Saturday, 29 June 2013

Retro Vinyl: The Stars Sing Lennon & McCartney (Music For Pleasure, 1970)

By 1970, several pop groups and singers had material reissued on EMI's budget Music For Pleasure label, the one exception being The Beatles.

Music For Pleasure were not laid back in doing tie-in releases with Beatles material. Albums of Lennon/McCartney compositions by other artists such as Count Basie and a Tijuana Style LP were often popular releases.

The Stars Sing Lennon & McCartney (MFP 5175, Mono) however was a neat if different compilation culling together several tracks (mainly singles) recorded by several of The Beatles early chart contemporaries such as Cilla Black, Billy J Kramer, Peter and Gordon and The Fourmost. In most cases songs recorded by these artists had never been recorded or released by The Beatles themselves (indeed if they had they wouldn't be released for several years). 

The remainder artists that make up the album are Kenny Lynch, David and Jonathan and Bernard Cribbins, all performing songs that were notably covers of previously issued Beatles material (in two cases songs from Sergeant Pepper).

The Stars Sing Lennon and McCartney displays how great John and Paul were at knocking out tunes for other artists and is a fine example of how as songwriters they maintained a stronghold on the UK charts outside The Beatles during 1963 and 64. Love Of The Loved and Hello Little Girl were debut chart hits for Cilla Black and The Fourmost respectively while Bad To Me and World Without Love were UK chart toppers for Billy j Kramer & The Dakotas and Peter and Gordon.

My personal favourites on this LP have to be I'll Be On My Way (a  Billy J Kramer B-Side) and Peter and Gordon's I Don't Want To See You Again. Both could easily have been Beatles songs themselves, yet evidently John and Paul felt they were better suited for the artists they gave them to and in both cases how right they were, the latter possibly been the most bittersweet of Peter and Gordon's single releases.

The Stars Sing Lennon and McCartney was released with  photographic images of the composers themselves John (circa 1968) and Paul (circa 1966) set against a starry background.

The label, true to form of many MFP album releases from this era (in blue, reflecting the Mono release) doesn't retain the same title on the sleeve, in this case its called Lennon & McCartney - Songwriters.

I found my copy of the LP on Darlington market in the late 80s for a mere 50p. I find it particularly fascinating as the reverse of the LP seems to have the tracks ticked and crossed in red pen by a previous owner - who evidently didn't like several tracks driving a line through them in red pen and putting a cross next to them!

The Stars Sing Lennon and McCartney (MFP 5175, 1970, Mono)

Side 1
  1. Bad To Me - Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas
  2. World Without Love - Peter & Gordon
  3. Hello Little Girl - The Fourmost
  4. When I'm Sixty Four - Bernard Cribbins
  5. I'll Be On My Way - Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas
  6. She's Leaving Home - David & Jonathan

Side 2 
  1. Love Of The Loved - Cilla Black
  2. Nobody I Know - Peter & Gordon
  3. I'll Keep You Satisfied - Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas
  4. Misery - Kenny Lynch
  5. I Don't Want To See You Again - Peter & Gordon
  6. I'm In Love - The Fourmost

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