recorded Joni Mitchell's A Case Of You
Van Morrison Avalon Sunset
Geoff Morrow's The Gonks Are Here
features Lyn Paul
Melanie is the songwriter who kick-started Lyn Paul's rise to stardom with the New Seekers. Her song What Have They Done To My Song, Ma was the New Seekers' début hit in 1970 - only a minor hit in the UK but a Top 20 smash in the USA. The New Seekers went on to record two more Melanie songs - Beautiful People (originally recorded by Melanie on her 1969 album Affectionately) and Nickel Song (featured on her 1971 album The Good Book).
Melanie released these tracks as singles herself, though in the UK What Have They Done To My Song, Ma was originally issued as the B-side of Ruby Tuesday (Buddah 2011 038). In the USA it was released as the B-side of Nickel Song (Buddah 268).
Melanie's highest chart placing in the UK was achieved in 1972 when Brand New Key (Buddah 2011 105) reached number 4 in the singles chart. The song reached number 1 four years later as a novelty record by the Wurzels. Retitled Combine Harvester (Brand New Key), the Wurzel's version entered the chart on 15th May 1976 and spent two weeks at the top.
Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell (real name Roberta Joan Anderson) was born on 7th November 1943 in Fort McLeod, Alberta. She moved to Toronto and married folk singer Chuck Mitchell in 1965. Although the marriage did not last long, Joni kept the name.
After the break up of her marriage Joni Mitchell began to make a name for herself as a solo performer and songwriter. Her songs were covered by the likes of Fairport Convention and Tom Rush. In 1968Judy Collins had a Top 10 hit in the USA with her version of Mitchell's Both Sides Now (the song went on to become a hit in the UK in 1970).
In addition to Both Sides Now, Mitchell has written such classics as: Big Yellow Taxi (her only UK hit single), Free Man In Paris, Help Me, Raised On Robbery, You Turn Me On (I'm A Radio) and Woodstock (a US hit for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and a UK number 1 for Matthews Southern Comfort).
Joni Mitchell began her own recording career with four albums for Reprise, the last of which, Blue, included the song A Case Of You. Mitchell re-recorded the song for her 2000 "standards" album Both Sides Now.
Van Morrison first made his mark on the music scene in 1965 when he had two Top 10 hits in the UK (Baby Please Don't Go and Here Comes The Night) with the band Them. He had his first solo hit in 1967 when Brown Eyed Girl made the Top 10 in the USA. The single didn't chart in the UK, where Morrison's reputation rested on albums such as Astral Weeks (1968), Moondance (1970) and Tupelo Honey (1971).
In 1979Van Morrison brushed the bottom of the UK singles chart for the first time with Bright Side Of The Road, a track from his album Into The Music. In 1982 he had a much bigger hit courtesy of Dexy's Midnight Runners, who made it to number 5 in the UK chart with a cover of Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile). The song had originally appeared on Morrison's 1972 album Saint Dominic's Preview.
Morrison himself finally cracked the UK Top 20 in December 1989 when the single Whenever God Shines His Light, a duet he had recorded with Cliff Richard, made it to number 20. The song came from the album Avalon Sunset, which also featured the ballad Have I Told You Lately. Morrison's version of this song only made it to number 74 but in 1993 a cover by Rod Stewart reached the Top 5. In 2006 the song was revived by Lyn Paul on her album Late Night.
Geoff Morrow was one of the songwriters behind the success of Guys 'n' Dolls, the vocal harmony group that emerged after the New Seekers had split up in 1974, seemingly with the intent of stepping into the New Seekers' old shoes. Along with Chris Arnold and David Martin, Morrow wrote Guys 'n' Dolls' début hit There's A Whole Lot Of Loving, a number 2 in the UK in 1975. The trio wrote many other songs for Guys 'n' Dolls, including the follow-up single Here I Go Again, which peaked at number 33, and Let's All Get Together, which did not chart at all. Although Morrow, Martin and Arnold produced a second Top 10 hit for Guys 'n' Dolls - a cover of Dusty Springfield'sYou Don't Have To Say You Love Me - they never achieved a level of success for the group comparable with that of the New Seekers and Guys 'n' Dolls were soon eclipsed by the rejuvination in 1976 of the Brotherhood of Man.
