|2005 - Be There.... George Square!|
We kick off this year's show with a medley of One Voice, Could This be Magic and Relight My Fire. One Voice was written and originally recorded by Barry Manilow, although he never released it as a single. The only version of the song to hit the charts was by Coronation Street's Bill Tarney in 1993. Could it be Magic was first released by Manilow in 1978, reaching number 25. Take That's more upbeat version reached number 3 in 1992 and tonight we present a combination of both. While Relight My Fire was originally written by disco star Dan Hartman, but is more famous in its 1993 version by Take That and Lulu.
Our first full section presents us with a varied selection of showstoppers from throughout the years. First up is More - written by Stephen Sondheim for the 1990 film Dick Tracy and originally performed by Madonna. Next up is a medley of classic tunes from one of the biggest musicals of all time - Guys and Dolls. From its opening in 1950, Guys and Dolls became on of the world's favourite musicals - the 1955 film version starring Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando has also been hailed as a classic. Our medley features a selection of toetappers ranging from Luck be a Lady to Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat. We then present our version of Sixteen going on Seventeen, taken from Rodgers and Hammerstein's final collaboration, the 1959 classic The Sound of Music. Sung in the show by the youngsters Rolf and Liesl, tonight we present a slight variation on the theme! The final number in this section brings us right up to date - You Walk With Me is taken from the 2000 stage version of The Full Monty and the sentiments of this beautiful ballad suitably describe why we are all here this evening.
Our next section pays tribute to one of the most unpredictable and tortured geniuses in Rock and Roll history - Phil Spector. Born on Boxing Day 1940, he moved to New York City in 1960 and from there produced an unparalleled catalogue of hit singles, recorded by everyone from Gene Pitney to John Lennon. Tonight we present some of this most famous songs - opening with Da Do Ron Ron, a 1962 number 5 hit for the Crystals, written with his long time collaborators, Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, as was the next number Chapel of Love, recorded in 1964 by Darlene Love. Following next is Spector's 1958 hit To Know Him is to Love Him, a number 2 U hit and US number one for the Teddy Bears, tonight performed in version based on an arrangement by the Beatles, who featured the number in their live set from 1960 until 1963. The original was Spector's first international hit which was written and produced when he was only 19. Be My Baby was originally recorded by the Ronettes in 1964 and featured Spector's wife Ronnie on lead vocals - the track reached number 4 in the Uk charts. The section concludes with one of Spector's biggest international hits - You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling, recorded in 1965 by Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, The Righteous Brothers, this classic song was an instant hit and topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
To close the first half of our show we pay tribute to another giant - Leonard Bernstein. Born in 1918, Bernstein was one of the twentieth century's most charismatic and influential musical figures. He was renowned as a conductor, composer, pianist, author and lecturer. Studying music at Harvard, by 1943 Bernstein was assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, becoming an overnight celebrity when he deputised at the last minute for a live radio broadcast. Here we present a range of his work, starting with two numbers from his 1950 musical version of JM Barrie's Peter Pan. Starring Boris Karloff and Jean arthur, the show wasn't a huge success, despite some wonderful music. We start with the ballad, Dream With Me and the comedic Plank Round. Bernstein's biggest success in the popular field was West Side Story, his brilliant adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Completed in 1957, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, West Side Storywas one of the most dynamic and exciting productions Broadway had ever seen. The film version in 1961 won an amazing 10 Academy Awards. We perform a new version of the haunting ballad, Somewhere, followed by the Latin excitement of America. We close the first half with the finale from Bernstein's 1956 Operetta, Candide, Make Our Garden Grow. Although not a huge success in its first production, Candide has now been recognised as yet another towering achievement in a unique and remarkable career. Bernstien's last public appearance in the UK was in 1989, conducting Candide at The Barbican in London, and he died after a short illness in October of 1990.
Our second half opens with a selection of songs taken from perhaps Andrew Lloyd Webber's most highly regarded work - The Phantom of the Opera. Based on Gaston Laroux's gothic classic and featuring lyrics by Don Black and Richard Stilgoe, the show was generated well over one billion dollars worldwide since its opening performance on October 9 1986, and was recently made into a well received film by Joel Schumaker. Tonight we open with the title track, originally released as a single featuring Steve Harley as the Phantom, alongside Sarah Brightman, reaching number 7 in 1986. Our second number, Masquerade features the entire company and was one of the most impressive sequences in the 2004 movie. All I ask of You was released as a single in 1986, featuring Sarah Brightman duetting with Cliff Richard, a collaboration that reached number 3 in the charts. Following this, we present our version of Prima Donna, mimed in the movie by Minnie Driver! We close the section with a new version of The Music of the Night, the original version of which was taken to number 7 in 1987 by the original Phantom, Michael Crawford.
Our next section pays tribute to some of Scotland's own rock stars opening with I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) originally performed by Fife's own Proclaimers. Reaching number 11 in 1988, the song recently opened the Edinburgh Live 8 concert. Secondly we present Vienna, written by Glasweigan Midge Ure and originally performed by Ultravox, the song only reached number 2 in teh charts in 1981, being kept off the top spot by Joe Dolce's Shaddap a Your Face. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) was ths first top ten hit for Eurythmics, reaching number 2 in 1983. Dave Stewart and Aberdeen's Annie Lennox went on to establish themselves as the most successful male/female due in chart history. We close the section with a brand new version of I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), which is our interpretation of what might happen it the writers of Les Miserables wrote a Proclaimers musical......
In 2004, the Uk Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was inaugurated with a public vote to decide on an artist from each decade from the 50s to date to be inducted. However, prior to the vote, five artists were chosen to be immediately inducted due to their towering influence and achievements over the years - these artists were the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Bob Marley, U2 and Madonna. Tonight, we perform a number from each of these megastars. Firstly, Suspicious Minds was first released by Elvis in 1969, reaching number 2. Paul McCartney's ballad Let it Be was originally released in 1970 and was the Beatles last single before the vitriolic split. The song only reached number 2 in the charts, the top spot being blocked with Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge over Troubled Water. U2's I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For was originally released in 1987, reaching number 7, although the version we perform tonight is based on the live version released on their 1988 album, Rattle and Hum. The medley of One Love/People Get Ready was originally recorded by Bob Marley in 1980 and was released posthumously in 1984, reaching number 5. Marley's greatest hits album Legend is the biggest selling reggae album in the UK and the Us with over 12 million sales. Finally, Madonna's Vogue was released in 1990 and was the 7th of her ten number ones. Amazingly, Madonna has had, to date, 59 hit singles in the UK - with a remarkable 54 of them being top ten hits - a total greater than the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined!
Our last section opens with Time to Say Goodbye, originally performed by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli, who took the song to number 2 in the charts in 1997. The song is the biggest selling single in history in Germany, where it has sold over three millions copies. Our finale is Seasons of Love, taken from the award winning US musical, Rent. Written by Jonathan Larson and inspired by La Boheme, the show opened in 1996. Frankly dealing with poverty, AIDS and drugs, the show took New York by storm and has subsequently toured all over the world. Sadly, Larson himself died of an aortic aneurism the very day before previews of the show commenced and he would never know the enduring success he'd created. The song itself tells of the time you have left when you have only a year to live. Finally, we perform Tony Christie's Amarillo (Is this the way to) - originally a number 18 hit in 1971, the recent Comic Relief re-release is the longest running number one so far this century.