Gilbert O'Sullivan Gilbert O'Sullivan
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- 1At the End of the Day03:11
- 2The Same the Whole World Over03:15
- 3Love How You Leave Me02:51
- 4What Is It About My Girl03:40
- 5I'll Never Love Again03:35
- 6Where Did You Go To?03:34
- 7Dansette Dreams and 45's05:51
- 8No Head for Figures but Yours02:45
- 9Penny Drops02:43
- 10This Riff02:48
- 11The Mind Boggles03:39
- 12For the Record02:39
Info for Gilbert O'Sullivan
Gilbert O’Sullivan’s unique blend of melodic craftsmanship, witty wordplay, topical acuity and surrealist humour has given him an enduring and endearing career. His songwriting knack has outlived and transcended fashion, global million-sellers, critical acclaim, court cases and an occasional tendency to reclusiveness. Now recognised as one of our great singer-songwriters, he’s been championed in recent years by everyone from Morrissey to Paul Weller, from Difford & Tilbrook to Neil Diamond. There’s a case for him being our own Randy Newman or Harry Nilsson. Certainly Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Laura Marling, Kings of Leon, Ray LaMontagne and Paul McCartney), who produces his new album Gilbert O’Sullivan, is a clued-up enthusiast. “I’ve been a fan of Gilbert’s for years,” he says. “He’s a true original.”
Gilbert’s 19th studio album since his 1971 debut Himself feels in some ways a kindred spirit to that record, which yielded his first hit, the poetic and powerful breakthrough Nothing Rhymed. It’s organic, almost live feel is encouraged by Ethan and the songs sail on the perennial O’Sullivan strengths of evocative tunes and wry insight.
The album was recorded on analogue equipment at O’Sullivan’s Frobisher Drive Studios, Jersey, in easy-going sessions with players hand-picked by Ethan. The band featured guitarist Paul Stacey (Oasis, Finn Brothers), bassist Nick Pini (Johns’ The Black Eyed Dog), drummer Jeremy Stacey (Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Waterboys), Stephanie Jean, AKA Ida Mae (hammond organ, Fender Rhodes, mellotron, harpsichord), and O’Sullivan on vocals and piano. There are also guest appearances from several incredible musicians: Andy Fairweather Low (guitar), Chas Hodges (piano) and Geraint Watkins (piano – Van Morrison, Nick Lowe).
The resulting album is a collection of some of the finest songs Gilbert has ever written and recorded. Ranging from the melancholy charm of At The End Of The Day or I’ll Never Love Again to the brisk, buoyant Penny Drops, What Is It About My Girl and Ethan’s favourite, the rollicking This Riff. There are musings on ageing and mortality, and also, of course, crisp comic touches, something Gilbert attributes to his love of Spike Milligan.
One of the album’s standout tracks is first single Where Did You Go To? which, with Gilbert’s surreal wordplay and the hammond organ to the fore, is reminiscent of long-time influence, Bob Dylan.
Whilst the album’s centerpiece, Dansette Dreams And 45s, is a nod to nostalgia, Gilbert’s deft, droll observations on today’s world remain ever eagle-eyed. The album’s final two songs, The Mind Boggles and For The Record, both tackle serious issues, with references to Donald Trump and homelessness. These songs show Gilbert at the top of his game, as he has been since banging out Dylan and Beatles tunes as a child on the piano, in the shed at the end of his mother’s council house garden in Swindon.
“Success for me is to write what I think is a good song,” says Gilbert. “When I’m pleased with it, that, for me, is a magical moment. I never lost that buzz.”
Gilbert O’Sullivan represents a talent as vibrant and in touch with its own truth as it has ever been, and should ensure a new generation discovers this truly remarkable artist.
was born Raymond Edward O’Sullivan on 1st December 1946 in Waterford, Ireland but moved with his family to Swindon in England in 1953. His musical education began with the radio, and from 1962 first as a drummer and vocalist with his own band, and then other local bands. It was during this period he began writing songs. And on deciding he wanted to become a solo singer, started sending tapes to record companies in London, all of which were ignored.
On finishing his 4th year at Swindon Art College, Gilbert moved to London to try and further his musical career. While working as a temporary salesman at C&A’s department store, a tape of his was heard by CBS Publishers April Music, and as a result with a promise of a recording contract, he signed a 5 year agreement. Two singles were released: “Disappear”/”You” 1967, and “What Can I Do”/”You” in 1968. Neither did well. It was also at this time Gilbert formulated his image. Wanting to be different he created a character, calling himself Gilbert (not O’Sullivan) based on a love of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, which consisted of, amongst other things, pudding-basin haircut, grey flannel trousers, hobnail boots, flat cap. While pleased to have for the first time a record released, he was however unhappy with the support he was getting from the record company so he parted company with CBS, and on the promise of better promotion he signed with the Major Minor label, then very popular due to its connection with pirate radio.
