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Welcome to the Record Reviews Page of the OGAE UK Web Site. The following reviews are ALL copyrighted by OGAE UK/Vision Magazine and appeared in issue 33. If you want to find out what's currently being released you'll find ALL the details in issue 34 out now!. More reviews in January.
OFRA HAZA – “STAR GALA” (CONVOY 5509682)
This 1995 compilation is an excellent introduction to Miss HAZA’s post Eurovision career. The 12 tracks are taken from her three albums released by Warner Music between 1988 and 1991 and starts with the groundbreaking “Im Nin ‘Alu”. Whilst fans, like myself, will already have all the tracks here the collection does represent the ‘best of ‘ her Warner recordings and as an album it flows better than some of the original albums the songs are taken from. Apart from her international hit the CD also features the singles “Galbi” (in a slightly different version) and “Wish Me Luck” but omits “Shaday” and “Daw Da Hiya” but until a comprehensive appreciation of Miss HAZA’s work is released this will suffice.
GEORGE MARTIN – “IN MY LIFE” (ECHO EHCD 20)
This album features George Martin and friends performing mainly Lennon and McCartney songs to celebrate his career in music. The friends include Phil Collins, Bryan Ferry, and VANESSA MAE but the real surprises come from those not usually known for their singing talents. For instance listen to Goldie Hawn’s amazing version of “A Hard Day’s Night” or the infectious re-working of “Come Together” by Robin Williams and Bobby McFerrin. The highlights though are Jim Carrey’s interpretation of “I Am The Walrus” and “Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite” superbly performed by one Billy Connolly. This is an album that will challenge your preconceptions and whilst it doesn’t all work it does make fascinating listening. The low points include a strained version of “Here, There and Everywhere” by CELINE DION who has suddenly found this irritating vocal style usually reserved for the likes of Mariah Carey this track is recommended to CELINE completists only.
TELEX – “LOONEY TUNES” (INDISC/MAGNETIC MAGCD 3623)
Although this album is ten years old I’ve only just got it on CD and whilst it doesn’t include the seminal “Eurovision” it’s still a masterpiece of an album that serves to remind me, again, why I love this group so much. The sound is typical TELEX and is wonderfully quirky, only this group could getaway with an opening song called “I Don’t Like Music”, at times reminding you of Sparks or Yello. However TELEX were leaders in this field and it’s a shame that they never received the commercial success they deserved. “Looney Tunes” is my first TELEX CD and whilst I wait, patiently, for others this will continue to remind me of the originality that was TELEX. Favourite tracks: all of them!! But in particular “Beautiful Li(F)e”, “I Want Your Brain” and “Happy End (I Wanna)”. Search and Enjoy!
ISABELLE AUBRET – “IN LOVE” (DISQUE MEYS 174 428.2)
It’s thirty years since ISABELLE AUBRET last appeared in the ESC and this album, which recorded in 1991, finds her performing classic standards in English. Amongst the tracks you’ll find “Love For Sale”, My Funny Valentine” and “Cry Me A River” but producing an album of such well-known standards can be a misguided idea. Many artists have followed this path and the end result has been a commercial and critical disaster. Sadly this album falls into that category and, whilst there’s no doubting her abilities, ISABELLE has failed to add anything new to the feel of these songs.
GORAN BREGOVIC – “EDERLEZI (SONGS FOR WEDDINGS & FUNERALS)” (MERCURY 5583502)
This album is an introduction to Goran who is described in the booklet as ‘the most eminent composer in the Balkans’. “Edrelezi” covers 10 years of film music and includes contributions from Johnny Depp, Scott Walker and Iggy Pop, however what attracted me to this eclectic album was the collaboration with OFRA HAZA. “Elo Hi” finds the original Israeli Diva returning to her more traditional roots with an underplayed vocal that is stunningly laid over a Greek influenced tune. With this album Goran Bregovic has managed to stretch the boundaries of World Music and produced an album of such depth that the more you listen to it the more you’ll hear.
VARIOUS ARTISTS – “THE STORY OF EUROVISION” (BR MUSIC 8106-2)
If it’s Eurovision compilations that you want then the Netherlands seems to be place to live. With almost frightening speed here’s another collection out in the Dutch market. So what does this have to offer that’s different to the others? Well for a start you can find “A Ba Ni Bi” in it’s original Hebrew along side “Eres Tu” in Spanish and the Dutch version of “I See A Star”. Probably the tracks that will have you excited though are ANNE KARINA’s “Mata Hari” and DAFNA’s “Viva Sport” both of which are found here in their English recordings. Other difficult tracks to find included amongst this double CD’s 40 tracks are “I Treni De Tozeur” and the English version of “Framling” – “Love Isn’t Love”. Unlike many similar compilations this is a well thought out collection that runs in chronological order and mixes the obvious with the obscure.
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