Album Mappe

JOHN LEES - A Major Fancy

A Major Fancy original LP sleeveA Major Fancy CD cover

LP: Harvest SHSM 2018, Juli 1977 [nur GB]
CD: 3 Bonustracks, Eagle EAGCD 107, 18. Oktober 1999


*n.b. ursprünglich sollte es als Harvest SHVL 811 am 01.06.73 mit anderen Titeln herauskommen:

Side 1:
Untitled No.6 - Allergy
Child Of The Universe
Kes (A Major Fancy)
Untitled No.8 (A Lost Affair)

Side 2:
Untitled No.2 - Sweet Faced Jane
Witburg Night
Untitled No.1 - Heritage
Untitled No.4 - Hands Across The Water


Seite 1
Untitled No.1 - Heritage (John Lees)
Child Of the Universe (John Lees)
Kes (A Major Fancy) (John Lees)
Untitled No.2 (John Lees)

Seite 2
Sweet Faced Jane (John Lees)
Witburg Night (John Lees)
Long Ships (John Lees)
Untitled No.3 (John Lees)


Bonustracks auf der 1999er CD:

Please Be With Me (C. Scott Boyer)
Best Of My Love (D. Henley/G. Frey/J.D. Souther)
You Can't Get It (Rider)

Aufnahmedetails

Aufnahmestudio:
Abbey Road Studio, St. Johns Wood, London
Strawberry Studio, Stockport ("Kes" und Perkussion in "Untitled No.2")

Aufnahmedaten:
Dezember 1972

Gemischt:
Dezember 1972 bis Januar 1973 im Abbey Road

Produzent:
Wally Waller

Toningenieure:
Tony Clark im Abbey Road,
Peter Tattersall im Strawberry

Zusätzliche Musiker

Skip Allen (The Pretty Things, Drums und Perkussion); Wally Waller (The Pretty Things, Baß, elektrische Twelve-string, Chorstimme, Perkussion, Keyboards und Arrangement); Gordon Edwards (Piano); Rod Argent (The Zombies, Argent, Orgel); Graham Preskett (Arrangement für Chor und Streicher, E-Piano, Violine); Eric Stewart (10cc, Akustikgitarren); Kev Godley (10cc, Aschenbecher, Bierflasche und Feuerlöscher); Rex Morrison (Tenorsax).

Hülle

John Lees-Photos von Doug McKenzie, Falkenphoto von E. Breeze-Jones / Bruce Coleman Ltd. Retouchiert von Michael Mann Studio. Notizen von Don Hurley. Wie schon erwähnt, ging die originale Hülle verloren, bevor das Album endlich erschien, aber geplant war eine Klapphülle mit einem Falken in natürlicher Umgebung, gezeichnet von einem bekannten Maler. Leider ist das Original nie wieder aufgetaucht, aber John hat uns freundlicherweise eine Kopie eines Sketches vom selben Künstler gegeben, was darauf hinweist, wie das Album hätte aussehen können, wenn alles nach dem ursprünglichen Plan gelaufen wäre:-

Original sleeve

Untitled No.1 - Heritage

Der Auftakt setzt die Stimmung für Johns bisher einziges Soloalbum - die Musik hat ein freieres, jazzigeres Feeling, und wäh-rend der Song die Art Liebeslied ist, die auf ein BJH-Album gepaßt hätte, liegt mehr Betonung auf dem Entwickeln der instrumentalen Passagen. Der Originaltitel war "Untitled No. 6 - Allergy" , daher war John nicht gerade begeistert, als es 1973 auf Radio One als "An Allegory" angesagt wurde - von Barclay James Harvest!
Text:
I'm in love, baby, for the first time
I'm in love, pretty woman, with you
I'm in love, baby for the first time
I'm in love, pretty woman, with you

Take the back out of life
You are driving me wild
And I kind of like the way you look tonight
Well that's all right
Early morning we rise
Wipe a tear from your eye
But don't look away, darling, when you say
"That's 0.K"

I'm in love, baby, for the first time
I'm in love, pretty woman, with you
I'm in love, baby for the first time
I'm in love, pretty woman, with you

[John Lees, © RAK Publishing Ltd.]

