Archive for the ‘Keith Mansfield’ Category

Junior Campbell

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Listen: Sweet Illusion / Junior Campbell
Sweet Illusion / Junior Campbell

Very over produced commercially intended records, often termed schlock, were in full swing by ’73, when ‘Sweet Illusion’ was a #15 UK hit. British Decca and sometimes their subsidiary label Deram, seemed to puke them out regularly. Years later, these titles were occasionally referred to as guilty pleasures. Some of us didn’t wait for the hipster’s chic nod of approval, instead finding such artifacts a genre onto themselves to collect from the start.

‘Sweet Illusion’ was an airwaves fixture that summer ’73 in London, played way more than the sales charts indicated it should have been. Clearly, this was a disc jockey favorite, a turntable hit for sure, despite a non aggressive chart climb and ultimate peak. My guess is even the #15 slot was a healthy dose of a deal being done. Like did anybody really, really buy this one?

During his time as a founding member of The Marmalade, who used Keith Mansfield as an orchestral arranger on many of their successes, including ‘Lovin’ Things’, ‘Wait For Me Mary Ann’, ‘Baby Make It Soon’ and ‘Reflections Of My Life’, Junior Campbell reportedly studied Mansfield’s scores at close range. Being impressed with the craft of arranging for orchestras, as well the expertise of orchestral musicians in general, led to him handling accompaniment arrangements on the band’s future sessions himself. Once tired of touring in ’71, he left The Marmalade to study orchestration and composition with Eric Guilder and Max Saunders at the Royal College of Music

During the 70′s he had two self-penned solo successes, ‘Hallelujah Freedom’ (#9 in ’72), with Doris Troy, and ‘Sweet Illusion’.

The Marmalade

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Listen: Baby Make It Soon / The Marmalade MarmaladeBabyMake.mp3

Apparently, The Marmalade’s ‘I See The Rain’ was one of Jimi Hendrix’s favorite records. Their most collectable release, considered a psych classic, on and on.

All good, a deserved single. Having released a few musically revered but consumer ignored 7′s, UK CBS decided they’d had enough. Onto their pop assembly line The Marmalade went.

Perfect. The more manufactured or schlock, as one friend arrogantly puts it, the singles became, the more I liked them. Indeed, pop/schlock 60′s and 70′s UK singles in general – especially non-hits by nobodies get me excited every time.

‘Baby Make It Soon’ was probably a song the band hated and most likely didn’t even play on. Who cares….it’s a period classic, and many a person’s guilty pleasure. That, I would bet my life on.

Definitely a keeper.

The Virgin Sleep

Monday, March 8th, 2010

VirginSleepLoveUKA, Virgin Sleep, Deram, Noel Walker, Keith Mansfield, Rod Buckle

VirginSleepLoveUK, Virgin Sleep, Deram, Noel Walker, Keith Mansfield, Rod Buckle

VirginSleepLove, Virgin Sleep, Deram, Noel Walker, Keith Mansfield, Rod Buckle

Listen: Love / The Virgin Sleep
Love / The Virgin Sleep

For a UK summer ’67 psychedelic snapshot, Deram were a pretty dependable label. Extending Decca, their parent company’s policy of the previous four years (basically grabbing up as many blossoming bands as possible and awarding them a single or two to see if they had something) gave The Virgin Sleep their 15 minutes. ‘Love’ has ranked respectfully among the most sought after period singles, and obviously for good reason. Sounding not unlike The Troggs’ more druggy tunes, the band modelled this after the Buddhist chant ‘Om Mane Padme Hum’ and logically threw in a sitar. ‘Paint It, Black’ beware.

VirginSleepHaliford, Virgin Sleep, Deram, Noel Walker, Keith Mansfield, Rod Buckle

VirginSleepHallifordUK, Virgin Sleep, Deram, Noel Walker, Keith Mansfield, Rod Buckle

VirginSleepHallifordUSB, Virgin Sleep, Deram, Noel Walker, Keith Mansfield, Rod Buckle

Listen: Halliford House / The Virgin Sleep
Halliford House / The Virgin Sleep

Produced by in-house Decca staffer, Noel Walker, both ‘Love’ and it’s B side, ‘Halliford House’ left no psychedelic studio trick untried. The crack ending here being solid proof.

VirginSleepSecrets, Virgin Sleep, Deram, Noel Walker, Keith Mansfield, Rod Buckle

Listen: Secret / The Virgin Sleep
Secret / The Virgin Sleep

Things went a bit more commercial for their second and last swing at the hit parade. Keith Mansfield was brought in to ‘arrange’. His history was incidental music for TV and film. Nice choice. Didn’t work though, as far as chart success went. Sounding not unlike the future classical ideas The Move would explore makes me wonder if Roy Wood was a fan. Still the psychedelic accolades remained intact, as ‘Secret’ has turned up on a few hardcore comps of the genre.

VirginSleepComes, Virgin Sleep, Deram, Noel Walker, Keith Mansfield, Rod Buckle

Listen: Comes A Time / The Virgin Sleep
Comes A Time / The Virgin Sleep

As with ‘Secret’, ‘Comes A Time’ was produced by Rod Buckle. He must not have enjoyed the experience given his name never surfaced again, to my knowledge. Despite some nice Honeybus moments, it’s always ignored. This B side really grew on me, by accident if truth be known. The turntable was on repeat.

The Brotherhood Of Man

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Reach Out Your Hand / The Brotherhood Of Man

Listen: Reach Out Your Hand / The Brotherhood Of Man BrotherhoodReach.mp3

No question about it, THE ESSENTIAL NORTHERN SOUL PRICE GUIDE is one of the best books ever. It’s my idea of what to read by the fireplace on a snowy winter afternoon. But I really do have one complaint. This single is not included. Clearly authors Martin Koppel, a particularly nice fellow who ran Toronto’s Kop’s Collectabiles for ages nd Tim Brown know what they’re talking about. I know Martin is English, as I’ve bought many a single from him through the years, and I guess Tim is too. So understandably, sometimes the Brits have their heads in spaces other than their own backyard, yet all is forgiven. Basically, this fits really nicely into any mix of Northern I’ve ever done. Plus it’s on Deram. I like anything on Deram, even the schmaltziest stuff, which The Brotherhood Of Man would dependably deliver on a regular basis. Keith Mansfield was involved in this one, he did some great stuff for The Love Affair too.

If you’re in New York, go now to Bleeker Street Records. There’s a ton of 7″ warehouse fresh finds in the basement 3 for $1.00. Mike Goldsmith alerted me to them. Been twice, between the two of us, we’ve lightened their load by a few hundred. Returned today and picked up three more copies of this, and plenty are left. Have fun.