I cannot listen today what the record companies call music anymore when it’s anything but. In fact I haven’t been able to listen to it for years. From this trash called Rap and these so-called singers of the last 20 years who all sound alike. With some sort of blocked nasal cavity sound. People who can sing do so, they let it all out with every dynamic of their vocal chords.
What we heard when I was coming up in the sixties was precision. Total precise lyrics, the singers total capabilities, the arrangement of all the music, every lead, background, harmony, instrument played down to every single break, beat, chord, horn section, strings. Everything combined and composed and it all came out like a masterpiece.
You can hear it all with this song released in 1964 by Petula Clark.
I would give everything but my health & soul to bring all of this sound back again. To a time when we didn’t forget the artists names and the songs they produced. Because all of them sounded different. There was a distinctive sound with each and every one of them and when a brilliant song came out of them like “Downtown” we couldn’t wait for the next record they did to come out.
There was something to look forward to with these artists of yesteryear and there was an excitement about them.
They didn’t have to dress like prostitutes or for that matter act like them. They didn’t have to use profanities in their songs to have somebody like their records much less buy them. For their works actually produced what people could define once upon a time as real honest to God MUSIC.
This song was put together like a fine painting and a wine that has gotten better with age over time. You never get sick of it on the contrary you still can’t get enough of it. You miss the days it was produced in and how you long for its return. But the artists are aged, the composers are either retired or deceased so what we have is the Music from that past that they made. It’s like eating a pastry and you savoured every last bite.
With Music your ears and soul savour every single note, chord, break, change, phrase and word sung and played and you feel like man can it get any better. And the answer is no it can’t, because this was and still is the cream of the crop. No matter how old, no matter what year it came out.
This was “When It Was Music”.
Written, produced, arranged and conducted by Tony Hatch.
Recorded and released in 1964 from the Album of the same name.
Pye Records (UK), Warner Bros. Records (U.S.)
It became an international hit.
In France it was #6, Number 1 in UK (Gold Record (1965)) , Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy and on the US (Gold Record (1965) ) Hot 100.
Bobby Graham – drums
Big Jim Sullivan – guitar
Vic Flick – guitar
Jimmy Page – guitar
The Breakaways vocal group – Vicki Haseman (later known as Vicki Brown), Margot Quantrell, and Betty Prescott.
The entire song both music & vocals were recorded performing together as would be heard on the finished track.
In 1965 Petula Clark won a Grammy for the song.
Petula Clark was more than a welcome part of the 1960s British Invasion, she was Class.