Tuesday, January 11, 2005


Joe Viglione has written liner notes for

Andy Pratt's "Records Are Like Life" re-release of his 1971 Polydor CD

Andy Pratt's "The Age Of Goodbye" Corazong, 2004

The Count "I'm A Star" Flamingo/Carrere 1978

Maureen Tucker of The Velvet Underground "Another View"

Lady Carolyn/Moe Tucker "Of Yesterday/I'm Sticking With You" 45 RPM

20 Volumes of Boston Rock & Roll Anthology

1 Massachusetts Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Compilation

1 U.S. Anthology Vol. 1


the Age of Goodbye includes the albums Fun in the First World & Not Just for Dancing
re-mastered from the original Sterling Studio tapes with bonus cuts

Liner Notes by Evert Wilbrink with information from Joe Viglione

Few artists can claim a calling card as convincing as Andy Pratt's "Avenging Annie," the 1973 hit which rode up the charts on the power of Pratt's piano-laced, falsetto-sung twist on the legends of Pretty Boy Floyd and Annie Oakley. A demo tape of the song made Pratt a regional sensation a year before it kicked off the Boston native's debut album for Columbia, went Billboard Top 100 in America and became a timeless FM classic. The lanky singer-songwriter with the curly, golden locks toured behind the single with what would become a supergroup of future jazz greats – John Scofield on guitar, eventual Spyro Gyra vibraphonist Dave Samuels on drums, bassist Fernando Baena – protégé of Abe Laboriel, keyboardist Russell Walden who would go on to become musical director for Judy Collins, Erin Dickens who would sing on discs by Bette Midler, Yoko Ono, Talking Heads, and others, and a future member of The Manhattan Transfer, Pat Rosalia. They did over a week of packed shows at the Jazz Workshop in Boston June 23 to July, 1973. At least two of the shows were audiotaped, one broadcast on FM radio.

The tour that followed featured a crack band that included Syracuse guitar ace Mark Doyle, Arista recording artist Andy Mendelson on keyboards and drummer Rick Schlosser, opening for the likes of Foreigner and The Band. Music initially took off for Pratt in the '60s. The son of a school headmaster and a classical pianist, he began to play piano at age eight and guitar at 13, inspired by musical heroes Van Dyke Parks, Van Morrison, Beach Boys and Beatles. Andy launched his career with rock power trio Butter (of course playing Cream-covers!) at the height of '60s flower-power and frequented the Cambridge folk circuit. He was also a jazz fan, going to Boston's famed Jazz Workshop to catch John Coltrane, Art Blakey and other greats. Andy graduated from Harvard in ‘68, and –following a couple of shows at Hamburg’s ‘Cavern’ club- released his first LP, the jazz-pop effort "Records Are Like Life", through the Polydor UK label in ‘71.

While he never scored another hit to rival "Avenging Annie" (later covered by Who-vocalist Roger Daltrey), Pratt made three other major-label albums during the '70s, charming fans and critics alike with tunes like "All I Want is You," "Karen's Song" and "If You Could See Yourself (Through My Eyes)." Rolling Stone critic Stephen Holden wrote in ‘76: "By reviving the dream of rock as an art and then reinventing it, Pratt has forever changed the face of rock." That alone could have been the end of the fairy-tale story.

Andy Pratt returned in 1982 with the mini-album "Fun In The First World" on Boston’s Enzone Records. It boosted a contemporary FM-edge produced by former Modern Lover Leroy Radcliffe, who recruited local guitar hero Billy Loosigian from Willie Loco's Boom Boom Band, Jean Dominique Sifantus of the Jackals on drums, John Troy of the Pousette-Dart Band on bass and back-up vocalist Patty Unitas. Trade journal CMJ listed the EP July '82 as "P.M.'s Indie Label Fave" in a column that lists their ’…hottest new releases’ as: "These records demand your attention!" "Burn Up In the Fire", the Second Coming Theme from the '82 recordings made WBCN's Most Played Local Music.

