We’ve written in the past about B.J. Thomas’ continuing vibrancy as an artist, most recently during his appearance at the Franklin Theater in greater Nashville this spring. His concert longevity has been fueled by multiple decades of hits, as we’re reminded by the new Real Gone Music release New Looks from an Old Lover: The Complete Singles. Thomas had his first hits on Scepter Records in the ’60s, piled up more hits in the ’70s on MCA and ABC and then gracefully moved to Columbia in 1983, where he had several more hits, largely on the country charts. On top of all of that, he had a highly successful career in Christian music. None of this new collection is “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On my Head,” but it’s well-crafted and throughly enjoyable pop music by one of the genre’s best vocalists. Highlights include “As Long as We’ve Got Each Other,” (Yes, from Growing Pains), “New Looks from an Old Lover,” “Whatever Happened to Old-Fashioned-Love,” “Two Car Garage” and “Rock and Roll Shoes” with Ray Charles.
Real Gone Music remains a great friend to fans of ’60s pop music queens, with a fine catalog recognizing the legacies of Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, Jackie DeShannon, and recently, Lesley Gore. Following up their reissue of her Someplace Else Now, Real Gone Music has issued an expanded edition of the 1976 album Love Me By Name.
This adventurous album with a sci-fi cover reunited Lesley Gore with producer Quincy Jones, who recorded all of her early “It’s My Party”-era hits. Lesley hadn’t had much success in the ’70s, and this was a stab at giving her a contemporary sound.
It succeeded in doing that, though the album didn’t find an audience. Love Me By Name features an all-star group of players (Herbie Hancock, Harvey Mason, Jim Keltner and Dave Grusin among them) , and includes “Sometimes,” a performance with the then-emerging Brothers Johnson.
Lesley co-wrote the songs with Ellen Weston, and they ‘re well-crafted. I’ve long admired “Immortality,” the single from the album. It’s about reincarnation or more precisely bouncing back from death. It is the peppiest song ever about the afterlife and features an 11 syllable hook: “Im-im-im-im-im-mo- mo – Imortality.”
Lesley Gore had a rich writing and recording career long after the “party” was over. This new collection captures some of her most ambitious later work.
A label is much more than simply a business – it’s a community, a place to share and exchange ideas.
Such is the case with Middle Of Nowhere Recordings. Set up as a means to get a one off release from Scottish songwriter Rachel Sermanni out there into the watching world, it has grown to build a roster which includes artists from across the UK and beyond.
As part of our celebration of music from the Highlands and Islands, Clash had a quick chat with founders Rachel Sermanni and Robert Hicks.
“When we couldn’t find the right label for Rachel Sermanni’s first proper release, Rachel said: “why don’t we do it ourselves?” Having only experienced producing Rachel’s ‘The Bothy Session’ EP, we set about building a team which resulted in the ‘Blackcurrants’ EP – which debuted at No. 1 in the Indie Breakers chart. When Rachel’s critically-acclaimed debut album came along, it was very much in the vein of “‘well, we did it before” so ‘Under Mountains’ was released and subsequently debuted at No. 2 in the Indie Breakers chart.”
“Middle Of Nowhere Recordings was officially born when Londoner, and regular Laura Marling band member, Pete Roe approached us to put his album out. Three years on, we’ve in excess of 25 releases under our belts and achieved a number of significant milestones with many many more still to obtain. All from a little office in the ‘middle of nowhere’ here in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland.”
“Middle Of Nowhere Recordings began with the production of my first EP, ‘The Bothy Sessions’. The songs were recorded in the spirit of spontaneity, one night in a bothy (shack), three miles into a forest in the Scottish Highlands. It made sense to give the label a name that fit.”
“Since then, it has gathered a collection of artists that feel like family. Sorren MacLean and Colin MacLeod fit the bill, being from two remote islands off the west coast. Roddy Hart and Pete Roe are city boys, but there’s a sense of space to their music and words. Mo Kenney is from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and everywhere in Canada is basically in the middle of nowhere. I’ll be releasing my new album with them in July. I look forward to see who they support next. I’m glad to have such a family.”