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2008 Now That's What I Call Showcase

Running order



Programme Notes


Act One

Our show begins with the James Bond Theme - originally composed for the 1962 movie Dr No, Sean Connery's debut as 007. There has been much conjecture over the authorship of this famous theme, with both Monty Norman and Jhn Barry claiming to have composed the piece. In reality, the Norman-composed tune was subsequently orchestrated by Barry. The theme has featured in one guise or another in every official Bond film to date. Live And Let Die was written in 1973 by Paul and Linda McCartney for the movie of the same name. The song reached number seven in the charts and marked the reunion of McCartney with legendary producer George Martin. The song was nominated for an Oscar but lost out to Barbra Streisand's theme song from The Way We Were. Nobody Does It Better was written by Marvin Hamlisch & Carol Bayer Sager for the 1977 movie The Spy Who Loved Me, and was recorded by Carly Simon. The song was a number seven hit and was the first Bond theme not named after the movie. One of the all-time classic themes, Goldfinger was written in 1964 by Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley. Produced by Beatles producer George Martin, and recorded by Shirley Bassey, the song was a huge international hit, but only reached number twenty one in the UK. The theme to the 1974 movie The Man With The Golden Gun was written by John Barry and Don Black and was recorded by Lulu. Strangely, the song has never been issued as a single, perhaps due to the slightly risque lyrics. The last song in this section is Thunderball, written in 1965 by John Barry and Don Black. The song was recorded by Tom Jones who, legend has it, fainted in the recording booth while recording the sustained last note of the song. Again, the song wasn't a huge chart hit, only reaching number thirty five in the UK charts.opening section is a

Go Now was written by Larry Banks and Milton Bennett, and was made popular by a 1964 Moody Blues cover version,s ung by future Wings guitarist Denny Laine. The song reached number one in the UK. Mr Blue Sky was written by Jeff Lynne and was recorded by Electric Light Orchestra for their 1977 album Out Of The Blue. Released as a single, the song reached number six in the UK and was most recently featured in the 2006 Doctor Who story . Tempted was recorded in 1981 by British group Squeeze for their album East Side Story. ALthough written by songwriting team Christ Difford and Glen Tilbrook, the vocal was recorded by keyboard player Paul Carrack. The song only reached number forty one on its initial release but has since become a huge live favourite. No More Tears (Enough Is Enough) was recorded in 1979 by Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer and was released on both artists' albums at the time. Written by Paul Jabara and Bruce Roberts, the song was also released as a single, peaking at number three in the UK. Go West was written in 1979 by Jacques Morali, Henri Beolo & Victor Willis for the Village People. Our version is based on the 1993 Pet Shop Boys version, which was a number two hit. Labi Siffre originally released It Must Be Love in 1971, the single reaching number fourteen. It was a much bigger hit for Madness at Christmas 1981, their version reaching number four. The section concludes with Shine, written in 2007 by Take That and Steve Robson for their hugely successful comeback. Sung by Mark Owen, the song was Take That's tenth UK number one.

Our next section pays tribute to one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands of all time - the Beatles. The section opens with George Harrison's Something. Recorded for the Beatles' last album, Abbey Road in 1969, the song was the only Harrison song released by the Beatles as a single, reaching number four as part of a double A side with Come Together. The song has been covered many times, memorably by Shirley Bassey, and was part of Frank Sinatra's live repertoire for many years, when he used to introduce the song as 'the greatest love song ever written' and as his 'favourite Lennon & McCartney song'. The title track of 1967's Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was conceived by Paul McCartney and featured twice on the legendary album, as the brassy opening number and the rocking penultimate track. The song was performed by McCartney and U2 to launch the Live 8 concerts in 2005. A Day In The Life, the final track on Sergeant Pepper, was the first track recorded for the album and features two distinct sections - Lennon's dreamlike verses are segued with McCartney's domestic middle section. The sections were joined by a huge orchestral crescendo, recorded by a forty piece orchestra and overdubbed many times by producer George Martin. The song was banned by the BBC in 1967 for alleged drug references. Eleanor Rigby was recorded for the 1966 album and was a collaboration between Lennon and McCartney. Released as a double A side with Yellow Submarine, the song was the Beatles' eleventh UK number one and won the 1966 Grammy award for best vocal performance. Lady Madonna was a 1968 Beatles single, written by McCartney with Lennon's assistance on the lyrics. The original recording featured a saxophone solo by top jazz soloist Ronnie Scott. The Beatles' most successful single was 1968's Hey Jude. A McCartney ballad, apparently written for Lennon's son Julian, the song was the Beatles' biggest selling single in the US, staying at number one for a record nine weeks. In 1996 Julian Lennon bought the original lyrics of the song for 25,000.

