Universal 585 317-2
On the face of it, Lounge Legends seems to be yet another re-working of John Barry’s Polydor back-catalogue. However, a more careful look through the tracks reveals a few gems.
The advantage the German arm of Universal had in putting together this compilation was that since Polydor UK did their own early nineties release, Universal have joined forces with MCA, Decca & Polydor to form a vast empire. By a stroke of good fortune, this re-structuring also brings into play other Barry releases from those labels. So along with the standard fare from the ‘Play It Again’ sessions, we also get a first release on CD for Paul Williams’ unused vocal from ‘Day Of The Locust’, Scott Walker’s version of ‘This Way Mary’ and an extended version of ‘Down Deep Inside’ from Donna Summer.
The Cass Elliott vocal from ‘Monte Walsh’ has been out on CD, but it’s nonetheless welcome here, as is the inclusion of the theme from ‘The Ipcress File’, making its debut on a Universal compilation.
Aside from this, we have the mixture much as before with small scale versions of ‘Play It Again’, ‘Billy’ & ‘A Doll’s House’ competing with the much richer ‘Midnight Cowboy’ (from ‘The Concert’), the delicate and haunting ‘The Whisperers’ and the two quite different TV themes – ‘Orson Welles Great Mysteries’ & ‘The Adventurer’.
The liner notes, satisfyingly printed in English, are disappointing only in length. There are virtually 3 blank pages out of the 8-page booklet – a shocking waste of resources. Though it’s a nice idea to show a montage of cover artwork from some of the original sources for these tracks.
The only real disappointment with this compilation is the absence of any tracks from ‘Americans’ with the suggestion that Polydor no longer own the rights to this sought-after album.
1. This Way Mary
2. Diamonds Are Forever
3. Play It Again
4. A Doll's House
5. The Good Times Are Comin’ - Cass Elliott
6. Follow, Follow
8.Theme from The I.P.C.R.E.S.S. File
9. Lonely Hearts - Paul Williams
10. Sail The Summer Winds
11. Midnight Cowboy
12. Down Deep Inside - Donna Summer
13. Orson Welles' Great Mysteries
15. The Whisperers
17. This Way Mary - Scott Walker
18. The Adventurer
20. We Have All The Time In The World