Joe Viglione of AllMusic.com about "Fun In The First World": It is tough to compare it to "Resolution" and all the work that came after (Andy works in many genres) but as far as rock and roll goes, it is a superior work. Andy Pratt hit on Columbia with "Avenging Annie," a majestic and musically complex tune that Roger Daltrey failed to comprehend with his deficient cover. Pratt was one of Boston rock & roll's shining lights, but his eccentricities made for albums and musical sounds that were all over the map. If "Avenging Annie" is his signature tune, this five-song, black and white album is his finest and most compact rock and roll work up to this point in time, and that is saying a lot. Pratt has always shared a vocal style with ex-Velvet Underground keyboard player Willie Alexander, and here the original guitarist from Willie Alexander & the Boom Boom Band, Billy Loosigian, adds his distinctive edge. "Israel" and "Paper Money" make side two much too short — they are so inviting and philosophical that the ending is much too abrupt. Pratt's religious overtones hampered some of his earlier work on his Nemperor/Atlantic and Nemperor/CBS releases, but here he uses his beliefs and his vision to deliver an exceptional science-fiction epic in the title track. The snappy techno/dance is more direct than Falco, and more palatable than Kraftwerk. It rocks. Leroy Radcliffe's production is commendable — Radcliffe being the former guitarist in the Modern Lovers and Robin Lane & the Chartbusters. "Burn Up in the Fire" has the mood that Pratt used to inject into his recordings with jazz; here it is rock & roll being stretched and torn apart to really fine effect. A photograph of what looks like a crucifix cut into a desert with clouds mysteriously hanging over it is a stark contrast to the Metropolis cover photo, which features a robot hand next to Pratt's stern face. "Who Will Be My Friend" is Pratt pop, stuff that made his Columbia hit album such a masterpiece, and it gives this album a much-needed break from the intensity of the other four titles. A really magnificent and forgotten work that deserves a better fate.
On the strength of "Fun In The First World" Andy Pratt got a deal offered from Lamborghini Records in London through industry-veteran Evert Wilbrink (who previously had tried to buy production company Nemperor for BMG in 1975). The label, which also signed Stiff’s Joana Lewie, fellow-Bostonian Peter C. Johnson and reggae-artist Jack Miller, started with a great media-hype but unfortunately never got off the ground and thus the Andy Pratt album got shelved. In the Europe the Lamborghini recordings (with rhythm tandem Andy Newmark and Tony Levin!) briefly saw the light of day through a regional release of the album "Not Just For Dancing" on EMI/Aztec Records in Holland and Mega Records in Danmark.

Joe Viglione: an important release by Boston songwriter/singer Andy Pratt; shedding the complexities of his first and second albums from the early '70s, these songs rock out with a smart yet innocently commercial edge. This serious pop music, filled with heartfelt vocals as on "Who Will Be My Friend" and "What Can I Do," is full of moments superstars Billy Joel and Phil Collins only wish they could bring to their repertoire. With close to an hour's worth of music, a lot of territory is covered, culminating in "Israel," a brilliant gem of a composition which is one of the key pieces of the Andy Pratt catalog. The gorgeous piano fades up with a no-nonsense vocal and pounding drums, everything getting pulled right into the vacuum hook — jazz piano lines being the perfect foil, keeping the burning Billy Loosigian guitar blasts in check. Combined with material performed by Pratt in the Netherlands, these are said to be his last recordings from the 1980s. "Face I Wear" is that introspection from his self-titled second album, his first and only for Columbia - quasi-techno keys play against Pratt's falsetto with shimmering production. … Hearing "Carry You" is a real shock - and treat - for longtime Andy Pratt fans, while "Modern Police" has enough mystery, intrigue, and creative spark to give the "repeat" button a good workout…… an impressive combination of emotions and musical styles that begs repeated - and thoughtful - listening.

After the modest success in the '80s Andy Pratt relocated to Europe, got married, sang in churches and disappeared from the pop radar. As he had sung in "Avenging Annie," "I found my peace and I found my release, and I'm happy just to be alive." But after a 15-year sojourn in Belgium and the Netherlands, Pratt returned to the US like a true avenger, a prodigious talent with a wealth of new songs that prove he's as prolific and potent as ever. "I'd like to try and get famous again, to make people happy," says Pratt, who is playing the clubs and planning a series of national tours to coincide with future releases. "When I play music, it makes people happy." His voice, even in its fabled falsetto form, is strong as ever. "Avenging Annie" showed up in the Academy Award nominated film "Velvet Goldmine" in 1998, and hard-to-please rock legend Al Kooper placed the 1973 Andy Pratt album at #58 on his very distinguished Hot 100.

Pratt's latest project is learning to play the alto sax which he plays on the forthcoming "I'm Alright," though he admits that he wishes he could play piano simultaneously. Referring to his return to Boston after his extended stay in Europe, Pratt says, "The Boston musicians' community was wonderful. Some people came down [to the club] who had never heard of me, and they generally liked me, and a lot of people remembered 'Avenging Annie'. When I play that song, they go, ’wow’. I'm just trying to build up," says Pratt, who has been honing both new and old material through, thus far, selected gigs in his favorite cities and towns, joined by his original touring band members from the 70's, Mark Doyle on guitar and Gary Link on bass as well as new members, ex-Stompers guitarist Sal Baglio and musician extraordinary Tom Hambridge on drums. "There have been really good reactions anytime we've played," says Pratt. "It's starting to take off now."

Selective discography:
1971 - "Records are Like Life"
1973 - "Andy Pratt"
1976 - "Resolution"
1977 - "Shiver in the Night"
1979 - "Motives"
1982 - "Fun in the First World"
1985 - "Not Just For Dancing"
1986 - "Perfect Therapy"
1988 - "Life"
1991 - "One Body"
1993 - "Fire of Love"
1998 - "Another World"
2004 – "New Resolutions"
This Corazong album album "The Age of Goodbye" combines the tracks from "Fun In The First World"(*), the Lamborghini masters of "Not Just For Dancing"(**) and two songs# recorded for EMI/Aztec Records of the
Netherlands. The Lamborgihini recordings and the songs of "Fun In The First World" were mastered from Bob Clearmountain’s original Sterling Sound masters – the two Dutch songs had to be restored from vinyl.
1. Face I Wear** - 3:55
(previously unreleased Walter Turbitt mix)
2. What Can I Do** - 4:35
3. I Always Will Love You# - 5:27
4. Modern Police** - 4:14
5. It Will Get Better# – 3:21
6. I'm Only Sleeping** (Lennon/McCartney) - 4:07
7. Age of Goodbye** - 4:43
8. One More Soldier** - 4:51
9. I Love You** - 4:32
10. Fun in the First World* - 2:44
11. Burn Up in the Fire* - 3:07
12. Who Will Be My Friend* - 4:17
13. Israel* - 3:07
14. Paper Money* - 4:05
15. Stupid World* - 3:35
16. Carry You** - 2:50
17. Face I Wear** - 4:25
(previously unreleased & unedited Bob Clearmountain mix)
All songs © Andy Pratt, published by Editions Corasongs
except "I'm Only Sleeping" by Lennon/McCartney, Northern Songs/Sony/ATV
Andy Pratt: Piano, Guitar
Stephen Hague, Paco Saval: Guitar, Keyboards, Programming
Billy Loosigian: Guitar
Stan Strickland: Flute, Saxophone, Vocals
Tony Levin, John Troy, Mike Walsh: Bass
Andy Newmark,
Jean Dominique Sifantus: Drums
Robin Lane, Patty Unitas, Lisa Boray,
Janice Bollman, Debbie Colbert,
Andie Pratt, John Troy, Jody Pijper: Background vocals
Ron Saint Germaine, Michael Golub,
Bob Clearmountain, Walter Turbitt: Engineers
Leroy Radcliffe & Andy Pratt Producers
Evert Wilbrink: Project coordinator
Thanks to:
Nachum Heiman; Patrick Mimran; the late great Alfred Lagarde; Dan Russell, Peter C Johnson and Joe Viglione.
Digital mastering by Max Mollinger at the Sound-Factory from the original Sterling Sound studio tapes mastered by Bob Clearmountain - except tracks 3 & 5 from 12" vinyl albums bought at a Dutch flea-market.

(P) & © 2004, Corazong Records


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