miércoles, 3 de febrero de 2010
Mary Hopkin: The Apple Years (1968-71) ... plus
It was the British supermodel Twiggy who alerted Paul McCartney to the Welsh singer Mary Hopkin when Apple Records was looking for talent in 1968. The waifish soprano scored a huge, worldwide smash with her first Apple single, the melancholy but rabble-rousing ballad 'Those Were the Days,' in late 1968; it actually knocked the Beatles' own 'Hey Jude' out of the number one position in the U.K. Paul McCartney lent Hopkin a further hand by producing her first album and writing her second single, 'Goodbye,' which was also a hit. Besides 'Days', the highlights on Post Card, her debut Lp, are Donovan's 'Lord of the Reedy River' and 'The Honeymoon Song,' which McCartney himself had sung with the Beatles way back in 1963 on the BBC. Also on board is a rather nice composition, 'The Game,' by Beatles producer George Martin, who contributed some piano and orchestra conducting to the album. The reissue included here contains George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin's 'Someone to Watch Over Me', as well as 'Turn! Turn! Turn!' and versions of 'Those Were the Days' that Hopkin sang in Italian and Spanish. More folk-oriented than her first effort, on her beautiful second album Earth Song, Ocean Song, Mary Hopkin's lilting voice soothes the listener like hot tea with honey. Included in this set, which was produced by Tony Visconti, are her interpretations of Ralph McTell's 'Streets of London,' Cat Stevens' 'The Wind,' and Gallagher & Lyle's 'International.' In my opinion this one is undoubtedly her best album ever. Ms Hopkin is allowed to do what she does best and to perform material that's far better suited to her. It's a beautifully simple and acoustic affair - guitars, strings, harmonium, flutes, etc. - which comes over in the emotion and love that's clear in her voice. Also here is Caneuon Cynnar, a collection of ten songs Mary recorded circa 1965, when she was just fifteen. Although all sung in Welsh, you will recognise some of the tunes, as they are covers of songs already made famous by others. With Mary's distinctive high soprano and sparse musical backing, they sound different from usual, but fresh. The English titles of the songs covered include 'Turn Turn Turn', 'Tammy', 'Morning of My Life', 'Something Stupid' and 'Can't Help Falling in Love'. There are also covers of 'Plaisir d'Amour' and 'Guantanamera', so it's not only English language songs that were translated into Welsh for Mary to sing. Finally, I added a Bonus Tracks folder which is, more or less, the 1995 Those Were the Days compilation (without the duplicated files and with some more I added). It contains many of Mary's best known songs, precisely those which weren't originally included in her two Apple albums, such as 'Temma Harbour', 'Goodbye', 'Think About Your Children', 'Knock Knock, Who's There', 'Jefferson', 'The Fields of St. Etienne', 'Que Sera Sera', 'Heritage', 'For All My Days' and 'Sparrow'. All in all, you got here 57 Mary Hopkin's songs to enjoy!! http://www.amazon.co.uk/, http://www.allmusic.com/ BTW: you'll find all the cover arts you need here.
The single Goodbye, released on 28 March 1969; it reached #2 in the UK singles chart:
'Knock Knock, Who's There', written by John Carter & Geoff Stephens. Good Eurovision performance from Mary in 1970: