Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Midnight String Quartet|
Rhapsodies for Young Lovers
No Description Available. Genre: Popular Music Media Format: Compact Disk Rating: Release Date: 16-OCT-2007
No Description Available.
Genre: Popular Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 16-OCT-2007
What You Need To Know
Cary E. Mansfield | Studio City, CA USA | 10/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Midnight String Quartet was a best-selling instrumental group comprised of top-notch studio musicians assembled by record producer "Snuff" Garrett (Bobby Vee, Gene McDaniels, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Johnny Burnette, and Sonny & Cher).
The album concept featured instrumental versions of some of the most popular hits of the day and stayed on the Billboard charts for a remarkable 59 weeks. In the year of "The Summer of Love," this was the instrumental album to own. It was "make out music" to the max.
* The most notable member of the The Midnight String Quartet was Leon Russell, who not only played piano on the group's first album, but also conducted and arranged the record as well. In fact this album is considered to be his very first as a recording artist and is listed in his extensive discography.
* The group also included session drummer Jim Gordon, who performed on many famous recordings including Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys. He was also in Derek & The Dominos, where he wrote and played the mournful piano coda for the title track, "Layla," and was also part of Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour, which also featured Leon Russell.
* The CD includes six bonus tracks from the group's follow-up release Rhapsodies For Young Lovers, Volume Two.
* This top 20 smash album has been unavailable for over 30 years and is now on CD for first time."
+1/2 -- Easy listening 1966 from Leon Russell and Snuff Garr
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 06/27/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The emergence of rock `n' roll through the late `50s and early `60s pushed many mainstream instrumentalists to the side. Still, non-rock, orchestral and band instrumentals did manage to find some action with titles by Percy Faith, Ferrante & Teicher, Bert Kaempfert, Horst Jankowski and others. Space grew thin at the top of the charts as jazz and soul instrumentals filled up any space left by rock `n' roll. Radio and records had become a teenager's province as the generation gap cleaved popular music in two. In an attempt to court the older audience with a semblance of contemporary air, numerous easy listening orchestras waxed string-based arrangements of popular hits, including the Hollyridge Strings take on the Beatles, The Living Strings album of Monkees covers, and endless MOR arrangements that sapped the life from then-contemporary rock and pop tunes.
One of the lesser remembered studio groups in this genre was the Midnight String Quartet, arranged and conducted by no less than Leon Russell, produced by Snuff Garrett, and featuring some of Los Angeles' top studio players. MSQ took a hybrid approach to bridging the generation gap, mixing contemporary standards such as "Strangers in the Night," "The Shadow of Your Smile," and "Somewhere My Love," with bona fide pop hits such as "A Lover's Concerto," "Yesterday," and "My Heart's a Symphony." The mix of film tunes, pop hits and the occasional classical theme ("Moonlight Sonata") echoed the song lists of other easy listening artists, such as vibraphonist Arthur Lyman. But unlike the exotic nature of Lyman's Hawaiian-bred arrangements, Russell and Garrett's sound was decidedly more mainstream and easily hummed.
Pairing down the string section to a quartet, and layering them on piano, harpsichord, bass and drums, the arrangements gave these recordings more muscle than larger orchestras, though Russell's florid piano and the languid tempos never achieve the bite of acts like Richard Evans' Soulful Strings. This music sufficiently pleased the record buying public to sustain the album for over a year on the charts, reaching the top-20 and spawning several follow-ups. A half-dozen tracks from the immediate successor (Rhapsodies for Young Lovers, Volume Two) are included here as bonus tracks. This first-ever CD issue is remastered sharp and clean, with a broad stereo image; Joseph Lanza's liner notes are typically effusive in the vein of his book "Elevator Music - A Surreal History of Muzak, Easy-Listening, and Other Moodsong." 3-1/2 stars, if allowed fractional ratings. [©2008 hyperbolium dot com]"