Tag Archives: Alan Parker

LP 294: Simon Park – Venus Fly Trap (EMI, 1975)

8 Sep

Side 1
01 Venus Fly Trap
02 I Can’t Stand The Rain
03 This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us
04 Soul Sarabande
05 5.56 Boogie

Side 2
06 Tides
07 Lay Lady Lay
08 Oh, You Pretty Things
09 Remember When
10 (There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me

Venus Fly Trap is Simon Park’s follow-up to Something In The Air and emerged on the EMI label during 1975.

The title track is one of four self-penned numbers. It features contrasting light / dark moog sounds with some furious percussion and organ work. 5.56 Boogie (just over four minutes long) continues this edgy vibe with an organic proto-1980s synth melody beloved of industrial documentaries. On the other hand Soul Sarabande is a gentle shimmering flute-glider that should have been used for romantic scenes in Crossroads. The dramatic keys of Tides complete this most satisfying quartet of tracks.

Other treats in store for you include a most atmospheric stab at I Can’t Stand The Rain and a suitably manic cover of killer Sparks number This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us. Squelch! Lay Lady Lay is transformed into a drugged-up six minute odyssey of sparse electronics and fractured chords while the surprising Bowie cover is from Hunky Dory – Oh, You Pretty Things – nice violin work. I’m led to believe that library supremo Roger Webb penned Remember When – a beautiful romantic number that’s wonderfully melodic and should really have closed the LP instead of the workmanlike version of (There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me .

Comments and feedback are welcome.


LP 252: John Schroeder Orchestra – You’ve Made Me So Very Happy (Marble Arch, 1971)

6 Jul

Side 1
01 You’ve Made Me So Very Happy
02 Headband
03 Tears Of A Clown
04 Cherokee Woman
05 25 Or 6 To 4

Side 2
06 Still Waters (Love)
07 Freedom Village
08 My Cherie Amour
09 Ten Bottle Funk
10 Spinning Wheel

John Schroeder’s message:

She moves with the sun in her hair and the warmth of love in her heart.
My days and nights are filled with thoughts of her.

And the inspiration?

This album was inspired by some very good songs.
You Made Me So Very Happy is another quality LP from the John Schroeder Orchestra. Released on the Marble Arch label in 1971 it comprises 30 minutes of top-drawer easy funk and choice loungecore. Key to its strength are a number of key personnel:

Arranger – Alan Tew
Electic guitars – Alan Parker and Mike Morgan
Acoustic guitar – Vic Flick
Organ – Harry Stoneham

There are four Schroeder / Tew compositions. Headband is gritty instrumental soul while Cherokee Woman is primal fare; meaty fuzz-laden boogie-stomp. Freedom Village is a percussive feast with Ten Bottle Funk raising the groovy bar with slick guitar and brief breaks.

Elsewhere there’s soulful rhythms on the title track, My Cherie Amour and the quirky pitched-down end-of-night version of Tears Of A Clown. Astounding stuff. 25 Or 6 To 4 buzzes along like a juggernaut before the pace drops with the chilled-out easy groove of Still Waters (Love). The Stoneham tour-de-force that is Spinning Wheel brings the curtain down in spectacular fashion.

Comments and feedback are welcome.