Song of Innocence

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Producer, arranger, and engineer David Axelrod made his mark with Cannonball Adderley, Lou Rawls, and the Electric Prunes. He created recording dates -- both live and in the studio -- with crisp innovative production, forward-looking arrangements, and killer sound effects the Prunes' weird "Mass in F Minor" is a case in point. No one, however, expected him to make his own records. Nonetheless, in 1968 his first concept work was issued under the EMI imprint. His inspiration was Songs of Innocence, English poet William Blake's watershed collection of poems; Axelrod set seven of them to music using a bevy of studio musicians and a lot of clout at the label. Using a rock ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Producer, arranger, and engineer David Axelrod made his mark with Cannonball Adderley, Lou Rawls, and the Electric Prunes. He created recording dates -- both live and in the studio -- with crisp innovative production, forward-looking arrangements, and killer sound effects the Prunes' weird "Mass in F Minor" is a case in point. No one, however, expected him to make his own records. Nonetheless, in 1968 his first concept work was issued under the EMI imprint. His inspiration was Songs of Innocence, English poet William Blake's watershed collection of poems; Axelrod set seven of them to music using a bevy of studio musicians and a lot of clout at the label. Using a rock orchestra, Axelrod created a suite that blended pop, rock, jazz, theater music, and R&B that has withstood the test of time, and has been revisited and sampled by electronica pioneers such as DJ Shadow and DJ Cam. Perhaps the best known tune of this mystical mixture is the jazzed out, slow groove of "Holy Thursday," with its bluesy bop piano lines and huger than huge string section playing a vamp from a Count Basie tune. Meanwhile, the rhythm section floats a steady, swinging rhythm to the guitars and brass who answer with dramatic harmonics centered around a complex yet elegant melodic, and the guitar itself screams overhead. It's a jazz boogaloo with classical overtones. And yes, it, and the rest of the album, sound as if it would be excessive and awful. This was visionary work in 1968, and, to commit heresy, withstands the test of time better than the Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album that allegedly inspired it. Axelrod's psychedelia is implied; its compositional form and feeling that drive him to celebrate the wildness and folly of youth with celebration and verve. And as a result, the music here sounds fresh, free of cynicism and hipper-than-thou posturing, remaining new each time it is heard. Song of Innocence made critics turn their heads in its day, regarding it as a visionary curiosity piece; today it's simply a great, timeless work of pop art that continues to inspire over three decades after its initial release.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/10/2001
  • Label: Emi Europe Generic
  • UPC: 724352158829
  • Catalog Number: 521588
  • Sales rank: 72,583

Album Credits

Performance Credits
David Axelrod Primary Artist, Vocals
Don Randi Conductor
Gary Coleman Background Vocals
Gene Estes Percussion
Freddie Hill Trumpet
Howard Roberts Guitar
Carol Kaye Bass
Richard Leith Trombone
Arthur Maebe Horn
Lew McCreary Horn
Ollie Mitchell Trumpet
Earl Palmer Drums
Henry Sigismonti Wind
Vincent DeRosa Horn
Technical Credits
David Axelrod Arranger, Producer
Ben Barrett Contributor
Arnold Belnick Contributor
Allen DiRienzo Contributor
Bill Hinshaw Contributor
Harry Hyams Contributor
Joe Polito Engineer
Nathan Ross Contributor
Myron Sandler Contributor
Harold Schneier Contributor
Marshall Sosson Contributor
Tony Terran Contributor
Pete Wyant Contributor
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