His best song up till then, written after the death of Bobby Kennedy, was in Gilbert’s opinion, badly dealt with recording wise. So again disappointed but not disillusioned, he moved on. Only this time not to a record company, but in his view, a management figure. He subsequently sent a demo tape to Gordon Mills, who had successfully guided the careers of Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. Mills recognised something unique. Not in the image which he didn’t particularly like, but in his songs, and signed him for management, and to his label MAM Records.
Gilbert made an irresistible impression with “Nothing Rhymed”, his first Top 10 hit and an introduction to his witty lyrics and original approach as a singer/songwriter. Four years of major success followed, incorporating a dozen more hit singles, ten of which reached the UK Top 10, and four Top 5 albums: “Himself” (1971), “Back To Front” (1972), “I’m A Writer Not A Fighter” (1973) and “A Stranger In My Own Back Yard” (1974).
“Clair” and “Get Down” were number one hit singles in Britain, while “Back To Front” topped the UK LP chart in 1972. Across the Atlantic “Alone Again (Naturally)”, sold two million copies during a six week stay at the top of the US singles chart in 1972. Around this time the singer changed his image in favour of a US collegiate-styled sweater embossed with the letter “G”. By the mid 70’s, singles like “Oooh Baby”, “Why Oh Why Oh Why”, “I Don’t Love You But I think I Like You”, including a Top 10 Christmas song, continued to chart.
Following an Ivor Novello award in 1971 for “No Matter How I try”, in April 1973 Gilbert was named “Songwriter of the Year” at the 18th annual Ivor Novello Awards, as well as receiving a third Ivor Novello “Best Song of the Year” for his composition “Get Down”.
In 1977, Gilbert’s 5th album, the self-produced ‘Southpaw’ was released, containing the track ‘Tomorrow Today’, which in 1994 became a Number 1 record in Japan. However disagreements over future direction led to a break up with his manager, which effectively side-lined the former as a recording artist for five years. The resulting court case brought by him solely to obtain a promised interest in his songs would finally give him control of his own recordings and copyrights.
Gilbert returned to CBS in 1980 and released “Off Centre” (1980) and “Life & Rhymes” (1982) but maintained a low profile during much of the 1980s. “Off Centre” provided his 13th UK Top 20 single, “What’s In A Kiss?”, after which legal proceedings monopolised his time. Gilbert released no new material between 1982 and 1987 when he released `Frobisher Drive’ in Germany (later released in the UK as `In The Key Of G’). The album included `So What’, Gilbert’s first chart single in almost a decade.
Now living in Jersey, Channel Islands, Gilbert has continued to record and tour consistently since, including appearances at Glastonbury and in 2008 a concert at The Albert Hall. Albums have included “Sounds Of The Loop” (1993), containing the now classic duet with Peggy Lee ‘Can’t Think Straight, “By Larry” (1994), “Every Song Has Its Play” (1995), “Singer Sowing Machine” (1997), “Irlish” (2001), “Piano Foreplay” (2003), “A Scruff At Heart” (2007) and “Gilbertville” (2010).
2011 saw Gilbert sign a deal with UK – based catalogue specialists Union Square Music who started a reissue programme including expanded physical and digital versions of 13 of his original albums and a TV advertised Best Of that reached number 12 in the UK charts in 2012. This was followed by an extensive UK tour promoting Gilbertville.
2013 began with Gilbert and his band touring Singapore, Japan and The Netherlands, with the latter part of the year dedicated to the writing of his new album, released in 2014.
It was also the year for major synching success; with ‘Oooh Wakka Doo’ being used as the theme tune for UK’s National Lottery advert. With this came increased sales of his Best Of, re-released at supermarkets across the country.
Gilbert continued this run of success first with a sold out UK tour in 2016 as well as a 2017 tour for his 50th Anniversary in music and new Greatest Hits collection. The year also saw Gilbert perform at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool, home of The Beatles, and a slot at Radio 2’s Proms In The Park.
In 2018 Gilbert will be back on the road to celebrate his five decades of music. You can enjoy every facet of his history in this new live show, Including classics such as Alone Again Naturally, Nothing Rhymed, Clair Matrimony and Get Down as well as songs from from the forthcoming album “Gilbert O Sullivan “.
This album contains no booklet.