records you discover that have to do with the incredible music of John Carter."