Matt Monro - The George Martin Years CD (& appreciation thread) *

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by vzok, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    Going back to the original purpose of this thread, I suddenly remembered that my original notes for The George Martin Years had to be severely cut. Here's the unedited version with all my removed track notes.


    1. You Keep Me Swinging
    (Kenneth Hare/Graham Fisher)
    Recorded 14th & 21st October 1959
    Arranged and Conducted by Ron Goodwin
    (c) 1959
    From the Album "Songs for Swinging Sellers" Parlophone PMC 1111/PCS 3003

    The first collaboration between George and Matt for an album by Peter Sellers. Both also used pseudonyms. Matt was of course, Fred Flange and George, as composer of the music, appeared using his regular nom de plume, Graham Fisher.

    2. Love Walked In
    (George and Ira Gershwin)
    Recorded 2nd March 1960
    Arranged and Conducted by Tommy Watt
    (c) 1960
    Parlophone R 4638

    The success of Matt's cameo on the Sellers LP lead to a full contract with Parlophone and Love Walked In was his first single release with George producing. The label of the single erroneously listed Matt's surname as `Munro'.

    3. Portrait of My Love
    (David West/Cyril Ornadel)
    Recorded 2nd November 1960
    Arranged and Conducted by Johnnie Spence
    (c) 1960
    Parlophone R 4714

    After the first single failed to set the charts alight, George threw everything into the follow up. A full orchestra, a brand new song and even recorded the session in stereo - something not very common for a single in 1960. This also marked the first session with George's favourite arranger, Johnnie Spence, who would become Matt's musical director shortly afterwards. Johnnie was asked to create a Gordon Jenkins/Nat King Cole style arrangement by George and he wasn't to disappoint. The name of lyricist David West was another pseudonym, this time for George's fellow EMI Producer, Norman Newell.

    4. My Kind Of Girl
    (Leslie Bricusse)
    Recorded 18th February 1961
    Arranged and Conducted by Johnnie Spence
    (c) 1961
    Parlophone R 4755

    In early 1961 Matt took part in ITV's `Great British Song Contest' where he came second to Mike Preston's Marry Me. George had more faith in the song than the ITV audience and decided to rush record and release Matt's song, cancelling the release of the already recorded ballad Come Sta in favour of My Kind Of Girl with a swinging big band arrangement. Matt may have come second on TV, but ended up being far more successful than the winner.

    5. This Time
    (Jack Abrahams/Graham Fisher)
    Recorded 18th February 1961
    Arranged and Conducted by Johnnie Spence
    (c) 1961
    Parlophone R 4755

    The B side of My Kind of Girl saw George once again in his Graham Fisher persona.

    6. Gonna Build A Mountain
    (Anthony Newley/Leslie Bricusse)
    Recorded 21st August 1961
    Arranged and Conducted by Johnnie Spence
    (c) 1961
    Parlophone R 4819

    `Stop the World - I Want To Get Off' had been open just one month when George, Matt & Johnnie recorded Gonna Build A Mountain. In the musical this was a gospel number, but the trio re-worked the song into a swinging big band arrangement.

    7. Can This Be Love
    (Herbert Kretzmer/ Graham Fisher)
    Recorded 25th April 1961
    Arranged and Conducted by Johnnie Spence
    (c) 1961
    Parlophone R 4775

    A double `A' side (coupled with Why Not Now?) featured George, as Fisher once more. This time writing with Herbert Kretzmer who would later become the lyricist for the English-language version of `Les Misérables'

    8. No One Will Ever Know
    (Jerry Lordan/George Martin)
    Recorded 11th May 1961
    With Johnnie Spence at the Piano
    (c) 2012
    From the Album "Matt Uncovered - The Rarer Monro" EMI Gold 5099 9624663 2 5

    This is George's favourite recording of Matt's. In May 1961 George attempted a late night session with Johnnie and a rhythm section to make an album with a relaxed atmosphere. They recorded several titles with the rhythm section and then two demos with just Matt & Johnnie. The idea was eventually scrapped and the recordings left on the shelf. In 2003 George issued a limited edition book from Genesis Publications called `Playback' which also featured a CD of rare recordings. No One Will Ever Know was featured on the disc having been transferred from an acetate George had kept. No one had any idea where it had come from. It wasn't until engineer Richard Moore was researching Matt's recording sessions in 2009 that the origin of the recording was found and a pristine stereo version of the song was issued a couple of years later.