Morrow, Martin and Arnold went on to have success with other artists. The trio's best known song is Can't Smile Without You, a hit for Barry Manilow in 1978. The song had been recorded two years earlier by the Carpenters for their album There's A Kind Of Hush and by Engelbert Humperdinck for his album After the Lovin'. It has been recorded subsequently by Lena Fiagbe, Mantovani, Dorothy Squires and Frankie Vaughan.
Elvis Presley recorded a number of songs by Morrow, Martin and Arnold: A Little Bit Of Green and This Is The Story, both of which appeared on the album Back In Memphis (1970); Let's Be Friends and Let's Forget About The Stars from the album Let's Be Friends (1972); and Sweet Angeline from the album Raised On Rock (1973).
Sandie Shaw also recorded one of their songs, Pity The Ship Is Sinking, as well as the Martin / Morrow song I Must Be Lucky.
In 1985Geoff Morrow co-wrote and co-produced a children's Christmas single for The Gonks, which featured Lyn Paul on vocals. Lyn had previously worked with Geoff Morrow on the 1984 album Hooked On Number 1s (K-Tel).
Newman's 1977 album
version of I'll Be Home. Lyn Paul
sang the lead vocal on the New Seekers'
version of this song.
Harry Nilsson Nilsson Sings Newman
which features Randy Newman
version of I'll Be Home.
Roy Orbison Crying
Roy Orbison Crying
(duet with k.d. lang)
Traveling Wilburys The
The Osmonds Crazy Horses
Randy Newman began his songwriting career in the 1960s as a staff songwriter for Liberty Records. His songs became hits for (among others) Cilla Black (I've Been Wrong Before), Gene Pitney (Nobody Needs Your Love and Just One Smile) and the Alan Price Set (Simon Smith and His Amazing Dancing Bear).
One of Newman's songs, a beautiful ballad titled I'll Be Home, was selected for inclusion on the New Seekers' 1971 album Beautiful People. The song, which features Lyn Paul on lead vocal, was also performed by the group at their live shows. A concert recording is featured on the 1972 album Live at the Royal Albert Hall.
Newman himself had first recorded I'll Be Home with Harry Nilsson in 1970 for the album Nilsson Sings Newman. He also played the piano on Barbra Streisand's version (available on her 1971 album Stoney End). Newman recorded the song yet again in 1977 for his own album Little Criminals. Other artists who have recorded I'll Be Home include: Vikki Carr, Allan Clarke (of The Hollies), Tim Hardin, Mama Cass and Curtis Stigers.
In the 1980s and '90s Newman devoted more of his time to writing film soundtracks, including Ragtime (1982), The Natural (1984), Parenthood (1990), Awakenings (1991), The Paper and Maverick (both 1994).
With the passing years many of his songs have become "old favourites." I Think It's Going To Rain Today is one such. Recorded most notably by Judy Collins and Dusty Springfield, it was revived in 1980 by UB40 and in 1988 by Bette Midler. Mama Told Me Not To Come is another. Originally a hit in 1970 for Three Dog Night, the song was a hit again in 2000 for Tom Jones and Stereophonics.
Harry Nilsson (real name Harry Nelson) started out as a songwriter in the 1960s whilst working as a Supervisor at the Security First National Bank.
Having heard his songs recorded by the likes of The Ronettes, the Yardbirds and The Monkees, Nilsson gave up his bank job and began his own recording career. Ironically, his best known hits, Everybody's Talkin' and Without You, were both written by other songwriters. Of his own compositions perhaps the best known are Coconut, Me and My Arrow, The Puppy Song (a hit for David Cassidy) and One.
One was a Top 5 hit in the USA for Three Dog Night in 1969. It was recorded by Nilsson on his album Ariel Ballet. The New Seekers included their version of One on the album Beautiful People (later re-released as Never Ending Song Of Love).
