Archive for August, 2006

“Don’t Kill It Carol”

August 20, 2006

It’s a testament to the sonorous signature of the mighty Manfred Mann that, with only a single Earth Band album lodged theretofore into my mental faculty (The Roaring Silence from 1976), I was able to identify the performer of this striking recording when it flicked at me from an Amsterdam radio channel back in 1995. That knob-skewed synth confetti in the middle is what cinched the ID, for I recognized that striking tone from those immortal marvels of The Roaring Silence, “This Side of Paradise” and “Starbird”. With the curious title of this following track lodged firmly into my mind, I promptly purchased its parent album, Angel Station, upon my return to the States.

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – “Don’t Kill It Carol”

Pomp Pop

August 16, 2006

For years there had been confusion surrounding the bands who emerged in England during the early-mid ’70s that straddled a stylistic nexus betwixt the prevailing prog heavyweights and the preceding pop practitioners of the late 1960s. This curious clutch of bands – which included Supertramp, 10cc and the Electric Light Orchestra – forged a succinct hybrid of music which combined the jaunty songcraft of 1966-1969 era Beatles and Kinks with the quasi-symphonic fullness embedded in the aural riches of reigning musical masters like Genesis and Yes.

In his scholarly book Rocking the Classics: English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture, esteemed musicologist Ed Macan coined the phrase ‘British Symphonic Pop’ to delineate this particular splinter of the progressive rock era. On Usenet, some notably erudite parties, such as Geir Hongro of Norway, coined the rather telling moniker of ‘pomp pop’ to ensure the historical enshrinement of this integral synthesis of ’70s rock. Personally, I prefer the latter phrase for its self-explanatory ease (classic pop with a lushly enlarged sound) as opposed to Macan’s more generic term, which in copy could easily be confused for other hybrids of rock and symphonia, namely the ’60s ‘pocket symphony’ approach as exemplified by “Eleanor Rigby” and the Brian Wilson scrapbook.

Lee Sklar

August 11, 2006

For years I’d been curious about this ubiquitous four-string maestro. But since matching that familiar name to the fleecy countenance of innumerable cameos, my intrigue has piqued. Which leads me to the inquiry: what are some of the more delectable aural etchings from this hirsute slowhand?

sklar_lee2_picture

Update:
Ah, what new things you visualize as names are revealed behind the aural curtain. I just found out that the pink diamond platters of the divine Carole Bayer Sager were amongst this hirsute’s pursuits. You know that relaxing pulse which sends “Stronger Than Before” floating on the shore? Ahh.. that’s our fleecy furnisher on the four.;)


Carole Bayer Sager – “Stronger Than Before” (from Sometimes Late at Night – 1981)