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Anthony Newley came into music almost by accident, landing the role of Jeep Jackson in the film Idle On Parade, from which he garnered a Top Ten hit in I've Waited So Long. The success of the single prompted calls for an album, and when that too became a success, follow ups were assured. Perhaps best known for his interpretations of Lionel Bart's songs, Anthony was a noted songwriter himself, usually in conjunction with Leslie Bricusse.
Top Customer Reviews
It was this tearing up of the Americanized pop vocal rule-book that first marked Newley as a great innovator. Following in his brave, trailblazing footsteps came Ray Davies, Syd Barrett, David Bowie and the entire English Punk crop. In the '90's Jarvis Cocker, Damon Albarn et al continued this overtly English vocalizing with the same humorous, self-depracating sensibility that Newley had instigated.
But is it any good? Some of it. The straighter the musical approach, the less interesting it is. A fearless 1 voice / 1 guitar reading of the standard "Who Can Say?" or the lush, romantic 40's style strings on "I Should Care" tend toward the dull despite the fantastic vocals. It's when there's no obvious reason for song choice or extremity of musical background where things get exciting. The bonkers bongos and time shifts in "I Was Never Kissed Before", the curious harp and flute prettiness that almost mutates into medieval creepiness on ye olde "Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes" or the manically impish (in a 7 Dwarfs form jazz combo sort of way) "Pop Goes The Weasel" are all examples of songs with musical settings worthy of a such an unclassifiable performer.
I doubt very much that Anthony Newley will be re-discovered.Read more ›