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19.2.08

Swing Out Sister







Swing Out Sister - Shapes And Patterns - 1997 - Mercury

Brilliant soul pop/jazz, with a hint of R & B. A wonderful album of intelligent, cool music from the great vocalist, Corinne Drewery and keyboardist, Andy Connell. Check out their equally good 1990 album, "It's Better to Travel."

TRACK INFORMATION

1.Somewhere In The World (3:45) - Composed by Connell, Andy/Drewery, Corinne/ODuffy, Paul
2.Here And Now (5:07) - Composed by Connell, Andy/Drewery, Corinne
Arranged By [Strings] - Robyn Smith
3.We Could Make It Happen (5:13) - Composed by Connell, Andy/Drewery, Corinne/ODuffy, Paul
Saxophone, Flute, Arranged By [Horns] - Snake Davis
Trombone - Fayyaz Virji
Trumpet, Flugelhorn - Steve Sidwell
4.Shapes And Patterns (0:52) - Composed by Connell, Andy/Drewery, Corinne
5.Better Make It Better (5:23) - Composed by Connell, Andy/Drewery, Corinne
6.Something Out Of This World (5:03) - Composed by Connell, Andy/Drewery, Corinne
Saxophone, Flute, Arranged By [Horns] - Snake Davis
Trombone - Fayyaz Virji
Trumpet, Flugelhorn - Steve Sidwell
7.Joe Meek's Cat (0:23) - Composed by Connell, Andy/Drewery, Corinne/ODuffy, Paul
8.Stoned Soul Picnic (5:08) - Composed by Nyro, Laura
9. You Already Know (4:35) - Composed by Connell, Andy/Drewery, Corinne
10.Always (5:06) - Composed by Connell, Andy/Drewery, Corinne/ODuffy, Paul
Arranged By [Vocals] - Frank Campbell
Vocals - Beverley Skeete , Lance Ellington , Miriam Stockley
11.Now You're Not Here (4:36) - Composed by Connell, Andy/Drewery, Corinne/ODuffy, Paul
Flute - Hideya Takakuwa
Saxophone - Osamu Koike , Takuo Yamamoto
Trombone, Bass Trombone, Arranged By [Horns] - Yoichi Murata
Trumpet, Flugelhorn - Masahiro Sugasaka , Toshio Araki
12.Icy Cold As Winter (5:11) - Composed by Connell, Andy/Drewery, Corinne/ODuffy, Paul
13. Shapes And Patterns (Reprise) (1:23) - Composed by Connell, Andy/Drewery, Corinne






Corinne Drewery

CREDITS

Backing Vocals - Beverley Skeete , Derek Green , George Chandler , Leon Daniels , Melodie Sexton , Stevie Lange , Sylvia Mason-James
Conductor - Gavyn Wright (tracks: 1, 2, 8)
Conductor [Strings] - Robyn Smith (tracks: 1, 2, 8)
Drums - Andrew Small (tracks: 1, 2, 5) , Gota Yashiki
Engineer - Ben Darlow
Engineer [Assistant] - Ben Georgiades , Ibi Tijani , Jon Bailey , Scott Howland , Steve Cook (3) , Tatsuya Shimokawa , Valerie Jaquot , Yutaka Shimoyama , Yutaka Uematsu
Guitar - Tim Cansfield
Keyboards - Andy Connell
Lead Vocals - Corinne Drewery
Percussion, Bass Guitar - Luis Jardim
Producer, Mixed By - Paul Staveley O'Duffy
Programmed By [Rhythm] - Gota Yashiki (tracks: 3, 8, 9) , Steve Sydelnick (tracks: 4, 6, 9, 13)
Saxophone - Larry Williams (tracks: 1, 4, 9, 13)
Strings - London Session Orchestra, The (tracks: 1, 2, 8)
Trombone - Bill Reichenbach (2) (tracks: 1, 4, 9, 13)
Trumpet, Flugelhorn - Gary Grant (tracks: 1, 4, 9, 13)
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Arranged By [Horns] - Jerry Hey (tracks: 1, 4, 9, 13)

REVIEWS

More swinging, instantly likable Burt Bacharach-style retro pop from the U.K. duo fronted by Corinne Drewery. Like a pre-Todd Terry, frown-free Everything But the Girl, SOS is at its sophisticated best on the Japanese No. 1 "Somewhere in the World," a jazzy "Now You're Not Here," and the irresistible cover of "Stoned Soul Picnic." © Jeff Bateman, © 1996-2008, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates

