Tag Archives: Mary Hopkin

Mary Hopkin on Apple

Post Card

When Mary Hopkin began her career at Apple, she was no more than a voice; a tool with which Paul McCartney was going to use to craft pop mastery1. Hopkin’s voice was superb and fantastic, and McCartney saw that to make a good record of classics and new material which would be universally adored. He began with the Russian tune (which Gene Raskin added English lyrics to) called “Those Were The Days.” The song went on to be an international smash hit.

Post Card picks up where they left off2. McCartney found many songs for her, three from Donovan, one from Harry Nilsson, one from George Martin, some Gershwin and even some Irving Berlin. While no McCartney compositions graced the original album, the remastered and expanded edition does include Hopkin’s second single “Goodbye,” a Lennon/McCartney composition3

I think my favourite track is Harry Nilsson’s “The Puppy Song.”

Earth Song/Ocean Song

Where Post Card prevails, Earth Song/Ocean Song fails. While it’s not a bad record, it’s just nothing special. While Hopkin’s first record was a fantastic, grand event, Earth Song/Ocean Song is the same old, in a time over filled with women singing folk songs. It’s clich√© and slightly boring.

Some of the songs are fantastic, others are mundane. Throughout it all Hopkin’s voice is superb, and producer Tony Visconti does a fantastic job with Hopkin.

If you want something of this style, might I suggest some Joan Baez?

  1. Even his then-girlfriend Linda Eastman photographed the cover. []
  2. The CD opens with the song, but it wasn’t on the original vinyl pressing. []
  3. Which I’m certain had zero input from John Lennon. []

Music Roundup

Come and Get It:
The Best of Apple Records

In 1968, The Beatles formed Apple Corps. Ltd., a new home for the records, and of the amazing and strange records of their contemporaries.

Recently released is Come And Get It: The Best of Apple Records a record that can only be described as mis-titled. This is definitely not the best of Apple, as it doesn’t feature The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” or Lennon’s “Mother.” Instead it could more aptly be titled “Assorted Single, and such.”

Though The Beatles, as a cohesive unit, do not grace the record, they are still in sight. The album features Lennon/McCartney compositions such as “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight”1, “Thingumybob”2, Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance”3, “God Save Us”4, and more George Harrison songs than you can shake a stick at.

The Beatles don’t sit back comfortably only in the role of songwriter. The legendary band also often produce, or perform with their labelmates. The genres are never a pre-defined thing, going from Francophone hillbilly5 to shmaltz6, soul7, gospel8 and much more.

It’s pretty easy to list all the brilliant on this record, “Those Were The Days,” “Carolina In My Mind,” “Maybe Tomorrow,” “Sour Milk Sea,” “New Day,” “Come And Get It,” “Try Some, Buy Some,” “Ain’t That Cute,” “Govinda,” “Saturday Night Special,” and “Day After Day.”

There’s also a lot that can be described best as… interesting. The Lennon/McCartney9 composition “Thingumybob” would not sound out of place as the backing music for a Looney Tunes cartoon. There’s Brute Force’s comedy song “King of Fuh,” who apparently was “called the Fuh King;” Lennon must have chosen this one.

The only thing bad on the record is Hot Chocolate Band’s reggae cover of “Give Peace A Chance.”

While a lot of this appears on other newly remastered Apple discs, it does feature a lot of material only previously available on singles.

Grit
by KUMONgA

While this might only be a three-song demo, I feel I must give it some space on this here blog. KUMONgA is a new band featuring Dan Walters, who used to be in The Brown Hornets, a pretty damn good band. While The Brown Hornets were a lot more punk, KUMONgA is a bit more focused on soul rock; to the point where the opening track has definite Rolling Stones vibes, specifically “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” The other two tracks continue on this theme, creating a rather cohesive and easily digestible three songs. I’m not sure if the title Grit is a reference to their dirty soul sound, or if it’s to display an affection towards the Liberal Party of Canada.

Looking forward to potential live KUMONgA shenanigans.

  1. Performed by Trash []
  2. Performed by The Black Dyke Mills Band []
  3. Performed by Hot Chocolate Band []
  4. Performed by Bill Elliot & The Elastic Oz Band, listeners will hear Lennon count in. []
  5. The Sundown Playboys []
  6. Mary Hopkin’s “Those Were The Days” []
  7. Jackie Lomax []
  8. Billy Preston []
  9. Really Paul. []