Roy Orbison set out to be a songwriter and soon met with success when The Everly Brothers had a hit in 1958 with his song Claudette. However, when the Everlys and Elvis both turned down another of his songs, Only The Lonely (Know How I Feel), he decided to record it himself. The rest, as they say, is history.
Only The Lonely went to number 2 in the USA and topped the singles chart in the UK. After that, there was no turning back. Between 1960-64 Roy Orbison had nine Top 10 hits in the UK and nine in the USA, among them Running Scared (a US number 1), It's Over (a UK number 1) and Oh, Pretty Woman (a number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic).
During the second half of the '60s Roy Orbison's name was seldom seen near the top of the charts, though the single Too Soon To Know did make it to number 3 in the UK in 1966. In the '70s his name was hardly seen at all. Chart success came only from raids on his back catalogue, most notably The Best Of Roy Orbison, which gave him his first number 1 album in the UK in 1975.
Roy Orbison's fortunes revived in 1980 when he won a Grammy for That Lovin' You Feelin' Again, a duet with Emmylou Harris from the film Roadie. In 1987 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He also had a US hit that year when a version his 1961 hit Crying (re-recorded as a duet with k.d. lang) made it to number 28 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
In 1988Roy Orbison joined forces with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty to record an album as the Traveling Wilburys. The album made the Top 20 in the UK and stayed on the chart for 35 weeks. Roy Orbison was unable to enjoy this new-found success for long, however, dying of a heart attack in Nashville just a month after the album's release. Material recorded for a solo album was posthumously released as Mystery Girl. This included the 1989 hit singles You Got It (US number 9 / UK number 3) and She's A Mystery To Me (UK number 27). In 1992 another of the songs recorded in 1988, I Drove All Night, was also a posthumous hit (US number 74 / UK number 7).
Roy Orbison has been an inspiration to many artists, among them Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits, all of whom appeared on his video A Black & White Night.Lyn Paul joined the long list of admirers when she recorded a version of Crying for her 2006 album Late Night.
A collection of Tim Rice rarities,
including the Nocturnes' Wish You
Would Show Me
Todd Rundgren Something / Anything?
this LP includes I Saw The Light. Lyn Paul
sang the lead vocal
on the New Seekers'
version of this song.
Singer-songwriter Hans Poulsen was described in The Encyclopedia Of Australian Rock And Pop as "Australia's resident hippie eccentric". In 1972 he travelled to the UK, where he spent three years living in a self-contained community in Scotland, the Findhorn Foundation. While he was in London he hooked up with the New Seekers' producer David Mackay to record an album Peace And Plenty. The New Seekers, meanwhile, recorded his song Don't Want To Lose You for their 1972 album Circles.
The New Seekers had previously recorded three of Poulsen's songs. The first, Anything You Might Say, was co-written with ex-Seeker Bruce Woodley and appeared on the New Seekers' second album Keith Potger & The New Seekers (1970). This was followed by There's A Light, an Australian hit single from Poulsen's début album Natural High, which the New Seekers included on their third album Beautiful People (1971). Wanderers Song, a track from Poulsen's second album Lost And Found, Coming Home The Wrong Way Round, was selected for the New Seekers' fifth album We'd Like To Teach The World To Sing (1972).
He has a string of hit musicals to his name - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita (all co-written with Andrew Lloyd Webber); Chess (a collaboration with Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus of Abba); and The Lion King (co-written with Elton John). But before he found fame in the musical theatre Tim Rice had honed his skills as a songwriter on a variety of lesser-known and less successful songs. Among these were two written with David Paramor, Wish You Would Show Me Your Mind and Suddenly Free. Both were recorded by The Nocturnes, whose line-up included Lyn Paul and Eve Graham, a few years before they both joined the New Seekers. In 2006Wish You Would Show Me Your Mind was released on a Tim Rice compilation CD, That's My Story.
