Saturday, June 18, 2011

The La De Das - The Happy Prince (1969 new zealand soft psychedelic pop, 2005 reissue - MP3 320K and FLAC)

The La De Das were a leading New Zealand rock band of the 1960s and early 1970s. Formed in New Zealand in 1963 (as The Mergers), they enjoyed considerable success in both New Zealand and Australia until their split in 1975.

In Australia the band is probably best known as the launching place for the career of guitarist Kevin Borich, and for their recording of the first Australasian rock concept album, The Happy Prince (EMI, 1968).

Based on the Oscar Wilde story, The Happy Prince was recorded in Australia and was released to critical acclaim but this did not convert to sales.

"Overseen by up-and-coming young producer David Woodley-Page, The Happy Prince was recorded over four weeks in early 1969, and whatever its supposed artistic limitations, it was a fine technical achievement, especially considering that Australia at that time lagged several years behind the UK and USA in its access to the latest recording technology.

Although multitrack recorders were in common use overseas—major American pop recordings had been made on 8-track as far back as 1965, but 8-track was still not readily available in Australian commcercial studios. The first 8-track machine installed in a major independent studio was at Armstrong's in Melbourne, in 1970.

Four-track recorders, which were the standard in Australia at that time, had definite limitations, as the Beatles had found when they began creating more complex music in the mid-60s.

The process of "bouncing down" -- dubbing a completed 4-track recording onto one track of another tape—demanded skill, care and good equipment, otherwise the buildup of noise on the master tape soon became unacceptable.

However, by a neat technical trick, The Happy Prince effectively became Australia's first 8-track recording, a feat Woodley-Page achieved by recording onto on two Scully half-inch, 4-track recorders that were electronically synchronised.

This de facto 8-track method provided much greater scope for multitracking and overdubbing and a considerable improvement in overall sound quality.

The band released its magnum opus in April 1969. Hailed as the first Australian concept album, the ambitious LP was a suite of songs co-written by Howard and Wilson.

Lead vocals were, for the sake of dramatic consistency, performed entirely by Phil Key. It was lauded by writers such as David Elfick, Molly Meldrum and Brian Cadd, but rave reviews from critics failed to transfer into sales, and the band came close to splitting after its release.

The production is excellent and was a breakthrough for the time, although the material has been criticised as being patchy and rather overblown in parts. It was also the album was also marred for some critics by the rather campy tone of the narrated links, which were read by Adrian Rawlins."

The La De Das - Covered In Gold:

Track list:
Narrated by Adrian Rawlins:

01. Intro: Narrated By Adrian Rawlins 2:16
02. Covered In Gold : Narrated By Adrian Rawlins 3:43
03. Ruby And The Lady: Narrated By Adrian Rawlins 5:50
04. Come And Fly With Me: Narrated By Adrian Rawlins 3:54
05. Swallow, Little Swallow: Narrated By Adrian Rawlins 3:13
06. You Can't Take It With You: Narrated By Adrian Ra… 5:58
07. Life Is Leaving: Narrated By Adrian Rawlins 3:48
08. Tales Of The Nile: Narrated By Adrian Rawlins 3:17
09. Winter Song: Narrated By Adrian Rawlins 4:37
10. Lullaby: Narrated By Adrian Rawlins 3:46
11. Civic Pride: Narrated By Adrian Rawlins 3:27
12. Chant: Narrated By Adrian Rawlins 4:45

Music Only Version:

13. Covered In Gold 3:44
14. Ruby For The Lady 3:32
15. Come And Fly With Me 3:28
16. Swallow, Little Swallow (Edit) 2:34
17. You Can't Take It With You 4:17
18. Life Is Leaving (Edit) 2:09
19. Tales Of The Nile 2:26
20. Winter Song 2:48
21. Lullaby 2:47
22. Civic Pride 2:22
23. Chant (Edit) 1:03

The La De Das:
*Phil Key - guitar, vocals
*Trevor Wilson - bass)
*Kevin Borich - guitar, vocals
*Keith Barber - drums
*Bruce Howard - keyboards

[ Thank you NELWIZARD for sending this post ]
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