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Ballads and comic songs in representative sample of his Decca work
on 4 February 2011
This compilation of Peter Skellern's Decca work includes his big 70s hit, You're a Lady and some other ballads, but it highlights the lesser known, quirky side of Skellern's work, mostly taken from tne album Holding My Own, which featured a mix of self-penned comic numbers and some reaching back to music hall.
Skellern may not be the greatest singer in the world in terms of range but he can do gormless Northern very well, on Our Jackie's Getting Married (from his debut album) and The Tattooed Lady (not the one whereof Groucho sang) from Holding My Own. There are also some mildly satirical pieces including Skellern's own view on the dubious benefits of fame, Society Ladies, and Noel Coward's That Is The End of the News, introduced by Joyce Grenfell in a Coward revue but well suited to Skellern's understated style - this, incidentally, was the recording which brought him to the attention of later musical accomplice Richard Stilgoe.
An interesting mix of material, then, although some buyers may question the title "Best of", as it doesn't really concentrate on his singles. But for my money this works well as a snapshot of his output.
For his take on standards, drawn from his albums Astaire, Still Magic and elsewhere, see the other Spectrum CD Sentimentally Yours, which has some beatiful arrangements.
For those who know the original albums it's frustrating that Skellern's work is currently only available on these compilations but at current marketplace prices at least you can get a generous couple of helpings at a budget price.