Renowned as a songwriter and virtuoso musician, Todd Rundgren is also a well respected producer and engineer. Despite his prodigious talent and a long list of solo albums, Rundgren has been more often rewarded with critical acclaim than he has with commercial success. I Saw The Light (a tribute to Carole King from the double album Something / Anything?) was a minor UK hit for Todd Rundgren in 1973. The single reached number 36 and spent only six weeks in the charts but it remains his best known and biggest selling single in the UK. Lyn Paul sang the lead vocal on the New Seekers' version of the song, which was included on their 1972 album Circles. Since then I Saw The Light has also been recorded by Terry Hall (ex-Specials and Fun Boy Three) and by country singer Hal Ketchum.
In an interview with Paul Lester for Record Collector magazine, Rundgren said that the song took him 20 minutes to write: "I didn't go into the studio hoping to create the perfect pop single... I just hit a groove. It's the groove that most writers and performers spend their entire live looking for." (Record Collector, No. 353, September 2008, pages 33-34).
In addition to his songwriting and solo recording, Todd Rundgren worked with the bands Nazz and Utopia and produced albums for other artists, including Patti Smith and XTC. In 1977 he produced, engineered and mixed Meat Loaf'sBat Out Of Hell. He was also guest vocalist on Bonnie Tyler's1985 single Loving You's A Dirty Job But Someone's Gotta Do It.
Stephen Schwartz wrote the score for the musical Godspell, the first production of which opened at the Cherry Lane Theater in Greenwich Village on 17th May 1971. A year later one of the songs from the show, Day By Day, became a Top 20 hit in the USA. Sales of the original cast album soared as a result, prompting Columbia Pictures to make a film of Godspell, together with a new soundtrack.
The New Seekers recorded Day By Day twice. The song first appeared on the group's 1972 album Circles. Less than two years later it reappeared as part of a Fire and Rain medley on their 1974 album Together. Day By Day has also been recorded by Shirley Bassey, Judy Collins, Percy Faith, The Fifth Dimension, The Hillside Singers, Harry Secombe and Andy Williams.
In August 1971 the New York production of Godspell had transferred to the larger off-Broadway Promenade Theater, where it ran for five years (2,124 performances). On 22nd June 1976 the show finally made it to Broadway, enduring for another 527 performances at the Broadhurst Theater. Meanwhile, a production of Godspell opened at the Wyndhams Theatre in London, with a cast that included Julie Covington, David Essex, Jeremy Irons and Marti Webb. The London production ran for three years.
Stephen Schwartz continued to write for the musical theatre, enjoying success in New York with Pippin (1972) and The Magic Show (1974). Subsequent shows in the '70s, '80s and early '90s were less successful and Schwartz turned from the theatre to film. His songs have been featured in the Disney animations Pocahontas and The Hunchback Of Notre Dame and in the Dreamworks' film The Prince Of Egypt.
Labi Siffre's best known song is It Must Be Love. A number 14 hit for Siffre himself in 1971, the song was also a hit for Madness a decade later. Lyn Paul's version of the song was recorded for her 1975 solo album Give Me Love.
Having enjoyed a brief chart career in the early 1970s (he also had UK hits with Crying, Loving, Laughing, Lying and Watch Me), Labi Siffre made a dramatic comeback in 1987 with a protest song against apartheid in South Africa, (Something Inside) So Strong. This gave him his only Top 10 hit as a recording artist, peaking at number 4 and spending 13 weeks in the charts.
1977 album includes
their version of Echoes Of Love,
a song released
as a single by Lyn Paul
Simon and Garfunkel Sounds Of Silence
Simon and Garfunkel The Graduate
This film soundtrack
includes two Paul Simon songs, Sound Of Silence
and Mrs. Robinson,
both of which
covered by Lyn Paul
as a member of the Nocturnes
and the New Seekers.
Nocturnes Da Doo Ron Ron /
Patrick Simmons / Willie Mitchell / Earl Randle
Lyn Paul's first solo single for the Crash label in 1983 was a cover of the Doobie Brother'sEchoes Of Love. The track first appeared on the Doobies' 1977 album Livin' On The Fault Line and subsequently appeared on the compilation Best of the Doobies Vol. II.
