Sunday, December 27, 2009

Midas Touch

Macaulay and Macleod – who are they? I didn't really know until I decided to buy a 2CD compilation called Buttercups & Rainbows: The Songs of Macauley & Macleod. I listened to the music and was thrilled. That was also when I learned that Tony Macaulay and John Macleod were, in fact, a British equivalent to the American bubblegum music industry – a winning songwriting team who scored many hit singles in the UK between 1965 and 1973.

The purpose of these songs was of course to get them to the charts and make as much money as possible but Macaulay, Macleod, the artists and musicians inrefutably created something truly wonderful in the process. The result was timelessness captured in dozens of beautiful pop songs – these two CDs contain fifty of them. It really seems that Macaulay and Macleod turned their ideas into gold in more than just one way. Their songs were golden even when the singles failed to chart.

This set is packed with awesome pop warmth. It is soulful, it is happy, it is sparkling… Just listen to the incredibly catchy melodies, excellent background vocals and superb string and horn arrangements and you’ll soon feel like celebrating. One of the most famous songs here is of course Build Me up Buttercup by the Foundations. You will probably also recognize Smile a Little Smile for Me, the great song by the Flying Machine. Besides these bands there are also numerous others and to me they were mostly new. Marmalade was familiar but I really had never heard of such bands as the Paper Dolls, Pickettywitch or Jefferson. Well, now I know and I couldn’t be happier!

I love the evil 60s/70s bubblegum music empire, no matter if it is UK or US. And it doesn’t bother me at all that those people are, in fact, taking my money.

Listen to some stuff from this compilation (YouTube):
The Foundations: Build Me up Buttercup
Pickettywitch: Same Old Feeling
The Paper Dolls: Something Here In My Heart
Marmalade: Baby Make It Soon
The Flying Machine: Marie Take a Chance
Jefferson: Baby Take Me in Your Arms
The Committee: Sleep Tight Honey

Tina Tott: Take Away the Emptiness Too

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear MF:

It was not my intention to write again (at least so soon) for fear of overdoing my welcome, but I changed my mind for three reasons:
1. To wish you a wonderful New Year!
2. To provide a positive momentary distraction to the terrible senseless tragedy which has recently happened in Finland.
3. Also, because I found a fantastic video (see YouTube: The Wedding Present "Holly Jolly Hollywood" featuring Simone White) featuring my favorite musical artist of the past decade, David Gedge, and I thought I'd take this opportunity to mention how much I LOVE the music of his band Cinerama!!!

Gedge originally led a band called The Wedding Present which I was never into probably because they were a little to harsh for my taste, but I was there from the beginning when he took off with Cinerama in the late '90's. The first two Cinerama albums are, in my humble opinion, absolute masterpieces - meaning I can play them over & over and never get tired of them. Here was the kind of smart, sassy (i.e. sexy), sophisticated, lushly-orchestrated rock that I felt I'd been waiting for my entire life. I think I stumbled upon them originally because Marty Wilson-Piper of The Church plays on their first CD called "Va Va Voom". Sadly, Cinerama have folded since Gedge and Sally Murell have split, and he has returned to using the name The Wedding Present.

There are several good youtube videos I highly recommend: 1. Cinerama "Kerry Kerry & Cinerama "Careless" but above all please give a listen to Cinerama "Dance Girl Dance".

Best Wishes to you for a great 2010! Eric