    9. Softly As I Leave You
    (Hal Shaper/Antonio De Vita)
    Recorded 27th December 1961
    Arranged and Conducted by Johnnie Spence
    (c) 1962
    Parlophone R 4868

    This is the first of several singles George and Matt issued based on foreign language songs with new English lyrics and one which would become a classic.

    10. Tahiti
    (Philip Hudsmith/William Hill Bowen)
    Recorded 18th April 1962
    Arranged and Conducted by Johnnie Spence
    (c) 1962
    Parlophone R 4911

    Matt recorded many songs for film soundtracks and Tahiti is one of the more the obscure. This title song was recorded for one of a series of travelogues made by William Hill Bowen. Matt had previously worked with him on commercials and the even more obscure short film `The Skiers of Norway' in 1959. First issued as the B side of When Love Comes Along, this release marks the first time the song has appeared in stereo.

    11. My Love And Devotion
    (Milton Carson)
    Recorded 18th April 1962
    Arranged and Conducted by Johnnie Spence
    (c) 1962
    Parlophone R 4954

    Following in the footsteps of songs based on classical themes such as Stranger in Paradise and Till The End Of Time (both of which were also recorded by Matt), this tune is based on the theme of the second movement of the violin concerto no.2 by the Polish violin virtuoso and composer Henryk Wieniawski. Yet another pseudonym here too, this time that of Milton Carson which was actually an alias used by composers Howard Barnes, Harold Fields and Joseph Roncoroni.

    12. I Get Along Without You Very Well
    (Hoagy Carmichael)
    Recorded 24th June 1962
    Arranged and Conducted by Johnnie Spence
    (c) 1962
    From the Album "Sings Hoagy Carmichael" Parlophone PMC 1185/PCS 3034

    13. One Morning In May
    (Hoagy Carmichael/Mitchell Parish)
    Recorded 22nd July 1962
    Arranged and Conducted by Johnnie Spence
    (c) 1962
    From the Album "Sings Hoagy Carmichael" Parlophone PMC 1185/PCS 3034

    Two selections from what is considered to be Matt's masterwork. The complete album was recorded in just three sessions in between summer season commitments. The recordings were acclaimed by no less than Bing Crosby and Carmichael himself, with many becoming the definitive recorded versions.

    14. Walk Away
    (Don Black/Udo Jurgens)
    Recorded 28th April 1964
    Arranged and Conducted by Johnnie Spence
    (c) 1964
    Parlophone R 5171

    Spotted by Matt whilst taking part in the 1964 Eurovision Song contest, this song started life as the Austrian entry `Warum Nur, Warum?' by German singer/songwriter Udo Jurgens which was placed sixth in the contest. Don Black added the English lyric.

    15. Without The One I Love
    (Hamilton Dodds)
    Recorded 10th January 1963
    Arranged and Conducted by Johnnie Spence
    (c) 1965
    From the Album "I Have Dreamed" Parlophone PMC 1250/PCS 3067

    The `I Have Dreamed' album was recorded over a three year period with the earliest tracks dating from 1962. This release sees the first reissue of three tracks from that album since 1991

    16. The Girl I Love
    (Charles Tobias)
    Recorded 22nd January 1963
    Arranged and Conducted by Johnnie Spence
    (c) 1963
    Parlophone R 5019

    One of Matt & George's lesser known singles from the pen of Charles Tobias whose notable songs include Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days Of Summer for Nat King Cole and Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else but Me) for the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

    17. From Russia With Love
    (Lionel Bart)
    Recorded 3rd September 1963
    Arranged and Conducted by Johnnie Spence
    (c) 1963
    Parlophone R 5068

    George's production work at its best. Having recorded several takes utilising a normal grand piano as part of the orchestration George wanted to make the song sound more `Russian'. He hit upon a trick that he would later use on many of Billy J Kramer's recordings as well as the Beatles In My Life, called wound up piano. This was the process of recording the piano at half speed which when played back at its normal rate, gave the piano much more attack and repeated notes could be played much faster. The effect was almost like a Balalaika. The recording was also unusual in that it featured Matt recording a second vocal onto the 4 track tape. The final mono mix, as issued on 45rpm single, used a combination of different parts of each vocal to create the master. When the track was later mixed into stereo only one of the vocal tracks was used. This was rectified when the song received a new stereo mix, reinstating the correct vocals, in 2010 for the remastered edition of the CD set `The Singer's Singer' and is the version featured here.

