Monday, April 14, 2014

Songs that lingered on my lips excite me now (Mary Hopkin) #161 - 166

Mary Hopkin Those Were The Days/ Turn Turn Turn (Parlophone, NZP 3295, 1968)

Mary Hopkin Those Were The Days/ Turn Turn Turn (Apple, Apple 2, 1968)

Mary Hopkin Goodbye/ Sparrow (Apple, Apple 10, 1969)

Mary Hopkin Temma Harbour/ Lontano Dagli Occhi (Apple, Apple 22, 1970)

Mary Hopkin Knock Knock Who's There/ I'm Going To Fall In Love Again (3 copies - NZ/ Australia/ South Africa Apple, Apple 26 NZ; Apple 9105; AP 26, 1970)

I'm sure by now regular readers will have realised my obsession with Apple Records. I'm a Beatles fan/ obsessive and that means by extension that I'm an Apple Records completist as well.

Most Apple product had a Beatle connection of some sort - whether it had a Beatle producing, writing or playing on the song.

Paul McCartney did all three for Mary Hopkin.

Mary was a Paul McCartney 'discovery' in that Twiggy recommended her to Paul after Mary had won Opportunity Knocks (the Britain's Got Talent of the sixties). He then took it upon himself to produce her (Those Were The Days and Goodbye), give her a hit song (Goodbye), and perform on individual tracks (he plays guitar and keyboards on Goodbye).

Helps that she has a great voice too so songs like Those Were The Days, Goodbye and Temma Harbour have a lovely freshness to them, even now. It's no hardship collecting Mary's Apple product!

Knock Knock is one of those songs that appears to have been foist upon her. Mickie Most is the producer and he's a pop man through and through. The song was an entry in the Eurovision song competition which pretty much guarantees blow back.  

It wasn't until the great Toni Visconti arrived in the producer's chair that a sympathetic ear gave Mary the chance to really shine (see my next post).

Hidden gems: The B sides largely provide a folksy side to Mary - with songs by Pete Seeger, and Gallagher/Lyle. I'm Going...Again is a Mickie Most production, though, that doesn't do Mary's remarkable talent justice. Her version of Turn Turn Turn is a little twee. To me her voice at that time was too young to get the gravitas required to properly sell this song. I can imagine Joan Baez singing this with a heavier feel. Sparrow doesn't do much for me and Lontano is sung in Italian and I have no idea what type of genre it is. Again - it doesn't float my boat much but as I said - I'm a completist!  

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