VA - Waking Up Scheherazade Vol. 1; 2
1 The Blackburds– Get Out Of My Life Woman (instrumental) 2:43
2 Michel Polnareff– Le Roi Des Fourmis 2:48
3 Chantal Kelly– Notre Prof' D'anglais 2:59
4 Jean Mareska– Nous Sommes Très Bien Comme Ça 3:05
5 Brigitte Bardot– Contact 2:24
6 Chris*– Plan De Fugue 2:12
7 Pascale Audret– Affole-Toi Marie 2:41
8 Johnny Hallyday– Je N'ai Jamais Rien Demandé 2:53
9 Virginie (4)– Vous N'avez Rien Compris 1:53
10 Claude François– Eloïse 5:36
11 Jacqueline Taïeb*– 7 Heures Du Matin 2:20
12 Claude Channes– L'amour Pas La Guerre 2:26
13 Elsa (3)– C'est Bizarre 3:32
14 Henri Salvador– Carnaby Street 2:30
15 Delphine– La Fermeture Éclair 2:39
16 Ronnie Bird– Le Pivert 2:27
17 Charlotte Leslie– Les Filles C'est Fait.. 3:02
18 Fernand Raynaud– Oh! Eh! Hein! Quoi! 2:15
19 France Gall– Dady Da Da 2:43
20 Monty (6)– Le Collège 2:36
21 Stone (14)– Le Nénuphar 2:30
22 Serge Gainsbourg– L'anamour 2:35
Ty To Original Sharer
The Pyramid – Summer Of Last Year
Deram – DM.111
Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM, Single
6 Jan 1967
The Pyramid-The Summer Of Last Year/Summer Evening U.K. Deram DM 111
The United Kingdom was particularly enamoured with the American "West Coast sound" in the mid 1960's. True there were loads of Beach Boys covers, but some bands went beyond the covers and struck out to create their own home brand. The songs needn't have always been about surfing, beaches or blondes in convertibles, but some were.
Enter The Pyramid. A band who released this one off single on the Decca offshoot label Deram. Produced by the pop maestro Denny Cordell,it evokes everything you'd expect from a bunch of English guys who dug The Association and the like. I could easily imagine them onstage in their all white get ups with sunflower medallions and shades prompting some cat call from some oik as they loaded their gear in the dismal grey night of some unwritten Northern English town "California's that way mate...". The record was reportedly released (according to an article in "Record Collector") in the un-summery month of January 1967. As the scan of my promo copy will attest by it's release date this is entirely correct. Probably not the brightest move by Deram's production department, it was also sandwiched in between Cat Steven's smash "Matthew & Son" and Whistling Jack Smith's "I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman" (shudders in Sideshow Bob style sniggering all around). Needless to say the record sank without a trace.
The Pyramid were a British group that put out just one single, "Summer of Last Year"/"Summer Evening," in January 1967. They are known (if at all) because one of their singers was Ian MacDonald, soon to change his name to Ian Matthews and join Fairport Convention. The Pyramid single contained California pop/rock-styled originals from the pen of member Steve Hiett, with harmonies heavily indebted to the Beach Boys. It sounded like a more mainstream take on the mid-'60s Beach Boys, and given the blatant summer themes of the lyrics, it was odd indeed that the record was released during the winter. John Paul Jones, though not a member, played bass on both sides, which were produced by Denny Cordell, then also producing the Move. Both sides of this rare 45 were reissued on the compilation Deram Dayze.
"The Summer Of Last Year" is a low key multi layered harmony number relying on some nice fuzz bass (played by none other than John Paul Jones it's reputed), guitar, drums and a faint organ. The lyrics evoke the joys of summer, the backing vocals remind me of The Who's Entwistle and Moon on one of the band's surfy B-sides ("In the City"). All in all it's pleasant and catchy because of the bass, the vocal perfection and the way the crescendo builds when the combo organ kicks in. Good stuff.
The flip "Summer Evening" plumbs the same seasonal sentimentality lyrically but it's slower and has an almost raga feel to it's gentle guitar work. I also swear I can hear a tabla on it, but I'm not sure in adittion to some organ. Both sides also feature the drumming talents of one Ian Pratt-MacDonald(later Matthews) later to pop up in Fairport Convention.
The A-side did turn up on a U.K. 60's psych/pop CD collection called "Fairytales Can Come True Volume One") and both sides featured on the late 80's Decal LP compilation "Deram Days".
POSTSCRIPT: The band were a trio consisting of Steve Hiett, Albert Jackson and Ian Pratt-McDonald. They were assisted in the studio by John Paul Jones who played bass and possibly organ and arranged by Mike Lease (who also provided backing vocals) . Lease would later crop up in the band Freedom (who's line-up boasted to ex-Procul Harum members) in 1968 responsible for the brilliant "Where Will You Be Tonight" single (UK Mercury MF 1033). Special thanks to "Record Collector" magazine and Nigel Lees for these last bits.