    18. If This Should Be A Dream
    (Dick James/George Martin)
    Recorded 18th April 1962
    Arranged and Conducted by Johnnie Spence
    (c) 1965
    From the Album "I Have Dreamed" Parlophone PMC 1250/PCS 3067

    19. Once In Every Long And Lonely While
    (Hal Shaper/George Martin)
    Recorded 8th January 1965
    Arranged and Conducted by Johnnie Spence
    (c) 1965
    From the Album "I Have Dreamed" Parlophone PMC 1250/PCS 3067

    Two more George Martin composed songs, written with the Beatles publisher Dick James and Softly As I Leave You lyricist Hal Shaper.

    20. As Long As I'm Singing
    (Bobby Darin)
    Recorded 26th September 1965
    Arranged and Conducted by Johnnie Spence
    (c) 1966
    From the Album "Yesterday" Liberty LRP 3437/LST 7437 (USA)

    Matt was always popular in America where his records were licensed for issue by Liberty. They released far more albums of Matt's songs in the US than the UK and were always looking for new material. To this end George and Matt made a number of recordings that were exclusively for release in the USA. One of these As Long As I'm Singing made quite of an impression on Matt and it became his opening number in live performances for several years.

    21. Yesterday
    (John Lennon /Paul McCartney)
    Recorded 12th September 1965
    Arranged and Conducted by George Martin
    (c) 1965
    Parlophone R 5348

    With George's Beatles association it was inevitable that some of his artists would get to record Lennon and McCartney songs and Matt was no exception. He recorded All My Loving in 1964 and became one of the first to cover Yesterday. He would go on to cover several more Beatles songs later in his career. This was one of the first occasions where George stepped out from behind the console to arrange and conduct the orchestra. It was also the penultimate session to take place under Matt's Parlophone contract before signing for Capitol.

    22. Sarah's Coming Home
    (Mike Hawker/Brian Bennett)
    Recorded 5th April 1971
    Arranged and Conducted by George Martin
    (c) 1972
    Columbia DB 8900
    After five years with Capitol Matt returned to EMI UK, initially to the Columbia label (until the name was retired in the mid 70's) and then EMI Records. Sarah's Coming Home comes from the first session for the label and also marked the first time he would record at George's new studio in Oxford Street, AIR Studios. Matt would record at AIR more than any other studio over the next 14 years.

    23. First Of May
    (Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb)
    Recorded 29th June 1972
    Arranged and Conducted by George Martin
    (c) 1972
    From the Album "For The Present" Columbia SCX 6525

    24. Michelle
    (John Lennon /Paul McCartney)
    Recorded 29th June 1972
    Arranged and Conducted by George Martin
    (c) 1972
    From the Album "For The Present" Columbia SCX 6525

    25. Ethel Baby
    (Jerry Bock/Larry Holofcener/George Weiss)
    Recorded 29th June 1972
    Arranged and Conducted by George Martin
    (c) 1972
    From the Album "For The Present" Columbia SCX 6525

    Three selections from the last album George would produce for Matt and also one of his strongest of the 1970's. The album (which also included Sarah's Coming Home) featured George in charge of the majority of arranging and conducting too. The three recordings presented here come from a session which Matt's daughter Michele was invited to. He surprised his daughter by recording his rendition of Michelle with her stood right next to him in the vocal booth.

    26. I Am In Life
    (Roger Cook/Roger Greenaway)
    Recorded 2nd March 1973
    Arranged and Conducted by George Martin
    (c) 1973
    Columbia DB 8988

    I Am In Life was paired with the song I Am (taken from `For The Present') and issued as George's final single and last production for Matt. This would not, however, be the last time Matt and George worked together.

    27. I Close My Eyes And Count To Ten
    (Clive Westlake)
    Recorded 9th March 1974
    Arranged and Conducted by George Martin
    *Produced by John Burgess
    (c) 1975
    From the Album "The Long And Winding Road" EMI EMC 3096

    Although now being produced by George's Partner in AIR, John Burgess, George still found time to work with his old friend as arranger and conductor on this track. Whilst they would not work together directly again they remained great friends and when Matt made a Spanish Language album for Gary Mason's SEI Corp in the early 1980's, the orchestral tracks were recorded at AIR and according to the albums UK Engineer Steve Churchyard, although uncredited, George produced the orchestral sessions that Matt would later add his vocals to in the USA.

    Tracks 1 - 21 Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, 3 Abbey Road, St John's Wood, London.
    Tracks 22 - 27 Recorded at AIR Studios, 214 Oxford Street, Westminster, London

    Produced by George Martin (Except*)
    Researched and Remastered by Richard Moore

    Original Engineers:
    Stuart Eltham and Norman Smith (Abbey Road),
    Jack Clegg and John Middleton (AIR)
     
  2. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Do we have an actual date for the Operation Hong Kong radio concert? Presumably the program on the 15th with Winifred Atwell was in the UK. So I would have thought the 21st the mostly likely date as he had a 5 day tour and it doesn't seem reasonable that he performed on the 16th. I don't think the concert is mentioned in the sessionography.

