A cynical exploitation of some classical tunes, or a prescient mixing of hip-hop with opera, of low and high culture? One never knows with McLaren. Not that the classics had never mixed with pop before (see "Whiter Shade of Pale," "Stranger in Paradise"), but McLaren was determined to bring the stories of opera kicking and screaming into the pop realm as well. On the single, the beautiful "Madam Butterfly," the formula works transcendently. McLaren plays Colonel Pinkerton and leaves the aria alone backed by hip-hop percussion, and the result is a seamless whole. The rest of the album, unfortunately, exists to pad out the single, and the various arias (from Carmen and Turandot) seemed dropped on top of what are some embarrassing funk R&B grooves. Only "Lauretta" (from Puccini's opera Gianni Schicchi) gets close to a successful second try.
Giulio Caccini (c.1550-1618) was born in Rome, and soon took up an important musical post in Florence under the Medicis. He was widely famous, and apparently a very controversial figure, having boasted of inventing the solo chordally-accompanied song. His two collections entited Nuove Musiche of 1602 & 1614 are certainly important to this development, and Caccini was one of a handful of composers to first work in this new style. However, it had become common practice to perform older madrigals in this way via intabulations, so any notion of invention is hazy at best. Nonetheless, Caccini's detailed ornaments given to the printed vocal part are a landmark in composition.
Never Told A Soul is John Illsley's fourth solo album and sees him growing in stature as a performer and writer. As on previous records he is ably assisted by Mark Knopfler who plays on four of the seven tracks as well as star drummer Terry Williams and Chris White on sax…
This is a double CD collection of studio recordings from 1962 to Luke’s untimely death in 1984, covering the original releases of the songs that became synonymous with Luke. In addition the collection will include the rare recording of Ray Davies song ‘Thank You For The Days’.