SONGS I LOVE:
In 1973 Neil Diamond composed, wrote and recorded on Columbia the soundtrack to the movie, Jonathan Livingston Seagull (image 2). It is from a book by Richard Bach (image 1) and I honestly cannot remember how many times I played the songs from the album. Commercially, the music was more successful than the movie. It was Diamond's first album after an earlier hit, Hot August Night, released in 1972.
|The Album Cover|
I would like to quote a review by Shawn M. Haney that I edited. It sums up the album adequately. He commented that in the recording Neil Diamond put himself into the shoes of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, writing and singing music, compelling and rich in texture and melody to fit the portrait perfectly for the movie.
As a page that aches for words
Which speaks on a theme that's timeless
While the Sun God will make for your day
As a song in search of a voice that is silent
And the one God will make for your way..."
Recorded in 1973 for CBS under the pop/rock style genre, Diamond had much help from those around him to make the album a reality. Tom Catalano must be commended for the production and musical direction, Lee Holdridge for conducting and splendid, string arrangements, Armin Steiner for sound engineering and the hundred-plus musicians who rallied to record the soundtrack for overall performance.
Though Diamond only sings on a few tracks, he does it so with much grace, smooth flair and enchantment. "Romantic, fresh and lively, this album fits the piece of the puzzle the motion picture needed so perfectly." Tracks include: 1. Prologue 2. Be 3. Flight of the Gull 4. Dear Father 5. Sky Bird 6. Lonely Looking Sky 7. Be* 8. Lonely Looking Sky* 9. Dear Father* 10. Anthem 11. Be 12. Skybird 13. Dear Father 14. Be (*These three songs appear as "The Odyssey".)
Movie Comment :
"I saw the movie when it came out, not a human being in it, as I recall. Fascinating, with the wonderful soundtrack composed and largely performed by Diamond with full rich sound, his arrangement is pure pleasure and his voice thundering during the score. This is music to listen to anytime, to sing with, to love. Own it forever." Submitted by a reviewer (Connecticut, U.S.A.)
Jonathan the seagull learns to fly beyond his highest expectations when he left his friends and becomes an outcast. As a non-conformist he enjoys his freedom with other gulls that believe as he does. The theme, to listen to our hearts even when it goes the unaccepted ways, is clear. The book was a best seller in the 70s and remains popular today. The author, Richard Bach, is a descendent of composer Johan Sebastian Bach.
1. "Keep working on love."
2. "The gull sees farthest who flies highest."
3. "If our friendship depends on things like space and time, then when we finally overcome space and time, we've destroyed our own brotherhood..."
Best is to read the book. Won't take 20 minutes, unless you're not much into self-improvement books. I am not but I enjoy this one. Book is 40 years old, and last count sold more than 40 million copies. My!
Original article/Image/Album Info from CD: Andy Lim Collection.
Choice of quotations are my own.
Article extracts: http://www.cduniverse.com/
Copyright: Sony Music Entertainment Inc.