Monday, 4 November 2013

The Archivist - Swing Out Sister - Kaleidoscope World

How many artists in your musical collection would warrant you purchasing an album unheard? Probably, only a handful. For me, one of those artists is Swing Out Sister.

I used to work for a company who used to sell very high end Hi Fi equipment. I went all over the country to trade fairs and manufacturer events where we would be shown the very latest products that were due to hit the shelves the following year. I attended a launch of some new generation cd players and we were given the opportunity to win some new and unreleased cds. They did this via a music quiz. A silly move on their part. I cleaned up. One of the unreleased cds that were used to demonstrate the cd players were by a band called Swing Out Sister. The album turned out to be It’s Better To Travel. Of all the cds I took home that weekend, this was my favourite.
I would love to post the original videos but they get taken down almost immediately from Youtube
With the hit singles Breakout and Twilight world, the album was full of glorious sophisticated pop. It hinted at a subtle 60s vibe but was very much of the time sound wise. With vocals by the luminous Corrine Drewery, keyboards by Andy Connell and drums by Martin Jackson, Swing Out Sister hit the airwaves and TV with initially fun videos but which later turned into sophisticated travelogue style films with glamourous locations.

This first album went on to be a huge success and Breakout remains one of the most recognisable tunes of the 80s.

So, I eagerly awaited the release of their second album. Now I know what I wanted it to sound like and when I heard they had hired Jimmy Webb to work on the orchestral sections of the new album, well, my mouth was watering.

What they actually delivered was one of my favourite albums of all time.

Released in 1989, Kaleidoscope World was everything I wanted a Swing Out Sister album to be. For me, they’ve never been able to match the album. Although they have come close a couple of times. Kaleidoscope world was tuneful, sophisticated, drenched in strings and had the 60s vibe.
The lead off single remains my favourite song of all time. You On My Mind kicks the album off perfectly. It’s a brilliantly uplifting song with that amazing 1960s feel & sound.

By now, Martin Jackson had left the group and Corrine & Andy have been Swing Out Sister ever since.

Jimmy Webb actually worked on to songs on the album, Forever Blue and Precious Words.

Both have an almost Bacharach sound to them. Placing them firmly in the 1960s heyday of the BB sound. But the album is full of glorious, uplifting songs that could have all been hit singles.

They have followed this album with many a great album that has gone criminally unnoticed to the record buying public. Although for some odd reason they have always been Big In Japan. Japan obviously has exquisite taste.

One Gem for you to discover - click the link :)
The bands latest album is called Private View and contains acoustic versions of some of their best loved songs and it's very nice too. So go out and discover some glorious music.
But............ You On My Mind had a terrific video based on the Thomas Crown Affair. It isn't on youtube. But it is here for you to see in all it's glorious 60s pastiche.
Twitter - @swingoutsister


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