Caroline Films have entreated me to leave a small space to mention their film “GOLD” now showing in London at the Classic Piccadilly Circus. Hailed by its publicists as a saga on the “new American dream”, it is a film obviously made with great love and dedication, very much related to the 1967 vintage, San Fransisco hippy – Take off your clothes and live; do your own thing syndrome. I love these ideas, but honestly I don’t think the film works effectively; the political, ie anti-Nixon, Stars and Stripes, capitalist, thinking is presented through some very leaden mostly verbal imagery. Commercially made films such as Nicholas Roeg’s “WALKABOUT” have succeeded in expressing I these ideas with far greater clarity.

The music is great and there are one or two beautiful visual scenes, notably when a couple make love through a gorgeous kaleidoscope of trippy colours. If you’re a connoisseur of the Underground and anything new in the cinema then don’t miss this one; otherwise, well…

David Seligman

Phil Spector’s Christmas AlbumApple Records

At long last the incredible, ageless Phil Spector Christmas album has been re-released. The record was originally issued in 1963, but has been deleted for a number of years. With the passing of time it has become a prized possession amongst collectors of ‘pop’ classics. Also a large demand has built up for the disc each Christmas, as it has been a favourite with Radio 1 and 2 around this time of year.

When the record was made, only mono facilities were available, and Spector was the undisputed master of single track recording. So instead of the separated horizontal sound we have come accustomed to with stereo, from Spector we get a vertical ‘wall of sound’, the layers of which are filled with an impenetrable mass of backing tracks, with the lead voices rising to the top. Forgetting the technicalities, songs such as Rudolph The Rednosed Reindeer, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, plus many other Christmas ‘standards’ are featured, all sung by Spector’s stable of artists of the time. These are The Ronettes, The Crystals, Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans and Darlene Love.

Phil Spector’s Christmas Album is an epic of a record, apart from being completely in keeping with this Yuletide season.

Denis Lemon

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