Child Of The Universe

Die Originalversion dieses BJH Klassikers, obwohl sie nicht als erste herauskam. Sie wurde ursprünglich als für BJH unpassend abgelehnt, aber als der Rest der Band die fertige Aufnahme hörte, war man so beein-druckt, daß beschlossen wurde, den Song auf das nächste BJH-Album, Everyone Is Everybody Else, zu setzen. Inzwischen war Johns Album bis auf Weiteres verschoben worden. Als A Major Fancy schließlich 1977 erschien, wurde dieser Song zur Single, um es zu promoten.
Text:
I'm a child of South Africa
I'm a child of Vietnam
I'm a child of Northern Ireland
I'm a small boy with blood on his hands

Yes I'm a child of the universe
Yes I'm a child of the universe
You can see me on the TV every night
Always there to join in someone else's fight

I didn't ask to be born and I don't ask to die
I'm an endless dream, a gene machine
That cannot reason why

Yes I'm a child of the universe
Yes I'm a child of the universe
You can see me on the TV every day
I'm the child next door three thousand miles away

[John Lees, © RAK Publishing Ltd.]

Kes (A Major Fancy)

Das Instrumental, das dem Album seinen Titel gibt, wurde mit Eric Stewart von 10cc in seinem eigenen Strawberry Studio aufge-nommen. Inspiriert wurde es davon, daß John und Olwen zwei junge Falken per Hand aufzogen, nachdem ein Elterntier abgeschossen worden war und das andere das Nest verlassen hatte. Der Ausdruck "major fancy" beschreibt in Nordengland jemandes Hauptinteresse oder Hobby, obwohl der Titel auch die Doppelbedeutung der Musiktonart A-Dur haben könnte.

Untitled No.2

Der Originaltitel dieses Songs ("Untitled No. 8 - A Lost Affair") zeigt klar, worum es geht. Der Track hat wieder ein sehr jazziges Feeling mit extra Perkussion, die im Straw-berry Studio hinzukam, vor allem von Kev Godley von 10cc, der Aschenbecher, Bierflasche und Feuerlöscher spielte!
Text:
For the first time in a long time, child, I saw your face
You were looking up to me, oh so kind
And my mind was filled with hate
You were looking up to me, oh so kind
Just a shadow of a woman, didn't realise
That the love I'd saved was the love you'd thrown away

For the first time in a long time, child, I knew your name
Not the whys or wherefores, hows or whens
Like lightning down it came
And you were looking up to me, oh so kind
Just a shadow of a woman, didn't realise
That the love I'd saved was the love you'd thrown away

Yes, I was looking up to you, oh so kind
Just a shadow of a woman, didn't realise
That the love I'd saved was the love you'd thrown away

For the first time in a long time, child, I heard you sigh
Saw your face, your name, your eyes, your hair
Won't you get back in my mind
You were looking up to me, oh so kind
Just a shadow of a woman, didn't realise
That the love I'd saved was the love you'd thrown away

Yes, I was looking up to you, oh so kind
Just a shadow of a woman, didn't realise
That the love I'd saved was the love you'd thrown away

[John Lees, © RAK Publishing Ltd.]

Sweet Faced Jane

Die zweite Seite des Albums beginnt mit einem schnelleren, kommerziellen Liebeslied mit einer starken Melodie und ein paar interessanten Klängen dank zusätzlicher Violine und Tenorsax.
Text:
I met a girl the other day
She said, "Son, are you going my way
Or will you love and leave your Sweet Faced Jane?"
I passed her low, I passed her high
But I could never pass her by
She said, "Will you love or leave your Sweet Faced Jane?"

No, don't hurt or grieve me
Leavin' ain't for you
Leavin' ain't for you
My Sweet Faced Jane, la la lady of my mind

She turned me up, I turned her down
She turned my colours all around
She said, "Will you love or leave your Sweet Faced Jane?"
I picked her up, she let me drop
And led me on and made me stop
She said, "Will you love or leave your Sweet Faced Jane?"

No, don't hurt or grieve me
Leavin' ain't for you
Leavin' ain't for you
My Sweet Faced Jane, la la lady of my mind

She turned me up, I turned her down
She turned my colours all around
She said, "Will you love or leave your Sweet Faced Jane?"
I picked her up, she let me drop
And led me on and made me stop
She said, "Will you love or leave your Sweet Faced Jane?"

No, don't hurt or grieve me
Leavin' ain't for you
Leavin' ain't for you
My Sweet Faced Jane, la la lady of my mind

[John Lees, © RAK Publishing Ltd.]

