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Running with the Rat Pack: Albums Singles [Remastered]
     

Running with the Rat Pack: Albums Singles [Remastered]

by Roger Cook
 
Known mostly for the numerous pop hits he co-wrote in the 1960s and '70s, and for being part of Blue Mink, Roger Cook had a more active solo career in the early '70s than many people remember. This double CD contains his second album (1972's Meanwhile Back at the World) and third album (1973's Minstrel in Flight), as well as an unreleased album he did

Overview

Known mostly for the numerous pop hits he co-wrote in the 1960s and '70s, and for being part of Blue Mink, Roger Cook had a more active solo career in the early '70s than many people remember. This double CD contains his second album (1972's Meanwhile Back at the World) and third album (1973's Minstrel in Flight), as well as an unreleased album he did around the same time with Herbie Flowers, Rose on Fire (one of the two versions of the title track came out as a 1973 single). Plenty of well-known British musicians contributed to the two albums that did see the light of day back then, including Alan Parker, Chris Spedding, Caleb Quaye, Tony Burrows, Lesley Duncan, Tony Newman, Ray Cooper, B.J. Cole, and Paul Young. It's one of the odder collections of mainstream early-'70s pop
ock you'll hear, though the music itself isn't that offbeat or eccentric. Its oddness lies in its peculiar inability to settle into a style that's too readily recognizable, as well as the absence of the kind of pop hooks that made Cook such a successful composer for Blue Mink and others. Meanwhile Back at the World might bear the greatest resemblance to his familiar hits, though not an extreme one, with Cook getting into more extended orchestrated pop than he did even on the more melodramatic of his hits. Sometimes the piano-based material recalls Jimmy Webb or the more sentimental side of Elton John, and overall it has a less playful tone than his more celebrated commercial work, as if he's making a bid for singer/songwriter seriousness. Rose on Fire gives you the feeling that Cook and top session man Flowers were being humored and given some studio time to indulge in their fancies as a reward for being so successful in their conventional projects. It's hard to tell in some cases whether they're trying to latch onto trends, pay homage to them, or parody them, one case in point being "Rat Pack," which seems like a send-up of Sly Stone's "Thank You." On the same record, you have mawkish balladry, Nilsson-ish whimsy ("Everybody's Singing Like Me Now"), straight-ahead pop-funk, easygoing roots rock, and a straightforward cover of John Lennon's "Oh My Love." Whether or not these cuts were seriously intended for release (and some did come out on a Herbie Flowers solo album more than half-a-dozen years later), it has the feel of a half-serious side project. The more earnest Minstrel in Flight ploughed a middle-of-the-road eclecticism, with nods to Elton John, rustic early-'70s British blues-pop-rock, the Band, and the Bee Gees, though ultimately it's rather faceless. Thorough, illustrated liner notes make this of interest to serious Cook fans who want to investigate his more ambitious and adventurous side, though they're not apt to be as impressed by this as the no-frills pop hits that were his meal tickets.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/27/2012
Label:
Rpm Records Uk
UPC:
5013929599215
catalogNumber:
2959921
Rank:
57661

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Roger Cook   Primary Artist
Chris Spedding   Guitar
Lesley Duncan   Background Vocals
Herbie Flowers   Bass Guitar
Brian Parrish   Guitar
Alan Branscombe   Saxophone
Vicki Brown   Background Vocals
Tony Burrows   Background Vocals
B.J. Cole   Steel Guitar
Ray Cooper   Percussion
Rosetta Hightower   Background Vocals
Hurdle   Bass
Tony Kelly   Guitar
Neil Lancaster   Background Vocals
Tony Newman   Drums
Alan Parker   Guitar
Caleb Quaye   Guitar
Frank Renshaw   Guitar,Background Vocals
Liza Strike   Background Vocals
Dave Wilkinson   Organ
Barbara Moore   Musical Direction
Paul Young   Background Vocals
Johnny Goodison   Background Vocals
Pete Robinson   Keyboards
Jimmy Horrowitz   Organ,Flute,Piano,Conductor
Barry De Sousa   Drums
Mike Eagan   Guitar

Technical Credits

John Lennon   Composer
Bruce Channel   Composer
Roger Cook   Composer
Herbie Flowers   Composer
Sandie Shaw   Composer
John Burgess   Producer
Roger Greenaway   Composer
Tony Kelly   Composer
Bill Price   Engineer
John Punter   Engineer
Frank Renshaw   Composer
Jackie Rae   Composer
Colin Elgie   Cover Design
Barbara Moore   Arranger,Composer
Paul Young   Composer
John Holman   Memorabilia
Jimmy Horrowitz   Arranger
Stephen Nye   Engineer

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