Swing Out Sister's fifth album Shapes & Patterns doesn't depart from the group's sophisticated pop-soul formula, but that isn't a bad thing, since their jazzy, danceable urban R&B remains pleasant. The group still has trouble coming up with memorable material, but the sound of the record is appealing, and Shapes & Patterns should satisfy fans, even if it doesn't win them any new ones. © Leo Stanley, All Music Guide





BIO (Wikipedia)

Swing Out Sister is a British pop musical group best known worldwide for their 1986 song "Breakout", which was their only song to reach the US top 10. Various listeners have classified their sound as everything from smooth jazz to cool jazz to acid jazz. Although Swing Out Sister is currently a duo, they began as a trio in the UK. The group was formed by Andy Connell (keyboards) and Martin Jackson (drums), and were later joined by Corinne Drewery (vocals). The name came from a 1945 movie starring Arthur Treacher, called Swing Out, Sister, and they claim they chose the name because it was the only thing the band could agree on: they all hated it! Both Connell and Jackson had been playing in other bands prior to forming SOS, while Drewery was actually a fashion designer before she became the band's lead vocalist. Together with their producer, Paul Staveley O'Duffy, they signed with Mercury Records. Prior to their first album, they released the single "Blue Mood" in the UK in November 1985. However, it did not chart. In late 1986, the single "Breakout" was released. It reached the number three position on the UK charts, and number six in the United States. Consequently, when they released their debut album, "it's better to travel", on May 11, 1987, it reached number one on the UK album charts. The album registered with listeners for its mix of jazz and electropop, with a blend of real horns, synths (arranged subtly, to sound like strings), drums, and xylophones, scored by producer/arranger Richard Niles. The follow-up single to the effervescent "Breakout" was the brooding "Surrender", which featured a trumpet solo performed by John Thirkell. It rose to number seven on the UK charts in January 1987. The next single was the more serious and jazzy "Twilight World". This song was the subject of many remixes and was a dance club favourite worldwide. The final single "Fooled By a Smile" returned to the upbeat pop orientation characteristic of "Breakout". The group was subsequently nominated for two American Grammy Awards in 1988: Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Group or Duo ("Breakout"). In addition to long-time partner O'Duffy as well as Thirkell, Swing Out Sister also have enlisted the talents of saxophonist Gary Barnacle (who with Thirkell also comprise the Henpecked Horns known for their work with Level 42); percussionist Luis Jardim; guitarist Tim Cansfield; trumpet/fluegelhorn master Jerry Hey; and songwriter-arranger Jimmy Webb. Original member Jackson, whose acoustic drums drove the "Surrender" single, left the group during the making of the second album, Kaleidoscope World. Although the liner notes give "special thanks to Martin Jackson" and his co-writing credits appear on the songs "Tainted" and "Between Strangers", they also point out that "Swing Out Sister are Corinne Drewery and Andy Connell." Drewery and Connell have been the core group on all subsequent albums. After leaving Swing Out Sister, Jackson later worked for Frank Zappa. "Kaleidoscope World" was released in May 1989 and achieved critical acclaim. Their turn away from contemporary styles towards retro musical sources on this album would establish the musical path that they would continue to follow with their subsequent albums. The duo found inspiration in Easy Listening music, such as Burt Bacharach, as well as songwriter Jimmy Webb, who arranged two tracks, "Forever Blue" and "Precious Words". The incorporation of an orchestra to their recordings realized their sound in a richer, fuller way than their previous effort which relied more heavily on synthesizers. Consequently, this album featured arrangements and songwriting more classical in inclination. The lead-off single "You On My Mind" featured a more sophisticated blend of musical components than their previous efforts while the upbeat tone of "Breakout" was echoed in the lead USA single "Waiting Game". Further singles included Where in the World and Forever Blue which featured a sample from the John Barry score Midnight Cowboy. In May 1992, their retro orientation became even more evident in both their sound and image on their third album, "Get In Touch With Yourself". With strong dance rhythms reverberating throughout the entire album, tracks draw influences from 1960s and 1970s jazz, pop, soul, and funk, including a breezy cover of the Dusty Springfield classic "Am I The Same Girl?" (which became their last US hit, reaching #1 on the AC chart). The album's title track, a blend of 1970s soul music and modern pop, gained the duo heavy airplay on smooth-jazz radio and was a crossover hit, gaining airtime on adult contemporary stations. The musical influences of Stevie Wonder, The Jackson Five, and others would become evident on this album but continue on through their later releases. In line with the album theme, Drewery also grew out her hair from her trademark bob which had become a visual signature for their early years. Numerous changes were afoot by the time the fourth album, "The Living Return" was released in September 1994. The replacement of producer Paul O'Duffy after initial studio sessions with Ray Hayden contributed to a looser, raw feel to the songs that were often the results of studio jam sessions. Though Drewery and Connell still led Swing Out