    I don't suppose your database contains an index for the sessionography, Richard?
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  3. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Thanks Richard - that is much easier to read than the booklet!
     
  4. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Richard any chance of the notes for 'The Greatest' known as 'This is the Life' in the US? I am confused as to what is unique to this release.
     
  5. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    Operation Santa Claus – Friday 21st December 1962 – Radio Hong Kong

    Hong Kong City Hall

    No index i'm afraid.

    Richard
     
  6. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    I don't know of a compilation called "This is the Life". Only album with that title was an original 1966 Capitol album. The Greatest was a 2010 hits compilation from EMI. The unique track on that disc was the previously unreleased "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" from the sessions that became the "We're Gonna Change The World" LP. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Greatest-Matt-Monro/dp/B003057294
     
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  7. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    The Sessionography had to draw a line somewhere. We decided to include all known recording sessions (although a couple have come to light since like the Reditune tape) and all RELEASED radio & live recordings. We have some more (in varying quality) but the research & space to include everything that does or ever existed would have meant a book twice the size. most of which would read "This recording is lost". At the time of publishing "Operation Santa" was still unreleased and therefore not listed in the book. I did look in the "Radio Broadcasts" section of Special Resreve compiled by Michele from contracts and radio times listings and for some reason it seems to have been missed off. Something else to add to the manuscript should we ever have cause to repress.

    At some point (though don't ask me when!) I'll post session details for everything we've released since publication that isn't listed anywhere.
     
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  8. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Thanks Richard!
     
  9. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    That's all I need then - thanks again.
     
  10. vzok

    vzok Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    UK
    I knew that the twofers were not the greatest quality transfers, so I always try where possible to replace the tracks on iTunes with remastered versions from The Singer's Singer etc (or occasionally a decent vinyl rip). I always thought the "Hollywood and Broadway" CD was stereo, I'll have to listen to it again. The twofer CDs are OK for throwing into the car CD player.

    I don't mind the twofer format, if the quality is there. However, I prefer the simple format taken on "Matt Monro Sings" where they include the album "Blue And Sentimental" plus the 2 US only tracks, and then add the 3 singles and b-sides that preceded the album as bonus tracks.

    This is all very helpful information Richard. Thanks.
     
  11. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    It's been a long time since i looked at the Hollywood and Broadway CD. I do know it's a mixture of Mono & Stereo. It's possible some tracks have been replaced with Stereo from other compilations, but many will definitely be Mono. Stranger in Paradise, The Apple Tree and Walking Happy have NEVER appeared in stereo on CD.
     
  12. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Happy New Year, Richard.
     
  13. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Not forgetting 'Words & Music'? Have you a simple list of the recording dates? Though I can probably work them out from the sessionography to be honest...

    ...btw I am loving Live in Australia: Twin Towns & Operation Hong Kong - and the other live recordings are on order...
     
  14. vzok

    vzok Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    UK
    The Hong Kong CD has a few tracks that Matt didn’t ever record, which makes for a nice addition to the catalogue.
     
  15. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    So all these tracks were re-remastered in 2016?
     
  16. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    Most. Warner labeled them as such but a few - such as those from Hoagy are the previous remasters as they couldn't be improved on.
     
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  17. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    The Hoagy are easy to work out from Sessionography. Recorded over three sessions between Jun & August 1962.
     
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  18. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    A happy new years to all reading this thread.
     
  19. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    What I like about the Australia one was the old-fashioned banter which really took me back. However, the performances were excellent too and sound really fresh, though the accompaniment could have been better.
     
  20. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    One or two of the singles seem very like the 2010 remasters. I seem to remember a page on the Mint Audio website with detailed info on this release but I can't find it now...
     
  21. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Yes they were!
     
  22. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    On Matt At The BBC, 'I Should Care' is shown in the booklet as being published in 1963. However the sessionography seems to place it as being recorded on the 8th January 1961. Is there a list of recording dates for this release?

    Norman
     
  23. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    That version Jan 1961 version was recorded for the Album Pick of the Pops. Matt at the BBC contains a different version. All info for these tracks is in sessionography Pt 7.
     
  24. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    So those two tracks on Parade of the Pops - Parlophone PMC 1134 are the ones on Singer's Singer? - Thanks.
     
  25. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    In a word, yes.
     

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