Friday, 11 January 2008

My bright idea? I think...

Well today I came up with the bright idea to start a blog that will follow the progress or my failure to get a new CD out to celebrate P.J. Proby's "70th Birthday".

Just to give you some background. In the late 1990s, I discovered Proby's music thanks to my Mum who had long admired the great Texan. In particular, she was fond of an obscure B-side ballad "Just Like Him" which she couldn't find anywhere on CD. This fed my curiousity and soon enough my eyes were opened to the man's vocal genuis and how much I enjoyed his Liberty/EMI work!

In 2003, at a meeting with EMI to discuss a Cilla Black anniversary boxset release I raised issue about doing a new Proby compilation. Although, I got an initial thumbs up the project sadly wasn't to be...

No matter. I did get as far as doing some research into Proby's recording career and thanks to the wonders of the web made contact with some of Proby's biggest fans (or Probyans as they refer to themselves). They at least alerted me to the fact that there were some worthy recordings deserving a digital makeover. Thus, my quest to get some of these out on CD began!

Today, yet again I am trying to rekindle interest from EMI. As said before it is Proby's "70th Birthday" and now seems as good a time as any to try. So, I have prepared a CDR sampler of suggested songs and drawn up a project that I am mailing off to them which I tentatively call "The Birthday Collection (Best of 1964-1972)".

Time will tell if anything comes of this. Fingers crossed! ;)


Peter said...

Fantastic. Great job. I love your mum :-)
Let me know when record is released - I must have it!
Peter Lindgren

Anonymous said...

I think it's a great idea and if anybody can do it, you can!
Can't wait to hear it! I'm sure it will sell well in every country in Europe, not to forget the States and Australia!
PJ's fans are everywhere!

Andy Cole said...

This is sensational news.

Jims best 3 "B" sides never included on C.D. are

1 Just like him
2 Whats on your mind
3 I dont wanna hear it anymore

Hope you will look at these for possible inclusion

Andy Cole

The Confused said...

This will be a great treat if all goes to plan. Proby deserves a compilation like this... a boxset too!

I'm not going to make any suggestions for tracks since there is a lot I've yet to hear (my personal fave album is "Three Week Hero"!) but I do have one request that is of great concern to me and possible buyers.

In recent years it has become standard procedure to compress and ultimately "brickwall" archive recordings for maximum loudness and EMI are fond of this tactic and calling it "digital remastering". It makes the music painful to listen to since it destroys the true dynamics within the music by "squashing" it so its all one consistent volume which would be fatal on some of Jims greatest ballads.

This YouTube video demonstrates clearly this particular problem - hope you all find it useful and interesting...

If it is at all possible it would be nice to ensure this doesn't happen if and when this CD reaches the mastering stage that would be wonderful. I hope EMI can release a great compilation like this and let the music shine in its true fidelity and sonic glory without the compression issue.

Anyway, all the best and good luck!

tracey said...

Hope to see this album become a reality... even if it is a straight greatest hits album with the more well known tracks it would be good to see a new PJ album available for all.
Of course I would buy it no question!
It's sort of an anniversary for me this year too, 10 years since I first heard Three Week Hero which started it all for me.
On a selfish level it would be a dream if there were bonus tracks from Clown Shoes... but I don't wanna rock the boat!
Best of luck!!

BearGrove said...

I hope nothing from his first or second album had to be added on the planned CD.These recordings are
easy to find today if you want to buy a PJP-CD !
Would be good to add recordings which has never been released as "Delilah and tracks which has never been released on a CD before.
My wishing list :
1) Delilah
2) I Don´t Want To Hear It Anymore
3) Just Like Him
4) And The Sun Will Shine
5) What´s On Your Mind
6) Didn´t Give A Damn

Janet said...

I think it is an absolutely fabulous idea to release a CD for PJ's 70th year. Fans here and abroad have waited so long for new material that this would be pounced on immediately upon release!!
I know it must be very difficult to choose which songs to include as PJ made so many brilliant and varied recordings but I agree with Andy Cole's recommendations for the 3 best 'B' sides. It would be nice if these could be included.
I am keeping my fingers crossed for the very best outcome for your project as will all of PJ's fans.


Hans Buijze said...

It's a fantastic idea. Hope you will succeed. I want to let you know the following thing. When I was in contact with the EMI labelmanager in Holland ath the Focus days we discovered the Delilah excistence. Heddy Bienstman was going to the USA for a meeting and he promissed me that would search in the EMI archives for Proby material. He came back and told me that he saw the registration of the track but couldn't find it. I think that was the first time the song was mentioned. Hope it will be appearing somewhere someday

BearGrove Blog said...

Maybe Stephen has to to contact Les Reed about "Delilah" and mention about his project if it´s impossible to find the recording.
I remember that Duncan Kennedy once mentioned on the Delphi Forum that Les Reed got a copy of it.Duncan hoped that it would be played on the radio.I can not find the msg now - but I am sure that more than I remember it.