CD REVIEW - DRUMBEAT
Music by the John Barry Seven & VA,
Silva Screen Records SILCD 1307 (UK)
39 Tracks 75:06 mins
I was a year old when this UK pop music series aired, so you will forgive me if I don't remember it, but it was very influential in that it launched a number of artists who would go on to be big sellers in the years to come, people like Adam Faith, Dusty Springfield and Vince Hill.
The show's musical director, John Barry, had yet to make the transition to film at that time, but already he was showing promising signs of things to come, coming up with dynamic numbers, often quite jazzy, with his John Barry Seven lineup, as well as showing his arranging skills, eventually coming up with the distinctive sound that accompanied Adam Faith on his biggest hits. This album presents Barry's very first collaboration, before that sound was established, with Faith on "Ah, Poor Little Baby!, as well as a number of tracks released on CD for the first time.
The instrumentals include "Bees Knees," "Catwalk," "Little John," "Beatnik," "Rockin' Sandy," "Rebel Rouser," "Compulsuion," "Mad Mab," and "Little Dipper," plus of course the show's theme tune, "Drumbeat" and, whilst there are few songs here that I can recall going on to make it big, save for "It Doesn't Matter Anymore," they are an interesting mixture, very much of their time, whether they be ballads or out and out rockers. Familiar covers of standards include "Get Happy," "C'Mon Everybody," and "I'm in the Mood for Love."
Some listeners might find the sound of screaming female fans a little intrusive, but these are live recordings after all. Pure nostalgia!
Accompanying the disc is an informative 20-page booklet, with notes on the history of the show by Barry experts Geoff Leonard and Pete Walker. Released on the 28th of this month, go to www.silvascreenmusic.com, where you can listen to samples, order the CD, or download the album if you prefer.