Georgie Fame's musical roots were in jazz and blues and that was what really interested him. Fortunately for him, there was room in the sixties pop charts for such musicians, especially if they were prepared to adapt their music to appeal to pop audiences. So it was that Georgie Fame topped the UK charts three times and several other hits. By some statistical freak, none of his hits made the top ten except for the three that made number one. The three UK number ones were Yeh yeh (his first hit, though not his first single), Get away (which he originally wrote for a TV commercial) and The ballad of Bonnie and Clyde, which was about the film. These are the songs that Georgie is best remembered for but some of his other pop hits are also noteworthy, among them being Sunny, Sitting in the park, Because I love you, Peaceful and Rosetta, the last-named featuring Alan Price. As the hits dried up, Georgie returned to the jazz and blues music that he loved but as this collection shows, that music was always an important influence in his pop hits. This is as good a collection of his music from his hit-making years as you are likely to find, containing all his UK hits and several other interesting tracks.
1) Superior mastering to all other GF comps. 2) Best song selection within its context. 3) Best introduction to his career.
Fantastic sounding release spanning both his Columbia as well as CBS years. Where as other comps around covers either/or, none of these seem quite satisfactory mastered loosing out on the bass/middle register. While this release manages to show the many facets of GF other comps appear to give a more one-sided account.
Let's start with a question: "Why are the 'Georgie Fame R&B At The Flamingo' live recordings not generally available?" A great shame that, as the opening track on this excellent compilation, 'Work Song' is utterly tremendous, and comes from those rare as hen's teeth recordings.
There are plenty of Georgie Fame 'Best Ofs' available, but this Australian comp (easily available in the UK) is an excellent collection, that showcases Fame's many strengths, from his Clubland Daze and 60s hitmaking phase, including such wonderful recordings as 'Yeh Yeh', 'Get Away' and the gorgeous 'Sitting In The Park', and novelty items like 'Bonnie & Clyde', which he may personally have disliked, but, professional to the last, offered up a committed recording that won him a No 1 hit. Other tracks, such as his magisterial readings of Bobby Hebb's 'Sunny' and the sweet 'Peaceful', veer towards the middle of the road, but it's done with taste and skill.
Georgie released a fine new album recently in the shape of Tone-Wheels 'A' Turnin', and his slots in the live shows with Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings show an artist who has only partially mellowed with age. The guy's a British National Treasure, and should be honoured in some sort of way for his great services to British music.
Probably the best single 'Greatest Hits' CD made of Fame's work as it bridges all the contractual issues with the various labels he recorded for. It's Australian, so that's how they did it. Master quality recordings, too. What's not to enjoy?
Though a part of the British Invasion the music of Georgie Fame veered well away from any Merseybeat connections.Topping the chart with a song which had first been made by Lambert Hendricks & Ross was a stroke of luck as the idea didn't sound too commercial. I reckon the follow up-In the meantime-was his finest hour. Its a great pity though that the song called Because I love you wasn't the Billy Stewart one-this tremendous slab of Good Time Music was where the soul singer picked up on the Toys/Poppies influence to make a song based on something or other from Mozart and it could have been big for Fame-who actually covered the previous Stewart song Sittin' in the Park. Generally Fame made good covers