Friday, 29 May 2015

And Dream Of Sheep

In the second volume of The World’s Worst Records I wrote a chapter on singing animals, mentioning the first of today’s brace of badness. However I’ve only just become aware of the second disc, so here – especially for ewe – is classical composer Adrian Munsey with his two wonderfully woolly 45s.

Issued by Virgin Records in 1979, The Lost Sheep is a mediocre slice of sub-classical dullness which features a lamb bleating whilst a small orchestra – replete with bassist and drummer - play the most maudlin music you’re ever likely to hear. Credited to Adrian Munsey, his Sheep, Wind, and Orchestra, the composer even performed this peculiar piece ‘live’ on television, accompanied by a lamb, it’s mother and an eight-piece ensemble. As the lamb was struck with stage fright, Munsey himself stood at the microphone, straight-faced and cradled the poor animal while he performed the recalcitrant beasts’ part.

Virgin must have sensed a hit, for they allowed Munsey to follow this up with C’est Sheep , a dreadful marriage of classical, disco and early techno which failed to sell despite also being issued as a disco-friendly 12”. C'est Sheep, a reader of this blog informs me, was produced by Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks, and was later included on the Virgin compilation Methods of Dance. Three years later Virgin main man Richard Branson – as Jeff Mutton - sat in the producer’s chair for the one and only time to oversee the 1982 Christmas single from The Singing Sheep - Baa Baa Black Sheep backed with Flock Around the Clock.

Munsey has enjoyed a long career as a film and TV producer, documentary film-maker, author and composer. A history scholar at King’s College, Cambridge and a graduate of the Royal College of Art, Munsey’s also promoted Elton John’s first paid gig. In 1982 he founded Odyssey Video and has since released and distributed over 500 films on video or DVD. Music has been a lifelong passion for Munsey, with Classic FM describing his compositions as “unashamedly melodic and heart-warmingly nostalgic, capturing the emotions stirred by visual imagery”. He has released several albums of vocal and instrumental compositions, including Four Suites and Incognito (both 2005), A Wider Sky (2006), Requiem (2008), Songs (2010) and Full Circle (2013). His latest album, Agnus Dei, was issued in March 2015. He has also enjoyed commercial and critical success with his Music Infinity record label, releasing albums by the bestselling Classical Brit-winning boyband Blake, soprano Lesley Garrett (her album A North Country Lass reached No. 1 in the classical charts) and showbiz legend Neil Sedaka.

So here are both sides of both of Adrian Munsey’s sheep-related singles.


Enjoy!

Once again Divshare is up the creek. I'm using The Box for these tracks but you may have issues downloading as I have limited free bandwidth. I will replace these links with Divshare ones once they have sorted out their problems. 


DIVSHARE download

DIVSHARE download


DIVSHARE download

DIVSHARE download

9 comments:

  1. 5/29/15
    RobGems.ca Wrote:
    I remember a novelty tune that Barrett "Dr. Demento" Hanson played in the late 1980's titled "Singing Sheep" It starts off simply with a bunch of sheep in the fields, and from there a duck quacks out a beat, and it turns into a silly, but infectious catchy mid-late 1980's dance tune , peaking off near the end with a riff of "The War Of 1812 Finale" with a bunch of cow mooing & rooster crows, and then, abrubtly back to the simple noise of sheep grazing in the field for the fade-out. Are these the performers of that weird sheep song of the 1980's? Hanson/Demento knows how to pick out some really far-out weird novelty numbers. I thought it was catchy, so I once recorded it on n old cassette tape that I still have since about 1987-88. This is really goofball stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rob,

      the record you're referring to is the Singing Sheep 45 mentioned above - produced by Richard Branson in 1982. I have a copy and will post it if people want me to. It's also mentioned in my new book (shameless plug!)

      Delete
  2. 5/30/15
    RobGems.ca Wrote:
    Thanks for the info, Daryl. I've been wondering who the artist was for a couple of decades. as for Richard Branson & his Virgin label, I sue]re do wish he (or whoever is now in charge of Virgin Records) would bring back the gorgeous "two headed woman forms into a serpent" label they first used from 1973-80. It remains my favorite Virgin label design.

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  3. The 'C'est Sheep' you mentioned was produced by Ron & Russell Mael (Sparks).

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    Replies
    1. Goodness, I hadn't noticed that! Thanks for the info.

      Delete
  4. Those "bleats" are not even sheep. they're some lame human attempts ate replicating sheep sounds. Much in the same way that RobGems attempts to replicate human thoughts.

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  5. 6/4/15
    RobGems.ca Wrote:
    Ignore the troll named Timmy, Daryl. He's been on my case since last year. Keep up with the world's worst posts.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I tink Virgin were like lambs to the slaughter by allowing Munsey to make multiple recordings :-)

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  7. Guy must've heard the first minute Pink Floyd's "Sheep" and said, "That's the type of music the world needs."

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