2010 mini album from the veteran Britpop outfit fronted by Tim Booth. Produced by Lee 'Muddy' Baker, The Night Before seems fearless in comparison to its predecessors, a product, no doubt, of the way it was conceived: the band set up an ftp site to which they all contributed, downloading and updating each other's efforts at various intervals whilst Baker knocked things into shape. This "virtual" recording process (which eventually led to recording sessions in Brighton and Oswestry), was presumably inspired by the band's history of working with Brian Eno and has brought out the best in James, the results proving as diverse and intriguing as anything the band have attempted before.
This soundtrack to the popular 1982 animated film based on the acclaimed children's book by Peter Beagle was scored by songwriter/composer Jimmy Webb ("Wichita Lineman," "MacArthur Park") and features performances from the soft rock duo America. The score itself, an appropriately somber and sentimental blend of fairy tale motifs and dark, Wagnerian cues, reflects the story's achingly beautiful tale of a unicorn who attempts to overthrow a maniacal king determined to rid the world of the magical creatures, while the songs are far more creative, daring, and eloquent than all of the cookie-cutter balladry that would eventually replace their type in future animated films. Like Watership Down, The Hobbit, and even Robert Altman's live action, Harry Nilsson-scored Popeye, this hard to find soundtrack is a gem from another age.