Further addendum's from original member Mike Lease:This recording was the culmination of an elaborate stage act, involving 2 non-stop sets of at least 45 mins. each [!], testing the breath control of the singers to the limit, I was the musical directer of this ambitious project which ran for 18 months or so... Albert Jackson was the 3rd vocalist. I played the organ on the recording, not John Paul, aka John Baldwin. The brilliant Pete Trout was on drums, Big Jim Sullivan on guitar.... - Mike Lease
I might have got the guitarist on the A side wrong... - Pete Trout thinks it was John McGlaughlin, with Big Jim on the B side... Maybe.... - Mike Lease
Yet another thought just occur ed to me about this track.... It could have been Big Colin Pincott on guitar, side "A"... I'm really unsure and don't want to misrepresent anyone... - all that's certain is that Big Jim Sullivan was on the "B" side, John Paul Jones - bass, Pete Trout - drums, myself - organ, keyboards, and I can't remember who played congas on the "B" side.. - Mike Lease.
"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." -John Lennon
–Duane Eddy Because They're Young 1:56
–Brenda Lee I'm Sorry 2:40
–The Drifters Save The Last Dance For Me 2:26
–Neil Sedaka Oh Carol 2:17
–Blue Diamonds Ramona 2:32
–Bobby Vee Rubber Ball 2:16
–The Shadows Apache 2:54
–Eddie Cochran Three Steps To Heaven 2:22
–Peter Koelewijn & Zijn Rockets Kom Van Dat Dak Af 2:39
–Bob Azzam Mustapha 2:44
–The Ventures Walk, Don't Run 2:23
–Johnny Tillotson Poetry In Motion 2:27
–Johnny Ray I'll Never Fall In Love Again 2:43
–Paul Anka Puppy Love 2:45
–Jim Reeves He'll Have To Go 2:20
–The Everly Brothers Cathy's Clown 2:23
–Cliff Richard Living Doll 2:37
–Johnny Burnette You're Sixteen 1:55
–Johnny Preston Running Bear 2:36
–The Cousins Kili-Watch 2:37
–Helen Shapiro Walking Back To Happiness 2:28
–Cliff Richard Theme From A Dream 2:03
–Neil Sedaka Calendar Girl 2:37
–Ricky Nelson Hello Mary Lou 2:18
–Bobby Vee Take Good Care Of My Baby 2:25
–The Marcels Blue Moon 2:14
–Paul Anka Tonight My Love Tonight 2:07
–Elvis Presley Are You Lonesome Tonight 2:07
–Fats Domino My Girl Josephine 1:59
–Smokey Robinson & The Miracles Shop Around 2:44
–The Allisons Are You Sure? 2:03
–Highwaymen Michael (Row The Boat Ashore) 2:44
–Del Shannon Runaway 2:17
–The Cousins Dang Dang 2:03
–Ben E King* Stand By Me 2:54
–Dion Runaround Sue 2:39
–The Marvelettes Please Mr. Postman 2:26
–The Shadows F.B.I. 2:18
–Edith Piaf Non Je Ne Regrette Rien 2:19
–Sandy Nelson Let There Be Drums 2:17
"Matthew and Son" is a single written, composed, and performed by Cat Stevens. It was selected as the title song for his 1967 debut album. Stevens was a newly signed teenage singer-songwriter, who performed to elaborate arrangements quite different from the skiffle which had, in part, inspired him to begin writing and performing.
The song remains Cat Stevens' highest charting single in the British Isles, reaching Number 2 in the UK and Number 3 in Ireland in early 1967.
The song, according to Stevens, took its name from the tailor, Henry Matthews, who made suits for Stevens, who thought up the story of the worker who is the main character in the song.
Stevens later commented, "I had a girlfriend, and she was working for this big firm, and I didn't like the way that she had to spend so much of her time working. The riff seemed to fit the words, Matthew and Son. There was a bit of social comment there about people being slaves to other people."
The song was covered by the band The Delgados in a 2002 Peel session and included on their 2006 collection The Complete BBC Peel Sessions.
The song's verse sounds similar to Tears For Fears' 1982 single "Mad World". Yusuf/Cat made a reference to this at a concert on his 2016 tour while playing 'Matthew and Son', inserting the lyrics 'I think it's kind of funny, I think it's kind of strange, yes I think it's kind of funny, that this sounds the same!‘.
Echo and the Bunnymen would borrow the melody for their 1983 hit "The Cutter"
Cat Stevens also refers to Matthew and Son, including a small four note riff from the original song, in a later song, "(I Never Wanted) To Be a Star" from his album Izitso.
The song is about a business called Matthew And Son; workers there, some of whom have fifty years of experience with the business, are wage slaves, and because all of them are too apathetic and/or too timid to do so, none of them dare ask for raises, or promotions to higher-paying work, despite a commonality of financial hardship. ("He's got people who've been working for fifty years | No-one asks for more money 'cause nobody dares | Even though they're pretty low and the rent's in arrears.") They receive few breaks in their routine, and their food is generally poor. ("There's a five-minute break | And that's all you take | For a cup of cold coffee and a piece of cake.")
The kind of business in which Matthew And Son engages is not specified in the lyrics. Most likely we can assume that Matthew and Son is an office in the city. ("The files in your head, you take them to bed, you're never ever through.")
The song appears on the soundtrack of Michael Apted's Stardust and in the Wes Anderson film Rushmore.
Year Chart UK Chart Position
1967 UK Singles Chart No. 2
Cat Stevens - vocals
John Paul Jones - bass guitar
Nicky Hopkins - keyboards
Alan Tew – orchestral arrangements
Cat Stevens – Matthew And Son
Deram – DM.110
Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM, Single
30 Dec 1966
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