Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Freddie & The Dreamers - You Were Mad For Me (1964) + In Disneyland (1966)

You Were Mad For Me (1964)

Freddie & the Dreamers' second U.K. LP, in the British Invasion tradition, was not issued as-was in the U.S., its tracks subsequently scattered across numerous American releases. Nor did it feature any hit singles; though at a glance you might think the album's title is "You Were Made for Me," one of their biggest hits on both sides of the Atlantic, it's actually "You Were Mad for Me," and doesn't include the actual track called "You Were Made for Me." Nor does it contain any original material, instead being split between oldies covers and efforts by writers from the British equivalent of Tin Pan Alley and the Brill Building like Peter Stirling, Geoff Stephens, John Carter, and Ken Lewis. Now, while no one would make great claims for Freddie & the Dreamers as top talents of the British Invasion, they did make some fun tracks, especially on their singles. But even in the context of their modest achievements, this disc amounts to something like an entire LP of filler, none of the songs measuring up to their best. The oldies covers are uniformly mediocre, and though the recently penned compositions by other British songwriters included a couple that other U.K. groups had made into hits into early 1964 ("I Think of You" and "Tell Me When," popularized by the Merseybeats and the Applejacks respectively), they're emblematic of the British Invasion at its most lightweight and sappy. You do have the novelty of a lead vocal by someone other than Freddie Garrity when bassist Pete Birrell takes over for "Cut Across Shorty." But really, this LP isn't worth trifling with by any but the most completist of British Invasion collectors.

01 - Jailer Bring Me Water

02 - It Doesn't Matter Anymore

03 - Tell Me When

04 - Cut Across Shorty

05 - I'll Never Dance Again

06 - What I'D Say

07 - See You Later Alligator

08 - Early in the Morning

09 - I Think of You

10 - Only You

11 - Johnny B Goode

12 - Don't Love You Anymore

13 - Say It Isn't True

14 - Write Me A Letter
In Disneyland (1966)
Issued in the U.K. only in late 1966, Freddie & the Dreamers In Disneyland is not a live album, but something rather less enticing: an entire LP of covers of songs associated with Walt Disney films. That's right: a whole platter of tunes the likes of "When You Wish Upon a Star," "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," "Whistle While You Work," "Chim Chim Cheree," "Hi Ho," and "The Siamese Cat Song." With orchestral arrangements by Johnny Scott that are pretty typical of those applied to scores in children's films, the participation of the Dreamers seems light at most, if they were even involved in the recording at all. True, Freddie Garrity was probably more suited to moving into children's music than any other British Invasion performer due both to his clownish on-stage persona and vaudeville-ish vocals, and he does a decent job with the singing here. But it's very unlikely that the average rock fan -- even the overwhelming majority of Freddie & the Dreamers fans -- would be interested in this expectedly cutesy album in the least, boasting as it does nary a shred of rock & roll. Justifiably, none of its tracks are ever selected for Freddie & the Dreamers compilations, and it can be dismissed as a novelty item that might possibly not even be of any interest to completists.
15 - The Ugly Bug Ball

16 - When You Wish Upon A Star

17 - When I See An Elephant Fly

18 - Winnie The Pooh

19 - Chim Chim Cheree

20 - Heigh Ho

21 - The Unbirthday Song

22 - The Siamese Cat Song

23 - Whistle While You Work

24 - Give A Little Whistle

25 - The Ballad Of Dick Turpin

26 - Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
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