Last year, the Bella Union label released a collection that fell under the radar. Happily, we here at Second Disc HQ have discovered Paradise: The Sound of Ivor Raymonde, available in 1-CD, 2-LP, and digital formats. The name of Raymonde will surely be familiar to fans of Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, or The Walker Brothers, but those are only three of the artists with whom the late producer-arranger-conductor worked his magic. Paradise, co-curated by his son Simon Raymonde of Bella Union (and formerly of Cocteau Twins), is the first anthology of the elder Raymonde’s considerable oeuvre. The set features many of his greatest triumphs including Springfield’s “I Only Want to Be with You” (which he co-wrote, as well), Billy Fury’s “Halfway to Paradise,” The Walker Brothers’ “Make It Easy on Yourself,” and Los Bravos’ “Black Is Black,” plus numerous hidden gems from the likes of David Bowie (“Love You Till Tuesday”), The Flies (“(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone”), and even Ian Dury and The Blockheads (“Sueperman’s [sic] Big Sister”).
Happily skipping from pop to rock to soul and back again, Paradise reveals a truly multi-faceted talent who brought out the best in the artists with whom he collaborated. The 26 tracks are well-annotated; the CD edition features a deluxe 32-page booklet with an introduction from Simon Raymonde, a lengthy essay from co-curator Kieron Tyler as well as detailed track-by-track notes. The set is also decked out with photographs of Raymonde in action as well as the original 45 labels for each selection. For fans of orchestral sixties pop and beyond, The Sound of Ivor Raymonde is, indeed, Paradise.
Over the course of just two seasons, Amazon’s streaming comedy-drama The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has become one of the most lauded shows on television. Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino (The Gilmore Girls, Bunheads), Mrs. Maisel stars Rachel Brosnahan as the title character Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a housewife in 1958 New York City who dreams of standup comedy stardom in an era when the profession wasn’t exactly kind to females. The show has already picked up five Emmy Awards and three Golden Globes and is certainly on its way to earning more such recognitions. One of its most enjoyable aspects has been its star-filled soundtrack. Mrs. Maisel made headlines when Barbra Streisand agreed to license her songs to the program, quite a rarity; now, its acclaimed music is coming to CD, LP, and DD over two volumes planned from Capitol and UMe.
Music from Season One, due in stores this Friday, January 25 on CD (with a vinyl release to follow on March 15), features Streisand’s “Come to the Supermarket in Old Peking” as well as tracks capturing the cool essence of New York from Peggy Lee (“Pass Me By”), Blossom Dearie (“The Gentleman is a Dope,” “Dance Only with Me”), The King Cole Trio (“It’s Only a Paper Moon”), Ella Fitzgerald (“Isn’t This a Lovely Day”) and Frank Sinatra (“Oh! Look at Me Now”) plus Broadway tunes from the musicals Tenderloin (“What’s In It for You” sung by Ron Hussmann and future Bewitched star Maurice Evans), The Music Man (Robert Preston’s “Ya Got Trouble”), and The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd (Cyril Ritchard’s “A Wonderful Day Like Today”).
Music from Season Two boasts not one but two Streisand tunes (“Just Leave Everything to Me” from the film soundtrack of 1969’s Hello, Dolly! and the evergreen “Happy Days Are Here Again”) plus return appearances by Frank Sinatra (“How Are Ya Fixed for Love” with Keely Smith), Blossom Dearie (“Some Other Time”) and Ella Fitzgerald (“Old Mother Hubbard’). Other evocative tracks come from Dean Martin (“I’d Cry Like a Baby”), Louis Prima and the Witnesses (“Five Months, Two Weeks, Two Days”), Julie London (“‘S Wonderful”), Sarah Vaughan (“I’m Gonna Live ‘Til I Die”), and Patience and Prudence (“Witchcraft”). The film soundtrack performance of The King and I‘s “Shall We Dance” is also featured. Volume Two is available on March 29 on CD and May 10 on vinyl. Both volumes are available now on streaming and digital download services.
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