Paradise: The Sound of Ivor Ray­monde 8/10


Un­fairly over­looked clas­sic pop stylist fi­nally gets his due

Ar­ranger, song­writer, pro­ducer and a mem­ber of the band on the ocean-go­ing liner The Queen Mary dur­ing the 1940s, Ray­monde’s story should be bet­ter known, for he had a ma­jor hand in some of the sem­i­nal sin­gles of 1960s Bri­tish pop. Lov­ingly com­piled by his son Si­mon Ray­monde (ex-Cocteau Twins and founder of Bella Union), th­ese 26 tracks re­veal Ray­monde Snr as a very Bri­tish mix of Phil Spec­tor and Mickie Most, or­ches­trat­ing Billy Fury’s “half­way To Paradise”, writ­ing Dusty’s “I Only Want To Be With You”, ar­rang­ing Bowie’s “Love You Til Tues­day”, pro­duc­ing Los Bravos’ won­der­ful Mo­town rip-off “Black Is Black” and throw­ing the kitchen sink at the Walker Broth­ers’ “Make It Easy On Your­self”. If they’re the best-known songs here, the ob­scu­ri­ties are just as in­ter­est­ing, from the proto-psych/ heavy rock of the Flies’ “(I’m Not Your) Step­ping Stone” to the baroque love­li­ness of the hon­ey­bus’s “She Sold Black­pool Rock”. he was still go­ing strong into the 1980s, ar­rang­ing the strings on Ian Dury’s “Su­per­man’s Big Sis­ter” be­fore his death in 1990 at the youth­ful age of 63. Why his role is not more cel­e­brated is a mys­te­ri­ous over­sight that this splen­did comp should now cor­rect. Ex­tras: 7/10. Book­let with in-depth liner notes; track-by-track com­men­tary.

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