Sister, additional musicians (including former 52nd Street bassist Derick Johnson; Pa'lante percussionist Chris Manis; drummer Myke Wilson, formerly of the Jazz Defectors; and trumpet player John Thirkell increased their group to ten members that replicate the live performances that had been captured on the Japan-only release Live at the Jazz Cafe. The album featured the single and cover song "La La (Means I Love You)", which was also included on the Four Weddings and a Funeral soundtrack. Few of the band's releases charted highly on the pop listings in Western countries after the successful debut album (though they became radio-airplay staples on jazz stations). The band, however, became extremely popular in Japan. Their song "Now You're Not Here" (from their fifth album "Shapes And Patterns", one of several released only in Japan) was used as the theme to a Japanese TV program, and received a Japanese 'Grand Prix' (the equivalent of a Grammy) for best international single in 1997. "Shapes and Patterns" was first released in Japan in March 1997, and then in Europe and USA the year after. Producer Paul O'Duffy, who co-wrote half of the songs, was back at the helm. As an orchestra was once again employed (led by Gavyn Wright), the lush arrangements characteristic of Kaleidoscope World resurfaced. The liner notes, written by Mary Edwards, point out the influences of Bacharach, Webb, and John Barry are perceptible in the string arrangements and Latin rhythms, as well as Minnie Riperton, Rotary Connection and The Fifth Dimension. The album included a cover of Laura Nyro's "Stoned Soul Picnic" as well as the original version of "Better Make It Better", which appeared in a different mix on their previous album. A pervasive longing marks songs such as "Now You're Not Here", "Somewhere in the World", "You Already Know", and "Icy Cold as Winter". This album would also mark the beginning of the duo's use of Japanese musicians in their studio sessions. "Filth and Dreams", their sixth album, proved yet again that Swing Out Sister was eager to reinvent themselves. The album was released in Japan in March 1999, and it remains the only album not released in any other country. This album featured stronger jazz leanings than some of their early pop-oriented albums, and is restrained in mood. The track Who's Been Sleeping was promoted as a single and released with several remixes. this album has a Trip-Hop feel to it. For this record, SOS adapted to the growing popularity of hip-hop in the late '90s. "Who's Been Sleeping" kicks off the record with an aggressive beat and a few hip-hop flourishes (such as Drewery's counting and uttering "Yeah..." in the background.) The rest of the record incorporates such sounds a bit more subtly, through the soaring retro stylings of "Closer Than the Sun" and "When Morning Comes" to the excitable lounge of the title track to the mid-tempo trip-hop of "Invisible" and scratch-laced "Sugar Free." Traditional SOS sounds are challenged successfully with the darkly dreamy "If I Had the Heart" and "Make You Stay." Background noises, from telephone conversations to child's play, also enrich the record and give the listener much more to cue in on. Drewery strays out of the usual love lyrics and colors a portrait of a darker world (as the title indicates) by singing about more urban subjects such as drugs (the eerie "Happy When You're High") and prostitution ("When Morning Comes.") All of their experimentation works surprisingly well and the result is probably the strongest SOS outing to date. Ironically, "Filth and Dreams" is the first SOS record not released in their native England, and is currently the most difficult CD to find. A seventh album, "Somewhere Deep in the Night", was recorded in France, and released in May 2001 in Japan (with subsequent release in Europe and USA). It was dedicated to their friend Kazuhiko Yanagida. While it is quintessential Swing Out Sister, with lush, brassy and stringy arrangements, the melodic tunes which often feature melancholic, languid, or introspective atmospherics and is more sombre in tone. Many of the tracks are instrumental, or only feature vocal harmonies without lyrics. One song even features a French spoken-word monologue. O'Duffy, who produced the album, also has co-writing credits on all the songs, and provided backing vocals along with Connell and Cansfield. Due to declining sales, their record label Universal dropped them from their contract in America. Consequently, they signed on with Shanachie Records. Undeterred, the band bounced back with their eighth studio effort, Where Our Love Grows. It was released in Japan on April 28, 2004 with the UK edition following in July. GQ Magazine reviewed it and called it "indisputably their finest record to date". The album features a return to a rich, upbeat retro-sound that fuses jazz, soul, R&B, Latin, and Easy Listening music. Samples of Roger Nichols and The Small Circle of Friends and Herbie Mann were incorporated also into some songs. Late 2005 saw Swing Out Sister return to their studio in London to commence recording of their new album. The band planned on making a second tour of America in 2006, however due to recording commitments this had to be cancelled. In 2006 they composed incidental music for the ITV1 drama The Outsiders, a new television drama featuring Nigel Harman. August 2007 saw a new single "Secret Love". The new album from the band, however, is to be called Beautiful Mess, and it's scheduled for release by the Japanese record company Avex on February 27, 2008. The title is taken from one of the tracks on the album. In late December 2007, two other tracks will be available for download: "Butterflies" and "Something Everyday".