Witburg Night

Ein viel selbstbeobachtenderer Song folgt; die Atmosphäre wird durch die Vibes und Effekte einer gesprungenen Glocke in unterschiedlicher Tonart (Wally Waller an den Tubular Bells) perfekt unterstützt. Witburg war in Südafrika, und BJH wohnten dort, als sie ein paar Monate bevor dieses Album aufgenommen wurde dort auf Tour waren.
Text:
Your soft brown hair left traces on
The pillowed mind you slept upon
And the Witburg night
She moved on to the dawn

Your green-blue eyes I idolise
The child-fair face in woman's sleep
And the Witburg night
Well she crept by to the dawn

We tried to make love in the night
My trembling limbs refused to share
The hidden meaning in my mind
That tomorrow night might be the only time

I sat and talked you lay and smiled
We'd kiss and laugh, hold on tight
To what we got
The Witburg night 'till the dawn

We'd dream awhile of things to come
Removed our clothes and we were one
With the Witburg night
And she moved on to the dawn

We tried to make love in the night
My trembling limbs refused to share
The hidden meaning in my mind
That tomorrow night might be...
Tomorrow night might be the only time

We tried to make love in the night
My trembling limbs refused to share
The hidden meaning in my mind
That tomorrow night might be the only time

[John Lees, © RAK Publishing Ltd.]

Long Ships

Ein weiterer Kontrast entsteht, wo "Long Ships" eine starke Mischung aus altnordischer Mythologie und Charakteren von Tolkiens Lord Of The Rings einsetzt, um eine epische Geschichte zu bilden, die ein verlorenes Zeitalter vom Heldentum gegen die Elemente heraufbeschwört. Dies ist titelmäßig der verwirrendste Track, da er wohl ursprünglich "Untitled No.1 - Heritage" hieß! Er geht über ein kurzes instrumentales "Link Piece" mit Johns Gitarre und einem von Wally Waller arrangierten Moog in den nächsten Song über.
Text:
Long ships sailing on a windy day
Muddy waters to the sea
Blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl
Stood waving me goodbye
'Neath the dragon's prow lies
The Devil and the deep blue sea

Woman it's all right
You were born to be free
Free to be borne by the wind and the tides
Across the rolling...
Woman it's all right
You were born to be free
Free to be borne by the wind and the tides
Across the rolling sea

Elrond by the sail and Legolas the helm
Mighty oars raise to the sky
A hundred men or more
And mines below our feet
All are pledged to fight
For the warlords or to die

The north winds bite so cold
With tales of grief and woe
The storm clouds gather to the east
Uncharted course is set
As we head for the sun
To the green, rich isles
In the middle of the rolling sea

Woman it's all right
You were born to be free
Free to be borne by the wind and the tides
Across the rolling...
Woman it's all right
You were born to be free
Free to be borne by the wind and the tides
Across the rolling sea

The time and tide flow by
Like dreams below our feet
The journey lingers in deceit
The god's relentless cry
To set our spirits free
Still lingers in the souls close to defeat

Woman it's all right
You were born to be free
Free to be borne by the wind and the tides
Across the rolling...
Woman it's all right
You were born to be free
Free to be borne by the wind and the tides
Across the rolling sea

It's thirty days or more
Since we last sighted land
The sails are torn and the oars now weak
The green land far away
Proud heads bowed in their grief
Lord Odin take our bodies
To the deep blue sea

Woman it's all right
You were born to be free
Free to be borne by the wind and the tides
Across the rolling...
Woman it's all right
You were born to be free
Free to be borne by the wind and the tides
Across the rolling sea

[John Lees, © RAK Publishing Ltd.]

Untitled No.3

Das Album endet mit einem eher nach BJH klingenden Song, sogar mit Mellotron, das hier Produzent Wally Waller spielt. Zuerst hieß es "Untitled No. 4 - Hands Across The Water", und es ist ein schönes Liebeslied mit klagender Gitarre und Violine, und der Text in Refrain erinnert an den späteren BJH-Klassiker "Poor Man's Moody Blues".
Text:
Send a message to my lady
Won't you tell her that I love her
And when chance well
I'll be back again
Because I need her more than I want her
And I want her more than I need her
And when times are right
I'll be coming home

Yes I love her
Yes I need her
Yes I want her more than I can say
Love, love, love please find a way
To see me again

Oh the many roads I've travelled
Only serve as sad reminders
Of the places that I've been
And wished to stay
But there's one place I keep wishing
And my lady I am missing
That's the place I'll send my message today

Yes I love her
Yes I need her
Yes I want her more than I can say
Love, love, love please find a way
To see me again

Oh the many roads I've travelled
Only serve as sad reminders
Of the places that I've been
And wished to stay
But there's one place I keep wishing
And my lady I am missing
That's the place I'll send my message today

Yes I love her
Yes I need her
Yes I want her more than I can say
Love, love, love please find a way
To see me again

[John Lees, © RAK Publishing Ltd.]

