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Songs Cycled [2lp+cd] [VINYL] Box set

6 customer reviews

Price: £31.42 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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£31.42 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Biography

Songs Cycled - by Van Dyke Parks:
"This album is released 45 years from my debut album "Song Cycle" (when I was but 24). In both cases, there's a maverick on the loose, with a highly personal set of tunes and instrumentals. All of them reveal an iconoclast tilting at windmills, railing at tyrants, barking at masters of war, and celebrating a shameless commitment to the ... Read more in Amazon's Van Dyke Parks Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Songs Cycled [2lp+cd] [VINYL] + Discover America
Price For Both: £61.93

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Product details

  • Vinyl (20 Aug. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Import
  • ASIN: B00CJXYUOS
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 360,204 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Legendary for his skill with arrangement as well as the rich sonic choreography of his productions, producer/songwriter Van Dyke Parks' unique voicings are never more densely detailed than on records issued under his own name. Beginning in 2011, Parks began releasing a series of 7" singles that showcased unreleased material spanning both archives and newly recorded songs, including both covers and re-recorded versions of earlier solo work. Songs Cycled collects the 12 tracks featured on those 7"s, fitting cohesively in album form, despite the fact that some songs were written or even recorded decades apart from the others. Opening with the intricate instrumental theme "Wedding in Madagascar," Parks pulls no punches about just how ornate his sounds can be, as brass sections, strings, mandolin, spare percussion, and even smooth electric guitar all zigzag around counter-melodies and time signatures in a wobbly but joyous march. Parks' own dusty, everyman vocals grace tunes like the romantically nostalgic "Dreaming of Paris" and accordion-heavy old-timey love song "Sassafrass." He revisits "The All Golden" from his 1968 solo album Song Cycle, reworks a '90s collaboration with Brian Wilson on "Hold Back Time," and even dips into some archival recordings. Much like Parks' '70s solo work on Discover America and Clang of the Yankee Reaper, the songs on Songs Cycled offer up a sometimes impenetrably busy type of Americana. It's one unique to Parks, a tendency to blend so many ideas and styles, stacking them flawlessly on top of one another, that any of the isolated elements of any given song could stand on its own by most pop standards. Sometimes the results are dizzyingly obtuse, as on the stuttering and shifting "Missin' Mississippi" or the classically flavored folk tale of "Black Gold." Much like Parks' work with the Beach Boys, Joanna Newsom, or more appropriately his fantastical film scores, the impossibly orchestrated compositions on Songs Cycled are constantly unraveling and being wound back in, making them a little bit hard to keep up with at times, but something amazing to behold nonetheless

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By George McCormick on 13 May 2013
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Having heard hints of Songs Cycled live over the past couple of years, I knew there was nothing to worry about. Yet the anxiety is always there when a legend like VDP has a new release out. Especially one whose bar has been so consistently high since the mid 60's. Will it live up to (in my opinion) his 70's and early 80's heyday of Discover America & Jump? Simple answer: Yes it does. Time or age hasn't diluted Van Dyke's energy, eccentricity or sharp lyric writing wit. It also features that timeless VDP recording sound (many modern releases are so quickly dated by a modern drum sound or tinny electric piano - there is none of that here).

Having got Songs Cycled this week on vinyl (comes with a free CD of the release not mentioned at time of purchase on amazon), it hasn't left my turntable or my iPod since and yet, keeps getting better! Truly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thorgod on 6 Feb. 2015
Format: Audio CD
Up there with most of Van Dyke's releases, some quirky songs, as per normal, but most of this is his most easily approachable output.
This may upset some of his loyal audience, and possibly make him somewhat more commercial. But it has to be understood this is not the ambition for this great artist.
Here we find most of the songs are a little sparse in orchestrated music, but still as complex both musically and lyrically, as some of his other works, and I have to say this really does make it as good as any of his past outgoings. There are great stories held within for us all to meditate on.
If you have not heard anything by this guy, give him a go, as you could find him fun with an enjoyable difference.
Van Dyke Parks "Songs Cycled" will keep his old fans happy and bring new ones to the fold, making everyone happy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PFC on 1 Aug. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a whimsical set of well written, well arranged songs that is, well, just different. It has a sort of Noel Coward feeling to it, and the songs which cover a range of diverse subjects are gentle, 30-40s in flavour. As always with Van Dyke Parks, they are original and interesting. If you have sampled his earlier solo albums or the idiosyncratic Orange Crate Art CD that he did with Brian Wilson, you know what to expect. Interesting and worth the entry price.
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