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Monday, April 7, 2014

Andrew Oldham Orchestra and Friends - "Play the Rolling Stones Songbook Volume 2"

The Andrew Oldham Orchestra and Friends - Play the Rolling Stones Songbook Volume 2
Download from I-Tunes, 2013
Gold Lake Records

A very surprise release is the volume 2 of the Rolling Stones songbook by Andrew Loog Oldham and pals.  At times I feel like I’m the only fan of the ALO Orchestra, and often I think his music making is more interesting than his discovery the Rolling Stones.  40 something years later we get volume 2, and not odd at all the music is mostly from the Oldham years with the Stones.  Oh, and I love this album. 

There is nothing really new here, but the taste factor is high.  It is like going to five star restaurant and expecting and then having that great meal.  So no surprise factor, except the (perhaps) cheeky version of “Bitter Sweet Symphony.”   But I think it’s better than the original version, which of course that record was based on “The Last Time” which in turn there was a lawsuit…. Nevertheless money was spread around, and I think everyone is happy for it.   

And again to taste, my favorite Stones songs are covered on this album.  “She Smiled Sweetly,” and “I Am Waiting” are here, and lovely versions as well.   “She Smiled”..  has that classic ALO production sound, which quietly builds up into a wow that started off as a whisper.  The High Dials, a band I don’t know of, does an incredible version of that song.  And the bass-fuzz sound of “Under My Thumb” gives me goose bumps.  I haven’t heard such an ugly garage rock sound in a long time. 

I don’t have the full picture of this album, due to the fact that I downloaded it from I-Tunes, and it sucks one doesn’t get info like who plays what or when or why or any of the mighty w’s one comes up in one’s mind while listening to an album.  Nevertheless if you’re a Stones fan, especially circa. 1966 or so, this is the album for you.  Oldham I am convinced is a genius.