Anthony Newley - The Decca Years 1959 - 1964
CD, Compilation, 2008
My strong interest in U.K. life right before The Beatles hit the world made me buy this collection of Anthony Newley early recordings. I knew of him, because he was on American TV a lot during the late 60s and 70s. Also years later I read that David Bowie was a fan of his, due to the fact that he sang with an English accent, just like his other singing idol Syd Barrett.
Newley is an interesting figure in 20th Century pop. Hardcore show biz figure but one with a lot of personality, especially in the songs he wrote and covered. He had a personal touch, the voice always had that quiver quality but I feel he was singing for the great masses and not to that one sole individual in the audience or by the record player. He was the Cockney version of Sammy Davis Jr. A true song and dance man in the world of the swinging 60s.
“Bee-Bom” is a fantastic piece of recording. A fantastic piano riff is played with Newley doing a British version of Broadway doing rockabilly. Overall his music is very conservative but still, there is something ‘there’ that is interesting. In my imagined world, Bowie would have produced him. Or maybe even Morrissey? If you are going to get a Newley album, I think this is the one to get. Also on a personal note, I bought this CD at HMV on Oxford Street, while working on the “Sparks-Tastic” book, so it has deep importance to my life