Please Be With Me

Abgelehnt, 1974
A Major Fancy CD, 1999

Aufgenommen während der "Best Of My Love" Sessions und mit den gleichen Musikern. Dies ist eine Coverversion von einem Charles Scott Boyer-Song, ursprünglich von Cowboy aufgenommen (mit Duane Allman an der Gitarre), aber besser von Eric Claptons 461 Ocean Boulevard bekannt.

Text:
Oh my word, what does it mean?
Is it love or is it me?
Makes me change so suddenly
From looking out to feeling free

Sit here, lying on my bed
Wondering what it was I said
Made me think I'd lost my head
When I knew I'd lost my heart instead

Won't you please read my sign, be a gypsy
Tell me what I hope to find deep within me
Because you can't find my mind
Please be with me

Of all the better things I've heard
Loving you has made the words
And all the rest seem so absurd
'Cause in the end it all comes out I'm sure

Won't you please read my sign, be a gypsy
Tell me what I hope to find deep within me
Because you can't find my mind
Please be with me

[C. Scott Boyer, © Chappell Inc]

Best Of My Love

[Single A-Seite, 1974]

Eine der seltensten Veröffentlichungen, die mit BJH zu tun haben. Diese Solo-Single wurde kurz nach dem Album Everyone Is Everybody Else in den Olympic Studios aufgenommen und von Polydor im September 1974 herausgebracht. Die A-Seite ist geradewegs eine Coverversion des Eagles-Songs, der damals in England relativ unbekannt war, und John fand, daß er bekannter sein sollte. Als die Platte öfter gespielt wurde und das Potential zum Hit zeigte, wurden die Polydor-Bosse nervös und dachten, daß die Zukunft von BJH und die ihrer Investitionen auf dem Spiel stand, und zogen die Single prompt aus dem Verkehr!

Text:
Every night I'm lying in bed
Holding you close in my dreams
Thinking about all the things that we said
Coming apart at the seams
We tried to talk it over
But the words came out too rough
I know you were trying
To give me the best of your love

Beautiful faces without empty places
Look at the way that we live
Wasting our time on cheap talking wine
Left us so little to give
That same old crowd was like a cold dark cloud
That we could never rise above
But here in my heart
I'll give you the best of my love

Oh sweet darling,
You get the best of my love
Oh sweet darling,
You get the best of my love

I'm going back in time
And it's a sweet dream
It was a quiet night
And I would be all right
If I could go on sleeping

But every morning I wake up and worry
What's gonna happen today
You see it your way and I'll see it mine
But we both see it slipping away
You know we always had each other, baby
I guess it wasn't enough
But here in my heart
I give you the best of my love

Oh sweet darling,
You get the best of my love
Oh sweet darling,
You get the best of my love

[D. Henley/G. Frey/J.D. Souther, © Music Corp./Kicking Bear Music]

You Can't Get It

[Single B-Seite, 1974]

B-Seite der Single "Best Of My Love", siehe oben. Eine originale John Lees-Komposition, obwohl auf dem Label "Rider" steht, nach dem Mädchennamen seiner Frau Olwen. Es geht um Stars im allgemeinen und bezieht sich auf The Beatles und The Rolling Stones im Einzelnen.

Text:
I met a man all dressed in white
While walking down life's road
He was one of four
Who would not share his heavy load
Now Lennon is a superstar
Why did his planets die?
If mass equals velocity
He should be flying high

You don't always get what you want, babe
You don't always get what you want, babe
You don't always get what you want
When you want it, you can't get it

I met a man all dressed in black
While walking down life's road
He was one of five
One who cannot share his heavy load
Now Jagger is a superstar
Why did his planets die?
If mass equals velocity
He should be flying high

You don't always get what you want, babe
You don't always get what you want, babe
You don't always get what you want
And when you want it, you can't get it

I looked around upon that road
But I was all alone
The stars were bright above my head
But slowly changed their form
Now comets come and comets go
Defeated in the end
While stages light with spotlights bright
Another star ascends

You don't always get what you want, babe
You don't always get what you want, babe
You don't always get what you want
And when you want it, you can't get it

[John Lees, © St. Annes Music]


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