13 comments:

wkc said...

FYI

This is Dog Party link not Swing Out Sister.

Thanks for your efforts

John said...

Thanks Mate! You're the best :)

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi! wkc. That link should be ok now, & TVM for notifying me...Cheers, & leep in touch.

Hey, John! Thanks for reminding me! I knew there was something I forgot!..I like your blog, and your link is going on this site. Any new bluesmen coming outa Chicago that I should know about? Cheers, bud, and keep in touch!

wkc said...

Thanks for fixing the link. Sorry I am late in thanking you. I appreciate your efforts.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi! wkc. No probs, and I appreciate your comments...Keep in touch!

Anonymous said...

I want to hear this.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Anonymous - Here's some new links : -
Pt 1
Pt 2

Mike said...

Sorry, I've been going under Anonymous for awhile. I really appreciate you giving these artists more exposure. Pages (can't find it anywhere nowadays), Steely Dan Live at Billboard (never heard this bootleg before), Sea Level, et al. Good stuff man.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks, Mike. It's nice to have a name. Promoting music is what it's all about. Steely Dan, & similar mega groups don't need promotion, but there is the occasional album which people never get the chance to hear. Bands like Pages, & Sea Level are prime examples

Mike said...

Yeah, that's what I mean. Stuff like the SD recording I wouldn't know about unless I looked around a bit. I've got several concert BL of SD, though all of them have been available for some time now. From that Live at Billboard, I like Pretzel Logic the most. Don't know why Walter keeps telling the same story during Hey Ninteen. He's been doing it for a long time now. It adds nothing to the performance IMO. What do you think?

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Mike. Ol' Walter often repeats himself. He is a bit mechanised at times with that 19 story, but the music makes up for it. Although Walter has never had a "sparkling" stage prescence, he's a genius composer, and nobody can equal his quirky detached guitar style. I love The Dan, but they were a better live band in the seventies. They can still play,and compose amazing stuff, but the vocals aren't what they used to be. Don Fagen will admit that himself. I suppose SD were always primarily a studio outfit, and some of their music, like the "Aja" track cannot be reproduced satisfactorily on stage

Mike said...

Agree with you there. There's no way that they're going to match their studio perfection in a live setting, but I think it's more like this:

The original band played the early SD material best live (mainly because it was the original players like Denny Dias), whereas the newer live players tend to play the more jazzified songs, e.g. later Dan better than the old could ever hope to.

Now, about Swing Out Sister, I'd say it has some nice compositions and the arranging style is trying very hard to sound like Burt Bacharach (as per the description). However, aside from a few songs, most of them fail to stand out or have a memorable quality. It's still better than the crap they play on the airwaves these days, I'll give it that.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Mike. You've got a point. However most of the guitarists from the old Dan's various line-ups in the seventies could play any of Steely Dan's later jazzier and more complex compositions. "Skunk" Baxter, Elliott Randall, Dean Parks, and other guitarists could play any of Becker & Fagen's complex chord structures. today. I would love to hear Jeff Baxter playing with the Dan today. He was an essential part of their sound. Other musicians like Michael McDonald, could do the same. Steely Dan always had a strong jazz element in their music, but definitely, their music after Royal Scam took on a much stronger jazz element, and so the music required a different style of musician. Many people prefer the blues and rock Dan to the jazz Dan. If you like jazz, Aja is your album. If you like rock, and blues, then Royal Scam or Pretzel Logic are good. 2VN, and EMG saw a huge shift in Steely Dan's music..Totally innovative, and even more complex than Aja, and yet many Dan fans long for a new "Kid Charlemagne" or "Reeling In The Years" I still think that Don's vocals now weaken the Dan's music to a large extent. Back in the seventies, vocalists like Jim Hodder, and Royce Jones, especially were an integral part of the Dan's sound. Now Donald & Walter, and occasionaly Carolyn Leonhart with backing singers "carry" some of the songs. Maybe another vocalist would be useful for touring. We could go on forever about this!

And now for something completely different!!...Swing Out Sister. The kind of music that you can listen to, enjoy, and not rememember a single track. I'm not "slagging off" SOS, but a lot of their music has that characteristic. But their "It's Better to Travel" album is much better, with better musical inventiveness, and certainly more memorable than most of their albums. OK, Mike...Gotta go, & ttu soon