Dory Previn Mythical Kings and Iguanas / Reflections in a Mud Puddle
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- Released: December 1, 1997
- Originally Released: 2002
- Label: Bgo - Beat Goes On
- 1.Mythical Kings and Iguanas
- 2.Yada Yada La Scala
- 3.Lady with the Braid
- 4.Her Mothers Daughter
- 5.Angels and Devils the Following Day: Angels And Devils
- 6.Mary C. Brown and the Hollywood Sign
- 7.Lemon Haired Ladies
- 8.Stone for Bessie Smith
- 9.The Game
- 10.Going Home (Mythical Kings and Iguanas)
- 12.The New Enzyme Detergent Demise of Ali Macgraw
- 13.The Talkative Woman and the Two Star General
- 14.The Altruist and the Needy Case
- 15.Play It Again, Sam
- 16.Earthquake in Los Angeles, The (February, 1971)
- 17.Final Flight of the Hindenburg, The (May, 1937)
- 18.I Dance and Dance and Smile and Smile
- 19.The Air Crash in New Jersey
Personnel: B.G. Davies, Peter Morse, West Venet, D. Veronica Langdon, Floyd C. Maffitt, Michael McGinnis, Denny Brooks (vocals); David Bennett Cohen (guitar, electric guitar); Dennis Budimir, Donald Peake, Tommy Tedesco (guitar); Brian Davies, Clark Maffitt (acoustic guitar); Louie Shelton (electric guitar, banjo); Hamilton Wesley Watt (electric guitar); Gerald Vinci, Sidney Sharp (violin); Nathan Kaproff, James Getzoff, Joy Lyle, Joseph DiFiore, Gareth "Garry" Nuttycombe, Rollice Dale, Henry Ferber, Jack Shulman, Tibor Zelig, Murray Adler, Lou Klass, Armand Karpoff, Harry Hyams, Joseph Stephansky, Bernard Kundell, Israel Baker, Ralph Schaeffer, Paul Shure, Harry Bluestone, Jesse Ehrlich, William Kurash (strings); Gene Cipriano, Ted Nash (saxophone); Abe Most (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Paul Hubinon (trumpet, flugelhorn); Conte Candoli, A.P. Brisbois, Buck Monari, Anthony Terran, Oscar Brashear (trumpet); Marilyn L. Johnson , Gale Robinson (French horn); Dick Hyde, Richard Taylor "Dick" Nash , Grover Mitchell , Herbie Harper, Michael Wimberly (trombone); Michael Lang , Perry Botkin, Jr. (piano); Larry Knechtel (Fender Rhodes piano); Joe Osborn (electric bass); Earl Palmer , Frank Capp, Paul Humphrey , Ron Tutt (drums); Stan Farber, Tom Bahler, John Bahler (background vocals).
Recording information: Abbey Sound Studios; Record Palnt West; Sun West Studios, Hollywood CA.
Unknown Contributor Role: Dan Morehouse.
You might have expected that British label BGO, in reissuing Dory Previn's early-'70s albums as two-fers, would pair her debut album, On My Way to Where, with her second, Mythical Kings & Iguanas, and her third, Reflections in a Mud Puddle/Taps Tremors & Time Steps, with her fourth, Mary C. Brown & the Hollywood Sign. But On My Way to Where wasn't released in England until after the others, and BGO bloody-mindedly decided to follow the British release schedule, first releasing a two-fer of Mary C. Brown & the Hollywood Sign with On My Way to Where, then following with this disc containing Mythical Kings & Iguanas and Reflections in a Mud Puddle (the second part of the album's title is not listed on this release). While it would have made more sense to do it in the correct order, matching these two albums which followed each other and were both released in 1971, is less jarring than the other pairing. Mythical Kings & Iguanas is Previn's most consistent and accessible album, one on which the confessional tone of On My Way to Where is more tempered by craft. Like Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell, the singer is concerned with intimate relations on such songs as "Yada Yada La Scala," "The Lady with the Braid," "Angels and Devils the Following Day," and "Lemon Haired Ladies," adopting the persona of a needy older woman contending with a young, heedless companion. But she also finds space for "Mary C. Brown & the Hollywood Sign," a commentary on her adopted hometown, and "Stone for Bessie Smith," which reflects on the then-recent death of Janis Joplin. Reflections in a Mud Puddle/Taps Tremors & Time Steps, as its double title implies, is really two mini-albums (occupying either side of the original LP). Reflections contains more discursive and less personal songs than those found on Mythical Kings, but the intensely personal, 13-minute, five-song medley of Taps Tremors & Time Steps, (subtitled "One Last Dance for My Father"), is an account of the singer's learning of her father's death, which sets off a series of childhood memories. It is as idiosyncratic as it is compelling, but probably the least conventional part of Previn's recorded work, which means it makes for an odd ending to a CD that began with the more easily engaging material on Mythical Kings. ~ William Ruhlmann
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