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FANTASTIC VOYAGE

Juvenile Delinquent’s Jukebox gathers together tracks (91 on 3xCD / 36 on 2xLP) featured in the films of John Waters. “To me, bad taste is what entertainment is all about”, opines Waters. “If someone vomits watching one of my films, it’s like getting a standing ovation. But one must remember that there is such a thing as good bad taste and bad bad taste.” From as early as Mondo Trasho (1969), the American film director has made substantial use of the music of his youth, music that ranges from wholesome ’50s popular vocalists, to rhythm & blues, doo wop, rock & roll and the dance crazes of the early ’60s. Early pop authority Lucky Parker has compiled 91 examples for Juvenile Delinquent’s Jukebox, as well as providing a fascinating essay, which charts Waters’ formative years and his early experiments with short film, leading to notoriety with transgressive cult movies like Pink Flamingos and eventual mainstream success with Hairspray and Cry-Baby.

Whether it be as film director, screenwriter, actor, author, stand-up comedian, visual artist or art collector, the perennially pencil-moustachioed John Waters has been pushing the boundaries of good taste and poking fun at America’s idealised image of itself for over fifty years. Given the furore which surrounded his notorious breakthrough feature, Pink Flamingos, it’s almost inconceivable that Waters has so seamlessly infiltrated mainstream pop culture - albeit unintentionally, with multi-million dollar-grossing movies such as the family friendly Hairspray - to become respectable. Drawing on seven of his celebrated movies, Juvenile Delinquent’s Jukebox serves as both a soundtrack to his extraordinary oeuvre, and also a rollercoaster ride through the popular music – at turns wholesome, rebellious and frivolous - of the ’50s and ’60s.


Fantastic Voyage kicks off the first vinyl focused label, Fantastic Wax, with Hong Kong based vinyl aficionado, and owner of Pharmacy Records and Fauve Radio, Romain FX. Inspired by his love and respect for African music and it's deep roots, Romain approached it with a modern mindset to give a second life to the tracks that we're disappearing due to the lack of accessibility and rarity of these records.

STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: Piano ridden a la old school house music in the infectious 'Indaba Kabani' which gives way to my favourite track here 'Gambian Neptune', a Balearic diamond with a house pace and a certain Miami Vice and pink flamingos feel.
On the flip, the vibe is very positive but takes the hip hop route this time in the Nigeria house bomb that is 'Nigerian Charo'. Closing this banger of a 12" is 'Sudanese' with its chants and folk instruments over a slightly breakbeat beat. Very warm and out of the beaten track edits for our lovely discerning customers!

This 3CD set compiles the original soundtrack albums for Zulu and Four In The Morning, both composed and conducted by John Barry, together with other recordings he made for the Ember label.

Barry was one of the best known composers of film music in the world. His early career found him working as in-house arranger for EMI, leader of hit instrumental combo the John Barry Seven, and composer, arranger and conductor on the first UK soundtrack album (the Adam Faith vehicle Beat Girl). After Barry’s involvement as arranger on the first James Bond film Dr No in 1962, he was appointed as primary composer for the film franchise.

The BAFTA-nominated Zulu (1964) was directed by Cy Endfield. The film depicts the heroic defence of Rorke’s Drift mission station during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. Originally released in 1964, and here mastered from original stereo tapes, the album comprises soundtrack music (with two of the tracks incorporating narration by Richard Burton), followed by “A Selection of Zulu Stamps”, essentially southern African-influenced beat instrumentals, performed by the John Barry Seven.

Originally released in 1965, the soundtrack album to Anthony Simmons’ Four In The Morning comprises John Barry’s original haunting score, plus four excerpts of dialogue featuring Judi Dench, Ann Lynn, Norman Rodway, Brian Phelan and Joe Melia. The dialogue only exists in mono, so we have presented the entire album in mono, followed by the music-only tracks in stereo, again mastered from original tapes.

