Tag Archives: Alan Tew

LP 283: Alan Tew Orchestra – To The One I Love (Pye, 1975)

20 Aug

Side 1
01 Why Did I Choose You
02 I Won’t Last A Day Without You
03 To The One I Love
04 I Honestly Love You
05 You Make Me Feel Brand New
06 You Are The Sunshine Of My Life

Side 2
07 Love Song
08 Won’t Somebody Dance With Me
09 Gentle In The Night
10 I Love You Because
11 Make It With You
12 You And I

To The One I Love doesn’t sound exactly like you’d imagine. The soppy sleeve goes some way towards symbolising the romantic and slushy sounds therein but there’s some surprises along with the way with some fine downbeat arrangements and the occasional funky moment.

Why Did I Choose You? reminds of an average Ray Conniff number with the chorus going through the motions. I Won’t Last A Day Without You is marginally better with a nice string arrangement. The title track is one of Alan’s own and is decent with a chilled-out moog vibe running the whole way through it. Similarly You Are The Sunshine Of My Life has some fat synth breaks and unfolds at a nicely relaxed pace.

Over on the other side Love Song gets the action off with some soaring strings not unlike the title track. Gentle In The Night is another self-penned number and is very lush with some evocative key changes that would ideally suit a cop show from the era (well it is a re-worked track from The Hanged Man). The remaining quarter is mostly forgettable aside from the moody Make It With You which would have fitted right onto Collage’s Misty (LP 187 on the original Spiral).

Comments and feedback are welcome.

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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.

Preview