Hugo Montenegro – Colors Of Love


Artist: Hugo Montenegro
Genre: Jazz, Easy listening, Soundtrack
Title: Colors Of Love
Released: 1970
Label: RCA
Format: Vinyl
Musicians: Unknown
Producer: Jack Pleis
Engineer: Mickey Crofford

Hugo Mario Montenegro (September 2, 1925 – February 6, 1981) was an American orchestra leader and composer of film soundtracks. His best known work is derived from interpretations of the music from Spaghetti Westerns, especially his cover version of Ennio Morricone’s main theme from the 1966 film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. He composed the musical score for the 1969 Western Charro! which starred Elvis Presley.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Montenegro

This LP is a collection of his interpretations of some popular hits and is officially part of his discography.
This is yet another one of those crazy LPs I pick up now and again. I am familiar with Hugo Montenegro from an LP of his Dylan interpretations I picked up years ago, which is actually quite good. I’ll get around to reviewing it later. On this LP though, there seems to be an overuse of echo on the flute for some reason.

Side One:
1 Here Comes The Sun (The Beatles) – Yes, starting off with this rendition of a Beatles tune. This version does not have the same impact as the original, which I prefer.
2 Didn’t We (Jim Webb) – This is not an original by Hugo Montenegro, but was written by Jimmy Webb and first released by James Darrin. This is a ballad and sounds like one expects.
3 Undun (The Guess Who) – “Undun” is a popular song by Canadian rock band The Guess Who. It was written by Randy Bachman after hearing Bob Dylan’s “Ballad in Plain D”, which included the phrase “she was easily undone”. The song takes its structure from new jazz guitar chords Bachman had learned from his friend and neighbor Lenny Breau. This rendition fits, but I like the original better. There is an interesting flute solo in the bridge though.
4 Something (The Beatles) – While this is certainly a different take, I still prefer the original.
5 Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head (BJ Thomas) – This was also part of the soundtrack to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid done by Burt Bachrach. This version almost doesn’t change anything from the original.

Side Two:
1 When It Was Done (Jim Webb) – I have not heard the original to compare this to.
2 Holly Holy (Neil Diamond) – This is one of those songs where the original can not be bested. Hugo and orchestra rock this one a little bit though, but not like Neil Diamond himself.
3 Just Like A Woman (Bob Dylan). – Hugo Montenegro did a whole LP of Dylan songs called Dawn Of Dylan, which I do have and will review at a later time. However, this song is not on that LP. This sounds just as cool as the rest from his Dawn of Dylan LP.
4 Good Morning Starshine (song from the second act of the musical, Hair). – We don’t know who wrote this song. Strangely, they chose to fade this song in instead of a true start. This version is ok.
5 Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye (Steam) – This song by the one-hit-wonder, Steam appears here in an interesting version, but I like the original better.

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Gary Puckett and The Union Gap – Featuring Woman Woman


Artist: Gary Puckett and The Union Gap

Genre: Pop-Rock
Title: Gary Puckett and The Union Gap Featuring Woman Woman
Released:1968
Label:Columbia
Format: Vinyl
Musicians:Gary Puckett – lead vocals, guitar, Kerry Chater – bass guitar
Gary “Mutha” Withem – organ, piano, soprano saxophone, flute,Dwight Bemont – tenor saxophone, Paul Wheatbread – drums
Producer:Jerry Fuller

Gary Puckett & the Union Gap (initially credited as The Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett) was an American pop rock group active in the late 1960s. Their biggest hits were “Woman, Woman”; “Over You”; “Young Girl”; and “Lady Willpower.” It was formed by Gary Puckett, Gary ‘Mutha’ Withem, Dwight Bement, Kerry Chater and Paul Wheatbread, who eventually named it the Union Gap. It featured costumes that were based on the Union Army uniforms worn during the American Civil War.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Puckett_%26_The_Union_Gap

It is not known if this band was serious or just marketing. Reading the back story on this group tells me that this was more marketing than a band with musical ambitions. There also seemed to be a rigid hierarchy. Seemingly, it seems that this was mostly about Gary Puckett trying to make a name for himself. This is evident in part by the fact that it was insisted his name appear to be the main focus in all the LPs the group made after the first one titled “Incredible”, while at the same time keeping with their gimmick of dressing as Union soldiers and having rank within the band. There were 3 LPs they did where the title did not include “Gary Puckett”: “Incredible”, “Woman Woman” and “Fillin The Gap”. The band did not last long, (1968 to 1975). To me they sound like an airplane that just can’t get off the ground no matter what. The LP just doesn’t sound musically present. Sonically, this LP is ok with nothing major to point out. Musically though, is where things drift off.

Track listing:
“Woman, Woman” (Jim Glaser, Jimmy Payne) – “Woman, Woman” is a hit song written by Jim Glaser and Jimmy Payne, recorded by Gary Puckett & The Union Gap using session musicians from The Wrecking Crew for their 1968 debut album, Woman, Woman. Like most of the band’s hits, it is a ballad centered around Gary Puckett’s soulful vocals. The lyrics are from the perspective of a man who senses that his wife is dissatisfied with him sexually, and fears that she is going to start “cheating” on him.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman,_Woman 
“M’Lady” (Steve Karliski) – This song sounds like a Tom Jones tune, but it is not. I bet though that he could have made it a hit had he done it.
“By the Time I Get to Phoenix” (Jimmy Webb) – “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” is a song written by Jimmy Webb. Originally recorded by Johnny Rivers in 1965, it was covered by American country music singer Glen Campbell on his album of the same name. It is done here in the same style as Glenn Campbell did it.
“Paindrops” (Jerry Fuller) – This is an ok song with an interesting bass line in my opinion.
“Believe Me” (Gary Puckett) – Typical pop sound to this one.
“I Want a New Day” (Kerry Chater) – This is a ballad. The vocals leave something to be desired, but it is not a bad song and has a good structure.
“You Better Sit Down Kids” (Sonny Bono)-“You Better Sit Down Kids'” is a major hit single release by American singer/actress Cher in 1967 from her fourth studio album With Love, Chér, released on November 1967 by Imperial Records. The song was written by her then-husband Sonny Bono. Sung from a father perspective, the lyrics tell the story of a divorce. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Better_Sit_Down_Kids. This is a very depressing song and not good musically either in my opinion.
“Kentucky Woman” (Neil Diamond) – “Kentucky Woman” is a 1967 song written and originally recorded by Neil Diamond.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kentucky_Woman. I like the original better.
“My Son (version 1)” (Gary Withem, Kerry Chater)
“To Love Somebody” (Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Love_Somebody_(song)
“Don’t Make Promises” (Tim Hardin) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_Make_Promises
Just nothing to say about the remaining tracks.

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Bob Dylan – Self-Titled


Artist: Bob Dylan
Genere: Folk
Title: Self-Titled
Released:1962
Label: Columbia
Format: Vinyl
Musicians: Bob Dylan – vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica
Producer: John H. Hammond

Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American poetic songwriter, singer, painter, writer, and Nobel prize laureate. He has been influential in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when his songs chronicled social unrest. Early songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin'” became anthems for the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war movement. Leaving behind his initial base in the American folk music revival, his six-minute single “Like a Rolling Stone”, recorded in 1965, enlarged the range of popular music. Continue reading