Any North American readers may already be familiar with this haunting folk-rock number, as I believe it's a bit of an FM staple over there. For UK-based music fans such as myself, however, it's a bolt from the blue. Imagine a combination of The Mamas & The Papas and Jefferson Airplane at their spookiest, with shedloads of virtuoso violin and flanged percussion all the way through.
One more note: the self-titled album from which this song comes has an absolutely gorgeous cover (see http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/B000000DPF.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg), but the re-release is just white type on black - shame on Columbia.
from It's A Beautiful Day, available on CD
16 Jan 03 ·konsu: Unfortunately, nothing quite this good is an FM staple in the US. Their market is crowded with crap
mook-rock like Boston or Journey... Although I have
heard their stuff on more "educated" radio, like say
NPR or maybe college-based freeform playlists.
Great stuff! 17 Jan 03 ·G400 Custom: I love Journey and Boston as well... does this make me a mook? :-) 17 Jan 03 ·konsu: ;) Escape was one of my first records... I have no
shame! 19 Apr 07 ·artlongjr: This song got substantial airplay when I was a boy, back around 1970...I loved the melancholy sound that it has. I got the CD as a gift and it is pretty good, although "White Bird" is by far the best song on it.
This was one of the second generation San Francisco bands that came up after the Haight-Ashbury era.
28 Nov 02 ·n-jeff: But isn't Sammy Davis Jnr just like that? Silk purses out of sows ears, I treasure his performance of 'If I could talk to the animals'. It should stink, but it doesn't. Its a real treasure. 18 Jan 03 ·konsu: He also managed to spin gold from "Mr. Bojangles" without too much effort... A dying breed indeed. 20 Apr 04 ·olli: even though his vocal version of the hawaii 5-0 theme (you can count on me) is unbelievably corny, i absolutely love it. a party favourite.
i even made an animated ninja movie about it.
Great bubblegum-pop theme to the Dean Martin spy flick done by Boyce & Hart, best known as one of the songwriting teams behind the Monkees. This track features some terrifically dated, non-P.C. lyrics like "blonde hair, brunette, redheads/lying like injuns in the grass/they're comin' through the pass/and buster/you're General Custer". It also features a great Tijuana Brass-esque horn arrangement, and since this came out on A&M, it may actually be Alpert and the boys themselves. The single is pretty easy to find, but it's also available on the fantastic "Mad, Mad World of Soundtracks" comp from Germany, with its accompanying book of soundtrack cover art.
from the single The Ambushers (A&M) available on CD - The Mad, Mad World of Soundtracks (Motor Music)
19 Jan 03 ·konsu: Super underrated songwriting duo. Fab stuff! Also check out their exellent LP "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight?",a big hit for them, but the whole record is really solid! From what i've read, these guys are virtuosos, and did all their own arranging as well as guitar & keys! Very fun stuff... 31 May 03 ·john_l: I just listened to this track (off their Anthology collection), and frankly it just sounds immature. For me the outstanding track by Boyce & Hart has to be "Alice Long", with its kitchen-sink production style; if I had to list my favourite 10 songs of all time I'm sure it would be right in there! 24 Jun 03 ·tinks: i think immaturity is the a-number-one thing these cats had going for them...i mean, they wrote songs for paul revere & the raiders and the monkees for cryin' out loud! granted, this isn't my fave b&h tune (that title probably goes to "p.o. box 9847", but i digress) but it's good. not everything has to be of pet sounds calibre, after all.
Instrumental version of the US spy series with a widely sampled intro. Breezy melody carried by sax, strings and ‘do-do-do’ wordless vocals. Mood music by which to follow the planes I see from my apartment window, heading towards London’s main airport on summer evenings.
available on CD - Espresso Espresso
24 Jan 03 ·konsu: Yeah! Just amazing stuff, huh? The entire LP is a masterpiece of banging soundtrack wizardry, Totally worth pursuing. Someone better bootleg this or i'm gonna do it! 24 Jan 03 ·delicado: I agree, this is a great track. Dimitri from Paris seems to have helped himself to plenty of chunks from the album, as well as this song (for 'une very stylish fille'). Incredibly, the LP can be had for around $10 on ebay, and is well worth it.
Nice mellow one from A&M master arranger Nick DeCaro (Claudine Longet, many more), but this is probably my fifth "favorite" song off of this wonderful album, with versions of songs by Stevie Wonder ("happier than the morning sun") and Joni Mitchell ("all i want") that even the composers would have to admit have value added. I don't know if Ms. Mitchell necessarily sees the humor in changing the lyric "I want to knit you a sweater" to "I want to lift your sweater", but I do. Also a radical arrangement of "tea for two" only Bob Azzam can compete with. Nice comments by "konsu" on Nick's earlier album only show up if you put a space between "De" and "Caro".
from Italian Graffiti, available on CD (MCA Japan)
29 Jan 03 ·konsu: Cordially corrected for hair splitters,and for the benefit of search engines everywhere!I'm sure Joni
has lifted a top or two in her heyday too!His work needs WAY MORE stateside attention indeed. 03 Apr 03 ·drchilledair: Even if you think you don't know who Nick DeCaro is, chances are you are familiar with his music, via his arrangements for many Golden Age of Warner-Reprise "Burbank Sound" recordings incl: Gordon Lightfoot's 'If You Could Read My Mind', James Taylor's 'Shower The People' and Randy Newman's 'Marie'. By conservative estimate, as producer, arranger, musician, songwriter, or singer, DeCaro, who died in 1992, partnered with over a hundred groups or artists - including not just Warners-Reprise artists like Arlo Guthrie, Maria Muldaur, Ry Cooder, the Everly Brothers, the Mojo Men & Harpers Bizarre, but also such diverse recorded citizenry as Barbra Streisand, the Ventures, Claudine Longet, Chris Montez, the Sandpipers, Del Shannon, Gary Lewis, et al - amassing a catalogue in excess of 300 albums and sundry 45rpm singles. In an interview I conducted with Randy Newman in 2001, he described DeCaro as being almost pathologically shy. Thus explaining, perhaps, the state of anonymity that still surrounds Nick, despite his prolific achievements. As a journalist I have devoted some of the last couple of years trying to redress this oversight. If you are interested, one result is an article I published in Japan in 2001. The English language version is available at communities.msn.com/NickDeCaro. A more recent article can be found on the web at www.spectropop.com/NickDeCaro