martes, 11 de agosto de 2009

Gun Hill Road - First Stop


Gun Hill Road (First Stop) Mercury SR 61341 - 1971

Gun Hill Road es una larguísima avenida del Bronx, en New York, con una longitud de casi 6 Kms. También es el nombre elegido para la banda que un tal Glenn Leopold montó a principios de la década de los 70, como vehiculo para sus canciones. Tras este primer disco, y para el segundo, lo acortaron a Gunhill Road.

El primer LP del grupo fué publicado en 1971 y pasó bastante desapercibido para la mayor parte de la humanidad, a excepción de algunos familiares y amigos. Un verdadero crimen, ya que es un disco que navega bastante por encima del nivel medio. Bueno, tal vez fuera por eso mismo.

En "First Stop" se puede encontrar una entrañable pequeña colección de canciones que transmiten una sobria emocionalidad y una intimidad nocturna. Todo ello, arropado con una orquestación de cámara y llevado por la personal y cálida voz del Sr. Leopold. Sin olvidar los coros, tan envolventes y en su punto. Mis favoritas son "My Lady Loves The Day" y su ternura, especialmente ese final orquestal, la melodía y el ambiente de "Cargoes", o la intimista realidad de "I Will Never Face The World Again". También destacan la redonda melodía de "New York Morning" y la dramática y acústica "Daybreak". Incluso hay canciones radiables como "Man Of Trade" o "Thoughtcatcher". Aunque parece ser que la mayor parte de las emisoras no estuvieron por la labor.


Con el segundo álbum, al año siguiente, tampoco parecía pasar nada a pesar de mantener un notable nivel. Hasta que a alguien se le ocurrió regrabar algunas de las canciones y relanzar el disco en 1973. Una buena idea, parace ser. "Back When My Hair Was Short", la canción medio broma del LP, se había regrabado con el rítmo un poco más rápido y con la letra cambiada, ya que la original hacía tal vez demasiadas referencias a algunas drogas como para ser programada en las emisoras de radio. Todo un acierto, ya que el single en cuestión tuvo bastante éxito y fué editado en medio mundo, incluído el nuestro.

A pesar de todo, las nuevas luces no parecieron servir de mucho y el grupo se disolvió poco después. Glenn Leopold se pasó a trabajar en películas de dibujos animados, cosa que sigue haciendo en la actualidad. Quedan atrás un par de grandes LPs con altas dosis de melodía y sentimiento, infravalorados y olvidados como tantos otros.



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Gun Hill Road is a quite long avenue of about three and a half miles in the Bronx, New York. It's also the chosen name for the band that a certain Glenn Leopold put together at the very start of the 70s, as a vehicle for his songs. After this first LP, and for the second one, they shortened that name to Gunhill Road.

The first album of the band was released in 1971 and it went quite unnoticed for the most part of mankind, excepting some relatives and friends. A true crime, 'cause it's a record which sails quite above the medium level. Well, perhaps it was because of that.

In "First Stop" you may find a most affectionate little collection of songs that trasmit a sober emotionality and a nocturnal intimacy. All of it, dressed with some chamber orchestration and led by the personal and warm voice of Mr. Leopold. Not forgetting the background vocals, so tight and well done. My favourite songs are "My Lady Loves The Day" and its terderness, specially in that orchestral ending, the melody and atmosphere of "Cargoes", or the intimist reality of "I Will Never Face The World Again". Remarkable also the great melody of "New York Morning" and the acoustic and dramatic "Daybreak". There's even radio-friendly songs like "Man Of Trade" or "Thoughtcatcher". Though it seems that most part of the radio stations didn't even think about it.

In spite of keeping a notable level, nothing seemed to be happening too with their second album the following year. Until someone had the idea of re-recording some of the songs and re-release the LP in 1973. A good move, indeed. "Back When My Hair Was Short", the bit-of-a-joke song of the record, was re-recorded with a faster rhythm and with some of the lyrics changed, because the original ones mentioned some drugs too much for being easily accepted in most radio stations. It was a wise decision, and the single with that song had quite a success and was even released in half of the world.

However, those new lights didn't prove to be that useful anymore and the band vanished some time later. Glenn Leopold moved to the cartoon films field, where he's still at it nowadays. Leaving behind a couple of great albums with a high dose of melody and feeling, undervalued and forgotten like so many others.





http://rapidshare.com/files/266381797/Gun_Hill_Road__First_Stop__1972.rar



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3 comentarios:

frumious bandersnatch dijo...

The name of the band remembers me of something but I just can't figure out exactly what or who right now. Your review whets my appetite... Thanks a lot for your work, it's a splendid and very original blog.

sebastian paredes dijo...

Thanks for your comment. I just try to select some records which have that something special, no matter what "style", and which have not been reissued.

Enjoy...

:-)

antonilópez dijo...

Excelente blog, ya estoy entre buestros seguidores. (os invito a visitar el mio), seguimos en contacto... un saludo!!