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Monday, April 24, 2017

Dirk Bogarde - "Lyrics for Lovers" Vinyl, LP, Album (Decca)

I'm such a Dirk Bogarde fan that I have this album on CD, and the original vinyl mono disc as well.   I remember going to The Last Bookstore's vinyl department, and finding this in the "B" section.  It was a great moment because I have been looking for this specific album on vinyl for years. The right price and of course the right Dirk Bogarde album.  Recorded and released in 1960, this was made between heartthrob teen idol Dirk and dark, decadent Dirk.  One of the great British actors - there is not one bad film with him in it.  That, I know is saying a lot concerning one's filmography - and one I'm sure Dirk had a lot of misgivings about their quality.  Overall he can turn something mediocre into a gem.   And his later films with Visconti and Losey are, of course, complete masterpieces.  Now, this album is... not a masterpiece.  More of an afterthought on Bogarde's career.   I'm imagining that the powers to be insisted on him doing this album of classic pop songs.  He doesn't sing, which is a disappoint, but what he does do is recite the lyrics in a very cinematic manner. 

"Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" starts off Dirk lighting a match and off he goes.  Low volume orchestration backs the recital on all songs.  Dirk does the lyrics in a very hammy conversational tone as if he is talking to you the listener.  For me, it is just a remarkable document of a time when stars had to reach beyond their abilities.  Still, this is very much in all, a Dirk Bogarde performance.  Which is a very good thing indeed.