Patrick Simmons, who co-wrote the song with Willie Mitchell and Earl Randle, was a guitarist and vocalist with the Doobie Brothers. Although he wasn't the main songwriter in the group, Simmons wrote Black Water (the Doobie Brothers' first number one single in the USA) and the less successful single Dependin' On You (US number 25).
When the Doobie Brothers disbanded in 1983, Simmons recorded a solo album, Arcade, which yielded two minor hits in the USA, So Wrong (US number 30) and Don't Make Me Do It (US number 75). Simmons rejoined the Doobies in 1989.
Lyn Paul recorded Paul Simon songs with both The Nocturnes and the New Seekers. In 1968The Nocturnes included versions of The Sound Of Silence and Homeward Bound on their début album. The New Seekers included a version of Mrs. Robinson on their second album Keith Potger & The New Seekers.
The Sound Of Silence was first recorded by Simon and Garfunkel on their début album Wednesday Morning, 3am. The song was played frequently on the radio by a DJ in Boston, prompting a local record company promotions man to suggest that it be released as a single. CBS producer Tom Wilson added a drum and electric guitar backing without the knowledge of either Paul Simon or Art Garfunkel, both of whom were surprised when they discovered that the re-recorded version had become a hit single in the USA (a number 1 in fact). This version was featured on Simon and Garfunkel's second album, Sounds Of Silence, which was hastily recorded in December 1965 to cash in on the success of the single.
Among the tracks on the album was Homeward Bound, which gave Simon and Garfunkel their first UK hit single in March 1966 (that same month The Sound Of Silence became a UK hit for The Bachelors). Homeward Bound had been written by Paul Simon in 1965 while waiting for a train on Widnes railway station. Longing to be back in London with his girlfriend Kathy, Simon described his loneliness as he travelled "on a tour of one night stands ... suitcase and guitar in hand."
Mrs. Robinson (originally titled Mrs. Roosevelt) was written for the soundtrack of the Mike Nichols' film The Graduate, which starred Anne Bancroft as the seductive Mrs. Robinson and Dustin Hoffman as the diffident young college graduate, Benjamin Braddock. The mention of "Jesus" in the song's chorus meant that some radio stations refused to play it. Despite this the single reached number 1 in the States and number 4 in the UK.
Lyn Paul recorded two of Phil Spector's songs with The Nocturnes - Da Doo Ron Ron (which was released as a single in Germany in 1968) and River Deep, Mountain High (which featured Eve Graham on lead vocal). Both songs appeared on The Nocturnes' début album. Da Doo Ron Ron also featured on their 1969 album Wanted Live.
Spector's first foray into the pop world was with the Teddy Bears, who had a US number 1 hit in 1958 with Spector's To Know Him Is To Love Him. Although the trio turned out to be one hit wonders, Spector went on to become one of the most influential songwriters and producers in pop music, renowned in particular for his "wall of sound" production technique.
In 1961 he founded his own record label, Philles, and wrote and produced hits for girl groups such as the Crystals (Da Doo Ron Ron, Then He Kissed Me) and The Ronettes (Be My Baby, Baby I Love You). In 1966 he wrote and produced Ike & Tina Turner'sRiver Deep, Mountain High, which became a Top 3 hit in the UK but only reached number 88 in the States. Disappointed, Spector closed his record label and disappeared from the music scene for a couple of years.
When he returned in 1969 Spector was hired to complete production work on The Beatles' album Let It Be. His fondness for lush orchestration caused controvesy, not least with Paul McCartney, who was pleased when a stripped down version of the album (Let It Be ... Naked) was eventually released in 2003. Spector went on to produce albums for John Lennon (The Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, Sometime In New York City) and George Harrison (All Things Must Pass, Concert For Bangladesh) Later in the '70s he worked with Leonard Cohen and the Ramones. In 1989 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.