Both soundtrack albums were originally released on British independent label Ember, where John Barry was associate producer and head of A&R in the early sixties. A third disc spotlights other John Barry recordings for the label. These include two UK hit singles: the From Russia With Love theme (here also in an alternative version with organ) and the Barry-produced “Christine”, a satirical commentary on the Profumo affair, credited to the mysterious Miss X, as well as “Fancy Dance”, which served as the theme to the BBC’s twice-weekly soap The Newcomers from 1965 to 1967.


'Soul City Los Angeles' presents recordings which served to establish the musical direction of LA and neighbouring West Coast conurbations in the late 1950s and early 1960s when R&B was evolving into the style that became known as soul. Compiled and annotated by soul music authority Clive Richardson, 'Soul City Los Angeles' is the latest in a series that has previously explored the nascent soul scenes in Detroit, New York and Chicago.

This instalment presents a selection from key independent labels of the area, including Sam Cooke’s SAR and Richard Vaughn’s Arvee, as well as choice items from Aladdin, Liberty, Imperial and Ebb, and collectable releases from more obscure imprints. Famous names on CD1 of this 60-track 2CD set include the Olympics, the Valentinos (aka the Womack Brothers) with ‘Lookin’ For A Love’, the Rivingtons with ‘Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow’, and Johnnie Morisette with ‘Meet Me At The Twistin’ Place’, while CD2 features ‘Ko Ko Mo’ hitmakers Gene & Eunice, both sides of a 1962 single on Rush by Don & Dewey, early recordings by future stars Johnnie Taylor and Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson, and a young Sly Stone as a member of the Viscaynes.

Soul fans of the early 1960s could often figure out the geographic origins of new singles as much by the ‘sound’ as by any knowledge of sometimes obscure artists and labels, with the output of West Coast studios tending to have a ‘harder’ sound in comparison with some more sophisticated (for the era) productions from the opposite coast or the regions of the Great Lakes. Here we have music from the formative period of the soul era in Los Angeles.

Also available as 2LP vinyl collectors edition, featuring 28 of the most sought-after tracks and colour insert.


Fantastic Voyage’s new series, Soul City, explores the music being produced in key centres in the early 1960s, when R&B was evolving into the style that was soon widely referred to as soul. Having kicked off the series in Detroit, we now turn our attention to the Big Apple.

While New York may not have a distinctive musical ‘sound’ or style such as those which more readily identify R&B and soul recordings made in Memphis, New Orleans, Philadelphia or Nashville, the city was the home of countless singers and musicians through the decades, and also a veritable hotbed of independent record labels and producers, all seeking to make their fortunes by creating and promoting the next million-seller. The first step towards this was getting your record into the local radio station chart, hoping to break into what was then (1962) the R&B Top 50. While this may have been an easier process away from the metropolis, the audience was significantly larger and the potential reward greater for those based in the Big Apple, and the artists and tracks in Soul City New York provide a good overview of the range of talent and relative success achieved as the world of rhythm and blues evolved towards soul.

Most of the tracks in this collection, which has been compiled and annotated by soul music authority Clive Richardson, were recorded for independent labels, some of which have grown in reputation over the decades such that they are now regarded as comparable to the majors of that time, and their owners have carved their own niches in the history of soul. More is known of Juggy Murray (Sue/Symbol), Florence Greenberg (Scepter/Wand) and Bobby Robinson (Fire/Fury) than of any executive of Brunswick or Roulette, and their artists have become our heroes in the annals of music history, emerging as they did from the very roots of rhythm & blues/soul music due to their mentors’ ears for talent.

Here are some early tracks cut by Ike & Tina Turner, starting their hit trail on Sue, a range of songs by Chuck Jackson and Tommy Hunt, founding superstars of the soul era, breakthrough hits by the Isley Brothers, Dionne Warwick and Gladys Knight & the Pips, landmark recordings by Shep & the Limelites, an array of gospel-soul performances by the emergent Sam & Dave, vibrant vocals from the twilight of Dinah Washington’s career, hard-to find gems from Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford, collectors’ items from Jackie Wilson, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and James Ray, a chance to hear such great unknowns as the Jokers, Elmore Morris and Titus Turner, and a dose of humour from Buster Brown and Big Dee Irwin. Truly a ‘Voyage’ of discovery into the emergence of Soul City New York!



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