Act Two

The second half opens with a selection of songs from Bz Luhrmann's 2001 movie Moulin Rouge!. Starring Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman, the movie was nominated for eight Oscars, eventually winning two. The soundtrack to the movie included a wide range of contemporary music, with everything from The Sound of Music to Nirvana featured. There was so much included in the soundtrack that it took almost two years to arrange the rights. The section opens with El Tango De Roxanne, based on the 1979 Police single originally written by Sting. Lady Marmalade was recorded in 1979 by Labelle, hitting the number one spot in the US the following year. For the movie, the song was recorded by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya and Pink and the single reached number one in 2001. One Day I'll Fly Away was originally recorded by Randy Crawford, reaching number two in 1980. Like A Virgin was a 1983 hit for Madonna and was a highlight of the movie in a camped up versoin performed by British actor Jim Broadbent. was originally written for Baz Luhrmann's previous movie Romeo + Juliet but was held over for Moulin Rouge. Performed by McGregor and Kidman, the song was released as a single but only reached number twenty seven in the UK.

Our next section features a variety of material from the stage, beginning with The Music And The Mirror from the 1976 musical A Chorus Line. Written by Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban, A Chorus Line was an unprecedented box office hit, receiving twelve Tony nominations and winning nine of them. The show ran for 6,137 performances, becoming the longest running production in Broadway history up to that time. We follow with two numbers from Les Miserables - Stars and One Day More. The longest running musical in West End history, the show opened at the Barbican to very mixed reviews but immediately caught the imagination of the public. The original production was co-produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and apparently income over the last twenty three years has been instrumental in the survival of the RSC. The section concludes with Movies Were Movies, taken from jerry Herman's 1974 muscial Mack and Mabel. Despite featuring one of Herman's strongest scores, the musical was not a success originally and despite various rewrites over the years, there has yet to be a completely satisfactory production staged.

After paying tribute to the Beatles in the first half, our next section features a selection of material from another massively successful British band, Queen. Featuring four individual writers - John Deacon, Brian May, Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor, the band had a string of hits until Mercury's tragic death in 1991. Their material is still packing out theatres in the guise of the stage musical We Will Rock You, which has been performing to sell-out audiences in London for six years, and will be arriving at the Edinburgh Playhouse for Christmas 2009. John Deacon retired from the music business in 1995, while Brian May and Roger Taylor have just released an album of new material with Paul Rodgers (formerly of Free and Bad Company),and their second world tour commenced in Moscow last week. We open our Queen section with . The original version of the song was the result of a 1981 studio jam session with the band and David Bowie, and hit number one in late 1981. Freddie Mercury's Somebody To Love was the lead single from the band's 1976 album, A Day At The Races. Featuring a striking backing vocal recorded by Mercury, May & Taylor, the song reached number two. George Michael eventually took the song to the top spot in 1993 with a live version recorded with the surviving members of the band at the Freddie Mercury memorial concert. Don't Stop Me Now was taken from Queen's 1978 album Jazz and reached number nine. The song is currently used as both a Cadburys'advert and as the theme tune to Al Murray's Happy Hour. The incomparable Bohemian Rhapsody was written in 1975 by Mercury for the album A Night At The opera. A Christmas number one twice - in 1975-76 and 1991-92 - the song is the only recording to sell over a million copies in the UK on two separate occasions. On their most recent tour with Paul Rodgers, the band paid tribute to Mercury, playing along with a video of him on the opening sequences and with Mercury and Rodgers sharing the vocals on the last section.

Our final section begins with Nessun Dorman, taken from the final act of Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot. The first performance was held in Milan in 1926. The song reached number two in 1990 in a version by Pavarotti, following its usein that year's World Cup coverage. With A Little Help From My Friends was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney as Ringo Starr's contribution to the Sergeant Pepperalbum. The arrangement tonight is based on Joe Cocker's cover version. Memorably performed by Cocker at Woodstock, the song reached number one in 1968. In 1988 a more faithful version was recorded by Wet Wet Wet in aid of Children in Need, and again reached number one. Music was originally recorded in 1976 by John Miles and the song was a number three hit for him at the time. Beach Boys genius Brian Wilson's Love & Mercy brings the show to a close. Written in 1988 and the lead single from Wilson's eponymous first solo album, the sentiments of the song are very pertinent to Showcase and sum up why we are all here this evening.